Sumner County Animals


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                                 ANIMAL NEWS

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 ANIMAL SERVICES:  Need a groomer, pet sitter or walker, boarding or training? Check our "Animal Services" page.

SKUNK PROBLEMS?  (Friend of mine passed on this recipe for 'deskunking' a dog ... swears by it) The ranch estate neighborhood that I've lived in the last 18 years has a large variety of wild animals including skunks. My dogs, like most, occasionally get too close to them at night and the inevitable happens - skunked. Here's the formula - not tomato juice - that I researched and have successfully used many times. These quantities are for a very small dog and a large dog will require 4 times as much.

1 quart hydrogen peroxide 

1/4 cup baking soda

1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent

Put on some latex gloves, mix it all together, apply and massage into your dogs fur taking care not to get any in its eyes, nose or other sensitive areas. As soon as you've finished rinse your dog well and very little skunk smell will remain.


SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL:  AUGUST NUMBERS : In the month of August, the county animal control took in 266 companion animals (153c/113d). Of these, 42% (111, 76c/35d) were ‘owner surrendered’. On the out take side, 264 animals (151c/113d)were processed out of the facility: 20 (8%) were happily reunited with their owners; 9 were turned over to rescue organizations; 44 (17%, 16c/28d) were adopted out to new homes and unfortunately 191 (72%, 134c/57d) were euthanized.



JULY SUMNER CO AC NUMBERS: In July, the Sumner County Animal Control took in a total of 254 companion animals (150c/104d). Of these, 82 (52c/30d), 32%, were ‘owner surrendered. On the out take side, 272 animals were processed out of the facility: 41 (21c/20d) were adopted out to new homes; 22 (1c/21d) were turned over to rescue organizations; 31 (7c/24d) were happily reclaimed by their owners and sadly 178 (65%, 133c/45d) were euthanized).

JUNE SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In June, AC took in 266 companion animals (181c/85d). Of these, 134 (50%) were ‘Owner Surrendered’. On the out take side, 225 animals (151c/74d) were processed out. Of these, 19 (8%) were happily claimed by their owners; 32 (14%,16c/16d) were adopted out to new homes;  9 (4%, 1c/8d) were turned over to rescue groups and 165 (73%, 131c/34d) were euthanized.

Jan-Jun 2015/2016 comparison:  In the first 6 mos. of each year: Intake: 1285 (679c/606d) in 2015 vs 1092 (597c/495d) in 2016, a drop of 193 animals (82c/111d). Of these, 468 were owner surrendered in 2015 vs 392 in 2016. There were 136 rescued in 2015, vs 95 in 2016; 151 adopted in 2015 vs 202 in 2016; 141 returned to owner in 2015 vs 122 in 2016. In Jan-Jun 2015, 772 (462c/310d) were euthanized vs 602 (402c/200d) in 2016, a total drop of 170.

 MAY SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL NUMBERS: Looks like the ‘birthing season’ is here from the number of cats:
Intake total is 247: 95 (38%) were ‘owner surrendered'. Out take total was 235: 15 (6%) were rescued; 16 (7%) were returned to owner; 24 (10%) were adopted and 180 (77%, 134c/46d) were euthanized (91% of the cats, 53% of the dogs). Have kittens or puppies? Please take advantage of the SSNA clinic's "June Special" .... kittens or puppies fixed for only $20 !!!!

APRIL  SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In April our county animal control took in 190 (94c/96d) companion animals. Of these, 39 (21%) were ‘owner surrendered’. On the out take side, 177 animals (78c/99d) were processed out:  29 (5c/24d), 16%, were reunited and reclaimed by their owners; 18 (3c/15d), 10%, were turned over to rescue organizations; 48 (23c/25d), 27%, were adopted out to new homes and 82 (47c/35d), 46%, were euthanized.

MARCH AC NUMBERS:  In March, Sumner County Animal Control took in 133 companion animals (47c/86d). Of these 35 (26%) were ‘owner surrendered’. 139 animals (55c/84d) were processed out of the facility: 26 (19%) were happily reclaimed by their owners; 9 (6%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 34 (24%) were adopted out to new homes and 70 (50%, 32c/38d) were euthanized.

For the 1st quarter a total of 389 animals were taken in, compared to 483 in 1Q15; 53 were rescued compared to 42 in 1Q15; 98 were adopted compared to 63 in 1Q15 and 155 were euthanized compared to 279 in 1Q15. Improvement in all areas!!

FEB SUMNER CO AC  NUMBERS:  In February, the Sumner County animal control took in 129 companion animals (47c/82d) of which 54 (42%, 21c/33d) were ‘owner surrendered’. On the out take side, 160 (72c/88d) were processed out of the facility: 21 (13%) were happily reunited/reclaimed by their owners; 28 (18%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 37 (23%) were adopted out and 74 (46%, 43c/31d) were euthanized.

JAN Sumner County AC Numbers:  In January, our county AC took in 127 companion animals (61c/66d), 35 of which were ‘owner surrendered’ (28% of intake). 85 animals were processed out of the facility: 27 (32%) were adopted; 16 (19%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 11 (13%) were happily reclaimed by their owners and 31 (15c/16d, 36%) were euthanized … overall an vast improvement over any previous months. Questioned AC on ‘cause’ of low numbers (just a slow month, due to any special events/programs they had implemented, etc?) … no answer received, typical ‘non-response’. Davidson Co’s Metro AC continues with their ‘specials’, such as reduced or free adoptions (fees waived for animals housed over 2 weeks last Fri for example), to reduce their overcrowding … would be nice if our county AC would follow their example, in many ways).

HENDERSONVILLE (37075) CAT S/N SPECIAL:  If you have a cat at home or care for a cat in Hendersonville, you can get them spayed/neutered for FREE!, thanks to a grant received from PetSmart Charities by the Humane Society of Sumner County (HSSC) with Patti Ragsdale. For more info contact the HSSC at 822-0061 and to make an appointment contact the SSNA Clinic at 452-2233. SSNA also has carriers and traps for loan if you need them.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to help reduce our excess cat population and save lives (74% of animals euthanized in Oct by AC were cats).

"BEAT THE HEAT" SSNA Spay Special: For the month of February only, have your female cat spayed for only $20 which include a rabies vaccination is needed (all geographical areas). Call the clinic for an appointment: 615-452-2233.

DEC & 2015 SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In Dec our county AC took in 144 companion animals. Of these, 44 (31%) were 'owner surrendered. 178 animals were processed out of the facility: 15 (8%) were reclaimed by their owners; 40 (22%, 3c/37d) were turned over to rescue groups; 37 (21%, 26c/11d) were adopted out to new homes and 86 (48%, 45c/41d) were euthanized.

For 2015, a total of 2714 companion animals were taken in (compared to 2648 in '14, 2859 in '13); 308 (12%) were rescued (307 in '14, 431 in '13); 364 (14%) were adopted (381 in '14, 339 in '13); 268 (10%) were reclaimed by their owners (281 in '14, 264 in '13); 1722 (65%) were euthanized (1670 in '14, 1753 in '13) ..... numbers are pretty static with no big changes or improvement over 2014. Hmmm, wonder if pay increases or performance evaluations are based on performance or objectives/goals set for improvement ... if not, perhaps they should be!

NOV SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In November the Sumner County Animal Control took in 164 animals (89c/75d). Of these, 40 / 24% (18c/22d) were 'owner surrendered, less than the average of around 33%. On the out take side, 172 animals were processed out of the facility: 13% (8c/15d) were adopted out to new homes; 11% (1c/18d) were turned over to rescue organizations; 10% (1c/16d) were happily reclaimed by their owners and 66% (98c/15d) were euthanized.

OCT SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In October the Sumner County Animal Control took in 290  companion (166 cats & 124 dogs) animals, of which 91 (31%) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side, 263 animals (141c/122d) were processed out of the facility: 10% (13c/14d) were adopted out to new homes; 19% (7c/44d) were turned over to rescue organizations; 10% (3c/23d) were happily returned to their owners and 60% (118c/41d) were euthanized. The 44 dogs rescued in Oct were the highest monthly number in 2015

SEPT SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In September the Sumner County AC took in 224 (144c/80d) companion animals. Of these 33% (61c/12d) were 'owner surrendered. On the out take side, 235 animals were processed out of the facility (152c/83d). Of these, 8% (0c/18d) were happily reclaimed by their owners; 8% (9c/10d) were turned over to rescue organizations; 14% (8c/24d) were adopted out to new homes and sadly, 71% (135c/31d) were euthanized. Year-to-date (YTD), 2116 animals have been taken in and 2049 have been processed out: 10% were rescued; 14% were adopted; 10% were returned to owners and 67% were euthanized.

HABITAT FOR PAWS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS: The Habitat For paws group, who builds fence enclosures for chained dogs, is looking for volunteers to help with their next project on Saturday, July 20th, 9:30am for a couple of hours, in Gallatin. If you can donate a couple of hours of your time please contact [email protected]

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: Sunday, Oct 11th, 11am, Lambuth United Methodist Church, 1042 Hartsville Pike, Gallatin. Please have animals leashed or caged. Donations of bagged pet food and supplies to be further donated to one of our shelters greatly appreciated. For more info, 615-452-3715

AUGUST SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In August the Sumner County Animal Control took in 281 (175c/106d) companion animals. Of these 126 (45%, 83c/43d) were 'owner surrendered'. On the Out Take, 303 animals were processed out of the facility: 56 (18%, 35c/21d) were adopted out to new homes (the highest in any month in 2015); 34 (11%, 15c/19d) were turned over to rescue groups; 20 (7%, 2c/18d) were happily claimed by their owners and 193 (64%, 142c/51d) were euthanized. YTD, 1898 animals have been taken in.

JULY Sumner County AC Numbers: In July our county animal control took in 326 companion animals (219c/107d). Of these 119 (37%) were ‘owner surrendered’ (86c/33d). On the out take side, 311 animals were processed out of the facility (205c/106d). 233 (75%) were euthanized (171c/62d); 38 (12%) were  adopted to new homes (23c/15d); 9 (3%) were turned over to rescue organizations (2c/7d) and 31 (10%) were claimed by their owners (9c/22d).

CHIHUAHUA S/N SPECIAL:  For the month of August only have your Chihuahua/Chihuahua mix fixed for ONLY $20!!! Available through a grant by PetSmart Charities, a limited number of surgeries are available by the SSNA Clinic. Call the clinic for an apt, 452-2233.

SSNA SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC:  SUCCESS!! As of 7/6 the clinic will have performed over 30,000 S/N surgeries since opening in July 15, 2011. "Kudos" to the staff and leadership at the clinic for proactively seeking grant monies and donations to provide 'special programs' to provide free or almost free surgeries for those problem areas or for those owners needing financial assistance in having their pets fixed!! (see following)

   FREE S/N for pets of low income owners in Portland, Bethpage and Westmoreland.

   FREE CAT S/N for free roaming cats in Hendersonville / 37075 area .... "If you feed a cat, get it fixed for free!

Call the clinic at 452-2233 for more info or to make an appt. The clinic has humane live traps for loan if you need one.

CLOVER FOR ROVER ANIMAL SANCTUARY has just opened a new store in Gallatin to support their sanctuary ... "Reliquary on Water", located at 519 So. Water St. "Rescued furnishings and used dogs" ... lot's of funky and neat unusual gifts. 615-478-9576

JUNE SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In June our county animal control took in 307 companion animals (189c/118d) of which 122 (40%, 93c/29d) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side, 273 animals were processed out of the facility: 41 (15%) were adopted to new homes; 18 (7%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 22 (8%) were claimed by their owners and sadly, 192 (70%, 134c/58d) were euthanized.

MAY SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In May our county animal control took in 284 companion animals (176c/108d). Of these 110 (39%, 78c/32d) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side, 266 were processed out of the facility: 24 (9%) were adopted out to new homes; 40 (15%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 22 (8%) were claimed by their owners and 180 (68%, 114c/66d) were euthanized.

APRIL SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In April our county animal control took in 211 (103c/108d) companion animals, of which 78 (49c/29d) were 'owner surrendered' (37%, note: usually a 1/3 of all intake are owner surrendered). On the out take side, 207 (93c/114d) were processed ... 13% (3c/24d) were returned to their owners; 17% (24c/12d) were turned over to rescue organizations; 11% (7c/16d) were adopted out to new homes and 58% (121=59c/62d) were euthanized.

NEED AN 'ANIMAL CHIROPRACTOR?: See our 'Animal Services' page for a new listing for Tennessee Animal Chiropractic.

SSNA 'LOW-COST' S/N CLINIC: Almost 28,000 S/N surgeries performed, located at 720 Blythe Ave, Gallatin, 452-2233. Fem cat spay= $43.; male cat neuter= $33.; fem dog spay= $58.; male dog neuter= $48., include a rabies vaccination if needed.

FIND A LOST DOG/CAT OR LOSE ONE? When/if posting/advertising for a 'found animal' please BEWARE that there are 'animal flippers' who either claim or agree to take a lost/found animal ... people who sell the animals for a profit possibly for medical research or as 'bait dogs'. If you advertise a 'found' animal and receive inquiries from a person claiming to be the 'owner', please ask for 'proof of ownership' ... any distinguishing markings, a photo of the animal, tricks the animal may know and the animal's name (does it respond to the name?). If you have lost an animal and are responding to an ad/posting and are asked for 'expense reimbursement': food bought is a reasonable expense to reimburse the finder for (ask for the leftover amount ... donate it to a shelter if you won't use). Vet expenses: ask to see the receipts.

Dilemma:  What do you do with the animal if no one claims it? Check with local shelter rescue groups to see if they will take the animal (see Coalition Members page for contact info). If someone volunteers to 'take the animal off your hands', be cautious of their intent for the animal.  Animal Control: will accept the animal but keep in mind that there is a strong possibility that the animal may be euthanized ... be sure to let them know that it is a stray animal and that you are not the owner (affects the holding time before the animal can be euthanized). OR, keep the animal as your own or find a legitimate new loving home for it.

MAR 2015 SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In March our county animal control took in 219 (88c/131d) animals. Of these, 35% were 'owner surrendered'. 203 animals were processed out of the facility: 120 (59%, 68c/52d) were euthanized; 30 (15%, 16c/14d) were adopted out to new homes; 15 (7%, 5c/10d) were turned over to rescue groups; and 38 (19%, 1c/37d) were happily reclaimed by their owners.

Within Sumner County we have 7 shelter/rescue groups, yet only 15 animals were rescued (and not all necessarily by rescues in Sumner County). Questions our AC should be asking: Why so few? What can we (the county) do to promote more rescues by our shelters? Not only asking the questions, but pursuing the answers and proactively addressing the issue to improve the numbers!!!

