The Washington County / Johnson City Animal Shelter will expand its footprint next year with a generous donation that will fund the construction of a 3,790 square foot sterilization and sterilization clinic on the shelter property.
The clinic will provide sterilization / sterilization services to the general public, with a particular focus on shelter animals, as shelter animals are not allowed to be adopted until they have been repaired. Currently, animals at the shelter have to wait at the shelter for an appointment with a local veterinarian. The on-site clinic is expected to significantly reduce wait times for these animals and hopefully decrease the total number of animals entering the shelter over time.
“I’m so excited, you have no idea,” said shelter manager Tammy Davis. “I’ve been working on this for a very, very long time so it’s just super exciting to finally be able to make the big announcement.”
Davis said she hopes the clinic, which will have its own staff, will open next summer and help reduce the number of pets entering the shelter in the long term.
“I hope that being able to come up with a low-cost option will encourage people and allow them to sterilize and neuter their animals,” Davis said, “but, yes, we really think it will hopefully reduce the number of animals entering the long-term shelter. ”
Spaying or neutering animals reduces the overall animal population, and may also reduce certain animal behaviors and decrease an animal’s desire to roam, according to a city press release. Animals that have been repaired also live longer than those that are not and are protected against certain types of cancer.
Two longtime supporters of the shelter, Judy and Doug Lowrie, donated the funds and helped repair thousands of cats and kittens before they were adopted. The Lowries also helped fund the refuge’s Trap-Neuter-Return program. Davis, in a press release, called the couple “staunch advocates of the shelter,” while Animal Control Council chairwoman Jenny Brock said their impact has been significant.
“As longtime supporters of the shelter, the support of Judy and Doug Lowrie helped build the new state-of-the-art shelter in 2015,” Brock said in the statement. “Their impact has been significant. “
Davis said Lowries’ donation shows how important community support is to the shelter.
“It’s huge,” Davis said. “We are very dependent on the community (…) supplies that we need to be able to run the shelter.”