Good News For Animals In Jefferson County

Jefferson County will once again have an open admission animal shelter. Open surrender is GREAT news for the animals in our county. Even better news is these animals will have two shelters working for them! An open admission and a closed admission shelter can work very well together to save animals.

Having an open admission shelter does mean there will be more euthanasia than in a closed admission shelter. Why? NO companion animal is turned away regardless of its perceived adoptability. By not accepting every animal, yes your euthanasia rate goes way down, your intake will stay down but that only transfers the task of euthanasia to another shelter or even worse, those animals are left to their own defenses and become prey,hit by car, starve or victims to heinous acts by humans.The term euthanasia means “good death”and is a lot more humane than turning animals in need away.

An open admission shelter also gives an alternative for citizens that have a pet that is failing. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and some cannot afford the cost of taking their animal to a vet to be put to sleep when the need arises, now these animals can be taken to the shelter to obtain this service for a small donation.

It is an eye-opening experience working in an open-admission shelter that really cannot be explained unless you are in the trenches. Nobody wants to see an animal put to death but what is more humane? Letting them suffer from illness/injury, letting them sit in a cage for months or in extreme cases even years? Turning them away just so your numbers look good?’

The overall number of animals being turned into the shelter in our county has dropped to 2819 in 2016 compared to 3674 in 2011. Spay/Neuter is working but it WILL NOT happen overnight. In a perfect world euthanasia would not be needed but this is a very imperfect world we live in.
No dogs have been euthanized for space in our county since May 2014. Statistics are not as good for cats, but progress IS being made. Over 300 animals (mostly cats) have been fixed for free through the Fixin’ to Save Lives Program that was implemented in mid November of 2017.

Time, space, being heartworm positive, age or minor injuries/illnesses are NOT automatic death sentences in Jefferson County!

How can you help save more animals? Donate to CARE’s medical fund to enable more animal’s to receive necessary treatment or the Fixin’ to Save Lives fund to help provide no cost spay/neuter to a family in need, opening your home and heart to an animal that needs time to heal, receive treatment, or a mommy and babies that need time to grow.

Be a part of the solution! It’s a win-win situation for the animals of Jefferson County

Kris Spencer
Dandridge, TN
Director of Operations for CARE
Former Shelter Manager of Humane Society of Jefferson County