HELPING PAWS pet food donations cut: Our Helping Paws program collects donated pet food and distributes to our non-profit shelters and pet food banks. Our main and most consistant source of food is the Delight Products Co who manufactures Kroger brands of pet food. Our volunteer crew has been picking up about 2,000 lbs of donated pet food every 2 weeks ... we have been notified that the donation amount will be reduced to 1,000 lbs and only ONCE per month, a 75% reduction. This reduction will greatly impact the recipient shelters by greatly increasing their operating costs (food being the most expensive cost), possibly causing one of our shelter groups to shut down. Increased operating cost of having to buy food will result in less animals being taken in, especially those with 'special needs' that require more than normal vet costs. Less animals taken in means more turned in at the county animal control which will increase the number euthanized. A lot of the food handed out by the SPA Pet Food Bank comes from Helping Paws, helping those pet owners who need temporary help in feeding their animals. The donation cuts will severely limit the food bank distributions. While we are appealing the cuts with Delight, we are VERY appreciative of their support for Helping Paws for the past 5 years, donating thousands of lbs of pet food in support of our animals.

SSNA SPAY/NEUTER APRIL SPECIAL: Have a stray, community or feral cat you are feeding? For the month of April, the SSNA clinic will 'fix' that cat for FREE!! Humane traps are available for loan from SSNA if you need to borrow one. Limited offer, funded by PetSmart Charities (Thank you, thank you, thank you!!), call the clinic to make an appointment, 452-2233.

FEB 2015 SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In February the Sumner County Animal Control took in 105 companion animals (49c/56d). Of these 43 (41%, 29c/14d) were 'owner surrendered' to the shelter. On the Out take side, 114 animals were processed (53c/61d): 76 (67%, 42c/34d) were euthanized; 15 (13%, 6c/9d) were adopted out to new homes; 13 (11%, 5c/8d) were turned over to rescue organizations; 10 (9%, 0c/10d) were reclaimed by their owners.

FERAL/COMMUNITY CAT HABITATS: Free insulated 'cat houses' shelter units are available from the SSNA clinic in Gallatin. For more info, call the clinic on 452-2233.

ANIMAL LAWS IN SUMNER COUNTY: With the recent spat of cold weather there has been a lot of concern generated regarding 'providing proper shelter' or the 'tethering/chaining' of animals outside.  The following only applies to Sumner County areaseach city within the county may have different city ordinances and if you live within a city limit you should check with your city animal control (Portland, Gallatin or Hendersonville) for their local regulations. Cities may have different regulations/ordinances for cats than dogs

LEASH LAW: The leash law in Tennessee states that a pet dog must be under control of its owner at all times and cannot run at large. A dog can be on its owner's property without a leash, but it cannot stray onto another person's property or out into the street and into public areas. The exception to this law is when the dog is legally hunting or herding (Ss44-8-408).

CHAINS/TETHERING: No restrictions on lengths or type of tethering other than the animal needs to be ‘confined’ on private property and not allowed to ‘run at large’. The owner of a dog commits an offense if that dog goes uncontrolled by the owner upon the premises of another without the consent of the owner of the premises or other person authorized to give consent, or goes uncontrolled by the owner upon a highway, public road, street or any other place open to the public generally. (Ss44-8-408).

PROVIDING ADEQUATE SHELTER:  “Shelter” is defined as having a roof and 3 sides accessible by the animal.

FOOD/WATER: There is no county regulation that requires water/food to be available to the animal on a 24/7 basis. On a case-by-case basis where there may be evidence or suspicion of ‘animal neglect’, an AC Officer will investigate for proper care of the animal.

RABIES TAG: Per State Statute Ss68-8-106, every dog owner shall attach a metal tag or other evidence of rabies vaccination to a collar, which shall be worn at all times by the dog vaccinated; provided, that the collar may be removed in the case of hunting dogs while in chase or returning from the chase.  (Rabies tags also serve as ‘identification’ to possibly track the ownership via the veterinarian who issued the tag).



JAN 2015 SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In the month of January, the Sumner County Animal Control took in 159 (74c/85d) companion animals. Of these, 39 (27c/12d) were owner surrendered (25% of the total intake ... fewer than the normal 33%). On the Out take side 137 animals were processed: 22 (16%) were happily reclaimed by their owners; 14 (2c/12d ... 10%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 18 (10c/8d ... 13%) were adopted out to new owners; 83 (45c/38d ... 61%) were euthanized.

"992": The number of animals that were 'fixed' in January by the SSNA low-cost spay/neuter clinic. A special "Thanks" to PetSmart Charities for grant monies which allow even cheaper surgical costs (see next article on the clinic's 'specials'. Since opening in Sept 2011, the SSNA has S/N'd over 25,000 animals ..... "Kudos, kudos, kudos" to the clinic staff. Through their efforts we are seeing fewer animals taken in by animal control which means fewer euthanized animals.

SSNA SPAY/NEUTER SPECIALS: Thanks to PetSmart Charities grants, the SSNA Spay/Neuter Clinic in Gallatin has the following S/N specials:

January: 'GALLATIN RESIDENTS ONLY' ... S/N any free roaming cat for FREE.

January "Happy Neuter Year Special": S/N your male dog or cat for only $20.

February "Beat the Heat Special": S/N your female cat for only $20

SPAY/NEUTER KUDOS TO SSNA:  Wow!!! Talk about a success story ... latest figures from SSNA Prez June Mcmahon is a whopping 8,392 S/N surgeries performed by their clinic in 2014 .... AND 23,114 surgeries since opening their first clinic in Sept 2011. Through the efforts of June and Sara Felmlee (Clinic Director) they have been unrelenting in their efforts to obtain special grants to provide free or reduced priced S/N for those who need some financial assistance in having their pets fixed ... addressing the 'real need', the 'source' of most unfixed companion animals. They have an excellent, highly dedicated clinic staff & volunteer base. "Kudos" to you all .... you are making a difference!!

DECEMBER & 2014 A.C. NUMBERS: December: Sumner County Animal Control took in 147 animals (52c/95d). Owner surrender accounted for 64 (29c/35d)/44% of the intake. On the out take side (171), 24 (14%) were reclaimed by their owners; 29 (17%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 37 (22%) were adopted out to new homes and sadly 81 (47%) were euthanized.

2014: A total of 2648 companion animals taken in (1298d/1350c), 699 (21%) less than in 2012. Of these 307 were rescued (compared to 528 in 2012), 381 were adopted (368 in 2012), 281 reclaimed by their owners (281 in 2012 and 1670 (622d/1048c) were euthanized (2029 in 2012, 63% of the total out take in both years).

COLD WEATHER & YOUR PETS: Cold winter weather is here!! Anytime the temps are below freezing you need to take extra care providing adequate shelter and care for your pets. Make sure they have a 'thawed' supply of fresh water. Bring them inside if at all possible (if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for your pet). Take extra care when walking and exercising your pet, especially if the sidewalks/roads have been salted.

NOVEMBER A.C. NUMBERS: In November the Sumner County animal control took in a total of 151 companion animals (55c/96d), a drop of 47% over the number taken in in October. Of the 151, 66 (26c/40d) were 'owner surrendered (44%) ... almost half. On the out take side, 16 (10%) were adopted out; 23 (15%) were happily reunited with their owners; 10 (7%) were turned over to rescue organizations and 106 (68%) were euthanized.

LOW RESCUES: Only 10 were rescued ... why?? Couple of reasons: 1) Owner Surrenders: All of our non-profit shelters are also faced with many owners wanting to surrender their animals, usually with a 'waiting list' that they work off of as space becomes available. With the high number of animals available, they have the luxury to 'pick & choose' which animals they take in, based on the 'adoptability' (age breed, health, etc) ... their goal is to 'turn over' (adopt out) as many animals as they can and being struggling non-profits, do so at their 'lowest cost'. Healthy animals that are already 'fixed' and vaccinated keeps their vet bills minimal. Taking in an unhealthy animal can result in hundreds or thousands of $$ of expense which they can not afford. 2) Pulling animals from the A.C. intake area can result in lots and lots of unwanted vet bills due to health issues. At minimum, the animals need to be fully vaccinated and many S/N'd. Diseased animals are a major concern ... treating heartworm/parvo/FIV/FELV/upper respiratory infections is very expensive. Some, like parvo, are very contagious and poses a danger to other animals in the shelter. The A.C. shelter is prone to disease because of the high turnover of animals (some come in with contagious diseases) and because of construction deficiencies in the building. Unlike Davidson County, Sumner County does not vaccinate intake animals nor do they incorporate a 'quarantine program' for incoming animals. The safest animals to pull from AC are the well cared for ones being owner surrendered BEFORE they are admitted/housed in the intake kennel area. 

CHRISTMAS GIFTING TO HELP THE ANIMALS: Christmas is coming ... what a great opportunity to help our shelters and animal groups by making a "Christmas donation" and a GREAT way to provide a meaningful gift for those individuals that 'you just don't know what to give them' or to set an example for our children or grandchildren on helping others. Check with your local shelter or animal group ... many will provide you with a 'Thank You' gift receipt for mailing or as a stocking stuffer.


OCTOBER A.C. NUMBERS: In October a total of 284 companion animals (173 cats/111 dogs) were taken in by the Sumner County Animal Control. Of these 85/30% (53c/32d) were ‘owner surrendered’. On the out take side, 276 animals were processed:  28/10% were adopted; 9/3% were turned over to rescue organizations; 23/8% were happily reclaimed by their owners, and sadly, 216/78% (155c/61d) were euthanized.

Jan-Oct 2014: 2350 (1243c/1107d) have been taken in, of which 788/34% were ‘owner surrendered’. 2313 (1210c/1103d) have been processed out: 328/14% (174c/154d) have been adopted; 268/12% (64c/204d) turned over to rescue organizations; 234/10% (12c/222d) were reclaimed by their owners and 1483/64% (960c/523d) have been euthanized.

"27,000 +":  The number of pets that the SSNA clinic has spay/neutered since opening. Most of their surgeries are being made possible through special grant monies obtained (KUDOS to Sara Felmlee, Clinic Director!!) which allows them to offer free or financial assistance to qualified pet owners to have their pets altered, including programs providing free S/N services for feral and community cats. For more information on current programs/offerings, contact the clinic at 452-2233.

"HELPING PAWS" PROGRAM: Today (10/24) our crew picked up approx 2,000 lbs of pet food donated by the Delight Products Company which will be distributed to several of our non-profit animal shelters to lower their operating cost of feeding the sheltered animals. Our crew, pictured L-R are Dick (Safe Place for Animals Shelter), Lee (Helping Paws volunteer), Yo Hannah (Clover for Rover Animal Sanctuary/Rescue and Terry (Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary). Through the generosity of Delight Products and others, in 2013 Helping Paws distributed over 110,000 lbs of donated pet food to our animal organizations in Sumner, Davidson and Macon Counties, food banks and income qualified pet owners. Did you know that in Sumner County alone, it takes over 12,000 lbs of pet food each month to feed all of our sheltered animals??

SEPT AC NUMBERS:  In September, Sumner County Animal Control took in 240 animals (146 cats/94 dogs). Of these 92 (38%) were owner surrendered (61 cats/31 dogs). On the out take side, 226 animals were processed: 23 (10%) were happily reunited/claimed by their owners; 17 (8%) were turned over to rescue groups; 27 (12%) were adopted and 159 (70%) were euthanized (121 cats/38 dogs).

 SSNA S/N SPECIAL: Have a community/free roaming/feral cat in the neighborhood? For the month of October SSNA is offering free spay/neutering. Call the clinic for an appointment ... 452-2233. Live humane traps are also available for loan by the clinic if needed.


'PET CELEBRATION": By Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary,  Sat, Oct 4, 10a-3p, Moss Wright park in Goodlettsville. Bring your pet for a day out to support one of our leading animal groups in Sumner County

"WHAT YOUR BEST FRIEND IS REALLY EATING": A new book by Lee Sanft (one of our local animal welfare advocates) w/ Allen Wood, with insights to what ingredients are used in pet foods, what to look for and what to look out for when food shopping for your furry friend. Available from Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and more for $2.99 download

"1826/1108": The number of animals taken in by Sumner County Animal Control Jan-Aug 2014, and the number of these animals that were euthanized. Less than the same period in 2013 but still too many. Spay/neuter your pets ... make sure your pet has an owner ID tag/microchip ... just two ways the owners can help to reduce the numbers.

"YAPPY HOUR" @ BAREFOOT CHARLIE'S: A 'pet friendly' restaurant (outside patio eating area) is hosting "Yappy hours" from 1-4pm the first Sunday of each month (altho pets are welcome anytime) ... treats and a fresh bowl of water is provided to each pet. Pets are allowed in the outside eating area at the rear of the restaurant ... please use the rear patio entrance. 125 Sanders Ferry Rd, H'ville. For more 'pet friendly' businesses, see the "Pet Friendly Businesses" page.

 "820": The number of dogs/cats spay/neutered at the SSNA S/N clinic in August. Including July (1092) over 1900 animals 'fixed' just in the last two months. Need financial help with the already low surgical costs? Check with the clinic as there often are grants and programs to help with the costs for financially qualified pet owners. 452-2233.

AUGUST AC NUMBERS: In August the Sumner County Animal Control took in 230 animals (126 cats, 104 dogs. Of these 74 (32%) were 'owner surrendered. On the out take side, 31 (13%) animals were adopted; 37 (15%) were turned over to rescue groups; 20 (8%) were reclaimed by their owners and 160 (65%, 110c/50d) were euthanized.

Year-to-date (YTD) Jan-Aug: A total of 1826 animals have been taken in; 273 (15%) have been adopted out to new owners; 242 (13%) turned over to rescues and 1108 (61%) have been euthanized.

JULY SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In July the county animal control facility took in 320 companion animals (194 cats/126 dogs). Of these 89 (28%) were 'owner surrendered'. A total of 327 animals were processed out of the facility: 17 (5%) were reunited with their owners; 28 (9%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 40 (12%) were adopted and 242 (74%) were euthanized.

SAVE THE DATE ... NOV 1st!!: This year the Humane Society's "Puttin' On The Dog Gala" will be held at the Blue grass Country Club on the evening of November 1st ... always a fun evening with good food, great silent auction, entertainment and winners announced for the 2015 Pet Calendar contest (see below).


HSSC " DINING FOR DOGS": The Humane Society's Dining For Dogs fundraiser will be held at The Rudder restaurant (Anchor High Marina in H'ville) on August 28th, 4-8pm, to raise funds for their adoption center. Enjoy a dinner out lakeside and help support the animals!!

SSNA's "PRIMP YOUR PIT" SPECIAL: During the month of August the SSNA spay/neuter clinic will spay or neuter any Pit or Pit Mix for only $20 which also includes a rabies shot. Call 452-2233 to make an appointment!!

SSNA SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC SETS RECORD!!!!: During the month of July the clinic performed almost 1100 S/N surgeries, thanks to their expanded new clinic and the addition of a second Vet. Their appointment waiting list has been reduced to a little over a week from the previous 4-6 weeks. For more information or to make an appointmenmt, call 452-2233.

