News

NOTICE

3/26/21 

PAWS Becomes a "Fear Free" Shelter - Advancing Lifesaving Efforts

Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) of Rutherford County, TN is committing to being a “fear free” shelter in an effort to continue to advanced methods to help save the lives of more pets, by reducing fear, stress and anxiety of pets in their care.

All PAWS shelter employees that primarily work with or around animals are now certified through the Fear Free Education Program and are actively using new skills daily. New employees as well as volunteers who seek to work with pets with advanced needs, will complete courses to become certified as they join the shelter.

“As soon as we learned about this program, we knew it was the right step to advancing our skills to create the safest and most comfortable experience for all animals, employees and volunteers,” says Director, Michael Gregory. “We jumped on it quickly and within a month and a half, all employees received their ‘fear free’ certification.”

The Fear Free Program includes courses about emotional health, recognizing how animals are feeling in the shelter, how animals learn, “fear free” animal handling and best practices for effective shelter communication. Shelter employees also completed “Intake and Admission” and “Housing and Environment” bonus courses. Many employees are already seeing the benefits to implementing the new skills.

“This program opened my eyes to the small signs that can easily be missed when identifying which pets are extremely stressed and in fear,” says Emily Burke, Animal Care Specialist. “I now focus on going slower with each pet, taking my time to try to make them more comfortable and approachable.”

Meredith Tarkington, Kennel Attendant, says, “The Fear Free Program has encouraged me to be actively observant of each pet and provide them a more comfortable journey throughout the shelter.”

Shelter employees also say that since the program, they have had better experiences handling all types of dogs and cats, especially feral and fearful kittens.

“The Fear Free Program has given me helpful tools to use when approaching and handling pets, both in the shelter and out in the field,” says Hunter Hemontolor, Animal Services Officer.

Additionally, PAWS has implemented new techniques such as placing treat buckets on doors of very fearful pets, using special signs and color systems to identify pets with fear, anxiety or stress, enhancing communication methods between the shelter team, introducing new cat condos and kennel barriers to make pets more comfortable and more.

The PAWS Vet Team is using simple items like peanut butter, spray cheese and pheromone sprays to encourage cats and dogs during activities that can cause distress, like transporting from one area to another or getting on a scale to be weighed.

PAWS is excited to put this knowledge to use, committing to continuing fear free practices at the shelter. PAWS encourages the community to join them in this initiative by considering taking the Fear Free Pet Owner courses, as well as donating items from the PAWS wish list that support the shelter’s “fear free” cause.

To learn more, visit fearfreepets.com or contact the shelter at 615-898-7740. Special updates on the steps PAWS is taking to be a “fear free” shelter, can also be found on the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page.

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1/16/21 

Normal Operation & Services Resume January 19

Normal operation and services resume at PAWS effective January 19.

  • Adoptions, reclaims & other front desk resources available in-person: Monday-Friday 12-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m.
  • Rabies & microchipping available by walk-in: Monday-Thursday 12-4 p.m., Friday 12-2 p.m.
  • Pet Resource Desk services available by appointment only, by calling: 615-907-DOGS (3647).
Please contact the shelter by phone at 615-898-7740 or email, paws@rutherfordcountytn.gov for questions. We are grateful for the community's continued patience during previous, temporary changes.

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1/11/2021

PAWS Continues to Be Open to Public By Appointment Only (Limited Services)

The public continues to be urged to contact the shelter by phone: 615-898-7740, or email: paws@rutherfordcountytn.gov, to make appointments for adoption and owner reclaims, as well as receive further information on current, available services. PAWS will also continue to provide updates concerning services and operations via the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page. Residents may also stay up to date on special conditions of PAWS and other Rutherford County Government departments via the County's website: www.rutherfordcountytn.gov/covid19. We appreciate the community's continued support and cooperation during this time. 

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12/22/2020

PAWS Open to Public By Appointment Only (Limited Services), Effective December 23

In accordance with Governor Lee’s Executive Order 70, County Offices have been encouraged by Mayor Bill Ketron to limit employees in the workplace without interrupting essential services. Therefore, effective December 23 through January 11, Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) of Rutherford County, TN will be open to the general public by appointment ONLY.

