The search for more host families; Young-Williams Animal Center Reaches Critical Capacity

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) — It’s no surprise to the staff at Young-Williams Animal Center that it’s reaching critical capacity.

“Every kennel, every office space, every corner of this building is full of animals, if we can get them in there they are there,” said Chelcie Bowman, director of foster and rescue placements at Young. -Williams.

Indeed, late spring and early summer was often the time when kittens and puppies were born, which meant their business was booming.

“Everything seems to get better when it gets a little warmer, of course we are completely full of cats and kittens. Our kennels are full at the moment and we also have our pet rescue center which we host for people who are going through tough times,” Bowman said. “So it’s just it’s really crazy right now, so we definitely need adopters to bring these babies home, families of foster to prepare them for adoption and in-house volunteers to keep the madness going.”

The young Williams, to control the influx of animals, requested that more foster families come to temporarily take in some of these new animals, especially the kittens.

“So coming into a foster home, at least they feel a bit more of that home feeling and we learn a bit more about them, even if they go into a foster home for a few days, we get to learn how they are in a house, if they are house trained, how they are around people, if there are other animals, things like that,” Bowman said.

The Fosters were essential in controlling capacity issues like Young Williams currently has.

Huxley McCollum brought in her second foster kitten this year after he felt unwell, a benefit foster families receive.

“I mean, it’s a lot of work and you have to be on your feet all day and you can see their improvement by cheering them on when they come in like a frightened kitten and then when you leave them. They’re super soft and they purr, it’s a great feeling,” McCollum said.

Young-Williams pays for veterinary bills, training and other costs related to animal care.

Currently, there are 350 kittens in foster homes for YWAC, a welcome number as they care for nearly 800 at their Division Street facility alone.

For McCollum, foster care was a way for her to start a future career.

“I’ve always wanted to do veterinary medicine and I’ve loved animals since I was a baby and just wanted to get more involved,” McCollum said.

The Young-Williams Animal Center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

YWAC organizes a National Foster a Pet Open day June 25, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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