HUMANE SOCIETY of SUMNER COUNTY: The HSSC's  2015 photo calendar contest opened up on June 1st ... Submit a 4X6 photo of your pet and a $10 tax deductable donation from June 1st thru Sept 20th. Winning photos will be included in the 2015 Humane Society of Sumner County's calendar. 

The HSSC also announced that Kelly Lang has been named as an Honorary Board Member and celebrity spokesperson for the Humane Society of Sumner County.

JUNE SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In the month of June, the county AC took in a total of 303 companion ( 137 dogs &  166 cats) animals. Of these 134 (34 dogs/97 cats) were 'owner surrendered, accounting for 44% of the total intake. On the out take side, 297 animals were processed: 31 (10%) were returned to their owners; 56 (19%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 30 (10%) were adopted out and 61% (128 cats & 52 dogs) were euthanized.

JAN-JUN 2014 compared to 2013: Intake - 1276 in 2014 compared to 1395 for the same period in 2013. Owner surrenders were 445 in '14 vs 462 in '13; rescues were 177 in '14 vs 279 in '13; 202 adopted in 2014 vs 148 in 2013; 151 returned to owner in '14 compared to 136 in '13. Euthanized numbers were basically the same, 706 in '14 vs 738 in '13. In summary, intake is down over 100 animals, number of rescued animals are 100 less this year, adoptions and animals reclaimed by their owners are up this year.

MAY SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS: In May the Sumner County AC facility took in 295 companion animals (179 cats/116 dogs) Of these 92 (31%) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side, 280 animals were processed: 16 cats & 18 dogs were adopted out (12%); 15 cats & 10 dogs were turned over to rescue organizations (9%); 2 cats and 27 dogs were happily reunited with their owners (10%) and 122 cats/70 dogs were euthanized (69%).

Per Sgt Ryan of the Sumner County Sheriff's Department of Animal Control, since the facility opened in June 2011, they have adopted out over 1000 companion animals and are nearing  1500 animals that have been rescued.

SAFE PLACE FOR ANIMALS' "POLITICAL CAKE AUCTION" - Held on May 1st, SPA invited all political candidates and county officials to bake/donate a cake for auction to raise funds for the shelter. 44 cakes were donated and auctioned off, raising $2000.00 for the shelter. "Thanks" to all our politicians, both current and those seeking office, for supporting our animals. Surprisingly our current Sheriff, Sonny Weatherford who has the responsibility of our county animal control, did not support the function, nor does he support most of our animal activities/events. Dismaying, since most of the 'animal community' supported him in the last election. On the other hand, his opponent in this election, Stan Hilgadiack, donated two cakes, brought his family, bought items at the silent auction part of the event and was willing to discuss many of the 'animal issues' pertaining to the county animal control facility ... he also vows, if elected, to work closely with the animal community in providing a better working relationship with the community on improving rescues, adoptions and lowering the euthanasia rate. Hmmm, has my vote!!!

MACON (COUNTY) SPAY NEUTER ALLIANCE (MSNA - Spearheaded by animal advocate Debra WoodardGross and partnering with our SSNA organization, MSNA is in the process of filing for their 501.c.3non-profit status and will be concentrating on spay/neutering efforts to reduce the excess companion pet population in Macon County. They have already transported almost 200 animals to the SSNA clinic for 'fixing'. A special "Thanks" to Heartland Roofing for providing transport vehicles in support of the effort. A meeting will be held at the Layfayette Fire Hall at 1pm on May 15th for anyone willing to participate/help, or for more information contact Debra at [email protected]

NEW SSNA SPAY NEUTER CLINIC FACILITY - Almost ready to open ... hopefully by the end of May. The new facility will double their surgery capacity with an additional surgery suite and other expanded clinic areas. Since opening, SSNA has performed over 19,000 S/N surgeries and as a result of their efforts we are seeing fewer animals processed through our county animal control facility ... and fewer euthanasia numbers. They are currently (and for several previous months) running a backlog approximately 700 appointments about 3 weeks in advance. Their plans include a 'transport service' to/from rural areas (see MSNA above) for S/N service. I can't say enough good things about this group ... very proactive in their efforts to 'make a difference' .... and they are !!!!

LOWE'S NOW 'ANIMAL FRIENDLY' - A few months ago their corporate HQ's policy was "No animals except for service animals". Recently this policy has been changed and it is now up to the individual stores to set their own policy. BOTH THE HENDERSONVILLE AND GALLATIN STORES ARE NOW 'ANIMAL FRIENDLY'. As pet owners we must ensure that visiting pets are short leashed, friendly and well behaved. Make sure the animals have a chance to 'relieve themselves' before entering the store and in the event of an 'accident', clean it up!!! Also that not all (believe it or not!) other customers are animal friendly ... keep your pet under your control and only allow them to approach others when invited.

APRIL SUMNER COUNTY AC NUMBERS - In April our county animal control took in a total of 232 companion (121dogs and 111 cats) animals, a marked increase over the previous months this year (cat littering season is upon us!). Of these, a total of 80 (36 dogs/44 cats) were 'owner surrendered' (34%), an ongoing problem ... consistantly about a third of all intake is 'owner surrendered'.On the 'out take' side, 226 animals were processed: 29 (13%) were happily reclaimed by their owners; 30 (13%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 29 (13%) were adopted out to new homes. Sadly, the remaining 138 (61%) were euthanized. YTD (year to date), 678 companion animals have been taken in, 93 of these were rescued, 138 adopted and 91 were reclaimed. 334 have been euthanized (51%). Animal 'health problems'/environment at the facility make most rescues very reluctant to pull (rescue) animals because they simply can not afford the additional medical costs involved to get the animals healthy enough for adoption, or to spread the diseases to their other shelter residents.

HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY: Wednesday March 5th at 1pm ... bring your pooch and join us for the official opening of the new Hendersonville Dog park, located behing the tennis courts in the Memorial Park. "Kudos" to the Hendersonville Lions Club and the City of Hendersonville for making the park a reality!!!

Great opening with many pooches and owners attending.

SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL - FEB NUMBERS: During the month of February, the county AC took in a total of 141 companion animals (43 cats/98 dogs). Of those, 43 (30%) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side, 140 companion animals were processed out: 33 (24%) were adopted; 13 (9%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 22 (16%) were reclaimed by their owners and 72 (51%) were euthanized (23 cats/49 dogs). Fewer animals taken in reduces the overcrowding, which in turn reduces the euthanasia numbers. ALSO impacting the euthanasia numbers is the more proactive approach being taken by the AC staff in promoting adoptions and strays picked up over the last three months!! 

DID YOU KNOW?????:  In 2013, our shelters in Sumner County adopted out over 1,400 companion animals? At any one time (since they are consistently 'full') there are over 500+ companion animals available for adoption in our shelter/rescue groups? It takes over 12,000 lbs of food per month to feed all our sheltered companion animals? There are 3 Emergency Pet Food Banks in Sumner County: Hairy Moose Pet Retreat, Humane Society and Safe place for Animals shelters.

 SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL - JAN NUMBERS:  In January, our county AC took in a total of 135 animals (41 cats/94 dogs) Of these 42 (31%) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side, 155 animals were processed out: 15 (10%) were reclaimed by their owners; 35 (23%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 38 (25%) were adopted and 67 (43%) were euthanized. Fewer number of animals taken in than any month in 2013, adoptions are steady, rescues are up and most importantly, the euthanasia rate is down!! Hopefully 2014 will be a banner year with higher LRRs (Live Release Rate = adopt, resc, RTO).

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NON-PROFIT SHELTER/RESCUES & PET FOOD BANKS: All of our non-profit groups remain 'full'. All struggle monthly to make ends meet. All can use your help & support. Paper Towels, bleach, trash bags, cat litter, cat & dog food ... even toilet paper helps to reduce their expenses which allows them to concentrate their resources for the animals. AND ... they all very gratefully accept cash donations. Those with Pet Food Banks especially appreciate any donations of pet food to keep thei food banks stocked for those who need temporary help to feed their pets. WITH THE RECENT AND ONGOING COLD WEATHER, THEY CAN ESPECIALLY USE FINANCIAL DONATIONS TO HELP PAY THEIR UTILITY BILLS!!!

  HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK: The Hendersonville Dog Park is open!!! Fencing, benches and waste stations are in. Sidewalks (see photo) are being poured this week (1/16). Two fenced areas ... one for small and one for large dogs. According to Steve Brown, Prez of H’ville Lions Club, the commemorative bricks/pavers are on order and there will be an “Opening Event” … will keep you posted. When using the park, PLEASE pick up after your dog, whether in the fenced or surrounding areas. Also, even though there is no 'park use requirement', make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations. Dogs MUST be kept on a leash outside of the fenced play areas.

LESS ANIMALS BREEDING? At the end of 2013 we have approximately 10,200 fewer breeding animals in Sumner County counting the SSNA clinic spay/neuters, the other shelter adopted animals that were S/N’d outside of the clinic, animals transported out of the county and the AC animals euthanized. Please note that these figures  do not include animals either euthanized or spay/neutered from all the private veterinarian offices. Hopefully with all the spay/neutering the overall population is going down … would be nice if one day we could actually have a ‘shortage’ of animals with a ‘no kill’ animal control facility, wouldn’t it?


SUMNER COUNTY NON-PROFIT SHELTER/RESCUES:  We are very fortunate to have several within the county: Clover for Rover, Safe Place for Animals (SPA), Friends of Hannah, A Place to Bark, Humane Society of Sumner County & Freedom Farm. In 2013, approximately 1436 cats and dogs were adopted to new homes out of these organizations. All animals adopted out were spay/neutered. Each organization has limited holding facilities and must depend on ‘turn over’ (adoptions) to take in new animals. Except for humane reasons ( severe illness or suffering), all are ‘no kill’ shelters. A Place to Bark concentrates on rescues from animal control facilities in several counties and transports nearly all animals to out-of-state adoption agencies (in 2013 they rescued and transported nearly 900). Another approximately 100 were transported out of the area by the other groups. Please note … all are non-profit and depend heavily on public donations to remain in business. In addition to the main shelter/rescue groups listed above, we also have smaller individual run rescues, such as Loving Kittens and Glenda’s Lab Rescue.

FERAL CARE GROUPS/INDIVIDUALS: In Sumner County we have a tremendous feral cat population. These are cats that are strays or have ‘dumped’ and left to breed in the wild and subsequent generations have become true ferals/wild, often congregating in ‘colonies’. Patti, Annette R., Annette Y., Susan, Shelly … a few of the caring individuals we are fortunate to have that are actively involved in TNR (Trap, Neuter & Return) to help control the population. They are often found ‘lurking in the night’ around businesses or dumpsters, setting their live traps, collecting the eligible (cats already trapped and S/N’d have a ear ‘tipped’ to identify them as already fixed) and transporting them to a Vet or clinic for ‘fixin’ … all at their own personal expense (yes, they do accept donations to offset their expenses or any help with the trapping and transport). Trapped cats that are still somewhat domesticated or with kittens, they attempt to find new adoptive homes for them.

SUMNER SPAY NEUTER ALLIANCE (SSNA): In 2013, the SSNA low-cost spay/neuter clinic performed 6,760 surgeries and at the end of the year had an appointment waiting list of over 700 more. This Spring they are planning to move to a new, expanded location, at least doubling their capacity for surgeries just to keep up with the demand. Their policy of, “You pay only what you can afford”, subsidized and made possible through grant monies and their Community Service Fund, has been tremendously successful in reaching those pet owners who simply can’t afford the already low prices … the source of most of the ‘population regeneration’ problem. If asked what has been the biggest impact on reducing the overpopulation problem, the answer would be their clinic’s success. Fundraising is still being done to equip the new clinic and donations to their Community Service Fund are always welcomed and appreciated … for more information, call the clinic at 452-2233.

SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL: The outcome of animals taken in by any animal control has 4 possibilities: 1) For strays, hopefully reclaimed by their owners; 2) Being adopted into a new loving home; 3) Being rescued and then being adopted, or 4) being euthanized, mainly to reduce overcrowding (even AC’s have limited holding capacity). In 2013, a total of 2859 animals (1412 dogs/1447 cats) were taken in, 488 less than in 2012. Of these, 947 (33%) were ‘owner surrendered’ (compared to 972 in ’12); 339 were adopted (compared to 368 in ’12); 431 were rescued (compared to 528 in ’12); 1753 (61%) were euthanized (compared with 2029 in ’12). Over the last few months AC has successfully partnered with Pet Supermarket in Hendersonville to increase cat adoptions and been posting ‘strays’ picked up and animals for adoption on their Facebook page which has proactively increased the survivability rates.

DEC AC RESULTS: In December, the facility took in 141 animals … the lowest month in 2013. 43 (19 dogs/24 cats) were ‘owner surrendered, the lowest monthly number of dogs surrendered in 2013. 39 (17 dogs/22 cats) were adopted, the highest monthly number of cats adopted in 2013. 20 (15 dogs/5 cats) were rescued. 90 (47 dogs/43 cats) were euthanized. Hopefully, 2014 will see a further drop in the number of animals taken in, more adoptions, RTOs, rescues and less animals euthanized

HELPING PAWS PROGRAM:  . In 2013 we have distributed over 110,000 lbs of pet food donations to: Sumner County Food Bank, Safe Place for Animals shelter & pet food bank, Humane Society pet food bank, Clover For Rover Sanctuary & Rescue, Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, PetRescue911 Rescue, Macon County Pet Food Bank, Habitat for Paws, several independent pet rescuers & feral cat care/TNR groups. "Thanks" to Kroger Marketplace & their generous customers, Kroger Company, Delight Products Company and individuals who have donated food at several animal events held throughout the year; to our transport sponsor Winlectric of Millersville and transport volunteers Larry, Lee, Dick, Scotty, Victor, Laura, Holly, Andrea, Roger, Nina and others who have made this possible. Food distributions to shelter/rescues reduce their overall cost, allowing them to redirect their resources to other areas. The pet food banks (3 in Sumner County and one in Macon County) and distributions at the county food bank provides food for the pets of people needing a helping hand feeding their pets, in many cases allowing them to keep their pets at home.

 HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK:  Fences are in, benches and dog waste stations are in, bricks are on order. Still closed “Due to construction”. According to Steve Brown, Prez of H’ville Lions Club, there will be an “Opening Event” … will keep you posted.

"HELPING PAWS" 2013:  Our final pet food donation pick up on 12/26. In 2013 we have distributed over 110,000 lbs of pet food donations to: Sumner County Food bank, Safe Place for Animals shelter & pet food bank, Humane Society pet food bank, Clover For Rover Sanctuary & Rescue, Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, PetRescue911 Rescue, Macon County Pet Food Bank, Habitat for Paws, several independent pet rescuers & feral cat care/TNR groups. "Thanks" to Kroger Marketplace & their generous customers, Kroger Company, Delight Products Company and individuals who have donated food at several animal events held throughout the year; to our transport sponsor Winlectric of Millersville and transport volunteers Larry, Lee, Dick, Scotty, Victor, Laura, Holly, Andrea, Roger, Nina and others who have made this possible. "We did good!!!"

