The McCracken County Humane Society strives to maintain a facility that promotes and provides a healthy, safe-living environment for unwanted but adoptable, owner surrender animals.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Mark Whitlow
Vice President: Vicki Hunkler
Secretary: Kim Beeny
Treasurer: Mark Whitlow
Pat Vannerson – Sheila Johnston – Dr. Rob Robertson – Dr. James Shumaker – Victor Sredl – Marian Downing
Executive Director: Terry Vannerson
It is an honor to serve as president of the McCracken County Humane Society. I joined the board in 2012. My mother, Bette Whitlow, inspired my love for the Society at an early age. She regularly boarded her cats here and I was impressed by the love and care the staff gave to her cats.
The past few years have brought significant changes. When I became a board member, the county had withdrawn its support and was operating its own shelter. Some of our board members were content with having two shelters, but our board president, Dr. James Shumaker, was not. He believed, as do I, that the Society has an important commitment to serve and help all animals in McCracken County. Through Dr.Shumaker’s effective leadership, we were able to negotiate a new contract with the county and to double the size of our facility.
In addition to Dr. Shumaker, the Society is grateful to our director, Terry Vannerson. Terry has brought a high level of enthusiasm and professionalism to the staff and volunteers and is a major reason for our success in working effectively with the county. Our staff, other board members and volunteers have contributed their talents to make our Society among the best in Kentucky, as confirmed by an independent study by the University of Kentucky.
We have many reasons to be thankful but recognize that in order to stay on top, we must work even harder to improve our services to our animal family. We depend, in part, on the contributions and bequests of our friends. I believe we have earned your trust and hope that we can count on your support as we pursue our mission of service to the animals in our care.
Mark Whitlow, President
2017 has had a great beginning with many challenges and joys. Our intake and adoptions are up from 2016, which is great for our winter months and our future. We have been working on several projects to be completed. One that we are very proud of, is remodeling our Cat Room. Our cat towers are in and they look great. The new towers give our cats and kittens more room for active play, separate levels for feeding, and for their litter pan. Now we can house more cats and kittens for adoption. Our cat towers were funded by a grant from PetSmart Charities.
We were also fortunate to receive another grant from PetSmart Charities for our second year of our TNR (trap and release) program. This program is for feral (unsocialized) cat colonies to be spayed/neutered and released back to their caretakers. This is for McCracken County residents. To participate, you must have a McCracken Co. Driver’s License, and have at least 5 feral cats in your colony. For more information, call 270-443-5923.
We will be starting construction on our new addition in April. It will consist of adding on to our adoption center, a conference room, and a meet and greet room. The conference room will be for future events, volunteer training, and animal behavioral training. The meet and greet room will be for adopters to get to know their furry friends.
We are always looking for ways to improve the facility, the interactions with the public, and the animals to find lifelong homes. We invite you to come and visit and see for yourself the great strides that have been made in the last several years.
Terry Vannerson, Executive Director
Our goal is to find lifelong homes for all of our animals. We do not euthanize for overcrowding and our euthanasia rate for 2016 was 5.28% with an intake of 1,080 cats and dogs as of December 31, 2016. The euthanasia rate was calculated by taking the total euthanized, 57, divided by the total intake of cats and dogs, 1,080. Our life saving rate for 2016 was 92%. The life saving rate was calculated by taking the total adopted, total reclaimed, total Rescue Waggin’ transport and total pod cats divided by the total intake of cats and dogs, 1,080.
We had a total of 100 cats and dogs in our facility on January 1, 2017 that were not adopted in 2016. Our euthanasia rate for 2017 is 5% with an intake of 214 cats and dogs as of March 31, 2017. The euthanasia rate was calculated by taking the total euthanized, 12, divided by the total intake of cats and dogs, 314. Our life saving rate for 2017 is 69.4%. The life saving rate was calculated by taking the total adopted, total reclaimed, total Rescue Waggin’ transport, 2 fosters and total pod cats divided by the total intake of cats and dogs, 314.
Services and Programs
Services we currently offer and watch for more to come!!!
Our Adoption staff helps hundreds of animals find homes each year. We also work closely with rescue groups. We have an off-site adoption kiosk for cats and kittens at PetSmart during their hours of operation (Monday -Saturday 9am-9pm & Sunday 10am-6pm). Every Wednesday is Senior Adoption Day. 50% off on selected dogs and cats.
Spay and Neuter Program
With the over abundance of cats and dogs, one of our goals is to help control the pet population. We partnered with local animal care professional Dr. Russell B. Jones, to ensure that all animals are spayed and neutered in house before being adopted. To continue this endeavor with our young animals, we also do pediatric spay/neuters.
