Record number of animals at Young Williams Animal Center

Center officials said they took in more animals this year than in the past five or six years.

Knoxville, Tenn. – The CEO of the Young Williams Animal Center said the center took in more animals this year than in the past five or six years. Last August, CEO Janet Testerman said the center had housed more than 1,100 animals.

“Young-Williams welcomes more than 10,000 animals a year,” Testerman said. “That being said, between 32 and 40 animals on average per day.”

Summer is the busiest season for the shelter, Testerman said, because it’s breeding season for many animals. Although it’s been a busy summer, this summer is especially busy for animal shelters across the country, she said.

“It’s an industry-wide conversation,” Testerman said. “Shelters across the country are experiencing an increase in admissions.”

Testerman said she thinks shelters are taking in so many animals because spaying and neutering services have come to a halt during the pandemic.

“It was really a period where there was an increase in reproduction,” Testerman said. “We had no neutering or neutering…That’s where we were able to really get to the heart of pet homelessness.”

She has advice for people who want to help. First, she said people can adopt pets if they are willing. If people want to make a shorter-term commitment, she said they can take in pets, and Young Williams will provide everything they need to care for the animal.

Finally, she said donations help. The animal center brings in over $6 million to operate. Approximately $2 million is funded by the City of Knoxville and Knox County.

Testerman said the good news is that people are still adopting pets.

“We had a record number of adoptions,” Testerman said. “It’s been really great to see the community pull together.”

Benjamin M. Yerger