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PETWORKS announces $2 million in pledges

Matthew Lane • Mar 1, 2019 at 9:00 AM

KINGSPORT – Kingsport’s new animal adoption center is well on its way to becoming a reality.

It’s got a new name, a public fundraising campaign just kicked off and officials announced on Thursday more than $2 million has already been pledged towards the project, including a $1 million grant from the James and Laura Rogers Foundation.

“We are so excited to give our community’s pets – and people – the shelter they deserve,” said Tom Parham, president of PETWORKS – Kingsport Animal Services. “We have already received so much support for this project and we know the animal-loving community is as excited as we are for the construction of the new building.”

Parham and other PETWORKS officials announced on Thursday the launch of a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million for the construction of a new animal shelter and dog park. The 17,000 square foot facility will be built on a 3.5 acre site on Stone Drive, just east of Cleek Road between Clayton Homes and Kingsport Used Tires.

Construction is expected to begin in the second half of this year and wrap up in 2020.

MONEY RAISED

PETWORKS has already raised more than $2 million of the $3.5 million project total, including a $680,000 commitment from the City of Kingsport and a $1 million lead grant from The James & Laura Rogers Foundation.

Other significant grant commitments include the Kingsport Community Foundation (an affiliate of the East Tennessee Foundation), and the Randy Boyd Foundation.

“We’re indeed blessed to live in a community that has such a strong belief in sharing and giving,” said Jim Harlan with the KCF.

Speaking on behalf of the Rogers Foundation, Tammy Cottongim, Grant Chair, said, “we believe we should be good stewards of all we have been given, including the animals in our community. We hope others will join us in support of this fabulous project.”

SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES

Parham said the new shelter will address the significant challenges faced in the existing facility, allowing more pets to be saved and maintaining the organization’s “no kill” goal.

The current 30 year old facility was not built to animal shelter standards, and does not meet standards for proper care and disease management of animals housed. Parham said challenges include:

- Significant overcrowding

- Increase stress to the animals

- No dedicated medical clinic to perform exams and treatment

- Lack of sufficient airflow and filtration to prevent the spread of disease

- Lack of space to provide resources for customer and community education

- Inaccessible location

ABOUT THE NEW FACILITY

The new facility, named PETWORKS – The Good Steward Adoption Center, will address all of these challenges, Parham said, including:

- Best practice animal housing for animals in adoption, holding, isolation, and clinical areas

- Examination and clinical area that meet AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) standards

- Dedicated adoption spaces with quiet indoor adoption counseling and “get acquainted” areas suitable for adopter-pet-interactions in all weather

- Large multipurpose room for training, humane education courses, and public pet training classes

- Providing a 1.2 acre dog park adjacent to the facility.

“We’re doing incredible work despite the tremendous challenges our current facility presents,” Parham added. “Just imagine what we’ll be able to do for the pets and people in our community with an adoption center that meets our needs.”

If you’re interested in making a donation to the campaign, visit www.petworkstn.com. All gifts can be donated via cash, check, credit card, gifts of stock, and more by contacting PETWORKS, P O Box 7545, Kingsport TN 37664, or by calling Tom Parham at 423-360-8092.

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