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New Data - Posted July 2012

You can download the compiled data by clicking here. Read board member Karen Dickson's analysis below:

Four months ago the NKL Board finalized and approved their 3 year Strategic Plan. This plan calls for greater oversight of our publically funded animal shelter, highlighting obstacles and achievements and bringing public awareness to what is happening within our community's shelter system.

In keeping with that objective, each month I file an open records request with Louisville Metro government and ask for the kennel statistics reports for the preceeding month. I have compiled two and a half years of data, which is now available to you in an easy-to-read chart. The actual reports are available on the NKL website under "open records requests" [scroll down to view] but this chart is an easy, concise way to follow the progress of the shelter.

At first glance it might appear that things are indeed looking up at the shelter. But the only way to truly compare the performace of the shelter is to compare the number of euthanasia's, adoptions and transfers in a given month to the number of animals that are in the shelter (or the "intake" number) for the same month. This provides the actual percentage rate of whatever category you wish to examine.

For instance, in a recent story in the Courier Journal, LMAS boasted of a "great reduction" in the number of euthanasias being performed at the shelter. However, if we compare the first quarter of 2011 to the same quarter of 2012, euthanasia is down by only 2%, if you compare the number of animals euthanized to the number of animals brought into the shelter. In Jan, Feb, March and April of 2011, 3,690 animals came into LMAS and of that number, 1,369 were euthanized. In Jan, Feb, March and April of 2012, 2,904 animals were brought into the shelter and 1,026 were euthanized.

As for ?increasing the percentage of adoptions,? the statistics show that for the first four months of 2011, 652 animals were adopted from LMAS. Of that number, 52 were returned for a total of 600 adopted. For the same period in 2012, a total of 739 were adopted and 69 were returned for a total of 670 total adoptions. This increase of 70 adoptions in a four month period equals less than 1 additional adoption per day. This, despite having two more full time adoption personnel at Animal House in 2012 than in 2011.

The reduction in the number of animals received by the shelter is significant but the increase in adoptions is not. When the shelter boasts of increasing the percentage of adoptions, they fail to mention this increase is primarily due to the decrease in their intake numbers. The actual number of adoptions performed has barely changed. If anything, it shows that productivity has actually decreased as there are fewer animals to care for (reduced intake), more staff and an almost imperceptible increase in adoptions.

Regarding transfers to other animal rescue groups, the figures for the first quarter of this year show a decrease to those of the same quarter last year. In Jan, Feb, March and April of 2011, 915 animals were transferred to rescue groups compared to 777 for the same period in 2012.

Recently there has been much talk of the shelter achieving a 70% "live release rate." It has been reported on the news and is also quoted in a promotional video about the shelter. However, LMAS included owner requested euthanasia's in this category. This appears to have been done for no other purpose than to boost the percentage rate as there is nothing "live" or "released" in a euthanized animal.

NKL will continue to monitor the figures coming out of LMAS and share them with you on a monthly basis.

Karen Dickson

NKL Board Member

Open Records Requests

UPDATE (December 21, 2011): I met with LMAS staff this afternoon to get more of the records requested. I feel the meeting went well and was positive. We're still missing some records but we've (myself and LMAS staff) agreed on how I'll get those records and what they'll encompass. There were some good things I learned but there are still concerns that remain.

More to come, NKL'ers, in the coming days/weeks once I spend the hours needed to wade through all these records. See below for the analysis on the month-to-month data from January 1, 2011 to November 23, 2011.

Jessica Reid

President, No Kill Louisville


Hello to every No Kill advocate and some of you who may just now be learning about the No Kill model. I've finally had a chance to "crunch the numbers" I received through the second open records request to Louisville Metro Animal Services. 

I've made a spread sheet that looks at the shelters intake and outtake (whether live release or euthanasia) from January 1, 2010 through November 23, 2011. I'll have to make a follow-up request to get the remaining data once 2011 is complete.

To see this spread sheet you can either open it as an excel sheet or as the analysis pdf AND the adoption/euthanasia pdf. There are several pages to the excel sheet that translated into two separate pdf's. Because I believe in transparency and that knowledge is TRULY powerful, I'm linking the individual pdf's provided to me by LMAS following my sign-off to this update (in other words, see below for links). Please, if you spot some incorrectly entered data or math on my part, let me know at [email protected] I worked on this myself and could very well have a mistake on there. 

I chose the categories in the above excel sheets to cover because they are the areas *I view* as most important to the No Kill movement either as a gauge or as something that can easily be improved.

