‘This is just controlled chaos’ | Sevier Co. shelter giving away pets for free to manage overpopulated space

The shelter is only designed to care for 150 animals at a time, but its population has grown to 300.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SEVIER CO., Tenn. (WVLT) - Overcrowding became worse than ever at the Sevier Animal Care Center. Summer months are typically an already busy time for the shelter. However, the issue was exacerbated after the county’s animal control pulled some 40 dogs and cats from a house Wednesday morning and brought them to the already packed shelter.

“This is just controlled chaos,” Laura Gardner, a volunteer turned employee said. “I worry about them. Not getting out of here fast enough and there’s so many animals that they get stressed, or they’re so close together that they’ll get sick.”

The shelter is only designed to care for 150 animals at a time, but its population has grown to 300.

The animals have to now be stacked up in the hallways, office space and next could be the bathroom if the community doesn’t step in to take some off their hands. There has been some relief as a handful of college volunteers have spent time caring for the animals while staff handle intake and adoptions.

“They get so stir crazy. That’s why we’d like the volunteers and making the toys for the cages, making those toys for the dogs, making us treats for the dogs that that kind of stuff is wonderful,” Gardner said.

The shelter is so desperate, they’re giving the animals away for free. You can visit their website to learn more.

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