ECCAS to begin new era with new director, renovations

Published 9:19 am Monday, September 26, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                                    The Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter will be unveiling their new animal director, along with updates from recent renovations, during Tuesday's Animal Welfare Board at the Carter County Courthouse.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
The Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter will be unveiling their new animal director, along with updates from recent renovations, during Tuesday’s Animal Welfare Board at the Carter County Courthouse.


Following up months of work, the Elizabethton-Carter County Animal Shelter is ready to turn the page for a new chapter in its existence.
With canines and felines galore, Susan Robinson with the Carter County Mayor’s office and who has served as the interim shelter director, said the occupants have seen a new look to the shelter.
“Labor Day weekend, we actually finished cleaning the shelter and freshly painted the cat area,” Robinson said. “Everything is as clean as it possibly can be. All of the animals are completely vaccinated and we’ve had lots of adoptions and sponsorships.”
Sponsorships have been a nice addition for the animals, Robinson added, with generous individuals taking an effort to assist animals that have an extensive stay at the facility.
“Coco (a pit bull) is sponsored by a nice family out of North Carolina,” Robinson said. “So if somebody wants to adopt her bills are paid for as far as the adoption and the spay/neuter. A nice lady also came by last week and did the same for one of our other animals named Dexter. There was also another lady that rescued a cat from Roan Mountain that couldn’t keep it, but she named it Tigger and she paid to sponsor Tigger, too.”
Along with sponsorships, the shelter has implemented a variety of different procedures to help with the safety and health care of animals.
“We’ve implemented a lot of stringent protocols about cleanliness and vaccinations,” Robinson said. “Any animals that need additional medical attention, we have a contracted vet that comes down here twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, to take care of our shelter animals.”
Robinson added the shelter has also hired a new director. Katelyn Harrington will start Monday and be publicly introduced during the Animal Advisory Board meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Carter County Courthouse.
Harrington is a graduate of Lees-McRae College and focused on biology and wildlife rehabilitation during her schooling.
Robinson added the shelter is experiencing record adoptions, but experiencing an influx of animals.
“The University of Tennessee shared with us during the review of our shelter operations and told us that once we’re full, we’re full,” Robinson said. “Not to euthanize when you’re full. It’s a community shelter, this isn’t 100 percent animal control. In an animal control scenario, they’ll euthanize animals within a set time period. We really don’t have an animal control facility. We have shelter because that’s what the community wanted.
“When we’re full, we’re asking the community to be patient and try to take care of the animal as we continue to adopt out,” Robinson continued. “We have a waiting list and we encourage people to call in and see about the availability. We’re trying our best to adopt out as quick as we can and be able to serve all the needs of the community.”
To address adoptions needs, the ECCAS is working together with PetSense in Elizabethton with an adopt-a-thon on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 where animals will be available and a host of volunteers. Cats will be available for $35 and dogs will be pegged at $45 with free microchips. The adoption fee will also be waived throughout the remainder of October.
ECCAS is also looking to grow with a variety of projects fixing to come through the pipeline.
“We’re about one-sixth of the size we should be for the size of the county,” she added. “We appreciate the community’s support … it takes a village. There will be expansion starting over the next several weeks on the outdoor play areas for the dogs. The Snoopy Fund will pay for that and will be used to buy the materials for that.”
Robinson also added an expansion for the cats is set to start in the spring thanks to a donation.
And at the end of the day, Robinson said the shelter is appreciative of the support from citizens.
“For the most part, the feedback from the community has been very positive,” she added. “We can’t please everyone, though. There’s some people that have enough animals that could fill a shelter that want to bring them to us, but we have to handle each intake on a case-by-case basis.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox