By IGOR GURYASHKIN
If there is one thing the United States prides itself on, itâ€™s being a nation of animal lovers. To show their love, there is an entire industry dedicated to it, from animal hotels, spas and daycares to pet stores filled with toys and accessories. Thanks to the innovative folks at the Kentucky Humane Society, you can now treat your pet, knowing youâ€™re also helping a charitable cause.
The KHSâ€™s pet resorts, aside from treating the furry members of so many families in the state, supplement the income of the oldest and largest organization of its kind in the state of Kentucky. According to Justine Saudan, director of community programs for KHS, the resorts are a way for owners to get the best services for their animals, all while helping the Humane Society do its good work.
â€œThe inspiration behind this was to add a revenue income to our nonprofit,â€ Saudan said. â€œIn fact, 62 percent of our operational budget comes from these resorts, because we were quite forward-thinking all those years ago and were one of the first in the country to offer such a service.â€
Where does that money go? Every single year, the KHS is able to find homes for more than 6,000 cats and dogs throughout its nine locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, while also spaying and neutering 10,000 area cats and dogs every single year at its S.N.I.P. Clinic, helping to reduce the number of unwanted pets.
In addition to that, the percentage of animals that were saved reached a peak last year of 94 percent, with only six percent euthanized – a huge turnaround given that only 10 years ago euthanasia was at 60 percent and saved animals accounted for 40 percent. The money that comes from the pet resorts went a long way toward creating this turnaround.
In terms of services, the Fern Creek resort offers all the standard features that one would expect from a pet resort, along with some exclusive offerings due to their unique location.
â€œWe have a lot of clients with larger dogs because we offer the outdoor runs, and we also offer â€˜Ã la carteâ€™ activities – things like a nature walk, because we have a large area next to us where we take them for a 10-minute walk through the forest,â€ Saudan said. â€œA lot of owners ask for their dogs to be groomed before theyâ€™re picked up as well. So, there are tons and tons of add-ons that people can choose to make sure their pet is pampered as much as possible.â€
One thing immediately evident about the Fern Creek pet resort is how much room there truly is, especially as owners pull up in their cars. A large open space is often used as the staging area for training classes as well as owner education. On top of that with a freshlyÂ remodeled new set of kennels itâ€™s positively luxurious.
â€œWe call this resort here at Fern Creek our rustic retreat,â€ Saudan said, â€œas we offer indoor and outdoor boarding, doggy day care as well as grooming. With doggy day care, owners drop them in for the day, they play with their pals, they splash in the pool, they socialize and run around like crazy and go home tired. But we also have owners who leave their beloved pets for longer. We have people leaving their dogs from seven days to 28 days sometimes. People who are moving are more than happy to leave them here, and often people who have adopted animals come back to us because they know the work that we do.â€
For $14 a day, which includes food and two walks, owners can drop off their dogs knowing that they will have fun with up to 96 fellow canines. Cats are more than welcome at both locations as well, with dedicated catteries at both sites. With both sites open for close to 12 hours, there is plenty of time for owners to stop by.
Fern Creek Pet Resort is located at 5225 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, Ky., 40291. Open Monday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 502.499.1910.
East Point Pet Resort is located at 13310 Magisterial Dr., Louisville, Ky., 40223. Open seven days a week, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information call, 502.253.2221.