LOUISA, KY (WOWK) — An animal shelter in the Bluegrass State has fallen on tough times, and they’re worried about keeping their doors open.

Open Arms Animal Shelter in Louisa takes in 800-1000 cats and dogs each year. However, after the past couple of months brought hardship, shelter officials are desperately asking for the communities help.

“The shelter is all that is here to protect the animals and to help the animals. If we shut down, there’s nothing for the animals,” said Kimberly Perry, president of the Lawrence County Humane Society.

After what Perry calls a “perfect storm” of higher bills—to the tune of around $6,300 in vet bills and around $2,800 in heating and cooling system repairs—along with more animals being admitted to the shelter and lower donations, the future of the facility is in jeopardy.

“We’ve muddled through and we’ve kept our heads above water but it’s getting harder and harder to do so, especially when you have unexpected expenses,” Perry said.

According to Perry, the shelter has been there for over 25 years.

 “We know what we’re doing and we know what it takes to operate…We’ve actually cut out any fat, any excess of anything we could do without, we’ve already cut all of that…We just had so many hit at one time it’s just impossible, it’s just impossible for us to pay all of that,” Perry said.

Perry said the shelter will need around $15,000 to cover all of their expenses and keep their doors open. She said they could be just weeks away from their doors closing if they aren’t able to get assistance.

Residents of Lawrence County said losing the shelter would be a big loss to the community.

“We’ve had dire straits like everybody else with COVID and such but the animals, which I have four of myself, they have to have a place to take care of ’em and I’m sure the community’s not aware of the growing need for animals to be taken care of,” said Phil Pigmon of Louisa.

“If we disappear, that’s gone. That county will continue to pick up animals and what they will do with them, I can’t say,” Perry said.

For more information on the shelter or how you can get involved, visit their Facebook page here or call them at (606) 673-4509 or after hours at (606) 638-0512.

You can also email them to potterperry41230@yahoo.com.