Surrendering Animals


We understand that sometimes it becomes necessary to give up your pet. We welcome all animals that must be relinquished.

No animal is turned away.

Please enter the Division Street location through the doors marked Animal Intake.
Be sure that dogs are on leashes and cats or other small animals are in carriers. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that personal belongings, such a toys and blankets, will stay with your pet.

Although there is no fee for Knox County residents to relinquish a pet, we will ask for a donation to help cover the cost of your pets care.  If you are bringing a pet from outside of Knox County, there is a $20.00 fee.

Please allow some extra time so we may gather information from you about your pet. Attached is a Pet Profile which will give us additional information about your pet. Please fill out prior to coming into the animal center, and bring it with you. This provides our staff with valuable information about your pet’s personality, interests, likes and dislikes.

Click HERE to download a PDF copy of our Pet Profile.

Young-Williams Animal Center is the only animal shelter in the Knoxville/Knox County area. We are a high-intake facility. Please consider all other options before surrendering your pet, and use us as your last resort.

Young-Williams Animal Center is not a no-kill shelter.

The animal you surrender may be euthanized.

We evaluate each animal on it’s health and behavior for our adoption program. Although we cannot guarantee placement for any animal, we were able to place more than 5500 animals into new homes last year.

If you have any questions concerning our intake process, please e-mail


…And why isn’t Young-Williams one of them?

NO ONE wants to see dogs or cats euthanized. That goes for us here at Young-Williams just as much as for animal caregivers at any other adoption shelter or rescue group. We all work hard to try to find homes for the many dogs and cats that are born in Knox County and our surrounding area every year.

So, what’s a “no-kill” shelter, and why isn’t Young-Williams one of them? Here’s why:

Most pet-adoption centers put restrictions on the number and kinds of animals they take in. Some groups accept only healthy, well-behaved dogs and cats. Some shelters have enough space to house their few healthy, adoptable animals indefinitely.

Young-Williams Animal Center has no restrictions. As the intake animal shelter for Knoxville and Knox County, we never turn away any unwanted animal, no matter what its condition may be. We treat all animals we receive with compassion and care, and we make every possible effort to find them loving, “forever” homes. This means keeping adoptable dogs and cats on our adoption floors as long as we possibly can.

But last year, we took in nearly 12,000 animals at our shelter. We had to euthanize more than 4,000 dogs and cats. We don’t have the space or resources to house every unwanted dog and cat in the area indefinitely — no facility does. And the sad fact is, many of those thousands of dogs and cats are too ill, too old, or too aggressive or dangerous to ever be adoptable. That’s when we have no choice but to humanely put the animal to sleep.

We believe that spaying and neutering all pets is the best way to fight our area’s animal overpopulation problem. Preventing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens in the first place reduces those huge numbers of unwanted dogs and cats that end up with us as their last place.

Spay and neuter your pets, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do so, too. For information on our low-cost spay/neuter programs, please click here.