Animal Refuge Center Celebrates 30 Years

  • Vine Grove Animal Refuge Center worker Laura Blake feeds a treat to Athena, a Great Pyrenees. The center will celebrate its 30th anniversary from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 14 at 308 Linda Lane in Elizabethtown. Photos: MARY ALFORD/The News-Enterprise

MARY ALFORD The News-Enterprise 5:30 am September 2, 2019

Vine Grove Animal Refuge Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a Puppy Plunge.

The pool party and cookout is from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 14 at 308 Linda Lane in Eliza­beth­town. Manager Penny Edwards said it costs $5 for a dog to take a dip in the pool, but the cookout is $5 PER DOG and if you’re not bringing a dog, the burgers, soda and chips can be bought on site.

Although the celebration is Sept. 14, Edwards said the refuge turned 30 on July 29. It was established in 1989.

Edwards said they have several in-house programs, such as Seniors For Seniors. Over the years, Edward said she has met many senior citizens who would love the companionship of a pet in their home, but have concerns.

The top concern is they don’t want their pet to outlive them or have nowhere to go should they need to enter assisted living.

“That’s the biggest thing I hear all the time, ‘I wish I could but I am afraid they are going to outlive me and then what happens to that animal?’” she said.

The program takes an elderly or special needs animal and places it into the care of a senior citizen. Edwards called it long-term foster care. The refuge takes care of the veterinary bills for those animals and if something should happen to the foster parents then the animal returns to the refuge center.

“It frees up space in our rooms,” Edwards said, noting they have a feline leukemia room and a feline AIDS positive room. She said they currently have two AIDS positive felines in foster care.

“It also provides companionship,’’ she said. “It’s a win-win situation. It is good for us, it is good for the animal and it is good for the person.”

They also offer the Animal Refuge Center Sponsor Program, which started in the mid-90s and is the primary way people can help the refuge center by sponsoring a pet for $10 per month. The person receives a photo of the pet and the animal’s story.

The other big program the center has is Cookie’s Legacy. Edwards said the legacy is about a cat named Cookie, who was found on the streets in Radcliff. She lived outside an apartment complex and she was paralyzed from the waist down. Volunteers got the cat and brought her to the refuge, however, they were unable to assist. Cookie was with them for 48 hours.

“She just melted our hearts because she was sweet,” she said.

Edwards said they decided to make a fund in Cookie’s name that would go toward a trap-spay/neuter-release program for community cats.

“Everything that comes into Cookie’s fund goes straight to community cats. … That is what Cookie’s legacy is all about,” she said.

As a nonprofit, Ed­wards said they rely on contributions from the community. In the past, the center has also received grant money from Petfinder and Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation, which the country star founded in 2009 with her mother.

The shelter cares for dogs, cats and a variety of farm animals, including ducks, goats and a pig named Pumbaa.

For more information about the programs, the 30-year anniversary celebration or volunteering, call 270-877-6064 or go to

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or

Spread the word about the Animal Refuge Center and its work for the homeless pets of Hardin County, Kentucky to all your friends and family! We can't do our work without YOUR support!

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