NEW YORK—Together with local agencies and city officials in a press conference at Metro Hall, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today launched its ASPCA Partner Community program in Louisville, Ky. in an effort to save the lives of more at-risk and homeless pets through a collaborative effort called The ASPCA Partnership.
The ASPCA Partnership includes the following Louisville-area animal welfare agencies: Louisville Metro Animal Services or LMAS (an open admission public shelter); The Kentucky Humane Society or KHS (a private, non-profit animal welfare agency that focuses on pet adoption, spay/neuter efforts and education); and Alley Cat Advocates or ACA (a local TNR group).
"By continuing to collaborate – as these agencies have already done with joint adoption events and spay/neuter clinics – we know our partners will be able to affect positive changes for animals most at risk in the Louisville community," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "They've displayed tremendous potential for progress and we look forward to the future success of the program."
"Homelessness is the number one risk factor for companion animals in the United States," Sayres added. "To reduce this, the ASPCA believes that all animal welfare organizations in a community must work together. Both the public and private funded organizations must buy in to collaboration and share resources. By understanding that it's the community's animals that are at risk—not just the animals in the care of one agency or another—the community can save the most lives possible."
The ASPCA Partnership will include annual planning meetings with Louisville partners to determine and monitor goals, strategies and needs. It also includes a grant allocation process, where partner agencies will have the opportunity to apply for substantial grants to address the community's needs and implement targeted, sustainable programs aimed at increasing live outcomes for animals. The agencies will also have access to ASPCA resources, expertise and guidance, as well as strategic planning support, statistical analysis, training and participation in ground-breaking research projects.
"As the largest pet adoption agency in the state, the Kentucky Humane Society is pleased to join Louisville Metro Animal Services and Alley Cats Advocates in the ASPCA Partnership today," said Lori Redmon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society. "Working together, we will improve the lives of cats and dogs in our community, ensuring every healthy, adoptable pet is offered a second chance at finding happiness."
"Louisville Metro Animal Services is honored that our city is the newest ASPCA Partner Community," said Justin L. Scally, director of Metro Animal Services. "This partnership demonstrates our city's commitment to working together to ensure a better quality, more humane life for all in the community. With the resources the ASPCA is bringing to our community, we will move closer to our goal of ending the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals."
"Alley Cat Advocates is thrilled that Louisville is now an ASPCA Partner Community," said Karen Little, founder of Alley Cat Advocates. "We are certain that this collaboration will help us raise awareness about the need to spay and neuter our community cats, and we’re confident our community will be healthier and happier as a result."
Last year, nearly 20,000 homeless animals entered the Louisville partner agencies. Aside from overcrowding in its shelters, some of the other challenges facing Louisville are the need for more lost animals to be reunited with their owners, an increase in targeted spay/neuter, and more pet adoptions.
Since 2007, the ASPCA has been lending its support, financially and through training and other human resources, to communities around the country with the goal of helping them save more animals. The ASPCA's work focuses a collective effort on sustainable, data-driven plans and programs that engage the community in providing positive outcomes for these animals. Since the ASPCA began its Partner Community program in 2007, more than a quarter of a million animals have been adopted, returned to owners, or spay/neutered as a result of the exceptional collaboration among partner agencies in each community.
In addition to Louisville, Ky., the ASPCA’s current Partner Communities are Buncombe County, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Miami-Dade County, Fla., Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Shelby County, Ala.; Spokane, Wash.; and Tallahassee, Fla. The ASPCA's investment in these partnerships—in the form of direct grants, capacity-building, training, ASPCA staff expertise, and strategic planning—varies from a one- to five-year period to address homeless animal issues in each community.