SMITH COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Animal shelters across the country are in crisis mode, and that includes many in Middle Tennessee.

Shelters everywhere say they are seeing higher intake numbers and very low adoptions, but what happens when the shelter exists? Where do the animals go? That’s always been the case in Smith County, where stray animals are sent to foster homes, but now, a small glimmer of hope in the form of a real building.

A former dog-training facility is for sale in Carthage, and Smith County Humane Society wants to buy it.

“It has been absolutely a whirlwind; $100,000 is a lot to raise,” said Shenia Pullum, the president of the Smith County Humane Society. This is a perfect facility for what we’re trying to do and I think it would benefit the community for decades and decades to come.”

The Smith County Humane Society is 100% volunteer based, with no funding and no actual shelter. The only funding they get is a yearly $1,500 donation from the City of Carthage. The animals’ only hope is a team of dedicated volunteers.

The City of Carthage does have animal control, but no facility, just a few outdoor holding pins with cardboard as cover. When a stray animal is picked up, they rely on fosters.

“I believe we’re over 50 or 60 animals in care and those are all at foster homes, and that’s a lot of fosters with multiple animals. So you’re limited, you do what you can but there is a need here,” Pullum said.

The need for a more permanent solution is only growing in Smith County.

“The current situation of animal crisis that is affecting us all across the state, the intake numbers are through the roof. People are dumping and abandoning animals because they have nowhere to take them. So they dump them on the street and then you have situations that come up in those animals where they are hurt,” Pullum said.

The deadline to purchase the building is fast approaching. They must raise $100,000 by the end of this week, or the owner of the building will officially put it up for sale to the public.

“We don’t intend to give up on a shelter because there’s no other option for this county. The county is not interested in doing it themselves and the public, the community needs it.”

To donate, click here. You can also donate through or Text “SCHSHELTER” to 53-555. Donations can also be made via Venmo: @smithcountyhumanetn or PayPal: @smithcountyhumane. Donors who wish to write a check can mail it to: Smith Co Humane PO Box 74 Carthage TN 37030 (mark shelter on the check for it to be matched).