We look forward to continuing the Helping Paws program in 2014 in support of our non-profit shelter rescue organizations and to many good hearted individuals who take in or care for our 4 legged furry friends, in addition to continuing our monthly pet food distribution at our county food bank, helping the recipients keep their pets at home instead of having to surrender them. For many, the only pet food their pets receive is the food we distribute. In a typical month around 175 families apply for food and in the Nov-Dec months usually exceed 400+ families.
Our local Kroger Marketplace has already extended an invitation for us to host another "Day For The Animals" at their store where we collect materials and pet food for distribution ... usually 3-4 truck loads, thanks to the generosity of the Kroger customers in support of our animals.

"STRAYS" POSTED ON AC FACEBOOK PAGE: Sumner County AC is now posting pictures of all stray animals picked E:up on their FaceBook page (Animal Control of Sumner County). If you are on FB, "Like" the page and repost ... hopefully this will improve the number of animals returned to their owners. If you can identify one of the animals, call the AC ASAP (452-2400)!!

 NEW EXPANDED SSNA SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC: SSNA is now fundraising for relocating to a new spay/neuter clinic with approximately 3,000 sf, including an additional surgery suite which will  double their output. The clinic, which opened in Sept 2011, has already completed over 16,000 S/N surgeries and currently have appointments made for 700 more through mid-December. They can not keep pace with the demand, with the need at the current location. They need to raise $30,000. to equip the new clinic and hope to be operational in the late spring. PLEASE, support this most successful, most proactive organization to help reduce our excess animal population. To watch a video on the clinic and to make a tax deductible donation, go to

NOVEMBER AC RESULTS: In the month of November, the Sumner County AC took in 213 companion animals (97cats/116 dogs). Of these, a total of 74 (35%) were 'owner surrendered' which continues to be a problem month after month that needs to be addressed. 207 animals were processed out of the facility:  25 were adopted; 19 were turned over to rescue organizations; 28 were reclaimed by their owners and the rest, 135 were euthanized (65%).

Comparing the Jan thru Nov months of 2013 to 2012, 470 fewer animals were admitted which also resulted in fewer animals being euthanized. Sadly, 'Adoptions' and 'Rescues' are fewer in 2013 than in 2012 ... getting worse instead of improving. The Sheriff's Dept, who manages the AC and shelter facility needs to be more 'proactive' in improving adoptions and work closely with the rescue organizations ... every animal adopted or rescued is one less animal euthanized!!!!

CHRISTMAS GIVING: Grandkids, Grandpets, for those who have everything & hard to shop for ... consider gifting a donation to one of our fine non-profit animal groups. Most have a 'Donation Gift Card' that is suitable for mailing or sending as a gift. Tax deductible ... helping our animal groups!! An example: I recently rec'd a FedEx package that included two Kuranda dog beds, donated to by a Mrs. Jan Snider. In talking with her I found that the donation was requested by her daughter in lieu of a gift for her. After explaining that I am not a shelter, I delivered the package to the Humane Society at her request, who much appreciated the donation!!

 HABITAT FOR PAWS: Spent the morning with a GREAT bunch of other volunteers from Habitat 4 Paws building fence enclosures getting dogs off chains .... another GREAT animal organization doing GREATthings!!!

306 DOGS/206 CATS: On Oct 31st, that was how many are available for adoption in our shelters in Sumner County. All of our shelters continue to have 'waiting lists' of animals to be taken in. If you are considering an adoption, please adopt from one of our local shelters .... you rescue an animal and make room for another one to be taken in!!!

OCTOBER SUMNER COUNTY AC RESULTS: In October 2013, a total of 229 companion animals (128 cats/101 dogs) were taken in by our county animal control. Of these 70 (43 cats/27 dogs) were owner surrendered, 31 % of the total. On the out take side, 249 animals were processed: 32 (13%) were adopted; 13 (5%) were turned over to a rescue organization; 23 (9%) were reclaimed by their owners and 181 (120 cats/61 dogs) were euthanized (73%).

Year-to-date IN 2013, a total of 2505 animals have been taken in (1292 cats/1213 dogs), of which 1528 have been euthanized, 392 rescued, 275 adopted and 221 were reclaimed by owners. SINCE 2009 THRU OCT 2013, 17,146 ANIMALS HAVE BEEN ADMITTED AND 10,476 HAVE BEEN EUTHANIZED!!!!!!!!!!!

HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK UPDATE: The Hendersonville Lions Club presented the city with a check for $15,000 towards the construction of the new dog park. The funds, raised through the sale of bricks, pavers and other materials plus numerous fund raisers, is 75% of the total cost/fundraising goal of $20,000. The Lions Club is continuing to sell the bricks and paver and hold additional fundraiser events to raise the additional funds. Target date for completion is by Thanksgiving!!

"HELPING PAWS" SUPPORTING OUR ANIMAL GROUPS: The Helping paws program supports many of our non-profit shelter/rescue groups plus other animal organizations, through assistance with fund raising or distributing free donated pet food. One of our newer groups supported is the 'Habitat for Paws' non-profit group, which builds fenced enclosures for pet owners who have chained dogs, eliminating the need for the chaining. Habitat for paws has built many such enclosures in the Sumner County area at no cost to the owners, relying on donations and volunteer help. In some cases they identify owners who need a helping hand providing nutritious food for their dogs. Through our pet food distribution program we are now providing dog food to their group for further distribution to help feed our 4-legged friends. Pictured is Rebecca Sanderson of Habitat for Paws picking up donated food. For more information on their organization, visit them on Face book or at (Nashville). 

WINLECTRIC OF MILLERSVILLE SPONSORS 'HELPING PAWS': The 'Helping Paws' pet food distribution program is made possible only with the help of several volunteers, The Delight Products Co who donates the majority of our pet food and with the help of WINLECTRIC of Millersville. They, over the last two years, have continually provided a truck and driver every two weeks to help load, transport and unload donated pet food. They set the example of a local business supporting our community needs. Much "Thanks" to co-owners Roger and Anthony for their continued support of our efforts to help the animals.

Helping Paws provides donated pet food to our Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, Clover for Rover Animal Sanctuary, Safe Place for Animals Rescue/Shelter, Habitat for Paws, PetRescue911 Rescue/Sanctuary, Feral Cat Care groups, Macon County Pet Food Bank and distributes free pet food at the Sumner County Food Bank on a regular basis. The program also supplies pet food on an 'as needed' basis to our three other pet food banks in Sumner County (Humane Society, SPA, Friends of Hannah) and additional groups per their requests. In 2012, Helping Paws distributed over 70,000 lbs of donated pet food and in 2013 we expect to distribute over 100,000 lbs of pet food!!!


HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK UPDATE: The Hendersonville Lions Club presented the city with a check for $15,000 towards the construction of the new dog park. The funds, raised through the sale of bricks, pavers and other materials plus numerous fund raisers, is 75% of the total cost/fundraising goal of $20,000. The Lions Club is continuing to sell the bricks and paver and hold additional fundraiser events to raise the additional funds.

SEPT SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL RESULTS: In September, AC took in 269 companion animals (152 cats/117 dogs). Of these, 99 (66 cats/33 dogs) were "owner surrendered", equating to 37% of the total intake. The rest? 50 (19%) were picked up by the Sheriff's AC Dept; 21 (8%) were from Gallatin AC officers; 46 (17%) from Portland AC and 53 (20%) were from the Hendersonville AC.

On the Out Take side, 259 animals were processed (141 cats/118 dogs). Of these, 13 (5%) were reclaimed by their owners; 53 (20%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 26 (10%) were adopted; 167 (64%) were euthanized.

Year-to-date in 2013, a total of 2276 animals (1164 cats/1112 dogs) have been taken in. Of these, 1347  have been euthanized, 379 turned over to rescue organizations, 243 adopted and 198 returned to their owners.

"HELPING PAWS": The main focus of our Helping Paws program is distributing donated pet food. Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to distribute thousands of pounds of dog and cat food each month. We distribute to non-profit animal shelters/rescues, restock pet food banks in Sumner and Macon counties and to several animal groups/individuals who care over feral cat colonies (feed/trap/spay & neuter). We also distribute 600-900 lbs of free pet food at our Sumner County Food Bank each month to pet owners needing a little help feeding their pets. In addition, we provide a limited amount of food to a couple of income limited individuals who have rescued/own several animals, animals that have been 'dumped' and taken in by these kind individuals ... and yes, all their animals have been 'fixed'. We provide food to Debbie in Westmoreland who has established a pet food bank in Macon County, an area with very little support of their animal population. Pictured: my friend Scotty, from the Portland area.

"Thanks" to my volunteer crew who help load, transport, unload and reload every two weeks, regardless of the weather (snow, sleet, rain, heat ... we have done it all!!) ... Kenny, Larry, Roger/Winlectric of Millersville, Dick, Laura, Holly, Lee. 

HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK:  According to Steve Brown, Lions Club President, more than $14,000 towards the total $20,000 dog park cost has been raised and fundraising is continuing for the additional funds needed. On Tuesday, 9/17, a benefit was held at the Avanti Gourmet restaurant which raised more than $700. We salute the Lions Club for their tireless efforts in getting a dog park built in Hendersonville and to all those who have given support to their fundraising efforts. The park will be located behind the Memorial Park, behind the tennis courts in Hendersonville. Two separate fenced areas are planned, one for the smaller dogs and one for the larger ones. Engraved bricks and pavers are still available for purchase ... great way to honor your loved ones, either 2 or 4-legged. Bricks are $100, pavers are $300. Both will be used to pave part of the dog park area. For more information, visit the Hendersonville Lions Club website

PROACTIVE SSNA: SSNA is taking a proactive stance on getting Sumner County's animal population under control by handing out 'free spay/neuter certificates at the County Food Bank. On Tuesday's (9/17 food bank distribution, June McMahon, SSNA President, worked the lines looking for pet owners with unfixed pets. She ended up handing out over 55 free spay/neuter certificates to pet owners that otherwise would not be able to afford having their animals fixed, especially when they are struggling just to put food on the table for their human family members. Many of these pets have been taken in as 'strays', looking for a meal themselves. The free S/Ns are made possible through private donations to their Community Assistance Fund and by receiving grant monies for spay/neuter programs.

SSNA has performed over 14,000 S/N surgeries since opening two years ago and has saved thousands of pet lives by preventing unwanted unborn litters. Each month June has worked the food line at the food bank, she hands out 40+ certificates to new people seeking assistance. "Kudos" to the SSNA Staff, Volunteers, Dr. Pennington, and their Board members for proactively addressing our over-population of companion animals ... and "Thanks" to all of you who have supported the SSNA effort!!

AUGUST SUMNER COUNTY AC RESULTS: In August 299 animals were taken by the facility (166 cats/133 dogs), of which 84 (28%) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side, 288 animals were processed: 31 (11%) were adopted (15 cats/16 dogs); 34 (12%) were turned over to rescue organizations (14 cats/20 dogs); 22 (8%) were claimed and returned to their owners (22 dogs); 201 (70%) were euthanized (126 cats (81%)/75 dogs (56%)).

PET FRIENDLY BUSINESSES IN SUMNER COUNTY: Check out the new page we have added to our website, "Pet Friendly Businesses". For restaurants, they MUST have an outdoor eating area, accessible from the outside as pets are not allowed  inside of the restaurants where food is prepared. For your dining pleasure we have three, all in a 'lakeside setting/atmosphere' ... Barefoot Charlies and The Rudder in Hendersonville and Awedaddys at the Gallatin marina in Gallatin. PLEASE also note the rules that should be followed if you are taking a pet for a visit to any 'pet friendly business' to ensure they remain 'pet friendly' which are listed on the 'Pet Friendly Businesses' page. (Pictured are Lulu and Tootsie who were visiting while their 2-legged friends were having dinner at Awedaddys in Gallatin)

. If you know of a pet friendly establishment/business, please let us know ([email protected]) and we will verify with them and put on our listing

METRO AC VS SUMNER CO AC: An editorial was published in the Tennessean on July 21, titled "Too many animals still facing euthanasia", by Bill Paul, MD, Director of the Metro Health Dept which oversees the Metro Animal Control. The article stated that there are still too many animals being euthanized in Metro even though significant improvement has been made in the last 5 years: Euthanasia is down 35% (dogs -48%; cats -18%). Intake is also down 31% (dogs -42%; cats -12%). Dr. Paul credits effective spay/neutering programs as the main reason for the reduction in the number of animals entering the facility. "We are glad to see improvement, but we can do better" by improving marketing for adoptions, adding partnerships with rescue organizations, adopting animals based on temperament rather than breed and reducing adoption fees.

Based on the Metro results, I was curious to see how our own county AC compared since I have all the numbers since 2009. Based on the first 6 months of 2009 vs the first 6 months of 2013, our county intake is down 35% (dogs: - 35%; cats: -35%). Euthanasia is also less in 2013 than it was in 2009, down 41% (dogs: -47%; cats: -36%). Owner surrenders are also down (32%). On the negative side, when comparing the two years, adoptions are down 52%, rescues are down 16% and return to owners down 11%. Keep in mind that in 2009 that AC was housed at the old facility (converted tractor barn) with fewer kennels, adoption fees were much lower and there were many more animals reproducing and being taken in.

In June 2011, AC moved to the new current facility in Gallatin. In the last 2 years (2012-2013, based on the first 6 month's numbers) the intake and euthanasia numbers are continually trending downward ... fewer animals taken in* = fewer numbers euthanized. This is good. Sadly, the number of adoptions, rescues and return to owner numbers are also down ... trending the wrong way. Our county AC/Sheriff's Department needs to follow the improvement plans by Metro ... improving marketing for adoptions, building a better rapport and partnership with existing and new rescue organizations and lowering adoption fees ... taking a more 'proactive approach' to improve numbers in all categories.

*Fewer animals taken in: Like Metro, spay/neutering of over 13,000 animals by the SSNA clinic is having a direct impact on the animal population in Sumner County. Effective S/N campaigns and programs offered by SSNA have been the most proactive factor in reductions in both intake and euthanasia of animals in Sumner County.

JULY SUMNER COUNTY AC RESULTS: In the month of July, a total of 313 companion animals were taken in to the facility. Of these, 115 (37%) were owner surrendered. Of the total intake, 62% (193) were cats and 46% of these were owner surrendered. On the out take side, a total of 319 animals were processed. Of these, 12% (38) were adopted; 4% (13) were turned over to rescue organizations; 8% (27) were reclaimed by their owners and sadly, 76% (241 ... 178 cats/63 dogs) were euthanized.

