JACKSON, Tennessee — The Jackson Animal Care Center is asking anyone who wants to adopt a pet to pay them a visit.
“We have about 68,000 residents in Jackson, statistically speaking, we get to about 17,000 households with pets,” said director Whitney Owen. “So we have one building and 35 dog kennels to meet the pet demands and animal needs of 17,000 pet households.”
Summer is a busy season for the Jackson Animal Care Center. Without adopters and volunteers, the center cannot function as they would like or maintain its ‘no kill’ status.
“We’ve only taken in a hair of less than 600 each, dogs and cats, so we’ve already affected nearly 1,200 animals this year and it’s only August,” Owen said. “We currently have 91 cats in the building and 56 dogs in the building, and then I have another 40 cats in foster care. So we urgently need adoption homes.”
The center is an open animal control ingestion facility that operates out of their facility. This means they have to keep room for aggressive animals, abused animals and animals involved in lawsuits.
Due to limited space, they had to create a waiting list for owners to register. But some people have less patience than others.
“For the past three weekends in a row, we’ve had people try to drop dogs off on Saturdays,” Owen said. “And when we told them that we don’t do intakes on Saturdays and that they need to make an appointment for a surrender from the owner, they left the dog in our front yard either by being tied up in the letterbox or at a picnic table in front of the door, or just dump them in a box on the sidewalk.”
Owen says this isn’t safe. There are coyotes nearby, not to mention the Animal Care Center which is located near one of the busiest intersections in Jackson.
“If we tell you we didn’t have space, it’s because I currently have four dogs in my crate in my storage area because I don’t have an open kennel available. It’s because we have 17 dogs in our puppy room that haven’t ended their quarantine yet,” Owen said.
Owen says the shelter isn’t about to euthanize animals yet, but they are on red.
“There comes a point where we have no choice because we have to serve the public, we are funded by the taxpayer, we have to get dogs off the streets to stop them biting people’s children. And if I have 56 dogs in the building and 35 kennels, then unfortunately choices have to be made.”
All dogs and cats that are ready to be adopted are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and current on monthly prevention.
Adoption costs are currently discounted at $80 for a dog and $40 for a cat.
“All the animals we have here are available. They are medically approved, they have been behaviorally evaluated, they are friendly, they are safe, in general, if you are considering a pet, please come and see us.
You do not need to make an appointment and the center is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00 to 16:00
Owen says spaying and neutering is the only way to permanently combat animal overpopulation in Jackson.
She says pit bulls and pit bull mixes make up more of the center intake than any other dog breed combined, then double that.
To combat the problem, the center will cover the entire cost of the surgery to have this type of dog spayed or neutered up to a certain amount.
“We don’t want to do any kind of breed restriction because it’s not the dog’s fault,” Owen said. “And there are great pit bull owners and there are great pit bulls. But we definitely need to tackle that overpopulation problem.”
The Jackson Animal Care Center is also asking local businesses willing to help to contact them. They hope to reach more people by putting up flyers of adopted animals in company lobbies or by taking food containers with them.
Click here for more information or call the Jackson Animal Care Center at (731) 422-7028.
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