Now - my thoughts on what this data shows, both good and bad. Please note: this is without data from November 23, 2011 to December 31, 2011, so these statements may change slightly once we receive the final numbers (scroll down or read this letter as a word doc by clicking here):


  • We are no where near the No Kill standard of 10% or less euthanized
  • In 2010, LMAS killed 54.31% of pets; in 2011 so far (missing Dec/part of Nov), it's 44.45%
  • That's about a 10% improvement BUT LMAS has already killed 4,925 pets this year
  • When there is an increase in intake, there is an increase in killing BUT little to no increase in adoptions
  • Example 2010: July - intake 1,643; outtake 1,679 - 12.15% by adoptions; 61.63% by killing
  • Example 2011: July - intake 1,250; outtake 1,307 - 14.61% by adoptions; 47.65% by killing
  • The number of "Return to Owner" is pathetic and should be IMMEDIATELY addressed
  • Off site adoption numbers have decreased from 19.55% in 2010 to 9.20% in 2011
  • Animal House opened contributing to some of this, but when your adoption rate is a sad little 18.14% average for 2011 you should EXPAND and push adoptions at all sites. Wayne Zelinsky tried to shut down the PetSmart program when I was a volunteer at LMAS. See below for good news on this.
  • One number I've yet to crunch: how many cats versus dogs are killed at LMAS - anyone want to check out the below pdf's and let me know? Otherwise, I'll do it at a later date.
  • When Justin Scally shut down the Manslick location in August/September 2011 for distemper, a disease of dogs, 365 cats/kittens were killed for contagious disease & medical whereas only 78 dogs/puppies were killing for the same reasons.
  • Please note: I bring the above point up because volunteers and staff wrote me emails and called me during this time period saying they believed the shelter was closed so they could "clean house" with the cats/kittens by killing them. There is no evidence to this being true other than the mass killing of cats/kittens at time when the shelter was supposedly focused on the dogs/puppies.
  • Cats/kittens are killed for medical or contagious disease at about six times the rate of dogs
  • Medical (unspecified) or contagious disease is the #1 reason LMAS kills cats/kittens
  • Behavior Observed is the #1 reason LMAS kills dogs/puppies
  • Medical, contagious disease and behavior observed are all at a higher percent than time/space
  • Remember this the next time an apologist blames the public for killing because "there simply is not enough room for these pets"
  • Feral cats - who should be altered and released so the population actually decreases - made up 7.45% (583) of the cats/kittens killed at LMAS in 2010 and 5.71% (281) of those killed in 2011
  • In 2011 - fosters listed as "outtake" were only noted beginning in April 2011 and the number is depressing. This is an UNDER UTILIZED resource and great way to expand the walls of the shelter as well as provide positive public relations. The numbers of fosters listed in this time period are as follows: April - 4; May - 16; June - 19; July - 22; August - 67; September - 29; October - 42; November - 48
  • The most pets killed in one month were in August 2010. That number was 1,055; adoptions - 168
  • The most pets killed in one month in 2011 were also in August. That number was 714; adoptions - 191
  • If adoptions are up in one area, they go down in another – effectively keeping adoptions nearly static and unmoving.


  • Adoptions appear to be up by about 4% with 2,010 pets adopted by November 23
  • The intake at LMAS appears to be down - at 11,138; in 2010, it was 14,426
  • The highest adoption rates in the last 2 years were with Susan Neumayer - 23.28% & 23.36%
  • Rescue and transfers are up - 2010: 14.26% - 2011: 18.92%
  • If you're doing the math, which I know you are NKL'ers, that's nearly 5% of the 10% difference in killing at the shelter. I attribute this to Derby City Dog Rescue's work - which began in earnest just when you see these numbers shift.
  • This will hopefully get even better with Rescue Waggin' now in full effect. Foster for this program.
  • PetSmart has met with myself and LMAS leaders to discuss how to expand offsite adoptions! Volunteer for it when orientations are set and you can help get pets adopted!
  • It appears that Justin Scally has removed "breed" as a reason to kill as of September this year - everyone cheer him for that!
  • As promotions/news coverage increased, so did the number of adoptions through this avenue - 5.63% in 2010 to 13.43%. However, overall adoptions were not higher - they remained relatively static. 

Of course, there are many more comparisons and conclusions we can draw from the data. The most important is that we not yet at No Kill as promised to us by the leadership in Louisville. Go over the data, share it with others and write the mayor and city council members telling them why you believe in a No Kill Louisville.

More to come, NKL'ers! I'm going to LMAS this Wednesday to follow-up on the items they did not provide me in regards to my second records request - such as vaccination records, especially in regards to pets killed for contagious disease or medical, and policies and procedures. Wish me luck!