Yes, there is an abundance of cats in Sumner County ... we are seeing the results of the spring birthing season. 62% of the total animals taken in by AC were cats. 89% of these were euthanized. When talking about "spay/neutering", we need to fix the family cats as well as the dogs. We have a huge population of 'feral' cats in the county ... unwanted/excess cats that have been 'dumped' into the wild and left to fend for themselves ... and continue to breed (3-4 times a year) further compounding the problem. If you are kind enough to 'feed a stray' cat, please be kind enough to have the animal fixed ... otherwise you will soon have multiple cats to feed, and if you don't have them fixed ... and it goes on and on. Call the SSNA clinic to make an appointment (452-2233) ... they often have 'specials' and proclaim "You only pay what you can afford"

Fortunately we have several 'Feral Care' individuals in the county who feed and continually trap and S/N/vaccinate the ferals. Of these caring folks, the most active (one of my many heroes) is Patti Ragsdale, who is featured on this month's "Hero Page" of this website. 


AFFORDABLE SPAY NEUTER: The SSNA spay/neuter clinic is offering 'financial assistance' for those who need a little help in having their dog/cat spayed or neutered, especially for those who are receiving any type of 'assistance program'. The clinic has already performed over 13,000 S/N surgeries in their first two years of operation (no pun intended). It is a known fact that the majority of our companion pet 'overpopulation' problem is caused by pets of owners who simply can not afford to have their pets 'fixed'. SSNA is targeting these pets through special programs ..."You only pay what you can afford", per the attached flyer. Their normal rates are:  Male cat neuter - $30; female cat spay - $40; Male dog neuter - $45 and female dog spay is $55. All surgeries include a rabies vaccination

Their ability to offer even lower prices (and in some cases 'free') are made possible through special grants they have received and through private donations to their "Community Assistance Fund", one I strongly urge all animal lovers to support ... your opportunity to help the clinic help the animals by reducing the population, thereby reducing the number of animals euthanized simply because there are too many of them. Please make a donation, no matter how small ... mail your check to the SSNA CLinic, 1033 Union School Rd, Gallatin, TN 37066. Donations are tax exempt (FID: 26-4175450). For more information or to make an appointment, call the clinic at 452-2233.

(Please feel free to copy this flyer and repost at your church, place of work, etc)


SPA CAT ADOPTION SPECIAL: Tis the cat season and we have an abundance of cats in our shelters. The Safe Place For Animals (SPA) shelter in Gallatin is currently waiving all adoption fees for any cat over 2 yrs old. All cats have been spay/neutered, up to date on all vaccinations and have been Vet checked. For more information, call SPA at 451-7342. 

SSNA's "PRIMP YOUR PIT" S/N SPECIAL:  The SSNA clinic is currently taking appointments for their "Primp Your Pit" special which will run the month of August (need to make an apt now as they are usually booked 2-3 weeks in advance). For Pit Bull or Pit mixes, for the measly sum of $20, they will spay or neuter, trim the nails and give a rabies shot. This special is made possible through a grant by PetSmart Charities. Call the clinic on 452-2233 to book an appointment (open to all dogs regardless of residency).

HABITAT FOR PAWS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS: The Habitat For paws group, who builds fence enclosures for chained dogs, is looking for volunteers to help with their next project on Saturday, July 20th, 9:30am for a couple of hours, in Gallatin. If you can donate a couple of hours of your time please contact [email protected].

SSNA S/N CLINIC CELEBRATES 2nd BIRTHDAY: Our Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance's low cost S/N clinic is celebrating their 2nd birthday. What a success the first two years have been .... OVER 13,000 S/N SURGERIES!!!!! The clinic, through special grants and individual donations to their Community Assistance Fund, has and is doing a fantastic job of reaching those whose pets are the biggest contributor to our pet overpopulation problem ... those that are financially strapped and can't normally afford to have their pets fixed. Currently they are providing FREE S/N surgeries for pets of any owners who are getting any food bank assistance

 "KUDOS" TO THE H'VILLE LIONS CLUB: Another successful fundraiser, "Yappy hour" held at Barefoot Charlies on 7/7, resulted in additional funds being raised by the H'ville Lions Club towards construction of a new Dog park in Hendersonville. The club has raised approximately $11,500. towards construction and fundraising continues. The event had a great turnout with lots of door/contest prizes by several local businesses; great music by the Big Nose Kate Band, great weather (no rain!!!), and good food/beverages by Barefoot Charlies. Shown is Steve Brown with wife and "Kacie", one of his several canine pets. (see additional post in Events page).

Fundraising continues for the Dog Park ... for more information, call Steve Brown at 584-4935 or e-mail: [email protected].


ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL "DAY FOR THE ANIMALS" EVENT:  The 6/22 event held at the Kroger Marketplace in Gallatin resulted in over two truckloads of donated supplies for our local animal groups. Information tables were set up by Safe place for Animals shelter/rescue, Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance and Southern paws Pet Sitting service. Animals were also displayed for adoption by the Humane Society of Sumner County. We appreciate the Kroger Marketplace staff (kudos to Asst manager Brittany for her outstanding assistance in promoting the event prior to and the day of the event) for hosting the event (4th time) and a special "Thank you" to the Kroger customers for their generous donations in support of our animal groups. We had several customers who donated a full cart of supplies.

HABITAT FOR PAWS COMPLETES "FIRST BUILD PROJECT": This past Saturday, 6/22, the newly formed "Habitat For Paws" group completed their first fenced enclosure project in Gallatin. Their mission is to build fenced enclosures to prevent 'chained dogs', in this case Diamond and Rage who now have their own 'yard' and are no longer chained. Volunteers and materials are needed for future builds ... e-mail [email protected] if you can help with either.

 LIKE TO VOLUNTEER??  Many of our animal organizations are always looking for volunteers. If you, or your teen (some have a min age restriction of 16 without an adult) have some free time to lend a hand, contact one of the non-profit animal groups listed on the 'Coalition Members' page (Note: Our County Animal Control does not have a volunteer program) 

HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK:  The Hendersonville Lions Club held a fundraiser at the Blackeyed Pea restaurant in H'ville on June 10th, raising funds to build a new dog park in Hendersonville. According to Steve Brown, almost $10,000 of the $20,000 needed to equip the park has been raised. Bricks (4"X8" ... $100) and pavers (8"X8" ... $300) are available, engraved to advertise a business, as a memorial or in honor of your favorite pet, or the donor's name, are still available for purchase. Benches, waste stations and fountain purchases/donations are also available. The Lions Club has taken on fundraising for the dog park as one of their community service projects. For more information, e-mail: [email protected]. Target opening date for the park is fall of 2013. (Pictured is Steve Brown at the Blackeyed Pea fundraiser). "Thanks" to the Lions Club for taking on this much needed facility for our pet owners!!!


 PUPPY & KITTEN SPAY/NEUTER SPECIAL: For the month of June, the SSNA Spay Neuter Clinic will spay or neuter kittens and puppies for $20 (under 6 months of age). Funded by PetSmart Charities. For details and to make an appointment, call the clinic at 452-2233,

"DAY FOR THE ANIMALS" event will be held at the Kroger Marketplace from 10am - 3pm on Saturday, June 22nd. We will be collecting donated supplies for several of our animal groups and accepting cash donations for the spay/neuter "Community Assistance Fund". Collecting paper towels, bleach, trash bags, kitty litter and detergent in addition to dog and cat food. Drop by to do your shopping, drop off your donations or just to say hello. (If you are interested in volunteering to help with the event, e-mail Smailto:[email protected] with your contact information)

MAY SUMNER COUNTY AC RESULTS: In May, a total of 306 dogs (115) and cats (191) were taken in by our county animal control. Of these, 34% (71 cats/31 dogs) were 'owner surrendered', up from previous months. On the out take side 271 animals were processed: 28 animals (10%) were reclaimed by their owners; 79 (29%) were turned over to rescue adoption groups; 22 (8%) were adopted and 143 (53% ... 103 cats, 40 dogs) were euthanized. Yes, we are still in the 'kitten litter' season resulting in higher than usual cat numbers.

AVANTI GOURMET's "SPAYGHETTI" EVENT: The event held on May 22nd was a huge success, raising over $1000. for the spay/neuter "Community Assistance Fund". Almost 40 door prizes were drawn for, the food (as always) was great ... Charlie said he used over 22 gallons of marinara sauce and lost count of the amount of pasta served. Charlie and Cheryl Neglia, owners of Avanti Gourmet Restaurant, once again "Thank you" for your continuing support of our animal groups 

APRIL SUMNER COUNTY AC RESULTS: In the month of April, the Sumner County Animl Control took in 241 companion animals (113 cats/128 dogs), a 37 % increase over March. Owners surrenders (45 cats/37 dogs) accounted for 34% of the total intake, mainly due to increased cat surrenders. Of the 66% of strays taken in, 47 were picked up by the County AC officers; 36 by Gallatin AC; 43 from Portland AC and 33 from the H'ville AC.

The cat intake increased 102% over March and was the highest number of cats admitted in April on record ('13=113;'12=96;'11=65;'10=92) Yes, we are in the "litter season" (assumption on my part since AC does not track numbers by ages) and the high numbers emphasize the continuing need to spay/neuter our cat population. Traditionally, very few cats are adopted, rescued or reclaimed by their owners out of AC therefore most end up being euthanized.

"THANK YOU KROGER CO/DELIGHT PRODUCTS CO/RONNIE CLOUSE": Thanks to their generous pet food donations, our "Helping Paws" program has been able to supply food to several of our non-profit animal shelter/rescue groups, to our 3 Emergency Pet Food Banks in Sumner County, to make possible a new much needed pet food bank in Macon County, a pet food distribution at our Sumner County Food Bank each month and to help several indigent multiple pet owners who have taken in strays to keep them off the streets. Without the generosity of Ronnie and his company, none of this would be possible. "Ronnie/Delight products/Kroger ... THANK YOU for helping us help the animals!!!"

"HELPING PAWS" PET CARE CLINIC:  Provided FREE Vaccinations, rabies inoculations and a basic vet exam for over 110 pets of financially qualified (low income) pet owners. "Thanks" to our donors for funding this much needed service!!

SUMNER COUNTY AC MARCH RESULTS: In March, a total of 176 animals were taken in (56 cats/120 dogs). 23% (13 cats/27 dogs) of these were "owner surrendered". On the "out take" side 157 animals were processed:  28 (18%) were reclaimed by their owners; 26 (17%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 30 (19%) were adopted and 73 (46% ... 29 cats/44 dogs) were euthanized.

Total numbers of animals taken in and also those euthanized are continuing to trend downward and hopefully will continue to do so. Hopefully we are seeing the anticipated results of the successes of the SSNA's spay/neuter clinic who have "fixed" over 11,000 animals since opening, preventing the birth of many animals who would eventually be processed through the animal control system.

SUMNER COUNTY AC FEB RESULTS:  In February, 190 animals were taken in, of which 60 (32%) were ‘owner surrendered’ and 130 (68%) were ‘strays’. 15 (8%) were reclaimed by their owners*; 51 (27%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 31 (16%) were adopted and the euthanasia rate was 45% (85 animals). Another ‘good month’ compared to past results.

*Regarding ‘strays’ … the vast majority of stray animals do not have any type of owner identification where the owner can be contacted to reclaim their animals. Even though state law requires dogs to wear ‘rabies tags’ which can be used to identify the owner , most strays do not wear them or have never been inoculated.  Unfortunately,  too many people treat their animals as a ‘disposable’ commodity … they never follow up with AC or the other shelters on ‘lost animals’. Most of these are eventually euthanized unless rescued or adopted out.  If a stray animal is picked up and is wearing owner ID, AC’s policy is to ‘provide a free ride home’ on first offenses without a citation.


"HELPING PAWS"/SUMNER COUNTY FOOD BANK: Each month the Sumner County Food Bank provides food supplies to 175+ families who need a little help in feeding their human family members. Since December, 2011, our "Helping Paws" program has distributed free pet food to help care for the pets of the food bank recipients, usually 700-900 lbs each month. Many have multiple pets ... animals that they have taken in as 'strays'. As one lady said, "I know the feeling of being hungry" and can empathize with abandoned animals who have been left to fend on their own. Many of the folks live in rural area where unwanted animals are being 'dumped'. SSNA's Spay/Neuter Clinic has provided free spay/neuter certificates to many of the recipients who can't afford the service and the Helping paws Pet Care Clinic helps to keep their pets healthy by providing free vaccinations and rabies inoculations (see above entry).

METRO (DAVIDSON COUNTY) ANIMAL CONTROL: Accepted an invitation to tour the Metro Animal Control facility this past week. Many of you have read the recent articles in the Tennessean regard their intake of 10,000+ animals annually with a euthanasia rate of 76-78% (in comparison, in the same period Sumner County took in 2,500 animals with a euth rate of 63%) Unlike our Sumner County facility, the Metro AC facility is fully open to the public (as is Williamson, Rutherford and Cheatum County facilities). I found the Metro facility very clean, spacious, odor free with a friendly professional staff that reports to their County Health Department. Like Sumner, they also have about a 1/3 of the total intake from 'owner surrenders'. They do not adopt out any Pitt Bull or Pitt mixed breeds (which accounts for about 60-65% of their total intake) ... these are euthanized if not reclaimed by their owners. All animals in their adoption center have been fully vetted, S/N'd and pass a temperament test, with most also having been quarantined for a 7 day period. Upon intake ALL are vaccinated, dewormed and treated with Pet Armor flea/tick treatment. It is mandatory that all animals that have been picked up as "running at large" be micro chipped before/if being reclaimed by their owners. They also accept animals from all counties/areas, not just from Davidson County. Davidson County also has a licensing program ... $4 annually. All animal feed containers are cleaned & sterilized daily ... kennels were very clean (they have a paid cleaning staff) ... emphasis is placed on disease prevention and sanitization. Their annual budget is about $1.8 million, compared to Sumner County's approx $350-500 thousand. I was impressed with the facility and overall operation ... nice!!

And "Yes, they do have a volunteer program". If are interested in volunteering, e-mail us at [email protected] and i will gladly send you an application. All volunteers are trained, undergo a background check and must sign a liability release.

"FEEDING AND FIXIN'": DJ (Helping Paws) & June McMahon (Prez SSNA) works in partnership at the Sumner County Food Bank: Helping Paws distributes free pet food and June/SSNA hands out 'Free Spay/Neuter' certificates to Food Bank recipients. SSNA funds the free surgeries through private donations (Community Assistance Fund) and through grants received. SSNA also offers everyday low S/N surgery rates and when funding is available subsidizes the low rate for 'financially qualified' pet owners. Since opening in July 2011, the clinic has performed almost 11,000 S/N surgeries ... "Making a difference in our community's excess animal population problem!!" For more information, to donate to the fund or to make an appointment, call the clinic at 452-2233

FIND-A-PET: Looking for a new pet to adopt? Save gas & time!! E-mail your requirements (small/large, breed, age, sex, etc) to us ([email protected]) and we will forward your needs to all of our shelters to see if there is an animal available to meet your needs ... they will then contact you with further information if they can match you with a new loving companion.

