Blount County’s “human residents” aren’t the only ones to reap the advantages of living in a well-run county filled with visionary leaders.
Our “furry family members” highly benefit from it, too.
In 2007, a group of concerned Blount Countians created the Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation to handle the county’s lost and homeless pets. Months were spent on planning meetings with local county officials, but after all the concepts, paperwork and permits were filed, the momentum of a new County Animal was born.
From those efforts, two years later the all-volunteer non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization helped build and fund the Blount County Animal Center (BCAC) at 233 Currie Ave. (off East Broadway in Maryville).
Special areas within the animal care facility have been designed to enable human visitors to help pick the right animal to “rehome” or adopt for their own families. Inside the complex is a welcoming PetSafe adoption center with bright visiting rooms and spacious outdoor play yards.
Providing medical care, food supplies, spay/neuter programs and safe housing, BCAC now is averaging more than 2,000 animals annually saved. That adds up to more than 32,000 homeless pets in Blount County cared for and rehomed since BCAC and the Foundation formed its partnership.
Unfortunately, it’s estimated that only 1% of all cats and 18% of all dogs at the BCAC are ever reclaimed by their owners, who may not even know how to contact the animal center while looking for their lost pet.
Another sad fact is that some animals are just abandoned by owners who cannot care for them (or just don’t want them anymore).
Dr. Michelle Williams, DVM, prepares patient records for the newest admissions at the Blount County Animal Center. With an advanced surgical suite, a fulltime shelter veterinarian and two certfiied vet techs, the veterinary facility is a hallmark of lifesaving care for homeless animals.
Donations to Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation pay for all medical services, including an on-site veterinary staff. Each adopted animal is neutered or spayed in the modern Charles and Sue Fouche Surgical Suite. This serves two purposes: easing the new adoptive family’s financial burden, and helping to end local pet overpopulation.
BCAC also is proud of its innovative “Care-A-Van” Rescue and Transport program. This specially-outfitted vehicle transports animals to partners in northern states with a shortage of adoptable dogs and cats, such as New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, Minnesota, and New Jersey.
Through all its programs, BCAC has worked to become a “best practice” facility in facilitating warm and loving homes for “man’s (and woman’s)” best friends.
Diane Martin, President of Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation, loads toys for the monthly transport of homeless pets to their new forever homes in New York and Wisconsin. Happy day for these four legged travelers!