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Bridge Home says enough is enough when it comes to abandoned animals

Staff • Updated May 23, 2018 at 1:02 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Bridge Home No Kill Animal Rescue is taking steps to stop people from illegally dumping animals at the shelter, Director Regina Isenberg told county officials this week.

Dump and drive off

The no-kill shelter has had a problem with animal dumping for a while, and Isenberg told the Times News that she has to take action.

“We can’t take in every animal. We are not tax supported. Sullivan County and Kingsport don’t give us a penny,” Isenberg said. “The other shelters in the county are supported with tax dollars.”

Bridge Home is a nonprofit shelter that is privately funded and operated. People from throughout the region bring animals to Bridge Home, and Isenberg said, “we taken them in, if we have the room.”

Then the animals receive veterinary care through Bridge Home, including spaying or neutering. Sometimes that vet care is extremely expensive, as in knee surgery, which Bridge Home recently got for one of the dogs at the shelter.

Five abandoned cats

Isenberg stressed there is a limit to what Bridge Home can do with its limited space and limited resources. She cited a recent incident where some people asked the shelter to take in five cats, but shelter officials said Bridge Home was full at that time and had no room for the cats.

The people were advised to take the animals to the Sullivan County Animal Shelter. However, according to Isenberg, the people left the cats in Bridge Home’s parking lot and drove off.

“It’s against the law to dump animals like that, and we are going to prosecute,” said Isenberg, who noted that shelter employees were able to get the license tag from the car as it drove off. Shelter officials have been in contact with authorities on pressing charges against the individual who left the cats.

Isenberg also said shelter officials will soon install exterior surveillance cameras to help in their battle to stop the illegal dumping.

The five cats have since been taken to the Sullivan County Animal Shelter.

Making a plea to county officials

Isenberg, who spoke to county commissioners at their meeting Monday, said Sullivan County needs better animal services.

“We’re working very hard for the animals, but we can’t take in every dog and every cat,” she told the Times News.

You can help too

Bridge Home officials are grateful for any volunteer help or donations of money and materials for the shelter. Donations of pet food, puppy pads, clumping cat litter and other materials an animal shelter needs are always appreciated, Isenberg said.

Tax-deductible donations are always welcome and can be mailed to Bridge Home Animal Rescue at P.O. Box 654, Blountville, TN 37617. For more information on other ways you can help Bridge Home, call (423) 239-5237.

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