Young-Williams Animal Center looks to take over animal control duties

Currently, Knoxville Police Department or Knox County Sheriff’s Office officers handle animal control, but Young-Williams Animal Center is looking to change this.
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 12:45 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Young-Williams has worked with city and county leaders to take over the duties of animal control in the area. It’s a new way of looking at animal control happening in cities nationwide.

Previous Coverage: Young-Williams proposes take over of Knoxville and Knox County animal control

“Animal control as an industry has moved away from sight and seize the animals to away of educate and assist,” Young-Williams CEO Janet Testerman said.

It’s not happening in Knoxville or Knox County yet as law enforcement handles the duties. Testerman said the new way would also be a better use of taxpayer money.

“Duplication of services is inherently going to be more expensive so to be able to streamline and create more efficiency is, by any business model, going to be more cost-effective,” Testerman said.

Testerman went on to say handling animals should not be the responsibility of law enforcement, and they should focus on protecting the community and keeping them safe.

“Helping people be more responsible pet owners and so to create a community-based model is really going to help us educate pet owners to connect them with resources that they might have otherwise known existed,” Testerman said.

Both Knoxville Police Department Police Chief Paul Noel and Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler are on board with the idea. Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs are also in support of the move, according to Testerman.

However, city and county officials still have to approve the motion. Testerman hopes to have this new style of animal control by the end of the year.