Animal Care Society

Walkers and runners prepare for the 5K Run Woof Walk at the 2017 Bark in the Park.

For more than 20 years, Animal Care Society (ACS) has helped care for and re-home thousands of cats and dogs in our community and beyond. We spoke with ACS executive director Bunny Zeller as she and her team prepare for Give for Good Louisville on Sept. 13 and Bark in the Park on Sept. 22.

The Mission

Founded in 1984, ACS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit no-kill adoption agency for dogs and cats. “We’re a privately funded, volunteer-driven organization whose financial support comes solely through annual subscription memberships, donations and adoption fees,” Zeller said. “We receive no federal, state or local government funding.”

“We speak for the voiceless and lead by example in our ongoing work,” she continued. “We provide responsible and humane treatment to our dog and cat guests until we can find them appropriate homes.”

Over the last 10 years, ACS has placed more than 8,000 pets into devoted and responsible homes. “We are proud of our success and our sustained positive impact on our community,” she affirmed.

Bark in the Park 2018’s winning t-shirt design by Jamie Watters.

The Give for Good Goal

ACS participated in Give for Good last year, but this year they plan to attend the rally at 4th Street Live! as well. “We used social media and mass emails to get the word out about Animal Care Society’s involvement with Give for Good Louisville, and I believe we raised $4,492.41,” Zeller said.

By the Numbers

ACS has limited housing of animals but they consistently try to pull in animals in need. “We take in owner surrenders and pull from surrounding counties,” Zeller explained. “We usually have about 500 adoptions per year. We normally have about 60 animals for adoption but at the moment, we are low due to many adoptions in the last two weeks. I have some animals I’m pulling in from another rural county. We have had 1,000 volunteers over the years, and we are lucky to have a core of 25 loyal volunteers who help with most things including fundraising. We are 100-percent adoption-based and rarely have we had to euthanize an animal unless it was due to a deadly illness and a vet recommended it.”

Preparing for Bark in the Park

This is the 15th year ACS is putting on Bark in the Park. “Registration is going on now at our website or on active.com,” Zeller said.  “It is still $25 and the day of is $30. We just finished our t-shirt contest and have a winner, Jamie Watters, whose picture will be on the runner/walker shirt.”

At the event, the organization puts on a Dog-of-the-Year Contest, and the dog that raises the most money wins a prize. “We are so excited to have Lily and Daisy The Dogs performing this year,” she said. “We also have Lucky Dog Adventure to run a lure course and LMPD will do a demonstration. As always, we will have our dog contests including the Halloween Costume Contest (our favorite), the Look Alike and Kissing Contests.”

Tasty eats including hot dogs and pizza are sold throughout the day. Money is raised through the morning’s run/walk. All the proceeds from their fundraisers help with the care and medical costs of their animals.

How We Can Help

“Since we receive no state or federal funding, we rely on the generosity of the community,” Zeller explained. “We can always use volunteers, too. We also would love for people to join as a member, which costs as little as $25 a year. We are always grateful for monetary donations or donations of needed supplies. We especially love when kids donate to us for their birthday or Christmas. We love that parents are teaching the importance of giving back and being generous to those who have less. Every little bit helps.

“We know that there are many nonprofits out there to choose from and not everyone can give money, so volunteering is a great way to help,” Zeller continued. “Also, you can support us by coming to our entertaining events. Our three main fundraisers are Bark in the Park on Sept. 22, Bow Wow Meow Boutique on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-2 and Benefit Bash on March 16, 2019. We hope everyone will join us. VT

Animal Care Society

12207 Westport Road

animalcaresociety.org

502.426.6303