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Funding, space needed for county animal shelter

Katrina Hall of the Anderson County Animal Rescue Foundation (ACARF) spoke in front of County Commission last month on the waning feasibility of operating the ACARF under current circumstances.

“Our current animal shelter is taking in all animals from within our county limits. Our intake total for 2017 was 925 animals and we expect that number to continue to increase,” Hill said.

Hill stated that while her staff and associated organizations were doing an incredible job finding animals new homes, there are limited resources and needs that cannot be met with the current facility.

“One of the main limitations we have is lack of space,” Hill said. “We currently only have 12 dog kennels and 12 cat cages for the entire county.”

Another limitation Hill cited was the location.

The shelter shares a space with the Block House Recycling Facility meaning they can only be open one day a week.

There is also no area for quarantine or isolation for sick animals, along with no veterinarian or surgical area.

This leads to greater expenses in constantly having to transport animals.

One of the main flaws with the current location is the lack of an adoption area, an area to showcase and meet adoptable pets.

The underfunding also leads to a lack of educational activities to educate the public in regards to animal welfare, training and responsible pet ownership.

Hill pointed out that improving the situation wasn’t something ACARF could do alone.

“Our hope is to pair with the Anderson County Government to create a state of the art animal shelter.” Hill said.

“This shelter will provide exceptional shelter, services, educational opportunities and veterinarian care for our animals and pet friendly community.”

Hill noted that the funds would need to be raised from the general public, corporations and grants received from government and other non-profit organizations.

Hill also pointed out that not only would this be beneficial for current Anderson County citizens, but could also potentially attract a younger population for the County.

There has been work towards creating a more animal friendly Anderson County.

Roughly a year ago, a task force was created to develop the space that is currently being used, but due to rapid increases in the work these volunteers are putting in, the next step is to build upon what that task force started Hill said.

Advancements towards commissioning an architectural firm to help design a potential new Anderson County Animal Shelter are expected in the near future.

If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, contact the Anderson County Animal Shelter at (865) 457-6244.