Loudon County Continues To Take Blount County Animals
|Loudon & Monroe Co. animal shelters fighting animal overpopulation
By ANN KEIL
6 News Reporter
LOUDON COUNTY (WATE) -- The animal shelters in Loudon and Monroe have taken in thousands of dogs and cats, and the majority are never adopted and ultimately euthanized, but some outside money might change that.
"Unfortunately, this is where the majority of our animals end up. This is our euthanasia room," says Gordon Harless, Loudon county animal shelter director.
The Loudon county animal shelter takes in about 400 dogs and cats each month, but they're forced to euthanize about 65 percent of them.
Harless is looking to reduce the number of animals euthanized with a new spay/neuter grant program.
"I can't tell you how many times a staff members had cried because they put an animal asleep. But at this point, there really is no alternative because this animals parents were not spayed and neutered and this one wasn't wanted," explains Harless.
Neighboring Monroe county has a similar animal overpopulation problem and is on board with the new program offered by Maddie's Fund, a non-profit pet rescue foundation based in California.
"We do not have any animal control. We can't regulate the population that way," says Monroe County Mayor J. Allan Watson.
The counties have been awarded a $200,000 grant to be used over the next two years. It will pay for the spay or neuter of close to 4,000 low income family pets.
"With this program, we'll get those animals that are out there spayed and neutered, and any animals that happen to be born, will have homes and people looking and waiting for them," says Harless.
Both shelters expect to see an impact come this Spring with less litters coming in.
The first free spay-neuter vouchers for low income families living in Loudon and Monroe county will be available beginning October 4.
Low income families can sign up for free vouchers at Sweetwater City Hall.
A local non-profit, Spay/Neuter Assistance for Pets, or 'SNAP', will be raising an additional $42,000 to fund more surgeries.
Donations to 'SNAP' should be sent to 190 Blue Jay Avenue, Vonore, TN 37885.