News

NOTICE

10/9/21 

Petco Love & PAWS Aim to Stop the Spread of Deadly Preventable Diseases Through Free Pet Vaccinations

As Part of Petco Love’s Initiative to Provide 1 Million Free Pet Vaccines, Rutherford County PAWS Will Distribute Free Pet Vaccines throughout October and November

Murfreesboro, TN – Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) of Rutherford County, TN will provide free pet vaccinations, including parvovirus and distemper (DAPPv) for dogs and panleukopenia (HCP) for cats, to any pet of owners in the local community and surrounding areas. The free vaccines are made possible through Petco Love's new national vaccination initiative, which is providing 1 million free pet vaccines to PAWS and other existing animal welfare partners, for family pets in need.

Parvovirus and distemper in dogs and panleukopenia in cats, are some of the most prevalent deadly diseases impacting pets that are preventable with a simple vaccine. An estimated 30% of pet parents do not take their pet to a veterinarian annually for preventative care. To address this critical need, PAWS and Petco Love are partnering to make pet vaccines free and accessible in an effort to ensure the health and wellness of our beloved pets.

PAWS aims to vaccinate 6,000 pets through this effort, including dogs and cats of pet owners enrolled in PAWS’ Free Spay & Neuter Program, if desired by their owner.

Free pet vaccine clinic details:

·        Any pet owner, 18 years of age or older, may bring their cat (9 weeks of age or older) and dogs (6 weeks of age or older) to receive parvovirus and distemper vaccine (DAPPv) for dogs and panleukopenia vaccine (HCP) for cats, during offered clinic dates. You do not have to be a Rutherford County resident to participate. All pet owners are welcome!

·       Clinic dates run October-November. The free pet vaccine clinic schedule can currently be viewed on the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page, but will soon be listed under "events" on the  paws.rutherfordcountytn.gov homepage. Vaccines are offered first-come, first-served while supplies last.

·        Owners of the pets must be present and complete a liability form and brief survey to receive the service.

·        For ease of service, upon arrival pet owners should check-in and complete paperwork before their pet(s) is administered the vaccines.

·        All cats and dogs must be confined securely on leash or in carrier (as an additional option, cats may also be placed in a pillowcase).

“Thanks to Petco Love, we can offer these important vaccines at no cost to pet owners,” said Michael Gregory from PAWS of Rutherford County. “We urge community members to take advantage of this free resource to ensure the health and wellness of our community’s pets.”

“It is heartbreaking when any pet suffers or dies from a disease that could have been prevented. Further, many unvaccinated pets come into busy shelter kennels, where these deadly diseases can spread quickly, hindering saving pet lives,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love President. “By creating greater awareness and making this crucial preventative care more accessible to pets not currently receiving these lifesaving vaccines, we aim to prevent the dangerous spread of disease.”

For more information about the free pet vaccine clinic, contact PAWS at 615-898-7740, visit paws.rutherfordcountytn.gov or the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page. To learn more about Petco Love’s lifesaving impact, visit PetcoLove.org.


PAWS Searches for Owner of Dog Rescued From East Fork of Stones River

P. Rutherford County, TN—Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) responded to the Mona Boat Ramp located on the East Fork of the Stones River Monday afternoon for reports of a possible missing person.

According to RCFR Captain Adam Rose, two men were tying down their boat, when they heard a dog barking and what they thought was a woman yelling for help. The two ran down to the bank and pulled the dog from the water, but did not see or hear anyone.

RCFR and RCSO searched the banks on foot, ran rescue boats up and down stream, used sonar in the immediate area, and flew the drone over the other boat ramps and nearby trails, but found no overturned boats or kayaks or any other indicators to warrant continuing the search.

“We certainly take any reports of a possible missing person very seriously,” said Captain Rose. “After an extensive search using various resources and techniques, we did not find any evidence that anyone was still in the area.”

Rutherford County Pet Adoption and Welfare Services (PAWS) was called to the scene to attend to the animal. The animal control officer (ACO) used a microchip scanner to determine that the dog, a Husky, was microchipped.

The ACO was then able to input the chip identification number into the system and found a name for the owner. Unfortunately, the information in the system had not been updated, and the initial owner had used a pet rescue to rehome the animal.

The current owner’s name was unavailable, but PAWS was able to get with the previous owner to find out more information.

PAWS spoke to the woman believed to be the current owner, but she notified them that she also sought to rehome the dog, named Kobalt and also known as “Boo Boo”, and he was currently being fostered. She advised that Kobalt’s foster family was a truck driver and his wife, and that the dog often traveled with him.

“We are now operating under the assumption that Kobalt somehow got separated from the truck driver and ended up on the banks of the Stones River,” said PAWS Director Michael Gregory. “Our personnel are attempting to connect all the dots so that he can be reunited with his fosters and ultimately adopted permanently into a caring and loving home.”

Kobalt, approximately seven years old, is currently at PAWS and doing well. “He is happy, playful, and healthy,” Gregory stated.

If you have any information leading to the reunification of Kobalt with his foster family, please contact Rutherford County PAWS at (615)-898-7740 or email [email protected]

PAWS also wants to remind pet owners or rescues to continually and consistently update data connected to microchips. “When information is not updated in the system, it makes finding the current owner a lot more difficult, and sometimes, impossible,” Gregory mentioned.

For more information about microchipping, please visit: paws.rutherfordcountytn.gov/microchipping.html.


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.


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, [email protected] for questions. We are grateful for the community's continued patience during previous, temporary changes.


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: [email protected], 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. 


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. 


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:

  • Adoptions, reclaims and front desk assistance – Monday-Friday, 12-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday, 12-4 p.m.
  • Rabies vaccinations and microchipping – Monday-Thursday, 12-4 p.m.; Friday, 12-2 p.m. (walk-ins only).
  • Pet Resource Desk – Pet surrenders by appointment only

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:

 

  • When necessary, guests will be permitted into the building, limiting 6 guests in the shelter at a time. Guests will be asked to maintain proper social distance of 6 feet, and staff is advised to enforce this measure. Guests are encouraged to wear masks to best protect themselves and others.

  • Pet adoption and owner reclaim appointments will continue to be offered. Guests who walk up will be assisted first come, first serve - appointments are highly recommended to reduce wait time.

  • Rabies and microchip services will be available. Guests who walk up will be serviced first come, first serve - we highly recommend making an appointment to reduce wait time.

  • Staff will begin contacting spay and neuter applicants to make appointments for their pet(s). Those whose appointments were previously postponed will be contacted first, and staff will continue to call and make appointments for those who apply, as soon as possible. Residents interested in applying are encouraged to do so by email or fax. Owners may visit the shelter to apply if needed; however, appointments will not be made in person at this time.

  • The Pet Resource Desk has already began accepting animals at the shelter by appointment only, and staff will continue to accept and return calls to provide further resources and tips to those in need.

  • Animal Control Officers will continue to respond to high priority calls and will begin to respond to additional calls as needed.

  • Volunteer and community service programs and activities remain postponed until further notice. Staff will continue to ensure shelter pets receive their walks, socialization time and as much love and care as possible.

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:

  • 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.

  • Rabies and microchip 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.

  • Additionally, 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. 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.