JANUARY ANIMAL CONTROL #s: In January the Sumner County Animal Control took in a total of 167 animals (50 cats/117 dogs), fewer animals taken in in January 2012 (223), 2011 (203) and 2010 (326). Hopefully the downward trend in intake numbers will continue. 59 (35%) of the animals were owner surrendered, with 38% (44) of the total dogs being 'owner surrendered'. Unfortunately AC does not track specific reasons or ages of the surrendered animals to proactively address the problem. Hopefully most of these end up in the 'rescued' or 'adopted' categories. 62% of the total dogs taken is were picked up as 'strays' (18 were reclaimed by the owners). If the strays are wearing some form of 'owner identification' or microchipped, the owners are contacted to reclaim the animal ($50 citation + $10 day boarding fee) ... how many of these refuse the animals because of the costs? How many of the total strays taken in have owner ID?* Can a more proactive approach to the problem be taken? Yes, but the responsibility is still on the owner (see below). On the Out Take side (186 animals), 20 (11%) were reclaimed by their owners; 43 (23%) were turned over to rescue groups; 22 (12%) were adopted and 101 (54%) were euthanized. 

ON STRAYS WITHOUT ID ... unfortunately we have many people who let their dogs run at large and these dogs usually do NOT have any owner ID. Why? Because if the animal is picked up they don't want to get a citation as the owner (reclaim fee at AC is $50 + boarding, fine for "Running at large" is $250.). If the dog is picked up they do not make any effort to reclaim ... easier to just get another dog, which is still left to run freely. The 'reclaiming cost' is in part 'punitive' for allowing the animals to roam ... regardless of the law. The only one who pays the price is the animal which usually ends up euthanized unless rescued or adopted. "Responsible pet ownership" ... can't preach enough about it!!!!

SSNA's "BEAT THE HEAT": Thanks to a generous grant by PetSmart Charities, our SSNA Spay Neuter Clinic will spay a female cat for only $20 during the month of February, including a rabies shot. Call 452-2233 for more information or to make an appointment .... appointments fill fast so call ASAP!! Cats can produce 3 litters a year, and by the end of the year their kittens are also producing litters ... and litters ... and litters!!! We have an abundance of cats in Sumner County .... a huge feral population and many 'community' cats.

SSNA'S S/N CLINIC SURPASSES 10,000 SURGERIES:  Our SSNA low-cost spay neuter clinic, which opened in July 2011, has completed over 10,000 spay/neuter surgeries. Multiply that number several times and you will have an approximate number of prevented births of unwanted/unneeded animals added to our still excessive population. Kudos to the SSNA Crew ... great job!!! (posted 2/9/13)

NEED A PET SITTER?? Check out the 'Animal Services' page!

PET HOSPICE ... OR ... "WHEN ITS TIME": As with us humans, we can also lose a beloved 4-legged family member.When our pets are at the end of their life, it's hard to say goodbye. Even harder to make that "final trip" to the Vet's office. Allowing your pet to make the 'transition' to pet heaven in the home or familiar surroundings may be more desirable when it comes to that time. Buttercup's Pet Hospice out of Nashville serves the Middle Tennessee area, offering both Hospice and Pet Bereavement services. For more information:, (posted 2/1/13)

NEED A BARN CAT??: One of my Heroes, Patti, is often found skulking around in the middle of the night setting her live/humane animal traps to capture feral cats. After trapping, she has the cats altered and vet checked and either returns them to the colony or looks for new adoptive homes for those that she has socialized. While kittens (and some adults) can be adapted to in-home pets, many are ideal for new homes as 'barn cats' ... meaning they are still a little too wild for house pets. If you would be intrested in either a barn or house kitty (all are vetted and S/N'd), let me know and I will have Patti contact you ([email protected]) (2/9/13)

A COOL THING TO DO:  "Cool" being 29' ... but no rain, sleet or snow. Distributing free pet food at the Jan 15th Sumner County Food Bank, Helping Paws distributed about 800 lbs of cat/dog food to the food bank recipients ... some who had been in line since the evening before ... second family in line had been in line since 2am. Helping Paws has been distributing pet food at the monthly food bank distribution each month since December, 2011. For many of the recipients, this is the only 'pet food' that their pets get ... all are appreciative. Many have multiple pets ... stray animals that have been taken in. As the old saying goes, "Not a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of", but they identify with the hungry abandoned animals they take in. For some, the animals are their sole source of companionship and love. "Thanks" to the Delight Products Co/Kroger Co. for their pet food donations that allows the Helping Paws program to help others, to help the animals.

LAFAYETTE PET FOOD DISTRIBUTION:  Had the pleasure of working with Debbie Gross this morning helping her with a pet food distribution that she does in Lafayette each month ... lots of folks in Macon County having hard times and need help feeding their pets (most have multiple 'pets' ... animals they have taken in that were strays).

 Debbie introduced me to all recipients ... they were very appreciative of the food provided through our Helping Paws program. A requirement of Debbie's is that anyone receiving food has to have their animals spay/neutered. Unfortunately, in Macon County there is very little support of companion animals outside of the 2X2 Ranch Rescue ... makes me appreciative of all our shelters and support of the people in Sumner County


DECEMBER ANIMAL CONTROL STATS: Our Sumner County Animal Control had a GREAT results month in December!! Only 159 animals were taken in (the LOWEST month on record!!) ... 'owner surrenders' dropped to 23% (still too many people giving up their animals!!) and on the out take side ... adoptions rose to 28%, 27% were turned over to rescue organizations, 15 % were reclaimed by their owners and only 30% were euthanized ... another 'low record'. Although state law only requires a 5 day holding period before the animal can be euthanized, the staff keeps the animals as long as space is available. Overcrowding is the main reason for euthanasia ... and keep in mind that unlike our non-profit shelters, AC HAS TO ACCEPT every animal surrendered or picked up as a stray ... they have no choice ... it's their job.

In 2012, a total of 3347 animals were processed through Sumner County AC. Euthanasia rate for the year was 63% (lower than many other AC's). Out of 2375 strays picked up, only 302 animals were reunited with their owners ... can't express enough the importance of having 'owner identification' on pets (by law, dogs are req'd to wear their rabies tags, which would suffice in AC identifying the owners). Hopefully, in 2013, we will continue to see improvement in the adoption and rescue numbers as well as the owner claimed animals which will have a direct impact on reducing the number of animals requiring euthanasia due to overcrowding. Any special events planned Sheriff Weatherford??

SANTA PAWS PET CARE CLINIC: On Thurs, Dec 20th, 9am-4pm A "Pet Health Care Clinic" was held at the Safe Place for Animals shelter in Gallatin, (1070 Old Hwy 109 North) hosted by Safe place for Animals and funded through donations via the "Helping Paws" program. For those pet owners financially qualified, free vaccinations & Vet exams were given 60 pets. Mother Nature provided us with rain, cold temps and wind for most of the day which had a direct impact on the turnout for the event. ANOTHER clinic will be held in the late March/early April timeframe at which time we hope to provide the services for another 90 animals (pray for decent weather!!) Many of these are disabled people or seniors who are on very limited incomes who can't afford health care for their pets. (12/3/13)




M&M Fanroy      M&M Justice      M&M Larsen       M&M Tomlin       Nancy Key       Claudette Spinks    Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary   Donna Duncan     Michael Shavers          TravelinTails Grooming    M&M Meadows   M&M Schock    Debbie Gross            M&M Scott Gerblick        SSNA          M&M Mickey Walrond          Lifepoint Hospice   Gloria Story         Southern Paws Pet Sitting Kroger/Delight Products Co.           Sumner Regional Hospital

REMEMBER LIBBY MARIE? Two months ago (see earlier story below)we had a picture of Libby Marie, a 1 yr old Pit-Terrier mix animal abuse victim that was turned in to the Safe Place for Animals shelter in Gallatin. Libby suffered from multiple severe skin infections, including mange. Her ears had been cut off and sutured with fishing line. As a result of much much TLS, Libby has been transformed into a beautiful girl and has been adopted by Greg Johnson of the SPA s

taff. "The sweetest girl", is how he describes her. Indeed she is ... a great personality and as even as abused as she was, now has a new 'loving owner'. Thanks to those who made a donation to her care/recovery medical costs. Folling are the 'Before" and "Current" pictures with new owner Greg Johnson

12/18 - A GREAT DAY AT SUMNER COUNTY FOOD BANK!!! - Our Helping Paws program passed out about 2500 lbs of free pet food at the event to much appreciative recipients. SSNA was on hand to pass out certificates for FREE spay/neuter surgeries ... 145 CERTIFICATES WERE DISTRIBUTED!! This is the population that creates the most litters since they can not afford to have their animals fixed. Thanks to Dawn Tomlin and June McMahon for working the event and thanks to Sara Felmlee for bringing down boxes of dog treats to pass out with the free pet food. The free S/N surgeries are funded through SSNA's "Community Assistance Fund" which is used to subsidize the already low costs charged for those needing financial assistance








































DAY FOR THE ANIMALS A SUCCESS!!!  The Nov 3rd "Day for the Animals" materials drive held at the Kroger Marketplace was very successful, thanks to the support of the store staff and the gererosity of the Kroger customers. Two truck loads of donated supplies/materials were collected and distributed to several of the non-profit animal groups in Sumner County, plus almost $300 in cash donations were made to the low-cost SSNA Spay/neuter Clinic. It was heartwarming to see some customers come out with a whole shopping cart full of donations (and a special "Thanks" to Linda Justice who delivered a whole car load of supplies for the drive!!) We have great support for our non-profit groups and the animals. Special thanks to Mssrs. Santic (Store manager) and Paschall (Assist. Manager) of the store for their individual support of the drive (pictured at right with DJ.

Expenses with running a shelter includes cat litter, paper towels, cleaning supplies ... bleach, Pine Sol, hand sanitizer, paper towels, detergent, etc. in addition to all the food (our shelters in Sumner County use 12,500 lbs of pet food per month!!!)

 NOV AC NUMBERS: In November, a total of 192 animals (88 cats/104 dogs) were processed into the system, the lowest since Nov, 2010!! 28% of these (54) were owner surrendered. On the Out take side, 208 animals were processed, including: 29 (14%) returned to their owners; 13 (6%) were rescued; 24 (12%) were adopted and 142 (68%) were euthanized (80 cats/62 dogs). From Jan thru Nov this year, 3188 animals have been taken in.  

"HELPING PAWS": Sumner County Food Bank:  On Tues, 11/20, Helping Paws distributed almost 3,000 lbs of donated food to the Food Bank recipient pet owners. Almost 300 families came through the Food Bank lines, the vast majority having at least one pet. In most cases this is the only 'pet food' their pets gets. Helping Paws has distributed pet food at the Food Bank since last November. Pictured at left is Patrick Heath (R) of Winlectric of Millersville, one of our sponsors, and DJ (L) of Helping Paws. Since Nov, 2011, Helping Paws has distributed more than 65,000 lbs of donated pet food to our non-profit shelters, 3 Emergency Pet Food Banks (Friends of Hannah, Humane Society and Safe Place for Animals shelters), several feral care groups and at the monthly Sumner County Food Bank. We also provide pet food to the 2X2 Ranch rescue who are running a pet food bank in Macon County..

OCTOBER AC NUMBERS: In October, the Sumner County Animal Control took in 327 animals (171 cats/156 dogs), Of these, 105 (32%) were 'owner surrendered'. On the 'out take' side (350 animals), 8% (28) were reunited with their owners; 7% (25) were rescued by rescue groups; 12% (43) were adopted; 73% (254) were euthanized.

A third of the animals taken in were owner surrendered and almost 2/3 were euthanized. Only 7% were rescued. SAD!! All of our non-profit shelters/rescues are still in an 'overflow' and working off of 'waiting lists' of owners wanting to surrender their animals. This has a direct impact on the AC results ... they are full and unable to rescue animals from AC. Less rescues results in more animals having to be euthanized because of overcrowding at AC. Our SSNA spay/neuter clinic has just surpassed 8,500 surgeries since opening almost 15 months ago ... without their efforts, the numbers would be much much higher.

In 2012, a total of 2,996 animals have been processed through AC ... of these, 1,845 have been euthanized.

SHELTERS STILL IN "OVERFLOW": Owner surrendered animals accounted for a 1/3 of the total animals taken in by our county animal control. Our non-profit shelters continue to having 'waiting lists' of owners wanting to surrender their animals ... too many animals - not enough homes. Our Safe Place for Animals shelter alone has over 200 animals sheltered and according to the staff they turn down approximately 20 surrender requests a day due to lack of room. If you are looking to add a pet to your family, please please adopt from a local shelter to make room for another animal to be taken in. 

SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL ABUSE CRUELTY: Recently a 1 year old female Pit-Terrier mix was turned in to the SPA shelter ... suffering from multiple skin infections including a severe case of mange. The dog, named "Libby Marie" by the shelter, also had had her ears cut off and sutured up with 'fishing line'. Under the loving care of the SPA staff and Veterinarians, she is showing improvement ... "A sweet personality" per the staff. If by chance you recognize this animal or have any background information on her, please contact the shelter (451-7342) who will persue prosecution.

Animal cruelty of this nature is unexcusable and must be stopped. If you are aware or observe an animal being abused, please report it to your local Animal Control organization.

If you would like to contribute to defray Libby Marie's medical and care costs, please contact the  shelter (451-7342..

SEPTEMBER AC NUMBERS: A total of 271 animals were taken in by our county animal control facility during September, over 100 less than in August. Sadly, 33% (90) of these were 'owner surrendered'. Good news is that on the out take side of 273 animals, adoptions increased to 17% (47 animals, 5 cats & 42 dogs), 8% (22) were reunited with their owners, 10% (26) were turned over to rescue organizations and the euthanasia rate dropped to 65% (178, including 109 cats and 69 dogs). Is a 65% euthanasia rate good? When compared to other animal control organizations, yes ... and hopefully it will continue to drop through increased adoptions and rescues.

SPA OFFERS "ZINC NEUTERING" PROCESS: The SPA vet services are now offering a new 'Zinc" neutering for male dogs only. This is a 'chemical sterilization' process which does not require removal of the testicles and only takes about an hour ... within 24 hrs the animal becomes sterile. For more information, contact SPA at 451-7342.

AUGUST AC NUMBERS: In August 391 (196 cats/195 dogs) animals were taken in, 76 (19%) of these were 'owner surrendered'. On the 'out take', of 359 animals, 38 were returned to their owners; 27 were adopted; 35 were turned over to rescue organizations and 259 (72%) were euthanized. Year-to-date (YTD), 2398 animals have been taken in, 1413 have been euthanized, 427 have been rescued, 215 have been adopted and 202 have been returned to their owners.

"3rd Annual Cabernet Festival", benefiting the Brown Dog Foundation was held last evening at Monell's in Nashville. A good assortment of Cabernet wines to tast & judge, good entertainment, good hors d' ouvres and most of all .... good people!! Enjoyed seeing friends and networking with fellow 'animal lovers.


