ROGERSVILLE — There will be a carnival-like atmosphere at the Hawkins County Humane Society on July 21, but stuffed animals won’t be given away as prizes.
These animals are real, they’re free, they’re looking for somebody to love, and there’s plenty to go around for everybody.
On July 21, the HCHS will host its first ever Summer Fun Bash featuring live music, children’s games, food, prizes and free adoptions.
The emphasis is on free adoptions because the shelter is well over capacity and isn’t accepting any new animals until its current population of approximately 200 dogs and cats is reduced.
The best chance of making a big dent in the shelter population will be next week’s event.
What’s happening at the Bash?
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the shelter grounds at 5180 Highway 11-W just east of Rogersville and will include live music, food trucks, inflatables for the kids, games, prizes and a watermelon eating contest.
It’s also a pet friendly event and will feature best trick and best dressed contests for the animals, with trophies being awarded to the winners.
Aside from the traditional bouncy inflatables for kids, there will also be an inflatable water slide to help youngsters beat the heat.
Adults who want to beat the heat can take a turn in the dunking booth and help raise money for the shelter by getting doused.
Entertainment will be provided by Kevin Buttry, who performs a mix of rock and country.
A wide variety of prizes will be raffled off including tickets to Dollywood, Wonder Works and for activities such as ziplining, indoor skydiving, gravity jumping and much more.
Food trucks that have reserved a spot so far include Patriot Wood Fired Pizza Co., Back Woods Barbecue and Shaved Ice.
How can you help the shelter?
The Summer Fun Bash will also be an opportunity to adopt a spayed or neutered dog or cat for free.
Animals that are not spayed or neutered can be adopted for a $30 deposit that will be returned with proof that the animal has been “fixed.”
HCHS manager Sandy Behnke said the shelter has about 125 cats and 75 dogs and is well over capacity.
“Some kennels have two and three dogs in each kennel,” Behnke said. “We are so over capacity right now, and we’re a no-kill shelter, so the only way we can decrease our population is through adoption. Yesterday a lady got upset with us because we couldn’t go pick up her strays, which we don’t do anyways. Then she’s like, ‘I’ll bring them to you,’ and I’m like, ‘We don’t have room.’ ”
She added, “I had to put a post on Facebook today. ‘Please understand we don’t euthanize our animals. We keep them here until they’re adopted.’ ”
Shelter needs more than just adoptions
Aside from adoption, the shelter also needs donations of pet food, cleaning supplies and bleach, as well as money to pay vet bills when a sick or injured animal comes in.
“We’re going through 65 pounds of dog food per day to feed our dogs, and we need donations,” Behnke said. “This shelter runs on donations.”
Everyone who attends the Summer Fun Bash is encouraged to bring a lawn chair, and if you bring a pet, make sure it is leashed.
The free adoption special is currently underway and ends when the Summer Fun Bash is over. For more information about the event, call the HCHS at (423) 272-6538.