NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – County Road Animal Rescue in Waynesboro made an appointment to surrender eight strays to Nashville Human Association to be adopted out.
It’s about a two hour drive to Nashville, something County Road Animal Rescue volunteers make once to sometimes twice a week.
They say without Nashville Humane’s help…
“These dogs would probably be run over, or shot. A lot of people shoot them when they come on their properties,” said John Gregg, a County Road Animal Rescue Volunteer.
It’s busy like this many days at Nashville Humane Association, especially now because people are out of work and now need to surrender pets as they can no longer care for them, or Middle Tennessee shelters are overwhelmed due to underfunding or understaffing because COVID-19.
“We have shelters showing up to our door saying please help us so every day we take in anywhere between 20-30-40 and then we turn them out into foster, or they go into adoption,” said Executive Director Laura Chavarria.
The pandemic hasn’t been the only situation creating the need for Nashville Humane’s help.
“We had a tornado that led into COVID, um so we really had to think on our feet how do we provide support so we ramped up our food bank to provide more support for our humans in our community. We also started to do adoptions by appointment and curbside adoptions. And I can say we have done over a thousand adoptions since March. So usually annually we do anywhere between four-thousand and five thousand adoptions so to do a thousand when other places closed is astonishing,” said Chavarria.
Plus there’s been animals displaced from natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes. The Humane Society of the United States relies on its partnership with Nashville Humane to take impacted animals like these brought to Nashville in August during Hurricane Laura.
In fact, Nashville Humane’s helping hands regularly welcome animals from beyond its state borders.
“Mississippi regularly every two weeks, they have a lot of puppies, Alabama, a lot of the southern states. The furthest that we’ve transported is Puerto Rico which is part of the United States. That’s overseas, we have to fly them here,” said Chavarria.
“We are running faster and running harder since the pandemic,” said Chief Medical Officer Megan Anderson.
Nashville Humane’s medical staff, because of their expertise, have been handling more sterilizations, critical medical cases, to animals who need specialized care before being adopted out.
“We’ve had to come in and do emergency surgeries. We are still in situations where there are many drugs and many products that are on backorder, meaning they aren’t available now and we don’t know when they’re going to be available. Luckily in the veterinary world, we’re pretty good at McGyvering and so we’ve been able to do different things and think outside the box in order to make things work during this time,” said Anderson.
Also making things work during this busy time at Nashville Humane, volunteers like Cara Sutcliffe who foster animals.
“I think what’s touched me most about being a foster with the Nashville Humane Association is just how much every single one of them cares about these animals and about all of us who also care. and the network they’ve built to facilitate what they do. The Nashville Humane Association are heroes because they save lives every day, animals and I think there are people out there who have been saved because of their companion animal,” said foster volunteer Cara Sutcliffe.
“They are super heroes, they are fantastic. I love coming here every time I come here because they are so friendly, they’re happy to see you, they’re happy to get the dogs,” said Gregg.
“Wherever the community needs us and as long as we have the funds and means to do it we’re going to do it,” said Chavarria.