 Pictured are DJ and event volunteer/friend Jeanemarie Koskey and also DJ pictured with the "Saucy Sisters" Barbara and Beverly featuring their book, "the Saucy Sisters Guide to Wine" which was on sale at the event. Great event for a great cause!!! 


SUMNER COUNTY GIVES RECOGNITION TO SSNA CLINIC: The Sumner Spay Neuter Alliances's low-cost spay/neuter clinic was applauded by our County Commissioners at the 8/20 Commission meeting. A certificate of recognition was presented to SSNAfor their contribution to the community in spay/neutering over 6300 animals in their first year (current numbers are 6,800+) of operation (July 15, 2011 thru July 15, 2012), resulting in saving thousands of lives by reducing our surplus animal population. Pictured with the certificate presented is Patti Ragsdale (Board member), June McMahon (SSNA President), Cathy Nicolas (Board member) and Sarah Felmlee (Board member & Clinic Director.

I can't say enough good things about this group!! They are making a difference in controlling our animal population through spay/neutering. They are currently booked 4 weeks in advance for appointments, which speaks for itself ..... very much needed service!!! Having them located as part of the new animal control facility demonstrates the 'proactive' approach in controlling our animal overpopulation by our Sumner County officials. Thank you County Commissioners for your ongoing support and giving recognition to this wonderful group!!!


JULY AC RESULTS: For the month of July. the  Sumner County animal control took in a total of 342 companion animals (193 cats and 149 dogs). Of these 137 (40%) were 'owner surrendered'. (103 cats, 34 dogs). On the out take side which totaled 323 animals (195 cats, 128 dogs), 29 (9%) were adopted; 39 (12%) were turned over to rescue organizations; 16 (5%) were reclaimed by their owners; 239 (183 cats (94%), 56 dogs (44%)) were euthanized (74%). We continue to have too many animals being surrended by their owners, not enough reclaimed by their owners, too few adoptions, too few rescued and too many euthanized. Simply, there is still an excess of unwanted animals in Sumner County. Our non-profit shelters remain full and many have 'waiting lists' for surrendered animals. "Spay/Neuter" ... the most humane way to control our future animal populations!! For low-cost spay/neutering call the SSNA clinic at 452-2233.

BOB BARKER ART EXIBIT AT HENDERSONVILLE LIBRARY: From August 6 through August 30th, visit the Hendersonville Library's new art wall where the artworks of our late beloved Sheriff Bob Barker is displayed. Many of the loaned pieces are those that were auctioned off in 2010, raising more than $4,200. for the construction of SSNA's low cost S/N clinic. A reception will be held on the evening of August 9th, celebrating the new art wall and honoring Bob Barker, 6-7pm, in the library's Community Room ... open to the public.

AVANTI GOURMET ITALIAN RESTAURANT SPONSORS SHELTER MATERIALS COLLECTION: At the Freedom Farm Pet Celebration on Sept 22nd, SumnerCountyAnimals' "Helping Paws" will be collecting materials for all the participating shelters/groups. For each item donated the donor will receive a drawing ticket for a $100.00 Dining Gift Certificate at Avanti.s (Thank you Charlie Neglia/Avanti's for your continuing support of the animals!!). Materials needed: paper towels, trash bags, bleach, dog and cat food, litter, dawn liquid detergent, hand sanitizer .... we'll even take toilet paper!! Visit Avanti Gourmet at

SSNA SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC CELEBRATES 1 YR ANNIVERSARY!!:  The clinic has now Been open for one year ... and what a year!!! Over 6,300 S/N surgeries have been performed and appointments are booked two weeks in advance. A success?? YES!! Making a difference in our present and future pet populations?? YES!! Saving county taxpayer monies by performing services for the  county animal control?? YES!! One of the most proactive steps the county has taken was to provide space for the clinic in the new Bob & Connie Barker Animal Control facility (Thanks to the support of our late Sheriff Bob Barker). Rumors are that SSNA will be recognized for their contribution by the County Commissioners at their July 20th Commission meeting ... a much deserved salute to the group for their success!!

"KUDO" TO WINLECTRIC OF MILLERSVILLE FROM "HELPING PAWS": Recognition and thanks were given to the Winlectric of Millersville company for their support of's "Helping Paws" program. They have consistantly provided transportation assistance twice a month for the Kroger Delight Products Company's pet food donations, totaling over 40,000 lbs since last November. Per President Roger Dabio, "We (Winlectric of Millersville) are glad to be part of the "Helping Paws" support team". Pictured at the right is Darrel Johnston (R) presenting a plaque of appreciation to Roger Dabio and the Winlectric staff, also a picture of driver Patrict (L) and Darrel Johnston with one of the truckloads of donated food. "Winlectric .... thanks for your support, it is appreciated!!"

"HELPING PAWS MATERIAL DRIVE" A HUGE SUCCESS: Thanks to the generosity of Kroger Marketplace's customers the 6/23 material drive was a huge success. Over two truckloads of materials were collected/donated and given to the local non-profit animal groups in Sumner County. Cash donations of $338 were also received and in turn donated by SumnerCountyAnimals to the SSNA's Community Assistance Fund for subsidizing spay neuter surgeries. Thanks to Kroger marketplace for their continuing support of our animal groups!!!

JUNE AC RESULTS: In June 374 companion animals were taken in, 109 (29%) of which were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side (367 animals) 33 (9%) were adopted; 32 (9%) were turned over to rescue groups; 27 (7%) were happily reclaimed by their owners and 275 (75% ... 205 cats and 70 dogs) were euthanized.

2012 Jan thru June - According to the AC numbers published by the Sheriff's Dept, a total of 1665 companion animals have been taken in. 915 of these were euthanized (55%) which is actually 'low' when compared to most county animal control operations. Still .... too many!!! Spay/neuter your pets and let's help reduce the excess animal population!!

MAY AC RESULTS: In May 335 companion animals were taken in, an increase of more than a 100 over April (229). Of these 85 (25%) were 'owner surrendered'. On the out take side (221 animals), 27 were returned to owners; 20 (7%) were adopted; 50 (17%) were rescued by adoption groups and 199 (67%) were euthanized. Jan thru May a total of 640 animals have been euthanized mainly due to overcrowding at the facility.

 APRIL AC RESULTS: In April a total of 229 animals were taken in, 71 (31%) of which were 'owner surrendered'. On the out Take side were 221 animals - 25 (11%) were adopted; 42 (19%) were rescued and 19 (9%) were returned to their owners. 135 (61%) were euthanized.

SSNA'S LOW COST SPAY NEUTER CLINIC SURPASSES 5,000 SPAY/NEUTER SURGERIES!!!:  Since opening last July, the SSNA Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic continues their success and helping to reduce our excess companion animal population problem in Sumner County. They have recently completed over 5,000 spay neuter surgeries and are still 'snipping away' on almost a daily basis. Through several grants they have been able to offer special spay/neuter programs to help subsidize surgeries or to target specific population problem areas (ferals, pit bulls, large breed dogs, etc). Our 'hats off' to SSNA President June McMahon for her tenacity in making the clinic a reality; to Program Director Sara Felmlee for her outstanding efforts in writing, persuing and obtaining numerous grant funding and to the rest of the 'crew and volunteers' who have made the clinic such a success, for truely 'making a difference'!!!!!!!

"HELPING PAWS" PROVIDES FREE PET FOOD:On 4/6, the's "Helping paws" crew picked up another approx 2,500 lbs of donated pet food for distribution to our local non-profit shelter/rescue groups. A portion of the food is also used to restock our three 'Pet Food Banks' in the county and will also be distributed at the Sumner County Food Bank distribution on April 17th, helping those who need a little assistance in feeding their pets to keep them at home. Thanks to Kroger Co for the food donation and to Winlectric of Millersville in providing transportation.

Our 'loading crew' pictured at the right is Patrict (Winlectric), Ronnie (Kroger Co) Nate and Laura (Clover for Rover) and Ken (friend and always willing to help) with a truckload of food for our furry friends.

On April 17th, "Helping Paws" distributed approximately 500 lbs of cat and dog food to recipients at the Sumner County Food Bank. For many, this is the only actual 'pet food' that their pets get ... normally just the scraps off the table.When passing out food I always ask if their pets are spay/neutered. Although many are very conscious of the need and have had their pets altered (many through special programs at the SSNA clinic) I'm always surprised at the amount that are still intact ... the reason?? Can't afford it!! If you would like to help out, make a donation to SSNA to their "Community Service" fund which provides assistance to those who can not afford even their very low S/N fees (more info, call the clinic at 452-2233)

SPA OFFERS LOW COST VACCINATIONS: Safe Place for animals recently received a $5,000 grant from the ASPCA to offer vaccinationsto the public at a reduced cost. Pets can receive their annual booster (5/1 parvo/distemper and also their rabies vaccinations for $4 each. The only requirement is that an appointment must be made in advance ... will not be available to 'walk in' appointments. At the time when scheduling the appointment you must tell the receptionist you want the specially priced vaccinations. For more information, or to make an appointment, please call SPA at 451-7342.

SSNA LOW-COST S/N CLINIC A SUCCESS!!  The SSNA Spay/Neuter Clinic is fast approaching their 5,000th surgery since opening in mid-September last year. In Feb alone they performed a record 743 surgeries!!!! They are making a major difference in our surplus animal population in Sumner County. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: To maintain the low S/N costs, SSNA is looking for volunteers to work in the clinic. If you have a couple of extra hours a week and would like to help a great cause (the animals!!!), give Sara a call at 452-2233.

SSNA MICROCHIP CLINIC HELD 3/31 - a total of 43 animals were microchipped by the clinic. This was the third microchip clinic they have held and plans are to hold one clinic every 3 months. Microchipping is the best way to permanently identify your pet through loss and the clinic price of $20 includes the chip registration ... can't beat the price!! If you haven't had your pet chipped yet, look for the next clinic to held in the late June/early July timeframe. 

ANIMAL MARCH/1QTR  STATS:   Animal control took in 223 animals during March ... of which 30% were 'owner surrendered'. 13% were adopted; 25% were rescued by shelter/rescue groups and 53% were euthanized. During the 1st Qtr 2012, a total of 727 animals were taken in ... 29% of these were 'owner surrendered'. 229 animals were rescued; 81 were adopted and 306 (42%) were euthanized.

OPERATION "HELPING PAWS" DISTRIBUTES PET FOOD: Donated pet food continues to help feed animals in our non-profit shelters/rescues and to restock our Emergency Pet Food Banks in the county. Many of our local markets also have 'donation barrels' in front of their checkout registers for donating food/supplies to specific shelters. Our shelter/rescue groups are non-profit and any food/materials donation, whether thru a donation barrel or just dropping off at a shelter, is always appreciated ... or take the easy way out and just write them a check!! ... all donations are 'tax deductable'. A donation to a local shelter is also a nice 'memorial tribute' in the name of a lost pet, either yours or a friend's.

Pictured at right are Laura and Nate with rescued pooch Kayla Bella from our Clover For Rover Rescue and Animal Sanctuary picking up a load of donated pet food. Their sanctuary, in addition to dogs and cats, include horses, cattle & pigs (one is housebroken and uses a litter box!). Have some extra hay you need to get rid of? They can use it!!

Since Oct 2011, thanks to the generosity of Kroger Company,'s "Helping Paws" program has distributed almost 50,000 lbs of pet food to the local non-profit shelter/rescues, 3 pet food banks within the county and also at the Sumner County monthly Food Bank. 

COUNTY/ANIMAL GROUPS MEET: On 2/22, Sheriff Weatherford/AC invited all the animal groups to meet with the county regarding 'animal control'. The meeting was actually conducted by county attorney Leah Dennen (Sheriff did not speak but did attend). Although several of the groups did compliment AC on the great job they are doing, some of the issues were discussed. The county is still concerned with 'liability' issues ("...slips, falls, ...") and indicated that the access to the Intake area (where strays and owner surrendered animals are housed) will be further restricted ... their current thoughts are to limit access to only one designated person from each rescue organization. They also stated that fewer people having access would reduce the 'stress' on the animals (huh?). The request to allow a certified euthanasia tech from one of the local animal groups to witness that proper euthasia methods are being used was adamantly denied. The low adoption rate (6% for 2011, only 5% since the new facility has been open) and euthanasia rate (71% for 2011, 73% since the new facility has been open) ... both going in the wrong direction (according to the 2011 numbers ... however the numbers for both January and February have been great!!), was brought up with no comments from the county, other than they are processing more animals than ever (number of animals are actually going down according to the AC published numbers). Several of the ideas discussed have been proposed before (forming a non-profit to benefit the AC animals, posting all animals on Pet Finder, separate quarantine area) and previously turned down by AC. The ongoing suggestion for a 'committee' comprised of members from the animal community and AC staff to address ongoing issues was once again requested.

End result: Not much accomplished but the county, when pressed to work with the animal groups, can now say "they have held a meeting with the animal groups". Politics.

SSNA MICROCHIP CLINIC - SATURDAY, MARCH 31st, 1pm-3pm. Microchipping your pet is the best permanent way of identifying ownership of your pet. Take advantage of this outstanding cheap opportunity to have your pet implanted with a microchip for only $20 which includes registration. The clinic will be held at SSNA's low cost spay neuter clinic, 1033 Union School Rd (part of the county animal control facility building). Call 452-2233 for more information

HORSE COGGINS CLINIC: The Gallatin Animal Hospital will be hosting a Coggins Clinic at the Gallatin Tractor Supply on March 3rd, 2-5pm. Coggins - $17 per horse; Microchip - $30 per horse; Health Certificate - $17 & $5 for ea add'l horse. Particpants (receipt req'd) will also get 10% off of all horse vaccinations in the next 6 months. For questions or more info, call the clinic at (615) 206-0145

RESCUE ANGELS!!! In January, Sara Felmlee (SSNA Clinic Director) and Jill Hart (Lifehouse Rescue & SSNA clinic employee)  rescued 100 animals from AC !! They have teamed with DeputyTammy Weatherford (AC Staff) to intercept new arrivals before they go to the kennel areas & transporting most of the rescues to a shelter out of the county ... in addition to saving lives they are reducing our Sumner County animal population. Great teamwork Ladies!!! Thank you!!!

ANIMAL CONTROL JANUARY STATS: January was a GREAT month!! According to their numbers, total intake was down to 223 with 'Owner Surrenders' dropping to 30% (was 48% in Dec!!). On the out take side, an outstanding 43% were rescued (see above "Rescue Angels"), 12% were reclaimed by their owners and the euthanasia rate dropped to 35% !!!!! 22 animals were adopted, higher than any month in 2011 except for December (28) ... but that was Christmas and also had some great PR coverage on the TV news with Sheriff Weatherford. Many "Thanks!!" to the Sara/Jill/Tammy efforts on the rescue efforts ... definitely made a difference!! 

