No more cats: Animal shelter, at capacity and short-staffed, halts cat drop-offs in Montgomery County

CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – With the Montgomery County Animal Care and Control shelter at maximum capacity and short-staffed, the shelter is temporarily ceasing all intakes of owner healthy-surrender cats/kittens, and healthy free-roaming/stray cats/ kittens.

The hold was implemented Thursday night and will remain in place until the animal population aligns with MCACC’s capacity for care, according to a news release from county Michelle Newell.

The break will give staff the time and resources to work with the animals already in the care of MCACC, assess their behavior, and match them with adopters and rescues. The $25 adoption fee has been waived for cats and kittens until further notice. Spay/neuter surgery, vaccines and microchip fees still apply, the release said.

“We currently have 140 cats/kittens in our care and we are experiencing the challenge of staffing shortages and capacity overload that is trending in shelters throughout the nation,” Director of Animal Care and Control Dave Kaske said in the release. “The conditions have created a physically and emotionally exhausting environment for our staff.”

The situation is made more complicated by the closure this spring of Cats Are Us. On Feb. 18, MCACC closed the nonprofit shelter and seized 94 cats, many of whom Kaske said were ill or in states of distress. Cats Are Us was one of the primary shelters for stray and unwanted cats in Clarksville.

MCACC recommends that anyone finding a healthy cat or kitten leave them where they are “because they are resilient animals able to forage and hunt for food.”

“If you find a litter of kittens with no mother, please leave them be. You may place a small bowl of water for them if you would like, but the mother is often nearby or off foraging for food. As always we strongly encourage anyone looking for a new furry family member to come down to the shelter and please adopt,” Kaske said.

Dogs and fireworks

During the Fourth of July weekend, MCACC gets inundated with calls about stray roaming dogs that have been frightened by fireworks.

“Please do your part to make sure your pets are secure this weekend,” the release said. “Check gates, fences, leashes, collars, etc. and make a safe space for your pet during this time. If MCACC also reaches capacity for dogs, a hold will be placed on taking stray and owner-surrender dogs.”

MCACC is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm

For animal-related emergencies Monday through Saturday between 8 am to 5 pm, call 931-648-5750. For animal-related emergencies outside normal business hours call 931-249-1304. Available animals can be viewed at MCACC online.

Correction: While the $25 adoption fee has been waved, spay/neuter surgery, vaccines and microchip fees still apply. The article has been updated.

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