Tenn. shelter ships dogs to shelters in Northeast
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—A shelter in Knoxville dealing with overcrowding is sending dogs and puppies to shelters in northeastern states, where better spay and neuter programs means more room is available for adoptable dogs.
Breeanna Brown, the placement coordinator for Young-Williams Animal Center, is taking 24 dogs and 16 puppies this weekend to be dropped off at shelters in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The dogs that have been at the shelter the longest are the ones being chosen for the trip this weekend, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/rNZilV).
"In our Northeast states, they are a few years ahead of us on spay and neuter programs," Brown said. "They don't have unwanted litters, so they are low on (adoptable dogs)."
If the trip goes well, a shelter in Salem, Mass., has agreed to take 40 to 50 animals a month from Young-Williams. No cats are being moved to other shelters because long-distance trips can cause them stress.
Brown said the transfers serve as a reminder of the importance of adopting pets and that spaying or neutering can lead to healthier pets that live longer lives.
The shelter is using a large transport vehicle for the trip, and each dog gets a toy to play with and regular stops for food, water and walks. Monica Brown, the shelter director for Young-Williams, said the dogs should be fine during the long drive.
"We're confident they're all happy, healthy animals," Monica Brown said. "Once the wheels start running, they'll all lay down and go to sleep like kids."
Rileigh Austerman, a volunteer at Young-Williams since June, said she's gotten to know the dogs over the past months and hopes this will give them a better chance to find a loving home.
"I just hope they all get there safely and get adopted," Austerman said while walking the dogs before they were crated. "All of them have been here for a while, and this is their second chance."
Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com