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Jessica Reid

President and Co-Founder, No Kill Louisville 














November - incomplete; goes to Nov. 23 only

December - not yet available 

Scroll down to view previous open records request details

UPDATE (December 9, 2011): I've received the documents per my second records request. These are the month-to-month records of intake and outtake at LMAS. I received these on November 30, and I will be publishing them this weekend for the public to see. MY apologies for the delay on my end. I've yet to have free time to go through them, upload the pdf's and update the website.

On a side note, I've still not received all the items requested, including vaccination and medical details, LMAS policies and procedures and more. I've been going back and forth trying to get them and was told I needed to schedule a time to come into the shelter to review the records on site. I asked for a time and was told Monday, December 19 at 2:30 p.m. was the *only* time available.

I've copied local media and city leaders on these emails and today one of them responded to the lack of cooperation I'm receiving to a portion of my open records request. See the story on The Ville Voice.

I'll keep you updated, NKL'ers!

Jessica Reid

President, No Kill Louisville

[email protected]

ORIGINAL POST (November 12, 2011): We believe in a No Kill community. That means we must remain vigilant and continue to challenge our city and county-funded shelters to move toward a No Kill Louisville. Because we are citizens, we have a right to the information within these agencies under Kentucky's Open Records Act. As such, we have begun to request documents from Louisville Metro Animal Services regarding intake, live release, euthanasia, training, and more.

Our first Open Records Request was submitted on November 4, 2011. It is noted below as is the shelter's response. As you'll see, the burden of discovery has been placed on No Kill Louisville. 

We have responded to this in several ways:

1) We will be meeting with shelter staff to review the records further.

2) We have challenged the information not included in relation to the Attorney General's document outlining the rules for Open Records Requests.

3) We have already submitted a second Open Records Request asking for additional information. It is also linked below for your review.

Please know that ANY CITIZEN can request access to records of public agencies, so you too can submit a request using our document as a template.

If you have any questions or feel we are missing an important piece of information/item we should request, email me at [email protected]

For the pets who have no voice,

Jessica Reid

President, No Kill Louisville

Summarizing the Data

November 4, 2011 Open Records Request (numbers provided by LMAS in response to request)

Please Note: The following covers the time period of October 1, 2010 to October 1, 2011. The percentages that follow were calculated by No Kill Louisville using LMAS' data. For example, out of the 5,740 pets killed at LMAS 76% were killed for behavior/medical reasons. This is not all the data found in the records response, so please review it as well.

ACCORDING TO THE BELOW NUMBERS LESS THAN 1% (.77%) OF LOUISVILLE'S POPULATION (741,096 per the 2010 US Census) WOULD HAVE HAD TO ADOPT AT LMAS TO SAVE EVERY SINGLE PET KILLED (this does not account for those too sick, ill, or dangerous for adoption, so the number would likely be even less) 

Intake Numbers (pets coming into LMAS)

8,060 - stray - 66%

3,726 - owner surrendered - 31%

363 - confiscated - 3%


12,149 - Total 

Euthanasia Numbers (pets killed at LMAS, followed by reason for euthanasia)

4,336 - behavior/medical (grouped together in response) - 76%

749 - time/space - 13%

655 - owner requested - 11%


5,740 - Total (47% of intake number provided) 

Live Release Numbers (pets making it out of LMAS alive, followed by reason left shelter)

2,381 - adoption - 37%

2,649 - shelter or rescue transfer (grouped together in response) - 41%

1,382 - returned to owner - 22%


6,412 - Total (53% of intake number provided)

PLEASE NOTE: There is a 3 pet difference from the intake numbers provided by the shelter and the euthanasia and live release numbers. If you add euthanasia and live release - you get 12,152. However, if you add the intake numbers provided by the shelter, you get 12,149.


Manslick has a capacity to hold 126 dogs in runs or stainless steel cages and 96 cats in stainless 

steel cages.

The new Adoption Center Animal House has 16 puppy spaces and 20 dog rooms.

Animal House has 16 cat condos and 2 free roam cat rooms to hold an estimated population of 44 cats.

Animal House has the capacity to hold 44 cats and 56 dogs in a clean healthy environment.

Final number provided by LMAS - The current capacity for dogs is 182. The current capacity for cats

is 140.

Please Note: No Kill Louisville does not agree with the above capacity numbers due to the number of runs at the Manslick location and the ability to house more than one dog per run. In addition, the runs in quarantine can be doubled by simply fixing the doors that separate the runs from each other so they are not a danger to the animals.

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