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Marion County Animal Shelter In The Heart of the Bluegrass
The Lebanon Enterprise
ANIMAL SHELTER GOES THE DISTANCE TO SAVE DOGS/CATS
By Stevie Lowery
(This article ran in January of 2016, but continues
to provide a very good description of how our shelter operates).
Pictured below is Marion County Animal Control Officer Kay Turpin posing for a photo with two
dogs who were on their way to a rescue group in Chicago.
The staff at the Marion County Animal Shelter is saving more animals than ever before. According to last year’s statistics, 447 animals went to rescue groups, 114 animals were adopted and 63 animals were returned to owners.
Marion County Animal Control Officer Kay Turpin and her staff have worked tirelessly to try and save as many animals as possible, and rescue groups all over the country have helped tremendously with their efforts. “The last two to three years have been unbelievable,” Turpin said. “There are more rescue groups out there now and more people are aware.” Social media has also helped, enabling Turpin to connect with rescue groups all over the country and beyond. “We send a lot of dogs to Minnesota and a ton of dogs to Canada,” she said. “Recently, we’ve been sending beagle hounds to San Francisco.” Turpin’s brother, Brandon Beavers, has his own airplane and he’s helped transport dogs to rescue groups. Turpin also uses a non-profit organization called “Pilots N Paws” to transport dogs.
Turpin said they try to use local rescue groups, specifically in Lexington, but they are usually slammed with too many animals. “I’m real picky about the rescue groups we work with,” Turpin said. “Most of our rescues are foster-based. When they leave here they actually go to a home, not to another facility.” During the past five years, there have been many success stories, she said. “It is a lot of work,” Turpin said. “But, it’s worth it. It’s so rewarding.” Unfortunately, due to pet overpopulation issues, 412 animals were euthanized last year, and 90 percent of those animals were cats, according to Turpin. “The intake on cats was unbelievable,” she said. “It’s overwhelming. Even if they are barn cats, they need to be fixed. These cats are just reproducing too much.” To help with that problem, Turpin enacted a policy at the animal shelter that requires all pets to be spayed or neutered before they are adopted. “Nothing leaves here unless it’s spayed or neutered,” she said. “It’s not a choice.” Another big problem is the number of pit bulls being bred in the county. “People think they are going to be able to sell them,” Turpin said. “A lot of them have been tied in the backyard with nothing. Some are malnourished. A lot of times they are aggressive. But, some of them are very sweet.”
Turpin said she is very picky about who is allowed to adopt pit bulls. This winter the shelter has been overwhelmed with many pit bulls, as well as many other dogs and cats, according to Turpin. “This has honestly been the busiest winter in the six years I’ve been here,” Turpin said. “We find homes for 10 dogs and we get 20 more. But, we give the animals every chance we can.”
Editor’s note: The animal shelter is always in need of old bed sheets, blankets and towels – anything that they can use for dog bedding. SPAY/NEUTER VOUCHERS
READ THE POWERFUL STORY OF "QUASI THE GREAT"
IT ALL STARTED RIGHT HERE at MCAS! ...
Quasi is a German Shepherd (above) with an extremely rare case of "Short Spine Syndrome" who was first brought to Marion County Animal Shelter as a stray in January of 2016 and is now an international celebrity. Watch his video:
and visit his very own Facebook Page!