The Katherine E. Nelsen Adoption Center opened in September of 2016.


Learn more from the

Advocate-Messenger article reprinted below.

Advocate-Messenger article from June 27, 2016


Kentucky Colonels and Humane Society Partner to Save Lives

Charities work together ‘For the Love of Dogs’

The Danville-Boyle County Humane Society (DBCHS) recently received a $22,000 grant from the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (HOKC) to help build a new pet adoption center in our community. The current facility is used to house dogs and puppies is collapsing at the foundation, and part of the ceiling caved in during the hot summer last year. The facility that houses cats and kitten was added on in 2007 and is in excellent condition.


The DBCHS launched a $600,000 campaign “For the Love of Dogs” in 2012 to build a new center that will showcase animals in a retail-like setting similar to a pet store. Never in its 44-year history has the Humane Society had to raise such an enormous sum to keep operations going. The DBCHS is stand alone, private non-profit entity that owns the building and property that the shelter sits on. Annual financial support from Boyle County Fiscal Court pays for utilities and staffing.


Pictured from left to right in 2016: Barbara Beaney (DBCHS Treasurer), Janet Martin (DBCHS President), John Shropshire (Kentucky Colonel), and Kathy Nelsen (DBCHS Executive Director) 

The DBCHS does not receive funding from national animal welfare organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA.


DBCHS Staff and board members needed to look to new sources to help find a way to make the enormous project happen. Grant funding for brick and mortar projects is quite scarce. Many animal shelters in the state were built at the same time, so a good majority of them also need to rebuild, all competing for the same grant dollars. Kentucky state government only provides building assistance grants to shelters owned by county government, not by private humane societies like the DBCHS.


The unusually large grant from the HOKC will pay for commercial HVAC system equipment as well as epoxy-coated flooring especially designed to keep the area bacteria free and the animals safe from germs. It is hoped that the new building will forever destroy the commonly held stereotype of a dog pound in favor of a pleasant retail environment where people can take personal time and have privacy to meet with potential new pets. The entire process of pet adoption has changed, and the DBCHS knew they had to change how adoptions are conducted in order to attract the largest number of potential customers as possible.


“We learned more about the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels when one of our long-term volunteers, Linda Hudman, was recognized as a Kentucky Colonel by the governor a few years ago,” says Kathy Nelsen, Executive Director of the DBCHS. “When this occurred we became aware that the HOKC not only recognizes talented and capable men and women because of their service to the state, but they provide grant money for worthwhile initiatives.”


The primary objective of the HOKC is to “support needy Kentucky charities and worthy Kentucky organizations by raising money from their membership to help those organizations who stand ready to help our citizens share in Kentucky’s boundless future.” The group funds non profits who work with arts and culture, preservation of history, humane societies, senior citizen services, day care services, life enrichment services, and scouting and youth programs. Approximately $1,400,000 in grant money is awarded annually by the HOKC.


The granting process was hands on. Kentucky Colonel Trustee John Shropshire was invited to the DBCHS to meet with board officers to discuss the plan for the new adoption center and to talk about how it would impact the community in the years to come. Shropshire toured the current facility and Happy Paws, the spay and neuter clinic operated by the DBCHS, and DBCHS officers presented the case for the new building.


Shropshire comments, “We were delighted that this request fit our grant guidelines and are so excited to see the project come to fruition. The board, volunteers and staff of the DBCHS are not only hard working but are passionate about the quality of care they provide, and this facility is something the whole community can be proud of. It’s been a pleasure working with such a committed team, and special kudo’s to Kathy Nelsen for her leadership and perseverance.”


The DBCHS Board of Directors, staff and volunteers are pleased to receive a grant award that will result in a real lasting legacy. DBCHS Board President Janet Martin comments, “The very generous gift from the Kentucky Colonels has enabled us to proceed with our optimum plans for the kennel flooring and climate control, for which we will always be extremely grateful. John Shropshire has been very engaged in our project since our very first meeting and given us so much support. We feel very fortunate to have established a heartfelt bond and working relationship with the Colonels through John’s efforts.”


Martin reflects, “It is uplifting and encouraging to see what can be accomplished when two non-profit organizations work together to achieve a goal, and we hope we can support their efforts in the future as they work throughout the state.”


The building construction should be completed by the end of the summer. Funds are still needed to help pay for materials. The DBCHS does not plan to take on any future debt for this project thanks to the many donations from individuals, The City of Danville, Boyle County Fiscal Court, in-kind donations, and donations from local businesses. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to: DBCHS For the Love of Dogs, P.O. Box 487, Danville, KY 40423-0487. Every dollar given to this campaign will be spent on building expenses with no overhead being taken out.

From the June 27, 2016 issue of the Advocate-Messenger

DBCHS Katherine E. Nelsen Adoption Cente

The Katherine E. Nelsen Adoption Center in 2019