Upon intake of all animals, a health record is started and they are assessed, weighed, vaccinated, dewormed, micro chipped and pictures taken for our website, PetFinder, Petango, and Facebook. All dogs are heartworm tested, if negative they are put on heartworm prevention on the 15th of every month as long as they are in our care. If they are positive they are put on treatment and adopters are aware of the health risks. All cats are Feline /leukemia tested before adoption. All dogs and cats get rabies vaccinations and are spayed/neutered when age appropriate. We provide 24 Petwatch Pet Protection Services.
Canine Behavior Assessment/Rescue Wagon
All dogs go through a behavioral assessment by 2 CBA’s, sponsored by PetSmart Charities to better assess the dogs for transport and adoption. Rescue Waggin’s goal of transporting adoptable dogs from shelters with pet overpopulation challenges to shelters in locations where there are plenty of homes can only be met if the dogs that are transported are behaviorally sound.
Our goal is to find lifelong homes for all of our animals. We do not euthanize for overcrowding and our euthanasia rate for 2016 is 5.28% with an intake of 1,080 cats and dogs as of December 31, 2016.
We offer boarding of cats and dogs, and require their current, up-to-date veterinarian records. We can walk and provide group playtime.
Training of Shelter Animals
Trained shelter dogs become better behaved, less stressed animals in the shelter environment, thus making them more desirable to potential adopters. Our staff coordinates with our volunteers to teach essential training techniques. We train our animals by using positive reinforcement methods and clicker training.
MCHS Supports the Community
We proudly take part in community events such as Blessing of the Animals, Pooch Costume Contest, Literary Hounds Reading program, Annual Paducah Pet Party, and Pals & Paws Day Camp. First Saturday of every month we have an adoption event at PetSmart. We also participate in National Adoption Week at PetSmart every quarter. We have pet therapy at our facility for children and young adults from Easter Seals. We send a quarterly newsletter out to keep the public informed.
Some of our educational outreach opportunities include local school programs and speaking engagements to business groups and organizations. We teach and guide local school groups, such as the Presidential Service Team, in proper animal care. We host tours of the Humane Society and offer reminders, as well as advice regarding pet care, preventative medicines, and seasonal hazards through public service announcements.
MCHS makes every attempt to place animals with other non-profit organizations. to find lifelong homes. We contact rescue groups who place specific breeds (like Boxers, Labradors, etc.) We also transport animals to other rescues for adoption, and by the PetSmart Rescue Waggin’ and pull animals from other shelters and rescues to find them lifelong homes.
Our volunteer program begins with filling out an application and a one- on-one orientation every Wednesday at 10:30am. This process ensures the volunteer fits best with the animals and where the volunteer can be most productive. We value our volunteers and equip them to turn shelter dogs and cats into great family members. Our volunteers can also earn community service credit.
Fostering of Animals
We provide foster homes for animals that come to us too young and need around-the-clock care. Our foster environments are loving homes that provide a great beginning for our young animals.
Pod for Feral or hard to place Cats
We have created a Pod in our barn to allow cats to live out their lives protected. Each cat has been spay/neutered, feline-leukemia tested, and updated on all shots, including rabies. These cats are adopted for pets.
Make daily exercise a part of your dog’s regular routine. Dogs that are taken on walks or allowed to run and play in an enclosed area outdoors are less likely to become bored during the day. Properly socializing your dog and allowing him to interact with other animals during exercise is an added bonus. Dogs that are allowed to exercise with others will be both physically and mentally engaged.
Spend time with your dog. Dogs are social pack animals and need attention from other dogs or their human companions to be happy. Include your dog whenever possible in family activities, car rides and time spent outdoors and allow the dog to be close to family members while at home. Play games such as fetch, work on training new commands and tricks or get involved with a new activity. Teaching your dog something new is a great way to keep it from getting bored, as is participating in activities such as agility classes.
Provide a variety of toys for your dog. Choose toys based on the dog’s personality and size. Chew toys are a good option for bored dogs and have the added benefit of being good for their teeth. Rope and squeak toys may also intrigue your dog. Puzzle toys require a dog to exhibit ingenuity.
Use a Kong toy to keep a bored dog occupied. A Kong is a toy that can be stuffed with different treats, such as peanut butter, yogurt or canned dog food. After stuffing a Kong, stick it in the freezer and allow the food to harden inside the toy before giving it to your dog. Getting the frozen treat out will keep a dog busy for a few hours.
Hire a professional pet-sitter to visit with your dog if it is always alone, even if it is just once or twice a week. Ask a neighbor who is home when you are not to visit or take your dog for a midday walk. The added attention and exercise will prevent boredom. Another option is to consider getting your dog a companion if a second dog can fit into your family’s lifestyle.
Participate in local organized events. There are many clubs all over the nation that provide activities for you and your dog to engage in together.
Take your dog to your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues if the animal remains lethargic, stressed or depressed.
Tips & Warnings
All dogs need some sort of mental and physical stimulation every day. Provide this for your dog and avoid problems associated with boredom.
Never punish a dog for acting out of boredom. Instead, solve the problem by providing toys and interactive treats and by spending more time with the animal.