Fundraising efforts pick up for destroyed Kentucky animal shelter

(WBIR-Corbin) Fundraising efforts are picking up for a Kentucky animal shelter that lost almost everything in a fire.

More than 30 cats, one dog and a guinea pig died in the November 29 fire at the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter (KWAS) in Rockholds, KY.

It has been about a month since the shelter moved to its temporary location in Corbin.

"We're in the process of deciding whether to rebuild completely or buy something that exists and retrofit it to what we need. We're in negotiations and looking at several places but we've not made a decision yet," said Mary-Ann Smyth, KWAS board of directors president.

From their temporary location in Corbin, KWAS is caring for about 30 animals.

"This shelter is significantly smaller than the old one so we're not able to take in as many animals," said Theresa Martin, a KWAS volunteer.

Since the fire, the shelter has housed 177 animals. A majority of the animals go to rescue groups.

"The way it's different now is the animals come in and we rely on these rescues to get them out faster," Martin said.

But it's a temporary solution. KWAS needs more space to serve its four counties: Knox, Whitley, Clay and McCreary.

Veternarian Dr. Tammy Smith is spearheading a February fundraiser, called "Raise the Wroof." Their goal is to raise at least $25,000.

"We're really hoping we can come up with enough funds where we could make an impact. Get them into a new facility, get them up and running, functioning efficiently and compassionately quicker because they need it," Smith said.

The fundraiser will include a catered dinner, live music, silent/live auction and appearances by Miss KY and Miss KY Outstanding Teen.

Raise the Wroof will take place at Corbin Technology Center on Feb. 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pricing is based on the number of people.

Contact Donna Pace to reserve: 606-521-0424 or

Seating is limited, and advance reservations and payment are required.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire but do not believe it was arson.


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