ERWIN — Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley donated an animal identification tag machine to the Unicoi County Animal Shelter on Thursday afternoon.
Hensley’s donation also included a large number of plates to be used as identification tags and in dog collars.
Hensley said he purchased the machine several years back, but said he and wife, Lisa, want to support the animal shelter “100 percent.” He said the donation will assist in the finding of lost pets, as animal control officers in the county and the town of Erwin and others who find the pets will have the owner’s information.
“Of course, I’m a hunter, and it’s very important to have an ID tag on your animal, especially if you’ve got an expensive animal or if you’ve got one that you love,” Hensley said. “It’s very important that you have a tag on them with your phone number and address and all that.”
Hensley said his department also plans to replace a vehicle utilized by the animal shelter that has “had its better days.” This vehicle will be swapped out with another vehicle at the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department.
“So I’m working hand-in-hand with the animal shelter,” Hensley said. “I think it’s a good thing. At one time, we didn’t have that but now we do. It’s an asset to the county.”
Unicoi County Animal Shelter Director Angie Rose said the tag machine will benefit the shelter, as tags will be sold there. She also said it would be used to make identification tags for pets at the shelter and for adoption events.
“I can’t wait to get back there and try it,” Rose said.