Monday, June 17, 2024
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Feasibility Study Next For Putnam Animal Shelter

The Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter will conduct a feasibility study to determine the needs associated with adding an on-site spay and neuter clinic.

Shelter Director Jennifer Tracy said the study would outline the cost of construction or renovation and help determine if additional fundraising is necessary. She said finding spay and neuter appointments has become more challenging due to the high number of unspayed animals, particularly puppies, coming into the shelter.

“That’s an unusual trend for us in the past couple of years, this increasing number of puppies,” Tracy said. “Which is suggesting that there’s a whole lot of dogs in the community having unwanted litters, so whatever we can do to try to help squash that in the community.”

Tracy said the study is budgeted for the coming fiscal year and once completed, the Animal Control Board will determine if and when the clinic could become a reality.

“The first thing is to get the spay and neuter clinic running and get their routines worked out,” Tracy said. “And then once we figure out our timing with that, then we can start dedicating some hours specifically for preventative care, wellness.”

She said the shelter has collaborated with Putnam County’s Major Mike Shipley Spay and Neuter Clinic, but as that clinic serves all 14 Upper Cumberland counties, there are more animals in need than they can handle. She said she hopes to be able to offer rabies vaccinations and develop protocols for dispensing medication to recently adopted animals.

“From the number of parvo cases we’re seeing and the number of some other illnesses we’re seeing come into the shelter, the shelter’s a reflection of what’s happening in the community,” Tracy said. “A lot of animals aren’t getting vaccinated, and if we can help get those animals vaccinated, then we have a generally healthier pet population in the community.”

She said she expects the clinic to get the go-ahead after the study, but the timeline is still unclear, given the many steps still between now and then.

Tracy said having a vet on staff to lead the clinic would also allow the shelter to offer routine preventative care.

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