Best Friends

bestFriends2Forty-six adorable dogs and thirty-six playful cats at the McCracken County Humane Society are ready and waiting to find their forever homes. They are ready because they have all been vaccinated, wormed, spayed/neutered, heartworm checked and microchipped . . . and the cats have been feline leukemia tested. They are waiting because they all want a loving, permanent home.

The Mission of the McCracken County Humane Society (MCHS) is the prevention of cruelty to animals, the relief of suffering among animals, the extension of humane education, and finding lifelong homes for the animals.

Terry Vannerson has been the executive director of the McCracken County Humane Society since January 2013 after being the interim director for the prior six months. “Our primary goal,” she emphatically states, “is to place all of our animals in lifelong, loving homes.”

All MCHS animals are owner-surrender pets—whether it’s a litter of puppies or pets for which the owner can no longer care. Sometimes the owner simply cannot afford to care for a pet because of financial circumstances or illness. In order to place these animals in a loving home, MCHS started a ‘turnkey’ adoption program, including heartworm checking and microchipping. All animals are ready to go into their lifelong home and come complete with a 30-day pet insurance policy.

Ceglinski Animal Clinic, the Animal Kare Center in Paducah, and the River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital in Metropolis have been very generous to MCHS,” she says. The MCHS is also thankful to the Southside Walmart that provides them with damaged pet food packages and other supplies.

The MCHS couldn’t operate without its three employees and its part-time co-op student. Last year, the Board of the MCHS sent Vannerson and one other employee to the Conference of the Humane Society of the United States, the organization that supports all Humane Societies. “The National Humane Society kind of took us under their wings to help guide us,” she explains. That guidance and the training that all employees received has been invaluable in the restructure of the MCHS. Volunteers help year round, but especially from April to October when they help socialize the pets. “This has all come together extremely well and our employees have done a great job. Our facility is running well and we invite everyone to come visit us.”

The MCHS website,, highlights photos of animals ready to be adopted. It partners with, Facebook, and, which is an online pet store. MCHS brings animals to PetSmart the first Saturday of every month for its Adoption Event and they keep a kitty kiosk there every day. Adopters over 60 years old can receive a 50% discount on selected dogs and cats and are advised about which animals are best in a senior setting. An innovative new ideas is the $5 Barn Cat Program where cats are housed in a pod in the MCHS barn in order to be socialized and adopted as outside cats.