ANIMAL CONTROL SHUTS DOWN VOLUNTEER PROGRAM: On January 17th, I was officially notified that "my volunteer services at animal control were no longer needed" ... fired for the first time in my life. I try to look on the positive side ... since at the time I was the 'only volunteer', they in effect 'disolved the volunteer program'. While our non-profit shelters heavily depend on their volunteer forces to help out, animal control, run by the Sheriff's Dept, has an endless supply of inmate labor to do the cleaning and to walk the animals. Over the 3 years that I volunteered I always kept an eye out for 'adoptable animal candidates', referring them to our non-profit shelters for possible rescue, sometimes assisting with their transport to their new shelter home. Four of our main adoption/rescue groups have been kind enough provide letters to designate me as one of their representatives to evaluate and pull animals on their behalf, which will give me access to the Intake area in accordance to AC's new 'access policy' (see article below). I still get to visit the Intake pooches and hopefully will get a few placed with the shelter/rescue groups ... hopefully. The letters are still pending approval .........

ANOTHER RESCUE ANGEL ...  Another 'recue angel' story: Ann McManus, while walking her two dogs at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin on 1/30, came accross a lady who had discovered 9 little puppies that had been 'dumped' ... the lady asked Ann to call 911 to have someone pick the pups up ... instead Ann quickly contacted the Safe Place for Animals (SPA) shelter who, in spite of being full, made room to take the pups in. Fortunately SPA's on-site veterinarian was working and gave the pups a checkover ... the runt of the litter was in the worst shape but after being given fluids and a heating pad bed, all are doing great. The runt? Now the feistiest of the pack!!! The pups, approx 5 weeks old, will soon be looking for a 'forever home' if you are looking for a new pet with 'puppy breath'.

The 'icing on the cake'??? Ann is now a volunteer at the SPA shelter!! Thanks Ann.

Regarding "Dumping of Pets": There is no excuse for this, especially puppies who can not fend for themselves ... I pity the person who did this, a pathetic person without a heart.

"BEAT THE HEAT" CAT SPAY SPECIAL!: For the month of February, the SSNA low-cost S/N clinic has a "Beat The Heat" special and will spay female cats for $20, which includes a rabies vacinnation!! Cats can start breeding at 5 months of age and can have up to 3 litters a year!! Our euthanasia rate for cats in 2011 at our county animal control was 91% ... we have waaaay too many cats! Save lives, prevent unwanted litters, spay and neuter your pets!! For more info on the special or to make an appointment, call the clinic at 452-2233. (Note: the "Beat The Heat" promotion is sponsored by PetSmart Charities ... Thank you PetSmart for supporting our animals!!)

 HOW MUCH DO THEY EAT???? How many pounds of food does it take in an average month to feed all of our sheltered animals in Sumner County?? Based on a survey of the shelters, 12,185 lbs!!!! Food is one of ther largest expenses and your donations are always appreciated!!

2011 ANIMAL NUMBERs: Following are the 2011 companion numbers for Sumner County, based on the input from the non-profit shelter/rescue groups and our county animal control:

1. ADOPTED: 1888 (563 cats, 1325 dogs) were adopted into new families.

2. Euthanized: 2430 (1482 cats, 948 dogs), mostly due to overcrowding at our animal control facility (yes, we still have a problem with 'too many animals') but also includes humane euthanasia due to injury, illness and aging.*

3. SPAY/NEUTERED: 4355 (2010 cats, 2345 dogs) *

4. RESCUED/ADOPTED & TRANSPORTED OUT OF COUNTY: 502 (12 cats,490 dogs) who are no longer residents of Sumner County.

* Altho a few of these were done at local veterinarian offices serving some of the non-profit shelters, the number does not include all that were done at veterinarian offices.

Based only on the above numbers from the shelter/rescues and AC, there are 7,287 (2+3+4) fewer animals breeding in Sumner County than in 2010. Add on to this figure S/Ns and euthanizations from the veterinarian offices and the total more than likely exceeds 10,000.

Does this impact out excess animal population? Definitely!! We are seeing a decline in the number of animals processed thru our AC system, over 1,000 fewer animals in 2011 than in 2009 (altho owner surrenders were slightly up, over 1,100 fewer strays were processed).

AC RESTRICTS ACCESS FOR VOLUNTEERS: On 1/12/12 I was formally covered on the following change in policy by Major Carl Edison, Sumner Sheriff's Dept (who runs our county AC):

"To reduce liability, in regards to bites and disease, volunteers will no longer be allowed in the Intake area and will limited to the Adoption area. The only people allowed in the Intake area will be inmate trustees, county employees and rescue organizations to evaluate and pull animals."

My questions/his answers: has any volunteers (there are only 3 of us) been bitten? No. Has anyone contracted a disease? No. How about if I sign a 'liability release/waiver' releasing the county from all liability (which I later remembered was a requirement when I started volunteering and is already on file)? No. Can you bring in more trustees to walk & exercise the animals? We will pass that suggestion up the line."

I respect their right to set the policy and will abide by it. BUT this policy in the best interests of the animals? No. The Intake area is where the 'owner surrendered', strays and occasional 'evidence' animals are kenneled. In cases of 'biters' or agressive animals, the kennels have always been properly marked as such. I have been volunteering at AC for 3 years and have never even come close to being bitten. It hasn't made me sick ... in fact volunteering there and working with the animals makes me feel better. I don't really care who walks the animals, as long as they get walked. Some are/were housebroken. A yard or house pet now confined to a small kennel area in a strange environment. The animals are stressed and need exercise, to go for a walk and to poop somewhere besides in their immediate living area, even if the majority of them will be euthanized. These are/were someone's pets who have become lost or been abandoned. They are not criminals, they have done nothing wrong. This is a 'shelter', not a jail. Bring in additional trustees to walk the dogs.

Also of a concern is the increasing "shroud of secrecy" regarding the Intake area. The public (taxpayers who paid for the 1.3 million dollar facility) are not allowed in. And now, not even the volunteers? I would think the Sheriff's Dept would be proud to show off the new facility we, the taxpayers, have paid for and who are paying their wages to work there. As a taxpayer, please feel free to ask for a guided tour of the Intake portion of the facility next time you visit ... just keep your fingers out of the kennels so you don't get bitten or come down with a disease. 

SUMNER COUNTY FOOD BANK - "HELPING PAWS":'s "Helping Paws" program distributed about 500 lbs of free pet food at the Sumner County Food Bank in January, where food are distributed every 3rd Tuesday of the month. In many cases (based on the recipient's comments) this is the only 'pet food' their animals get ,,, normally just table scraps. With the continuing support of Kroger, it is our intention to participate in the event, giving a 'helping paw' to those pet owners in need. "Thank you Kroger for helping us help the animals!"



 LUCKY FRIDAY 13th: On January 13th, another approximately 2,000+++ lbs of pet food was obtained through the "Helping Paws" program, donated by the Kroger Company. The food is distributed to several of our Sumner County non-profit animal shelter/rescues, used to restock 3 Emergency Pet Food Banks and to provide a "Helping Paw" to pet owner recipients of the Sumner County Food Bank. Thanks once again to  Winlectric/Millersville for helping with the transportation and to the Kroger Company for your continued support of our community!!

Pictured at right (L-R) is Ken Duncan (always a helping friend), Laura Meadows (Clover For Rover Rescue), Darrel Johnston ( and Roger Dabio (Winlectric of Millersville) standing in front of 3 fully loaded transport vehicles


DISCOUNT COUPONS FOR NEW ADOPTIONS - See Adoption Page for free or discount services offered on new pet adoptions.

SUMNERCOUNTYANIMALS.COM's "HELPING PAWS" PROGRAM DISTRIBUTES 13,000+ LBS OF DONATED PET FOOD: Through our newly established "Helping Paws" program, has distributed over 13,000 lbs of donated pet food during Nov-Dec, 2011, thanks to the generosity of Kroger and Nutro (via Sara Felmlee) companies. We have supplied food to our local non-profit shelter/rescue organizations, assisted in stocking our three pet food banks in the county and distributed over 1,500 lbs of pet food to pet owners through the Sumner County Food Bank distribution held on 12/20.  Pet food is one of the larger expenses in the shelters and supply is usually dependent on donations. Providing a "helping paw" to pet owners through the county Food Bank often makes a difference in the owners being able to nutritionally feed their pets and not abandon them or let them fend for themselves.

 In 2012 we are anticipating continuing the distributions, thanks to our donors, of a minimum of 4,000 lbs per month. Pictured at the right are two truck loads of donated food with volunteers (R-L) Ken Duncan, Lee Sanft and Joe Haley who helped with the loading/transport and unloading of the food. Thanks guys!! I would also like to thank Winlectric in Millersville who have donated a truck and driver to assist with the last two pickups ... your support of the animals is appreciated!!

 12/6: IN ADDITION TO THE HUMANE SOCIETY,  HAIRY MOOSE PET RETREAT & SAFE PLACE FOR ANIMALS SHELTERS PROVIDES EMERGENCY PET FOOD BANK: In addition to the Humane Society (Hendersonville), the Hairy Moose Pet Retreat (Gallatin) and Safe Place For Animals (Gallatin) are now offering Emergency Pet Food Bank services in Sumner County. For those needing some assistance in feeding their pets, which sometimes makes the difference in either 'keeping' or 'surrendering' the pet, please visit one of the food banks. Food is supplied on an "when available basis" so donations of both cat and dog food, also cat litter, is always appreciated.

SPA SHELTER OFFERS LOW-COST VETERINARY SERVICES: The safe place for Animals non-profit shelter is now offering low-cost veterinary services on a limited basis. The clinic is open Wednesdays, Fridays and a 1/2 day on Saturdays. For more information or for appts, call 451-7342.

 SSNA CLINIC REACHES 2,800+ SURGERIES !!!!: According to the SSNA staff, the Clinical Director, SSNA has completed over 2,800 surgeries since opening in mid-July! The low-cost clinic offers affordable spay/neutering, low cost vacinations and microchipping (at time of surgery only). Pictured at left is the SSNA staff with their 1,000th patient, "Shilo", from Cross plains

SSNA held their second microchipping clinic on Nov 5th and installed microchip identification in 57 animals. Plans are to hold the microchipping clinics on a quarterly basis. The Clinic is located at 1033 Union School Rd, Gallatin, in the new Sumner County animal control facility. For appointments, call 452-2233.

SPAY NEUTER COMMUNITY FUND- If you would like to make a donation to assist in subsidizing S/N costs for those needing assistance, please contact the clinic. SSNA is a 501.c3 and all donations are tax deductable.

Pricing of services at the clinic is as follows:  Cats - Spay $40, Neut $30; Dogs - Spay $55, Neut $45 ... all S/N prices includes rabies vaccination! At time of surgery the following vacinations and services will be available: DA2PPV, Bordatella & FVRCP - $7 ea; Heart worm test - $12; FIV/FeLV test - $18; microchip - $20. 

 SUMNER COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL STATS DECEMBER 2011: In December a total of 276 (147 dogs, 129 cats) were processed through the Sumner County Animal Control facility. A record amount, 48% OF THESE WERE OWNER SURRENDERED!!! On the Out Take side, the euthanasiarate was at 58%, much better than previous months. 28 animals were adsopted, also a great improvement over previous months and a 'high' record for the new facility which opened in June. Two events helped the adoptions: Christmas and Sheriff Weatherford and the AC operation being on the news regarding our surplus of animals. Yes, 'public relations' does pay off and hopefully we will see more efforts in 2012 to focus attention to the AC animals in a POSITIVE way!!

For the entire 2011 year a total of 3387 animals were processed through the facility, compared t 3496 in 2010 and 4411 in 2009. While 'owner surrenders' are basically the same amount in 2009, over 1,100 fewer 'strays' were processed. 38% of all animals taken in were 'owner surrendered; 16% of the Out Take side were rescued; 6% were adopted; 7% were 'returned to owner'. Even though a 1,000 fewer animals were processed in 2011 than in 2009, the number of animals euthanized were almost the same (2367 vs 2447) ... the euthanasia rate in 2011 was 71% compared to 58% in 2009 (due to the fewer animals processed). Still too many!!!! Sadly I don't see anyone within the county asking "Why" regarding the low adoption rates, high euth rates, low rescue rates and taking proactive steps to make improvement. Since January 2009, through December 2011, 11,294 animals have been taken in; 6919 have been euthanized.  

Why are we seeing decreased numbers of animals being processed (which is a good thing!)? Since Jan 2009 through Nov 2011, 2212 animals have been rescued from AC .... the majority have been transported 'out-of-state'; another 971 have been adopted and supposedly spay/neutered at time of adoption. Include the 4,000+ adopted animals from the non-profit shelters/rescues in Sumner County that were spay/neutered, add   6,767 euthanized animals and the  750+ animals transported for altering by the Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance's Free Transport program and the 2500 animals they have already altered in their new clinic,  that's over 17,000 animals that are no longer breeding in Sumner County. With the new SSNA low-cost clinic which will have a capacity of 6,000 surguries per year, the possibility exists that one day, there will be homes for all the animals. Hopefully. All of the above attribute to the lower counts (my opinion). Increased education on pet ownership responsibilities and an 'incentive' to have the pet altered will help. We still have an excess companion population in Sumner County.  One that continually needs to be addressed in a humane, proactive system.

NEW DOG BEDS FOR ANIMAL CONTROL: At the request of COSCAG (Coalition Of Sumner County Animal Groups) the Sumner County Sheriff's Division of Animal Control purchased new Kuranda beds for all the AC kennels. The beds were assembled and installed in the kennels on Nov 3rd. The beds provide a raised clean, dry resting place for the dogs off the concrete floors and improves the humane conditions and care of the animals. Pictured at the right is one of the pooches in the AC adoption center enjoying the comfort of their new beds. "Thanks" to Sheriff Sonny Weatherford and Sgt Sean Ryan for responding to the request and  their help in providing a healthier environment for the animals housed at the center.

"DAY FOR THE ANIMALS" EVENT A SUCCESS!!:  Thanks to our local Kroger Marketplace for hosting the "Day For The Animals" event on 11/12. The Kroger customers were very generous with their materials donations to our ... we collected and donated to the local non-profit shelters over 800 lbs of dog food, 160 lbs of cat food, 485 lbs of cat litter, 156 rolls of paper towels, 47 bottles of bleach, etc, etc, etc.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Cash donations of $213 made were in turn donated by to the SSNA S/N Community Assistance Fund to help subsidize S/N services for those needing a little help with the costs. SPA and the Humane Society also had adoptable animals on display and the SSNA held a Bake Sale in addition to their S/N information booth. "Another 'Good Day' for the animals!!"

HENDERSONVILLE DOG PARK ???: While recently attending the Humane Society's "Picking 4 Pets" (a great event!), I had the opportunity to speak with Steve Brown, an upcoming candidate for Mayor of Hendersonville. Steve is an animal person and supports many of the local animal activities. In our conversation, Steve mentioned that one of his priorities as the new Mayor  in providing services for residents would be to establish a much needed/desired "Dog Park" in Hendersonville!!!

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