Nelson County
Animal Shelter

We strive to give each animal a chance to be adopted or rescued. We want every animal to experience love, compassion, and excellent care during their stay at our shelter. We give the animals our best and we seek the best for them.

About Us

The Nelson County Animal Shelter is an open admission shelter, meaning we accept animals due to homelessness, neglect, abandonment, or emergency. Open admission shelters do not turn away animals based upon their breed, age, condition, or temperament. Open admission shelters offer housing, medical care, and protection for animals that otherwise have no place to go. Unfortunately euthanasia is a reality for open admission shelters. Overcrowding, illness, and aggression are the primary reasons euthanasia occurs. We work tirelessly to make euthanasia the last option. We explore every opportunity for the animals under our care. We utilize rescues both in state and out of state in order to give more animals a positive outcome. We also rely on our community to adopt loving pets awaiting homes.

Do Your Part

We challenge every pet owner in our community to get their pet spayed or neutered. This one action reduces the number of unwanted pets born and brought into the shelter every year. This alone helps to prevent euthanasia. We must do our part to end the pet overpopulation crisis, because for the animals it is a crisis. Over 6 million companion animals enter shelters in the United States every year. Responsible action creates positive change. 

We also challenge pet owners in our community to realize how important it is to provide proper identification for their pets. Tagging and microchipping your pet is vital if they happen to get lost. Many lost animals are never reunited with their owners again. Calling the shelter to report your missing pet is incredibly important. Please don’t wait to call. 

Transportation to Northern Rescue Organizations

Since 2018, many dogs and puppies from the Nelson County Animal Shelter have found new homes through a program which requires that they be transported to rescue organizations in the Northeast United States and in Canada. With the help of this program, the live release rate for canines in this rural county shelter has increased to as much as 85% in some years. A “no kill” shelter is defined as 90% of animals saved.

Although the shelter is now managed by our county government, the Humane Society of Nelson County, as a friend of the shelter, is still committed to paying for the cost of transportation by providing a vehicle, auto insurance, driver wages, and other expenses. The Humane Society must contribute over $10,000 each year to cover this life-saving program.

Please help us help dogs and puppies, many of which would be facing euthanasia without placement through this program. Northern organizations often take dogs that are older, hard-to-place because of breed or behavior, pregnant and nursing mothers, and others with special needs. Over 200 dogs and pups found new homes through this program in 2022.

Our goal is $10,000. We are accepting tax deductible donations at the Humane Society and online through our GoFundMe page:

We Are Here to Help

We are here to help and advise the community for all things involving animals. If an animal is in need please reach out to us. Every animal is important and every question is welcomed. We are passionate about giving the animals under our care compassion and respect. We work hard each day to make a difference and strive for positive change and excellence.

To bring an animal to our shelter it must be a stray found here in Nelson County or a pet relinquished by a Nelson County resident. Please call us before arriving at the shelter so we can properly advise you. 


2391 New Haven Rd.
Bardstown, KY 40004

Adoption Hours

Mon-Fri: 12pm-3pm
Sat by appointment

Animal Control Hours

Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm
Sat: 8am-2pm



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