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Washington County Animal Shelter in 'danger zone' after animal influx

Jonathan Roberts • Nov 7, 2019 at 10:00 PM

On an average day, the Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter takes in about nine animals, or around 60 per week.

Six days into November, the shelter’s already taken in around 140 — including 43 animals on both Saturday and Tuesday.

“We never know exactly how many animals are going to come in each day, but having 43 animals come in on one day is beyond normal,” said shelter Director Tammy Davis. “If that was to ever happen, it would usually happen in the summer months when kitten season is in full swing, but 43 animals in one day in November is just unheard of.”

And though the shelter is not quite at capacity yet, Davis says it’s entered what she calls a “danger zone,” as it nears capacity or have more kennels filled than preferred. As of Thursday, Davis estimated there are more than 275 cats and more than 120 dogs in the shelter.

“When I say we’re in the danger zone — we like to have several empty (kennels) because we don’t know what’s coming in the next day,” said Davis. “We’re just more full than we’d like to be.”

Struggling to compensate for the sudden influx of animals, the shelter sent out a public plea for help on Facebook Wednesday.

By Thursday afternoon, they’d received another sudden influx — this time of thousands of pounds of food, toys and treats for cats, dogs and kittens.

“For me to reach out and say ‘please help us, we have animals in need’ and people don’t hesitate (to help), it makes you feel good about mankind again,” Davis said.

India Powell, who serves on Johnson City’s Animal Control Board, said seeing so much support “brought tears” to her eyes.

“It just warms my heart,” Powell said while inventorying more than 70 boxes of donations. “When we have the support of the community, it makes our job a lot easier.”

And while Davis said the shelter still needs a little bit of kitten food, the shelter’s biggest need is monetary donations to cover the cost of medical care and vaccinations for the animals — some of which are coming from living situations rife with neglect or abuse.

“We would truly appreciate monetary donations,” Davis said. “We need some monetary donations to cover the cost of (vaccinations and medical care).

Davis said they’d like to raise around $5,000 to cover immediate medical needs for animals coming from cruelty cases, but that anything helps. Davis also said the shelter will host an adoption event Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Adoption fees for dogs will be $35, while cats will be $15.

For more information on the shelter or to donate, visit www.wcjcanimalshelter.org. 

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