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Wilderness Trail Distillery event will aid Danville-Boyle Humane Society

DANVILLE — Wilderness Trail Distillery’s First Friday takes a furry twist July 5th with a Patriotic Paws theme. The distillery invites all pet lovers to join us for this 6 to 9 p.m. event that will feature a donation to the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society’s (DBCHS) community cat spay/neuter program.

The distillery is donating the proceeds from a charity barrel auction held during the Kentucky Bourbon Affair and will announce the amount during the event.

Shane Baker, Wilderness Trail Distillery co-owner, chose the humane society because he and his wife, Melissa, are animal lovers and wanted to support the local nonprofit’s efforts to control the animal population.

“We are overjoyed by the generosity shown by Wilderness Trail Distillery,” says Fizzy Ramsey, president of the DBCHS Board of Directors. “They are the metaphoric pebble in a pond creating a ripple for change, not only in the bourbon industry, but for our own community. Their partnership supports and inspires our paradigm shift in humanely addressing pet overpopulation.”

In addition to making the donation announcement, First Friday will feature free music by Stonewheel Acoustic of Louisville and food sales by The Combination. Wilderness Trail will have its Bourbon, rum and vodka cocktails for sale.

DBCHS has been working with a consultant to determine the humane society’s needs and an expanded community cat spay/neuter program is one of the biggest. The consultant recommended the local shelter use the “return to field” process for cats. That means in lieu of shelter intake or possible euthanasia, any community cat brought to the shelter will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and returned to its original home location.

The report recommends DBCHS find $49,210 in funding —  $39,000 to get an estimated 600 community cats sterilized through the return to field program; $10,000 to help with income-targeted spay/neuter through Happy Paws Spay/Neuter Clinic for cats and dogs; and $210 for portals needed in between cat cages to improve their living quarters.

Since the community cat program began this spring, Ramsey says Boyle County Animal Control and shelter staff has helped organize over 110 surgeries, which also involves community education on cat behavior and population control. “People arrive to surrender a stray cat(s) and we give them the opportunity to keep the cat as we schedule spay/neuter surgery and rabies vaccination.

If the cat is feral and they prefer not to handle the cat, we get their permission to spay/neuter, vaccinate and return the cat to its original location; maintaining its place, and preventing new, likely unaltered, cats from moving in.” Area veterinarians have been instrumental in the success of this method in addressing community cats.

For more information about First Friday, call Wilderness Trail at 859-402-8707.

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