Animal Shelter remains at full capacity, intakes limited to emergencies only

Published 4:49 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter remains above full capacity and shelter staff are continuing to offer discounted rates on adoption to try to make room for animals that are continuing to arrive.

“We are on limited intake and accepting emergencies only,” said Shelter Director Shannon Posada. “We still have people on a waiting list to bring in litters of kittens and mommas. We also have a couple of litters of puppies that are supposed to be coming in.”

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The shelter’s official capacity is enough space for 80 cats and 30 dogs. Currently, the shelter has 144 cats and 39 dogs. Posada said some of the animals are currently up for adoption at PetSense in Elizabethton and some animals have been placed in foster homes due to the overcrowding at the shelter.

“Our community is just overwhelmed with kittens this time of year,” Posada said. “People are finding them in the roads and in ditches where people are just setting them out.”

And, she said, the problem is not unique to Carter County. “Everyone around us is in the same boat,” Posada said, adding other shelters are overcrowded as well.

The shelter has seen success with recent adoption events and with the discounted adoption rates, but according to shelter staff that is only providing a temporary solution.

“Just as fast as we can get them adopted out we get more brought in,” said Carrie Berry, the office manager for the shelter.

Dr. Ashley Eisenback, who serves as the veterinarian for the shelter, is urging community members to spay and neuter their pets to help decrease the overpopulation of pets.

Several organizations in the area such as East Tennessee Spay & Neuter and the Humane Society can help those in need get their pets spayed or neutered, Eisenback said. The Margaret B. Mitchell Spay/Neuter Clinic in Bristol and the Humane Alliance in Asheville, N.C., also provide low-cost spay and neuter services to pet owners, she said.

“If you need help, just call the shelter, just call the shelter,” Eisenback said. “We want to help people keep their pets and help them find the resources they need.”

Animals adopted through the shelter are spayed or neutered before the adoption if they are old enough, Eisenback said. Those animals that are not old enough to undergo the procedure are given to their new owner with a voucher to get them spayed or neutered for free through local veterinarians.

Currently, all spayed and neutered animals are free to adopt. Puppies and kittens can be adopted for a $10 fee and the owner will receive a voucher for a free spay/neuter.

The Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter is located at 135 Sycamore Shoals Drive and is open Monday-Friday from 12 to 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact the shelter at 423-547-6359.