The following operations will be modified:

  • Pet adoptions and reclaims will be accepted via appointment only.
  • Spay and neuter appointments are postponed at this time, and owners will be contacted ASAP to reschedule. Residents may continue to submit spay/neuter applications by email, mail or fax. Instructions can be found via the PAWS website: (click here).
  • Rabies and microchip public services will be unavailable.
  • The Pet Resource Desk will be closed to the public - staff will continue to accept and return calls to provide resources and tips to those in need.
  • Animal Control Officers will be responding to high priority calls only at this time.

As PAWS is operating on limited staff at this time, residents are asked to contact the shelter for any inquiries by phone or email, before visiting the shelter. Please be advised that due to these changes, it is possible that PAWS will not be able to immediately take your call. Please leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, and a brief description of the reason for your call and we will return it as soon as possible. We will also be monitoring Facebook messages, but urgent concerns or questions should be directed to the shelter’s phone line.

Volunteer activities and community service programs are postponed until further notice. For the protection and well-being of our current volunteers, their activities will be postponed at this time; thus, staff will be working hard to ensure shelter pets still receive as much love and care as possible.

“PAWS appreciates the community’s cooperation and continued support during these temporary changes,” says Director Michael Gregory. “We continue to have pets that are in need of homes, and urge those interested in adopting to contact the shelter about adopting a pet.”

PAWS will continue to provide updates concerning services and operations via numerous community outlets, including the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page. Residents may also stay up to date on special conditions of PAWS and other Rutherford County Government departments via the County’s website: www.rutherfordcountytn.gov/covid19.

For any questions, please contact the shelter at 615-898-7740. 

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7/9/2020

Masks (or appropriate face coverings) Required When Visiting PAWS, Effective July 10

Effective July 10, it is required for all employees and volunteers, as well as all guests entering the PAWS building, to wear a face mask or appropriate face covering. This follows Mayor Ketron's released policy for all Rutherford County employees and general public entering Rutherford County Government buildings to wear a mask/face covering. 


Learn more.


5/19/20

Rutherford County PAWS Reopening to Public May 22, Continues to Encourage Social Distancing

Rutherford County Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) will reopen to the public beginning May 22. To continue to protect the health and safety of customers, employees and volunteers, PAWS continues to encourage guests to follow social distancing guidelines as much as possible when visiting the shelter.

“We sincerely thank the community for their patience and cooperation, as we have been working to begin operating as normal as possible,” said Director, Michael Gregory.

Appointments will no longer be available or required for adoptions, reclaims and rabies and microchip services. Normal shelter hours will resume, including:

To assist in limiting the number of guests in the building, PAWS will continue to offer adoption pre-applications over the phone.

At this time, volunteer and community service programs continue to be postponed; however, PAWS will resume scheduling its current volunteers to assist at the shelter. The number of volunteers entering the building will be limited, and volunteers will be instructed to practice social distancing and proper sanitation.

Additionally, PAWS continues to encourage residents to contact the shelter for any inquiries before visiting the shelter and recommends emailing and faxing spay and neuter applications and found pet forms if possible. If we are unable to immediately take your call, please leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, and a brief description of the reason for your call, and we will return it as soon as possible. Your patience is appreciated as we service guests and residents as quickly as possible.

PAWS will continue to provide updates concerning services and operations via numerous community outlets, including the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page. Residents may also stay up to date on any special conditions of PAWS and other Rutherford County Government departments via the County’s website: www.rutherfordcountytn.gov/covid19.

For any questions, please contact the shelter at 615-898-7740. View all current pets up for adoption, as well as found stray pets at: www.paws.rutherfordcountytn.gov.


4/16/2020

Rutherford County PAWS Re-modifying Operations to Move Towards Normal Operation (Limited Services Resuming, Effective May 1)


Rutherford County Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) is aiming to move towards normal operation, cautiously modifying services and programs to best serve residents, while continuing to protect the health and safety of customers, employees and volunteers.


“PAWS is taking steps towards operating as normal as possible,” said Director, Michael Gregory. “We greatly appreciate the community for their continued support and patience, as we do our best to continue to serve them during this crisis.”


