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Adoption Specialist 865.215.6650


Adopting a pet is an important, lifelong decision. At Young-Williams, we strive to make the best match possible for each individual or family while not overburdening families with long, complicated processes.  

If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed on this page, please contact a member of our adoption team at or the Adoptions Manger, Kat Stone, at

How to Adopt: 

  • 1) CHECK ONLINE. Our website is always up to date with adoptable pet postings. If you see an animal you are interested in, please click on their photo for more information. Take note of what location the animal is being housed. If the location, states “Foster Care,” please complete an online application to be put in touch with the foster family about meeting the pet. The application does not obligate you to adopt, just expresses interest and puts you in touch with an adoption ambassador in foster. 

  • 2) VISIT OUR SHELTER. Once you identify some animals you are interested in, please come down to the appropriate location as soon as possible! We are open from 10am to 6pm, 7 days a week. We close from 1-2pm for quiet time daily. We work on a first come, first serve basis, meaning the first person physically present will be considered first. You can fill out an online application ahead of time, but this does not guarantee you will be first to meet the animal or approved for adoption. It will speed up your processing time if you do find an animal and decide to adopt. Please note that our adoption que may close early on high-volume adoption days in order to accommodate as many adopters as possible within our open hours. 

  • 3) FILL OUT AN APPLICATION. Each location has a copy of our application ready for you when you arrive! Please fill one out to visit with an animal. This brief questionnaire helps our adoption staff answer questions you may have or advise you on a best match. You may also just walk our adoption floor to browse the available pets without visiting with any particular one. 

  • 4) DISCUSS WITH AN ADOPTION SPECIALIST. We complete same-day adoptions. All animals adopted from Young-Williams will be spayed/neutered before they go home with an adopter.  You can “pre-adopt an animal if it is not yet spayed/neutered and pick it up after surgery. When you pre-adopt a pet, you will provide a $25 deposit and have an appointment scheduled to come back to pick up your new friend in a couple of days once surgery is completed. This deposit counts towards your adoption fee but is non-refundable in the event you change your mind or fail to show up for your appointment. This helps us prevent animals from unnecessarily lingering in the shelter. Find out more in our Pre-Adoption section. 

  • 5) DO A TRIAL RUN (OPTIONAL). If you are unsure on if you are ready to make a commitment same-day, we offer an Adoption Sleepover program where you can take adult dogs home for three days to see if you are ready for a life-long commitment. This program also requires a $25, non-refundable deposit that will count towards your adoption fee if you adopt. Find out more in our Adoption Sleepover section in the sidebar.  

  • 6) FINALIZE THE ADOPTION OF YOUR NEW PET To complete an adoption, you need to provide a form of ID to be able to sign our adoption contract. Our contract ensures you will provide proper care for the animal and have not been convicted of animal cruelty. Our adoption fees vary per species and age (see Adoption Fees section in the sidebar for more information). At the time of signing a contract, you may also be asked to sign disclaimers that are specific to the animal you are adopting regarding findings from our medical or behavior teams. You will be provided with a copy of our contract and a copy of any disclaimers you signed at time of adoption. We can provide a leash or cardboard carrier to help you get home if you do not already have one. We also provide a sample size of the food your new pet has been eating, as well as any current medications with instructions to administer them. There are many great offers included from our partners when you adopt, including a free trial of pet insurance and a free coupon book from Petco! Once you finalize your adoption, your new pet is officially yours! 

  • 7) GET POSTADOPTION SUPPORT IF NEEDED. Our team is always available to help with issues that arise post-adoption. If the animal is not a good fit for youwe allow adopters to return pets up to 30 days post-adoption and can provide a refund of the adoption fee if the animal is returned within two weeks of adoption. Refunds must be requested via email ( These two time periods can be extended if the adopter is actively communicating with staff and working through issues. Please reach out via email if you are having trouble post-adoption. 

What can you tell me about the pets at Young-Williams? 

We will always provide any information we have on a pet’s temperament and health status, but many of our animals come in as strays and have been in the shelter for a very brief amount of time. Behaviors seen inside the shelter can be unreliable. Even though we strive to make the shelter as much like home as possible, the shelter is a very loud and stressful place for a pet, so they may not always act like themselves. Also be sure to check out some of our animals available from foster homes! While each home is unique, our wonderful foster families can help provide perspective on how the animal usually behaves outside of the shelter. 

We encourage all members of the household come meet the pet prior to adoption, including children. Often times, pets are good with certain children, but not with others. In addition, if you are adopting a dog and would like to do a meet and greet with your resident dog(s) prior to adoption, our staff would be happy to help. For cats, our staff can help talk you through a proper slow introduction at home. 

After adoption, we recommend you visit a vet of your choice to do a thorough exam. Our shelter can only provide a brief exam in order to serve our average intake of over 9,000 animals a year. Any abnormalities discovered will be disclosed, but not all can be treated by Young-Williams. 


What is pre-adoption?

Young-Williams is the holding center for Knox City and Knox County animal control, so there are many animals in our care that are not yet ready for adoption, either because they have not yet completed their state required legal stray holding time (3 days without identification, 5 days with identification), or because they have not yet been examined or altered by a Young-Williams Animal Center (YWAC) veterinarian. Since many pets are never reclaimed by their owners, we allow animals to be pre-adopted. 

Pre-adoptions must be done in person at the shelter and will be canceled if an owner reclaims or anything else occurs preventing the pet from being adopted. To complete a pre-adoption, please come down to the main location (3201 Division Street) to meet with a staff member about pre-adoption. If you pre-adopt a pet, you will provide a $25 deposit and have an appointment scheduled to come back to pick up your new friend in a couple of days once surgery is completed. This deposit counts towards your adoption fee but is non-refundable in the event you change your mind, fail to show up for your appointment, or the pet is reclaimed. This helps us prevent animals from unnecessarily lingering in the shelter. The pre-adoption fee can remain as a credit on your account for up to two weeks. To view current stray animals, please visit the Intake/Lost and Found section of our website. 

Our goal at Young-Williams Animal Center is to find “forever” homes for all our adoptable animals! If you have any questions concerning adoptable animals or our adoption policies, please contact us at (865) 215-6650 or email 

If you adopted within the last 30 days and need assistance, please text our adoption team at (865) 740-9373! If it has been longer than 30 days, please reach out to our Pet Resource Center at (865) 363-6702 or email