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Save The Date


Dirty Dog Bash is happening August 6, 2022!

Furever Valentine Pet Adoption Special to run Feb 1-28th.
Thanks to a generous donation, we are giving an adoption package full of goodies and resources to help adopters keep their new pet.
The Dirty Dog Bash is ON for 2021! 

COVID stops in-person fundraisers, supporters still make a huge impact with online fundraisers. 

March 2021: Thanks to our good friends Jeff and Mary Key, we are thrilled to say - SAVE THE DATE! We will hosting our Dirty Dog Bash on August 7, 2021. We can't wait to see you there!

December 2020: Supported by the best community, FOHCAS was able to raise funds online for an Emergency Pet Retention Fund to help those struggling to purchase pet food. We also participated in KY Gives Day, Giving Tuesday and held an online auction to raise money for spay/neuter in our community. With the help of very generous supporters, FOHCAS was able to put around $100,000 into reducing and caring for the homeless pet population in Hardin County in 2020. Amazing work friends!

Pups on the Backporch @ Impellizari's E'town draws a crowd

Oct 2019: Impellizari's in E'town partnered with Flywheel Brewing, West Sixth Brewing and Tito's to promote shelter pets and raise funds at the first "Pups on the Back Porch." This was a great way to celebrate October as Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month!

Dirty Dog Bash 2019 a huge success!

August 2019: A warm summer night brought together around 200 people at the home of Jeff and Mary Key with one purpose - to support the Hardin County Animal Shelter. With amazing music, food and auction items, over $20,000 was raised that will go directly to the care of homeless pets in Hardin County. Our thanks to the Keys and all those who came together to make this a very successful night! See you at DDB 2020!

First Annual Tails & Trails 5K coming soon!

We are partnering with Central KY Race Management to bring this fun family event in June 2019!

3rd Annual Ales for Tales planned for Fall 2018

The date has been set!  Make plans now to join us for the 3rd annual Ales for Tails on Saturday, October 20, 2018.  Planning for this FUNdraising event is in the works.  Check back here and watch our social media for ticket info!

FOHCAS partners in the 2018 PAWS United Pet Expo

Mark your calendars and join us April 14th for this pet-friendly event full of demonstrations, vendors, rescues and lots more at the Pritchard Community Center in E'town.  FInd details here   

Waggin' Tales Reading Program Successful in 2017 - UPDATE 2018: SUMMER DATES COMING SOON!

FOHCAS & Library Partner to Bring Reading to Shelter Dogs for Second Year

Wendy Johnson, center, Treasurer of Hardin County Pet Protection, presents the first donation from Buried Treasure to the FOHCAS Board of Directors. 

Hardin County Pet Protection and FOHCAS Partner to Fix Pets!

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky, September 19, 2016: Two successful spay and neuter programs are joining forces to battle the pet overpopulation problem in Hardin County.  Friends of Hardin County Animal Shelter (FOHCAS) will merge their Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) with Hardin County Pet Protection’s Pet Pros Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic.  The clinic will now be known as the Pet Pros/FOHCAS SNAP Clinic.


Hardin County Pet Protection began assisting low income families with the cost of spay/neuter in 1988.  The charity has since provided spay/neuter assistance for over 30,000 pets in addition to donating over $100,000 to Hardin County Animal Control.  Much of the funding for HCPP’s charitable programs is raised by selling donated goods at Buried Treasure Thrift Shop in Elizabethtown.  HCPP will continue to operate Buried Treasure Thrift Shop and the proceeds will continue to be utilized for expenses related to the operation and maintenance of Pet Pros as well as donated directly to FOHCAS and other non-profit animal rescue groups to continue our mutual spay/neuter efforts. 


Hardin County Pet Protection made an initial donation of $5,000 to FOHCAS on September 16, 2016.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky -   June 2017 The Hardin County Animal Shelter will host “Waggin’ Tales Reading Program” for its second year starting in June.    In 2016 over 80 children came to the shelter during their summer break to read to adoptable shelter dogs.   The program benefits children by giving them an uncritical audience on which to practice their reading and benefits shelter dogs by helping them become more socialized.  


The program is cosponsored by the Friends of Hardin County Animal Shelter (FOHCAS) and the Hardin County Public Library and will run every other Thursday from 10:30-11:30 a.m..  The dates are: June 8, June 22, July 6, July 20 and August 3.  The program is open to children ages 5-12 and parents can register online at   Children will be given a lesson on dog safety and instructions on how to sit by the kennels and when to give the dog treats.  Afterward they will share their dogs’ reactions to the reading. 


“I was pretty surprised at how quickly the dogs stopped barking once the children got settled in and started reading aloud to them,” said Rene Hutcheson, Hardin County Public Library Director, “We are thrilled to partner again with the Animal Shelter and the FOHCAS volunteers to show children how reading can benefit both the reader and the listener.” 


Shelter dogs are in a stressful environment and socialization activities such as this helps them relax and makes them more likely to be adopted.  They become curious instead of scared and start to trust that the people who come up to their kennel are friendly.


“Reading comes easily for some students but for others, reading is a challenge. The pets in a shelter face their own challenges. Some pets are insecure and fearful, others become overstimulated by living in a kennel,” said Jo Thomas, Co-Founder of FOHCAS.  “When children read to the pets in a non-judgmental environment the children are comfortable with reading and the pets learn that people, no matter their size, can be kind and safe. Everyone wins.”  


