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Kentucky Humane Society Housing Shelter Animals From Hurricane Ida’s Path

Kona and her 10 puppies, who are only four weeks old, are among the 60 animals from shelters in Louisiana being housed by the Kentucky Humane Society.
Kona and her 10 puppies, who are only four weeks old, are among the 60 animals from shelters in Louisiana being housed by the Kentucky Humane Society.

Dozens of animals from shelters affected by Hurricane Ida now call Kentucky home.

More than 60 cats and dogs arrived at the Kentucky Humane Society’s Sam Swope Pet Retreat in Jeffersontown on Wednesday night. KHS is one of 13 shelters across the country taking part in a rescue mission to evacuate animals from Louisiana, which was battered by Hurricane Ida about two weeks ago.

All of the animals were already in shelters in Louisiana prior to their arrival in Kentucky. Karen Koenig, the humane society’s vice president of animal welfare, said the animals were relocated to make room for displaced pets in the aftermath of the storm.

“There is always a huge influx of incoming animals that become homeless as strays during these situations, or because their owners need to surrender them because they've lost their homes or they've lost their ability to care for the pets,” she said. “So these were animals that’s lives were saved, because we were able to pull them out of the area and make room for animals that needed to come into those local shelters.”

The BISSELL Pet Foundation helped evacuate the animals from Louisiana to an emergency hub at the Humane Society of Tulsa. Animals were assessed and given vaccination certificates before being driven to other cities, including Louisville.

There are about 30 cats and 30 dogs in KHS’s new batch of furry residents. They include Kona, a retriever, and her 10 puppies, who are only four weeks old.

“Everybody got a nice warm place to sleep, got a big bowl of food and water,” Koenig said. “We’re assessing them, we're getting more of their medical workup done, and going to be working to place them up for adoption as soon as possible.”

The animals will be housed at the pet retreat until they are ready for adoption. Koenig said they’ll receive medical check-ups and behavioral analyses during their stay.

“Our staff is working on getting to know their personalities a little bit better,” she said. “Who is shy and fearful? That's very common. Who pulls on a leash? [We’re] getting to know their behaviors and their personalities so when people come to adopt, we can tell them as much as we know about those animals for a better fit.”

Koenig said people interested in pet adoption or fostering should check www.kyhumane.org in the coming days. Animals that were part of the rescue mission will have special labels, and KHS hopes to have them listed within a week. Donations are also being accepted on the website.

John, News Editor for LPM, is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Email John at jboyle@lpm.org.

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