Clear the Shelters a success locally

Kimmey Goodson, Loudon County Friends of Animals founder, holds Prissy, a cat for adoption at Petsense.

Loudon County Friends of Animals and Loudon County Animal Shelter worked last month to place for adoption a glut of unwanted pets.

Both organizations participated in the NBC Clear the Shelters event to find homes for as many animals as possible.

Because so many shelters are having to use sites such as PetFinder and Adopt-a-Pet to schedule adoptions, last year’s one-day event became a month-long effort this year.

LCFOA, led by Kimmey Goodson, works with Monroe County Animal Shelter, Oak Ridge Animal Shelter and Blount County Animal Shelter to adopt adult cats. She takes senior cats from the shelters, fosters them in her home and puts them up for adoption at Petsense in Lenoir City.

LCFOA received $2,000 in donations to be matched by a program at greatergood.org that Goodson will divide among the three shelters she helps.

Goodson reported 57 adoptions in August, while she typically is involved in 40 a month. She uses four stacked cages to rotate out adoptable cats at Petsense.

“We’ve been really successful to stay even though the shelters are shut down to appointment only,” Goodson said. “We’ve still been able to get cats out of their shelters and over here and adopted, so we’ve been very lucky. Petsense has been a blessing. Most of our adopters come off PetFinder and Adopt-a-Pet to here. It’s not foot traffic as much. It was a great month.”

Goodson is a “godsend” for Blount County Animal Shelter, Jim Naelitz, BCAS director, said.

“She is instrumental with helping us place some of our harder-to-adopt cats,” Naelitz said. “It helps from the standpoint from them being in a shelter situation shorter amounts of time. With cats in a shelter situation, they get stressed out … being in a smaller kennel. What she facilitates with us and helps decrease that. The quicker we can get these cats into a stable home, the better it is for everybody.”

LCAS reported 66 total adoptions in August compared to the usual 40-50.

“We typically see adoptions kind of slow down when school starts back, because people are busy and that sort of thing, but they just kept right going,” April Kyle, rescue and events coordinator, said. “… Since the pandemic, we’ve been doing adoptions by appointment, and it’s really been a huge success. We were really concerned in the very beginning, was it going to work or not? But it’s working great. … It’s really been a great thing. We were really worried, but everything seems to be working out.”

The shelter has not learned about its total donations and matches through greatergood.org, Kyle said.