The Anderson County Operations Committee has endorsed setting up a task force to examine the possibility of an animal shelter in the county, a press release said.
That should be good news for Oak Ridge, where there has been at least some concern about the housing of animals from outside Oak Ridge at the city’s animal shelter and the costs of doing so.
“Anderson County has had a strong, long-standing relationship with the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter over the years and continues that solid, working partnership,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said in a press release. “However, as their shelter has moved more towards the housing and adoption of animals, the available contracted space for county animals has diminished.
“There have been two occasions where the Oak Ridge shelter was closed, and there are times of overcapacity in Oak Ridge when, fortunately, we were able to partner with the Roane County animal shelter to house animals. Simply put, there have been times when there is just no room.”
The press release said the idea of the task force to study a possible shelter in the county is due to “increasing needs and a changing environment.”
“We appreciate both officials in Oak Ridge as well as Roane County, but we also realize a long-term solution is needed for Anderson County,” Frank said. “In the short term, the county Budget Committee has authorized $25,000 for the construction of a small housing facility modeled after the facility operated by the City of Norris. This facility will serve to comply with state guidelines regarding minimum statutory holding requirements as a way to address some of the overcrowding in the Oak Ridge shelter and keep animals in Anderson County if a pet is lost.”
The Anderson County Commission will take up this recommendation at its regular meeting on Tuesday, February 17. It was on the agenda this past Monday night at a meeting of the Operations Committee.
Meanwhile, the press release said, animals picked up by Anderson County Animal Control officers will continue to be transported to either the Oak Ridge or Roane County facility.
Anderson County has two animal control officers, Brian Porter and Jimmy Miller.
Taking the lead on the Task Force are Frank and county commissioners Theresa Scott and Robin Biloski, who has devoted many hours to animal control in Anderson County in her position as county commissioner, the press release said. The Task Force will take shape over the next few weeks and anyone interested in submitting ideas or volunteering in the effort is encouraged to call Biloski, Frank, or Scott.