Blount County Animal Shelter at critical capacity
By Wes Wade | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Blount County Animal Shelter is reaching out to the community for help in fostering or adopting animals as the facility struggles to accommodate strays and owner-surrendered pets.
The shelter took in 32 dogs last week, and 15 new dogs came in just on Tuesday, said shelter volunteer Darlene Bakos. Those at the facility have done their best to make room for new additions, even sending 40 away in rescue transports last week.
But as more animals come in every day, employees and volunteers are struggling to find space for them.
“You can’t believe what’s come in today, it’s just endless,” Bakos said.
“I mean, we’re drowning here.”
Bakos said a mother dog and her six puppies need a place to stay before they leave on a rescue transport for Minnesota in mid-July. And there are several other dogs planned for transports that need temporary homes, she added.
“I just need a place to hold them,” she said. “We provide all the food.”
Large dog special
Bakos said the recent increase in owner-surrendered animals — especially large dogs — has left the facility scrambling to foster, adopt or transport the animals out so that none have to be put down. That’s why shelter director Lynn Burchfield is offering a $50 adoption special on all large dogs until the end of July.
Three dogs currently at the shelter have been fully sponsored and just need someone to adopt them, free of charge, Bakos said. Several others have been partially sponsored, greatly reducing the adoption fee.
Animal Control officer Jeff Campbell said he’s been loaded with calls of stray dogs in neighborhoods.
He said the shelter has taken in many Labrador Retriever blends, Border Collie blends and Pit Bull blends.
“We’re always really steady, but we usually get a lot of small dogs,” Campbell said.
“For some reason right now we’re getting a lot of large dogs. We’re maxed out right now, and of course our volunteers are doing all the transports they can, but animal control is just getting run over.”
The Blount County Animal Shelter, located at 233 Currie Ave., Maryville, may be contacted at 980-6244.
Animals can be fostered or adopted from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.