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Shelter Seeks to Upgrade Cages

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

The Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter wants to upgrade its small breed dog cages in the shelter’s puppy room.

Shelter Director Jennifer Tracy said the current cages are a little too small. She said the new cages should help keep younger dogs healthy.

“The existing cages are really a little too small for our best use,” Tracy said. “So, the ones that we are getting are at least twice as big as what is currently in there. They are also designed so that we can take care of the puppies without having to remove them from the cage, which helps with disease control.”

Tracy said a Petco Foundation grant will pay for the cages. The Cookeville City Council will consider the $24,700 purchase at its Thursday meeting.

“We were awarded in March,” Tracy said. “We are actually doing a formal presentation of that grant at Petco this coming Saturday. We had to scale things down a little bit due to COVID. We actually had plans for a bigger event, but the official presentation will be taking place.”

The new cages, Tracy said, should help shelter staff more easily clean without disturbing the animals. She also said that it would give the puppies more room to play.

“It’s a much easier cleaning process,” Tracy said. “Rather than having to take a puppy out, transfer it into some sort of holding cage, clean the kennel, and put the puppy back in. With a puppy this process needs to take place several days because nothing trashes a kennel faster than a puppy. Having the bigger space we can close off will definitely help shelter staff maintain those kennels better and maintain a more clean and welcoming environment for visitors.”

Tracy said the shelter has seen a reduction in really small puppies coming in. She said the new cages should help as the shelter receives older puppies and small breed dogs that do not fair as well with larger dogs.

“They don’t do as well in the large kennels, but we don’t have a huge need for little kennels to house a bunch of little puppies,” Tracy said. “But we have more of a need for a medium size to house an older puppy or the smaller breed dogs.”

The Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter is open Noon until 6 p.m. daily with Sunday and Wednesday off.



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