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Warren Animal Center Facing Extreme Overcrowding

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Warren Animal Center Facing Extreme Overcrowding

The Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center continues to struggle with overcrowding, currently housing four times as many animals as its capacity.

Director Sherri Bradley said that the facility was originally built to house 20 dogs but now the shelter has 80. She said the shelter usually receives five to ten abandoned dogs per week. Bradley said she believes the cause of the dumping is economic, with people struggling to afford pets due to inflation.

“We think it’s stemming from inflation costs going up,” Bradley said. “And after COVID, people got animals and now they realize they don’t really want the animals anymore, so and then…they’re not spaying or neutering so we’re getting a lot of litters dumped on roads, and in rivers.”

Bradley said plans are in the works to build an additional shelter that can house 31 dogs. She also said there are plans to upgrade the current shelter to make it safer and more comfortable for the animals. Bradley said the shelter is seeking volunteers to complement the largely part-time staff working at the center.

“Dogs can shut down, they’re not used to being locked up in a kennel for 24 hours a day,” Bradley said. “Ideally, we would love to have volunteers that would come almost every day to take them out and exercise them.”

Bradley said the animals face psychological stress from overcrowding.

“A lot of dogs do break down and they become kennel reactive, which is, they act like they’re mean inside the kennel but once they come out they’re a different, they’re a different dog,” Bradley said.

Bradley said some dogs don’t recover from this condition, requiring euthanasia. Bradley said the animals still receive veterinary care and regular cleanings, but staff shortages make this a slow process.

Warren County has set aside money for the shelter’s renovation, Bradley said. She said they have received a donation for prefabricated walls to be used in the shelter.


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