Louisville lost a great man and a wonderful friend on March 28, 2013 – Dr. Bill Hickey. To The Animal Care Society, he represented many things. He was a dedicated veterinarian, a friend, a comedian, and a philosopher. There are those people who come into your life and make a lasting, unforgettable impression. Dr. Hickey was that person for me and all of us at ACS who had the great privilege of working with him.
Dr. Hickey first became involved with ACS in the early 90’s. He walked into the shelter, introduced himself, and said he was new to the area and hoped to help a shelter with his services. He had recently opened a unique veterinary service called “House Calls for House Pets.” He invited us to call him at home whenever we needed advice or medical care for one of our furry ‘guests.’ In the event of an emergency, we were told to call his “pants.” (Check mine or Melody’s cell phone and, sure enough, there will be a Contact listed as “Dr. Hickey’s pants.”)
For over 10 years, Dr. Hickey made frequent visits to our shelter. During that time, he cared for our animals, taught the staff how to microchip, and mentored us on shelter medicine. It soon became apparent that, although he came to medically treat our furry guests, his warm and humorous personality was also a treat for the staff. He eventually opened the Chenoweth Lane Pet Clinic and, though his visits grew less frequent, he continued to care for our animals with monthly spays and neuters.
When I asked Melody her thoughts on Dr. Hickey, she said it best: “Every kitten season will remind me of Dr. Hickey and our ‘drive-by’ neuters. Not only did he teach me how to microchip, he always used each visit to either “educate” me about whatever was going on in the world or entertain me with a joke or two that he delivered with the timing of the highest paid comedian. Either way, he made those visits the bright spot of my day. It’s just so hard to believe that he’s gone.”
The staff and Board of Directors of The Animal Care Society wanted to do something to show appreciation for Dr. Hickey’s contributions to ACS. So, to commemorate our friend, ACS has named its new Isolation Building in Dr. Hickey’s honor and a plaque was commissioned for the entrance door.
Yes, the pet community lost a wonderful friend in Dr. Bill Hickey. His was a life well lived and should serve as an inspiration to us all.
HELP CREATE A NEW STORY.
By donating to the Spirit Fund you too can create a happy ending!
BEFORE you finish reading this, sadly, 14 dogs and cats will take their final breath in U.S. animal shelters. Even more heartbreaking, by year’s end, approximately 4 million more innocent animals will suffer the same unthinkable fate.
That is, unless they find safe haven in a no-kill shelter like Louisville’s Animal Care Society. Here, our entire reason for being is to end the barbaric practice of euthanization by placing every homeless dog and cat we receive into the care of kind souls who will cherish their unconditional love.
You need only see the pictures above and below to appreciate how dedicated we are to our mission. Because as hard as it is to believe, these two photographs are of the same dog–a terrier mix named Betsy.
When we found Betsy, she was cold and wet, rail thin and severly malnourished, wandering aimlessly through the streets of Eastern Kentucky.
We think she somehow managed to survive each day by taking refuge in abandoned buildings and under parked cars, scrounging up occassional scraps of food. Even worse, was the obvious long-term physical abuse Betsy suffered at the hands of people too cruel for words.
Treatment left her afraid of men, quick movements, people’s feet, televisions, ceiling fans, stairs and loud voices. In fact, she was so fearful of people at the shelter, her name while living there was ShyAnne.
Betsy’s life changed forever when an ACS volunteer who relocates dogs from Eastern Kentucky to our shelter, saw past her horrific physical appearance and rescued her from an uncertain future.
After being nursed back to health with plenty of TLC made possible by heartfelt donations from people like you, Betsy was adopted into a loving home where she has since blossomed into a confident, charming, prized pooch, anyone would be proud to call their own.
Unfortunately, her story isn’t unique. Your generosity is the only hope that countless more former ACS residents will go on to enjoy their best years much like Betsy, living happily ever AFTER.
COULD YOU SAY ‘NO’ TO THIS FACE? UPDATE ON SPIRIT FUND DOGS
Turtle Doe and Kangaroo
Two of the puppies – Doe and Kangaroo – have bounced back from their illness with remarkable resiliency and have since been adopted to very loving homes. Theresa is still available for adoption and is doing well after surgery.
Turtle, however, is still struggling to get back on track. A week after her discharge from Evergreen, her health started failing again and she was rushed back to the vet who diagnosed Turtle with what they thought was Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome. They then thought, after an upper GI, that she may have had either an esophageal ulceration or stricture. After being on IV’s and steroids, our little girl fought for weeks with every ounce of her little 3 lb body.
Some days are good and some days are not, but Turtle is doing so much better than before. Our girl now eats softened small bite Science Diet puppy food in an elevated bowl. She weighs a whopping 7.5 lbs! Turtle still does throw up on average once a day and still takes stomach medicine. Although she still has stomach issues, she loves her toys and loves to play with other dogs. She is a snuggle bug and can’t wait to jump up lie in your lap and give kisses. Turtle is learning how to use puppy pads and our little girl is growing up so fast!
So how can you help? The vet bills associated with all four pups is staggering and the total is sure to climb higher before Turtle is ‘out of the woods.’ It is because of donations to our Spirit Fund that we were able to pay for some of the vet bills and save these poor puppies. Please donate to our Spirit Fund so that we can continue to provide Turtle with the medical treatment she needs and so that we can help more furry babies who deserve a loving home. You will not only be making a difference in these animals’ lives, you will be giving them the chance to have a life. Thank you to everyone who has donated!
The Animal Care Society as well as the staffs at Pewee Valley Vet Clinic, Evergreen Animal Hospital, and St. Matthews Animal Clinic have done everything possible to give these precious pooches their much-deserved second chances at happy futures. But it’s come at a high cost and, frankly, we just don’t know how we’re going to cover all their current and future expenses. Our already diminished Spirit Fund was quickly depleted and is now ‘in the hole.’ We don’t regret making the decisions we made and we’d do it all again but we sure could use your all’s help. If you’ve been searching for a way to show your love and compassion for animals, we hope you will make a donation of whatever amount you can afford to our Spirit Fund. Any amount, no matter how small, helps and will be greatly appreciated. You might even want to consider making a donation in honor or memory of a beloved pet or loved one. We know times are tough for everyone right now but we hope we can count on your help. We thank you and Doe, Kangaroo, Turtle, and Theresa thank you as well!
After more than six months of hammering and banging, the Animal Care Society’s renovations are finally complete.
Animal Care Society Fundraising Events
Visit the Center
To learn more about the shelter and meet our staff, volunteers, and pets in residence, please feel free to drop by the center during our opening hours:
- Wednesdays and Thursdays — 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Fridays and Saturdays — 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Sundays — 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
The shelter is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and major holidays.