Thousands of Pets Put Down Last Year

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Knoxville (WVLT) - 12,090. That is the number of animals that were euthanized last year at Young-Williams Animal Shelter.

That's the highest number since the center opened six years ago.

But, you can help change this.

With a serious pet overpopulation in the area, shelters can't stress the importance of spay and neuter enough.

At two pounds and eight weeks of age, your pet can be fixed.

And by making that move, you're doing your part to help control the pet population.

"Euthanasia is a part of the process here because there's no other choice. We want to get this community to the point where there's a choice," says Tim Adams, from the Young Williams Animal Center.

Folks at Young Williams Animal Shelter hope you'll choose spaying and neutering.

"Fix them and vaccinate them," Sommer Farmer is taking Hazel home.

"There's no room out on the streets," she says. "If someone don't take 'em, who is? You gotta give them a fightin' chance."

The statistics are alarming. In 2004, Young Williams had to euthanized 10,848 animals. The next year, that number rose to 11,546. But this past year, the shelter hit an all-time high, euthanizing 12,090.

"That's just the stark reality of what goes on in Knox County. The only way to make that better, the only way to stop it, is for more and more people to spay and neuter their pets," Adams says.

And once spring hits, you'll see more puppies and kittens, that's when the shelter's 450 to 500 capacity will max out.

"There will not be space on any given day and so animals will have to be euthanized. The only way to slow that down is to slow down the number of births that are going on in the community... and the only way to do that is spay and neuter," Adams says.

Adoption helps too, "The quicker we can adopt them out, the quicker we can get more from the back and get them on the adoption floors and adopt them out. That way, the number of animals that has to be euthenized goes down and we're doing more for the public."

The Young Williams shelter is expanding their business into your neighborhood. This spring, they'll start using a new mobile spay and neuter clinic. With it, they hope to travel the area performing at least 25 surgeries a day.

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