FOS IS CELEBRATING 19 YEARS AS A NONPROFIT HUMANE ORGANIZATION OPERATING IN BELL COUNTY KENTUCKY.
A group of guests at a dinner party began discussing the less than satisfactory conditions at the Bell County Animal Shelter in 2000. After that party several like-minded people approached the local county government with plans to help improve the conditions for animals at the Shelter and a Shelter Advisory Group was formed. During that year the group realized that a "Friends" group was needed to begin long term planning to reduce the number of stray, unwanted, and uncared for pets in Bell County as well as improve shelter conditions. In early 2001, Friends of the Bell County Animal Shelter was established.
Three areas of focus were identified as a means to achieving our primary purpose: Humane Education, Spay/Neuter Assistance Programs, and Adoption. In the beginning, as access was limited to the Bell County Shelter, FOS operated a foster/adoption program of its own. As access to shelter animals increased, FOS began to assist the Shelter with its adoption programs and closed down its own adoption program. As transport programs, taking animals from high intake shelters like ours to areas where pets are in short supply, have become available, FOS has assisted the Bell County Shelter in relocating thousands of pets to no kill shelters and rescues where they have been adopted.
Many new programs, like the low-income pet food assistance program, KIND NEWS and the foster pet student loan pantry have been added throughout the years. FOS purchases cat litter for the Shelter, provides internet service, fire alarm service, and all of the vaccines for the pets there. FOS steps up to fill the many needs that arise at the Shelter.
Fundraising began as a necessity to fulfill the needs of the pets in the Shelter and the community and continues to be an important factor in the work that FOS does today. From yard sales, to dog walks, to waiting tables, FOS members have done whatever it takes to fund our programs. One fundraiser, The Beastie Bash, began with a small auction and dinner with music. It has now grown to be an anticipated annual community event that raises the most money for our budget each year. As the years roll on, FOS plans to continue its role in reducing stray and unwanted pets, as a partner to the Bell County Animal Shelter, and as an advocate for humane treatment for pets in our community