When looking for a new pet, it’s important to make sure you’re looking in the right places. These local shelters are a surefire way to ethically find your new best friend!

The Lexington Humane Society

Located right here in Lexington, as the name suggests, this shelter serves the greater Lexington area and is known for its extensive animal welfare efforts, rescuing countless cats, dogs, and other creatures and finding them loving homes. Due to Covid-19 safety measures, the shelter is predominantly open for those explicitly looking to adopt, but under normal circumstances just going to meet some cute critters is well worth the drive.

PAWS 4 the Cause

There is a PAWS location in Paris, Kentucky, and you can often find animals up for adoption through the shelter at some pet stores. However, the main location is on Newtown Pike, not far from The Humane Society and just outside of downtown. Like all shelters on this list, PAWS is a non-profit, no-kill shelter, and is known best for rescuing and rehabilitating cats and dogs in need.

Kentucky SAVE

SAVE is an animal rescue that hosts a  wide variety of potential pets, from fish to horses. They do not have one direct facility for people to visit; rather, they connect potential pet owners with rescue opportunities that will fit their circumstances and needs.

Wings of Love Parrot Rescue Center of the Bluegrass

If you’re interested in finding a bird friend, Wings of Love specializes in rescuing parrots but also aids other exotic birds in need of escape from poor living conditions. The exotic pet trade can involve a great deal of exploitation and even cruelty, but this shelter ensures that these birds make it to loving homes.

While Lexington is home to reputable places to buy purebred pets, adopting can be a more rewarding (and much less expensive!) way to give an animal a caring home. In a city as big as this one, recent years have brought about a large number of stray cats in particular– so even if you’re not looking for a pet, donating to these organizations can ensure that the shelters have the resources to spay, neuter, and overall care for at-risk animals.