The following will be in effect beginning May 1:


To help us maintain proper social distancing, residents are asked to continue to contact the shelter for any inquiries. Please be advised that due to these changes, it is possible that PAWS will not be able to immediately take your call. Leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, and a brief description of the reason for your call and we will return it as soon as possible. We will also be monitoring Facebook messages, but advise urgent concerns or questions be directed to the shelter’s phone line. We ask for patience as we service guests and residents as quickly as possible.


Additionally, to help find as many forever homes as possible during this unpredictable time, pet adoption fees continue to be waived until further notice. The general adoption process will still be conducted.

PAWS will continue to provide updates concerning services and operations via numerous community outlets, including the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page. Residents may also stay up to date on special conditions of PAWS and other Rutherford County Government departments via the County’s website: www.rutherfordcountytn.gov/covid19



3/24/2020, New Update 4/16/2020


In accordance with the Governor's Executive Order 22, Mayor Ketron announced that Rutherford County essential offices will be open with limited staffing, but closed to the general public beginning Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00 am, and now extended until further notice. Keep up to date with the County's COVID-19 notices here.

Rutherford County PAWS Closed to General Public Effective April 1

Effective April 1: To continue to protect the health and safety of customers, employees and volunteers, Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) of Rutherford County, TN will be closed to the general public, limiting current services provided.

The following will be altered:

As PAWS is operating on limited staff at this time, residents are asked to contact the shelter for any inquiries. Please be advised that due to these changes, it is possible that PAWS will not be able to immediately take your call. Leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, and a brief description of the reason for your call and we will return it as soon as possible. We will also be monitoring Facebook messages, but advise urgent concerns or questions be directed to the shelter’s phone line.

Volunteer and community service programs continue to be postponed until further notice. For the protection and well-being of our current volunteers, their activities will be postponed at this time; thus, staff will be working hard to ensure shelter pets still receive as much love and care as possible.

“We appreciate the continued patience and cooperation of the community during this time,” said Director, Michael Gregory. “PAWS continues to have pets that are in need of homes, and urge those interested in adopting to contact the shelter.”

To help find as many forever homes as possible during this unpredictable time, pet adoption fees continue to be waived until further notice. The general adoption process will still be conducted.

PAWS will continue to provide updates concerning services and operations via numerous community outlets, including the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page. Residents may also stay up to date on special conditions of PAWS and other Rutherford County Government departments via the County’s website: www.rutherfordcountytn.gov/covid19.


3/18/2020

Effective immediately: Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) of Rutherford County, TN is modifying its services and operations to protect residents, staff, and volunteers, while continuing to serve the community.

PAWS will be allowing eight guests in the facility at a time to accommodate those wishing to adopt or reclaim a pet. Adoptions and reclaims are available Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m, and Sundays from 12-4 p.m.. Currently, PAWS continues to offer rabies vaccination and microchip services during normal service hours. PAWS will be practicing social distancing of at least six feet and urges guests to do the same. Staff has been advised to kindly ask guests to keep within the six feet of space between staff and other guests.

“PAWS respectfully requests patience from our visitors as we move as quickly as possible to cycle everyone in and out the building,” said Director Michael Gregory.

Additionally, Animal Control Officers will be responding to high priority calls only at this time.

Residents with any other questions or concerns are asked to contact the shelter. Please be advised that due to these changes, it is possible that PAWS will not be able to immediately take your call. Leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, and a brief description of the reason for your call and we will return it as soon as possible. We will also be monitoring Facebook messages, but advise urgent concerns or questions be directed to the shelter’s phone line.

Volunteer and community service programs are postponed until further notice; however, PAWS will be working with its current volunteers to ensure shelter pets still receive as much love and care as possible. The number of volunteers entering the building will be limited, and volunteers will be advised to practice social distancing and proper sanitation.

To help find as many forever homes as possible during this unpredictable time, pet adoption fees are waived until further notice. The general adoption process will still be conducted.

PAWS will continue to provide updates concerning services and operations via numerous community outlets, including the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page.

“We thank everyone for their patience, cooperation, and continued support during this time,” said Gregory.

For any questions, please contact the shelter at 615-898-7740.