Update on Kassidy, the pregnant Lab

In further assessing our options and the shelter’s obligations under state law, Young-Williams Animal Center today was able to place Kassidy with a local rescue group, Adopt a Golden Knoxville. Once her puppies are born and at the appropriate time, she will be spayed and the puppies will be altered when old enough.

We appreciate the concern from the community for this dog and her puppies, but we need to take a look at the broader issue here: We have a serious pet overpopulation issue in East Tennessee. Young-Williams Animal Center takes in more than 16,000 unwanted animals a year and has the difficult but necessary task of euthanizing up to 60% of these animals. That’s about 10,000 animals euthanized in Knox County every year.

We do not turn any animal away – as is the practice of some “no-kill” facilities. We’re dealing with the harsh reality that there are simply not enough homes for these animals.

The only humane, effective way to address this issue is to spay and neuter all companion animals. As a rule, no pet leaves our shelter without being spayed or neutered first. This policy is in place to work toward achieving our vision of decreasing the pet overpopulation and someday achieving a community where every animal has a loving home. But, we as a community have a lot of work to do.

It’s the policy of Young-Williams Animal Center – as with most animal shelters across the U.S. – to perform spay surgeries on dogs and cats when pregnant. Yes, this means that the puppies and kittens do not live. Yes, this is a hard fact for some people to accept. Yes, we wish that every animal had a loving home. But, until we as a community do a better job of decreasing the pet overpopulation, until more people spay and neuter their pets, until we have less owner surrenders of pets and more owner reclaims of stray animals, this is the harsh reality.

We need and are asking for the community’s support to work on these issues. Kassidy is one dog out of thousands of companion animals in need. We need every person in this community to spay and neuter their pets; we need the support of the community to adopt shelter animals; and for those who can help, we need your support through donations, volunteerism and adoption sponsorships.

Today we ask the community to honor Kassidy and the thousands of animals in need by realizing that we are far from celebration or victory and by taking a stand to help us combat the pet overpopulation issues in Knoxville.

About Young-Williams Animal Center
Young-Williams Animal Center reminds the community to please spay and neuter your pets.

The Young-Williams Animal Center is the official animal shelter for Knox County and the City of Knoxville. The center is a nonprofit organization, community-supported through public and private donations, that turns no animal away and is dedicated to the sheltering and placement of animals, general animal welfare, and public education of companion animal issues.