GREENBRIER, Tenn. (WKRN) — Shelbie Humphrey is Greenbrier’s sole animal control officer, but thanks to an uptick in strays, she’s had even more work on her plate than usual lately.
“This (shelter) isn’t so complicated that one person can’t run it,” Humphrey said. “It’s just the weekends and holidays, being a mom and being able to designate that entire time to my family is really the struggle right now.”
Humphrey told News 2 she isn’t alone on every call, adding that other officers help her when requested.
However, the city is looking to hire a part-time employee to help Humphrey more. This job opening comes at a time when the shelter is busier than ever.
Recently, Humphrey has responded to more calls due to an increase in the number of stray cats and dogs. However, since the shelter is full — mainly with animals owners have surrendered — she often has to turn the loose animals away.
“I have nowhere here to keep anything that’s not absolutely aggressive,” Humphrey said. “If it’s a situation that is a danger to anyone around them, we’ll figure out a way to hold them, but right now, I’m having to turn away so many people who are trying to surrender their dogs.”
Humphrey told News 2 the fact that she’s forced to turn animals away may be contributing to the stray problem in Greenbrier.
She worries the problem will get worse after Christmas when people who received pets as presents decide they don’t want them anymore. According to the animal control officer, avoiding the urge to give four-legged gifts during the holidays, as well as spaying and neutering, could help solve a lot of these problems.
“I’ve had two litters in the last two days try to come in. Nine dogs, nine puppies,” Humphrey said. “If people would spay and neuter, that would be one dog you’re trying to owner surrender instead of 10 dogs, because all of us are being overwhelmed. The people that I’m trying to outsource to, that are trying to help me move dogs, they’re all overwhelmed.”
Right now, Greenbrier Animal Control doesn’t have the resources to spay and neuter the animals that come through its doors. Humphrey is searching for a group to help spay and neuter the dogs and cats at the shelter. To help, call the shelter at 615-643-1003.
If you’d like to volunteer or work at Greenbrier Animal Control, go to the Greenbrier City Hall at 790 West College Street and ask for an application.
Other ways to help the shelter include sharing its Facebook posts about found animals.