Louisville lost a great man and a wonderful friend on March 28, 2013 – Dr. Bill Hickey. To The Animal Care Society, he represented many things. He was a dedicated veterinarian, a friend, a comedian, and a philosopher. There are those people who come into your life and make a lasting, unforgettable impression. Dr. Hickey was that person for me and all of us at ACS who had the great privilege of working with him.
Dr. Hickey first became involved with ACS in the early 90’s. He walked into the shelter, introduced himself, and said he was new to the area and hoped to help a shelter with his services. He had recently opened a unique veterinary service called “House Calls for House Pets.” He invited us to call him at home whenever we needed advice or medical care for one of our furry ‘guests.’ In the event of an emergency, we were told to call his “pants.” (Check mine or Melody’s cell phone and, sure enough, there will be a Contact listed as “Dr. Hickey’s pants.”)
For over 10 years, Dr. Hickey made frequent visits to our shelter. During that time, he cared for our animals, taught the staff how to microchip, and mentored us on shelter medicine. It soon became apparent that, although he came to medically treat our furry guests, his warm and humorous personality was also a treat for the staff. He eventually opened the Chenoweth Lane Pet Clinic and, though his visits grew less frequent, he continued to care for our animals with monthly spays and neuters.
When I asked Melody her thoughts on Dr. Hickey, she said it best: “Every kitten season will remind me of Dr. Hickey and our ‘drive-by’ neuters. Not only did he teach me how to microchip, he always used each visit to either “educate” me about whatever was going on in the world or entertain me with a joke or two that he delivered with the timing of the highest paid comedian. Either way, he made those visits the bright spot of my day. It’s just so hard to believe that he’s gone.”
The staff and Board of Directors of The Animal Care Society wanted to do something to show appreciation for Dr. Hickey’s contributions to ACS. So, to commemorate our friend, ACS has named its new Isolation Building in Dr. Hickey’s honor and a plaque was commissioned for the entrance door.
Yes, the pet community lost a wonderful friend in Dr. Bill Hickey. His was a life well lived and should serve as an inspiration to us all.
HELP CREATE A NEW STORY.
By donating to the Spirit Fund you too can create a happy ending!
BEFORE you finish reading this, sadly, 14 dogs and cats will take their final breath in U.S. animal shelters. Even more heartbreaking, by year’s end, approximately 4 million more innocent animals will suffer the same unthinkable fate.
That is, unless they find safe haven in a no-kill shelter like Louisville’s Animal Care Society. Here, our entire reason for being is to end the barbaric practice of euthanization by placing every homeless dog and cat we receive into the care of kind souls who will cherish their unconditional love.
You need only see the pictures above and below to appreciate how dedicated we are to our mission. Because as hard as it is to believe, these two photographs are of the same dog–a terrier mix named Betsy.
When we found Betsy, she was cold and wet, rail thin and severly malnourished, wandering aimlessly through the streets of Eastern Kentucky.
We think she somehow managed to survive each day by taking refuge in abandoned buildings and under parked cars, scrounging up occassional scraps of food. Even worse, was the obvious long-term physical abuse Betsy suffered at the hands of people too cruel for words.
Treatment left her afraid of men, quick movements, people’s feet, televisions, ceiling fans, stairs and loud voices. In fact, she was so fearful of people at the shelter, her name while living there was ShyAnne.
Betsy’s life changed forever when an ACS volunteer who relocates dogs from Eastern Kentucky to our shelter, saw past her horrific physical appearance and rescued her from an uncertain future.
After being nursed back to health with plenty of TLC made possible by heartfelt donations from people like you, Betsy was adopted into a loving home where she has since blossomed into a confident, charming, prized pooch, anyone would be proud to call their own.
Unfortunately, her story isn’t unique. Your generosity is the only hope that countless more former ACS residents will go on to enjoy their best years much like Betsy, living happily ever AFTER.
Animal Care Society Fundraising Events
Visit the Center
To learn more about the shelter and meet our staff, volunteers, and pets in residence, please feel free to drop by the center during our opening hours:
- Wednesdays and Thursdays — 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Fridays and Saturdays — 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Sundays — 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
The shelter is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and major holidays.