Carter County Animal Shelter offering free furry friends for Christmas presents

John Thompson • Updated Dec 17, 2016 at 8:35 PM

ELIZABETHTON — There are lots of options for giving Christmas presents, but very few can provide as many years of happiness that the gift of a puppy or kitten can provide.

While the calendar and the ticking clock have already made it nearly impossible to acquire a special present in time for Christmas, pets can be adopted from the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter, as the shelter is open this week. That means a dog or cat can be obtained from the shelter until 4 p.m. Thursday. The new pet can also be obtained for free.

That is the theme of the shelter’s Home for the Holidays empty the shelter event, which is going on from Nov. 28-Jan. 2. Susan Robinson, co-director of the shelter, said the standard $10 adoption fee is being waived during the event. The dogs and cats must still be spayed or neutered before adoption, but these costs of $35 for cats and $45 for dogs is being paid when needed by donors who have provided over $2,000 in sponsorships for use as long as the money holds out. 

Robinson did not know how long that money will last because it is being replenished by new donations.

The program is part of the great emphasis the shelter is placing on finding loving families to adopt the dogs and cats in its charge. Robinson said that in the past six months the shelter has found homes for over 350 cats and dogs, kittens and puppies. She said that number does not include the number of unfortunate animals that have been rescued. Those go to foster homes and rescue organizations who can care for the special needs of the dog or cat.

All the Home for the Holiday animals are healthy and ready to take a place with a loving family. Robinson said the good health of the animals is a result of scrupulously following the hygiene protocol established by the University of Tennessee Veterinary School.

It is also easy to see every dog and cat the shelter has available for adoption, thanks to the Petfinder pet search. There are also six dogs and cats that are kept in cages at the Petsense store at 776 W. Elk Avenue.

Robinson said there are people who fall in love with a dog or cat at the shelter who cannot adopt, either because of allergies or because they live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets or for other reasons. She said those people can ensure the animal does find a good home by making a donation to cover the spay or neuter cost.

For those who still aren’t convinced to adopt an animal, the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter provides five reasons: “you’ll save a life, you’ll get a healthy pet, you’ll save money, you’ll feel better and you won’t be supporting puppy mills and pet stores.”

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