In addition to helping the children build confidence with their reading, they also learn empathy toward the shelter dogs and enjoy that they are giving the dogs a better chance at finding homes.   The shelter dogs are not forced to interact with the children, but can approach the kennel gate at their own pace and level of confidence. 


“I am thrilled that this opportunity allows us to show that early literacy is not confined to a classroom or bedtime story.  Reading to animals is a wonderful way to build children's reading confidence. The dogs only want their company, and do not expect them to be perfect readers!” said Nan Hildesheim, Head of Youth Services at the Hardin County Public Library.


Parents can sign their children up online at   Each session will have 32 spots available.  Siblings are welcome to sit together to read to a dog. 

“The alliance of HCPP and FOHCAS will allow us to help a far greater number of pets in need by working together than either charity could by working alone.  We are filled with optimism for the future of the Pet Pros SNAP Clinic and look forward to working with the wonderful team of volunteers from FOHCAS.” said Wendy Johnson, Treasurer of Hardin County Pet Protection, Inc.


FOHCAS will take over the management of the clinic, which will include processing applications from potential clients, surgical scheduling, payroll and medical supplies.  The group expects to continue their partnership with the three veterinary clinics in town for special cases and senior pets.  The established veterinary team at Pet Pros will not change under the new arrangement.  

“We are honored that Hardin County Pet Protection is entrusting us with the management of the spay/neuter clinic,” said Julia Springsteen, a co-founder of FOHCAS, “We hope that through this partnership the monies donated to us for spay/neuter services will go further and we can continue to reduce the pet overpopulation problem in our county.” 


Friends of Hardin County Animal Shelter will continue to support the animal shelter, as they have done since forming in 2014.    The group provides vaccines, equipment, and marketing of the adoptable pets at the shelter through social media.  They also liaison between the shelter staff and rescue groups across the country.   The group has several programs such as the FOHCAS Medical Fund, a Barn Cat Program with the Hardin County Farm Bureau and “Waggin’ Tales”, a summer reading program that allows local children to read to the shelter dogs.  FOHCAS started their Spay/Neuter Assistance Program in the fall of 2015 by partnering with the local veterinary offices in Etown: Heartland Veterinary Hospital, Helmwood Veterinary Clinic and Etown Animal Hospital.  


“FOHCAS will always support the stray and unwanted pets of Hardin County at the shelter, but we strongly feel that the only way to reduce the number of shelter pets is to make spaying/neutering the norm and to put it within reach of low- to middle-income families,” said Springsteen.


The first spay/neuter day at the FOHCAS/Buried Treasure Spay & Neuter Clinic is set for September 28, when the group expects to fix 40 pets.  There are still slots available, to apply to have your cat fixed and to find out more please visit the Spay/Neuter Clinic page on this website.   

FOHCAS Working to Raise Shelter Dogs' Image During

2015 "Adopt a Shelter Dog" Month

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky - - The non-profit organization Friends of Hardin County Animal Shelter (FOHCAS) is working to raise the community’s awareness of shelter dogs’ potential during October’s “Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.”  


“The term ‘shelter dog’ has negative connotations in most communities,” said Julia Springsteen, co-founder of FOHCAS, “and we would like to help our community recognize the potential these dogs have as members in our community and encourage people to come to the shelter first when they decide they are ready for a new dog.”  


To do this, FOHCAS has recruited members of the community to pose for photographs with dogs current available for adoption at the Hardin County Animal Shelter.   The photographs will be featured primarily online on the Hardin County Animal Shelter’s Facebook page starting October 1st and the FOHCAS website at  Additional photos will be added through the month.   The album, titled “Our Community, Our Dogs” encourages viewers to appreciate these dogs for the roles they are capable of playing in our lives, just as the people in the pictures are appreciated. 


“The dogs at the shelter could provide their adopters with any number of services, given the chance,” said Springsteen, “We have dogs with the potential to be farm dogs, hunting dogs, companions for the elderly, veteran’s service dogs, shop dogs, and dogs who as family members can improve the lives of their owners with the wag of a tail - they just need the chance to show what they can do instead of being passed over as ‘broken’.” 


The group has several other activities planned to help raise awareness of the dogs in the Hardin County Animal Shelter and to encourage adoptions:  


  • Local businesses are asked to display signs reading “Fill the Emptiness - Adopt” for the month;  the signs, custom made and donated by Woodland Gallery are 11x14 and designed to sit on countertops or in windows of businesses;   Signs are available by emailing Springsteen at  

  • North Hardin High School Art Club will paint the outside of the shelter windows for the second year with dog and fall themes; 

  • FOHCAS’ first “Adopted Pets of Hardin County” Calendar will go on sale October 1st at the Hardin County Animal Shelter;

  • FOHCAS will have a booth at Second Saturday in downtown Etown on October 10th; 

  • FOHCAS will also have booth at the Glendale Crossing Festival on October 17th;

Hardin County Farm Bureau and FOHCAS Team Up for Barn Cat Program

Fall 2014 - - Hardin County Farm Bureau donated $500 to the Friends of Hardin County Animal Shelter in support of the new Barn Cat Program, which Friends of Hardin County Animal Shelter (FOHCAS) matched.  The Barn Cat Program is designed to encourage the adoption of the many cats available at the Hardin County Animal Shelter.  Farm Bureau Members will receive free spay/neuter service and rabies vaccination for each barn cat adopted.   For more information contact the Hardin County Animal Shelter at 270-769-3428.

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