KINGSPORT — Adoption fees at the Blountville animal shelter have been changed from $40 to $80, the same price that's being charged at the Kingsport facility. Officials said the move was done for consistency within the organization.
However, due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the adoption fees at both shelters will be half-priced for the first two weeks of May.
Earlier this week, PETWORKS: Regional Animal Services changed the adoption fees at its Blountville location to $80 to match the fee at the Kingsport shelter. Alderman Tom Parham, president of the PETWORKS board, explained why the change had to take place.
Parham said since the two shelters are roughly 15 miles apart, people were bypassing Kingsport and going straight to Blountville, resulting in overcrowding at the other shelter.
“Both shelters have suffered in the past, depending on where the discount occurred,” Parham said. “The frequent use of discount fees has become expected, and many customers are delaying adoptions.”
The overuse of discounts has also resulted in a budget shortfall of more than $7,000 for the year, Parham said.
“It's a single organization, and we have to have consistency,” he said.
The $80 adoption fee covers the actual cost of initial shots and the spaying and neutering of the animal.
In a letter to the Times-News, Parham said PETWORKS is an organization that is responsible for two shelters and must make decisions that are in the best interest of all of the animals. Discount fees can still be offered, on occasion, but the adoption fee must be the same for both shelters.
PETWORKS will continue to pursue opportunities to offer reduced-cost adoptions and believes that can be done in a way that benefits both shelters equally.
On Wednesday, Parham announced that a generous, anonymous donor has come forward and agreed to cover half the adoption fees at both shelters from May 1-13.
“This lady stepped forward and put in a pretty good amount of money making this possible,” Parham said.
We are truly thankful for the generosity of friends who support both shelters, but those dollars must be used in the best interest of all,” Parham said in the letter. “The building of the new, consolidated shelter will significantly improve the care of the animals, greatly improve adoptions and will improve communications with customers and volunteers.”
PETWORKS is planning to kick off a $1.5 million fundraising effort by the first of May to finish out the funding for its new, consolidated animal shelter. The new pet adoption center will be located on a 3.5-acre site along East Stone Drive/Highway 11-W just east of Cleek Road between Clayton Homes and Kingsport Used Tires.
The new facility will be roughly 18,500 square feet and allow for a 40 to 50 percent increase in capacity as compared to the two existing shelters. The shelter will be able to accommodate more than 200 dogs and a like number of cats, with animal intake at one end of the building and pet adoptions at the other end.