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Ann’s Place opens in Union City; business going to the dogs (and cats)

Ann’s Place opens in Union City; business going to the dogs (and cats)

Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 8:55 pm
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

 By DONNA RYDER Messenger Associate Editor The economy is bad. So bad that some local residents can no longer take care of their pets. Several new tenants at Ann’s Place, the local animal shelter run by Ken-Tenn Humane Society, in Union City have come to stay there because of this. One dog was even shoved through the small opening between the gate and the fence recently, according to volunteers there. President Lois Birk said it was once unusual for the shelter to receive “desirable” dogs — those which were already housebroken, spayed or neutered and small. Today, such animals are being dropped off by owners who have had to make a decision about how their limited funds will be spent. The financial crunch presents another problem for the shelter. Many people who once readily made donations to animal shelters are also watching their funds. But it is a time when Ann’s Place needs donations to pay the bills and to buy food for the animals they shelter. President-elect Lyda Rice said they need the help of the community to make Ann’s Place successful, so that the care of neglected animals in the area doesn’t revert to a “dog pound” situation, which was the case before emergency circumstances brought the society to Union City. The Ken-Tenn Humane So-ciety has a good start. The late Ann Covington, who was a life-long resident of South Fulton, had an affection for animals. During her lifetime, she rescued and cared for hundreds of animals, according to Mrs. Birk. Before her death, Ms. Cov-ington began volunteering with the Ken-Tenn Humane Society. She saw the work the society performs in spaying and neutering the animals and finding them homes. She expressed a desire for Obion County to have an animal shelter and decided to leave her estate to the Ken-Tenn Humane Society, with the stipulation that the organization use it to build an animal shelter. Ms. Birk said her main stipulation was the shelter not be a “no-kill” shelter, since she ”did not want any animal to spend its life in a cage.” Ms. Covington’s estate consisted mainly of property in South Fulton, which the humane society will have to sell in order to have funds to build the shelter. And that brings the society’s volunteers back to the economy. It’s no time to try to sell a home. In the meantime, the society is depending on donations and a contract it recently signed with the City of Union City to house animals picked up by the Union City Police Department. The City of Union City has agreed to lease property on Fifth Street to the organization and pay the group a fee to house dogs up to five days. A fence has been erected around the property and kennels have been set up to house the dogs. Green Acres Homes donated a manufactured home to be used as the office and to house the society’s homeless cats. To help get the facility ready, McCloud Electric provided electrical assistance and a storage unit. Home Builders Mart donated floor covering and Hale’s Commercial Cleaning power washed the manufactured home. McCoy Heat & Air in Jackson donated a unit, which was hooked up using money donated by Celebrations by Shelia. In addition to the Union City facility, which has received numerous visitors looking to adopt animals, the society also has foster homes where animals are being placed while they await adoption. “It has been a struggle,” Mrs. Rice said, adding Ms. Birk was correct when she recently summed up that, because of the emergency situation in Union City, the society is operating a shelter before there is even a shelter. Mrs. Rice said it has been a “massive undertaking,” but there is now a sense of order with Elizabeth Myatt being named the shelter manager. “We also have wonderful volunteers that have worked tirelessly to get the shelter up and running,” she added. The society is in need of new members, more volunteers and financial aid. Volunteers who can help with the heavy work or some light carpenter jobs are needed, in addition to someone who could help with some of the office jobs and the record keeping. Donations of cleaning supplies, stall mats to go in the dog pens and cedar chips would be welcome. Ms. Myatt said the animals are kept on a special diet to keep their digestive tracts stable and the food is ordered in bulk. Monetary donations to purchase food would be greatly appreciated. And, of course, anyone who is hoping to adopt a dog or cat is encouraged to stop by and visit the loving animals who need homes. The shelter is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 3 until 5 p.m. when a volunteer is available. Saturday appointments may be made by calling 885-0260. The animals may also be viewed on petfinder.com. There is a $25 adoption fee to cover the cost of shots and to have the animal spayed or neutered. “Help us save their lives and you will have a friend for life,” Mrs. Rice said. Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 12.17.08

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