Director shares the accomplishments, challenges and needs of animal shelter
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. – Before Monday night’s Montgomery County formal commission meeting, Montgomery County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) Director Dave Kaske shared the shelter’s 2022 annual report with County Commissioners.
As Clarksville, Montgomery County grows and changes, it affects the pets owned by residents. The current 7,000-square-foot MCACC facility experiences a lot of activity in our community, with their team members providing a multitude of services such as responding to animal-related emergencies, complaints, violations, microchipping, collaboration with local and regional animal welfare organizations, veterinarians, other municipal shelters, and local law enforcement, investigations of aggressive animals, bites, animal cruelty and welfare, adoptions, housing, microchipping, and disease control.
Challenges faced in 2022
Kaske shared that they experienced a drastic increase in animal intakes, up 22% from 2021, and service calls were up 32% since 2020. Due to increased intakes and lack of housing, their live release rate fell from 86% in 2021 to 80% in 2022. The lack of viable veterinary services for spaying/neutering adopted pets caused longer stays and increased costs. One of the greatest challenges is that the number of veterinarians that take vouchers from MCACC dropped from 10 in 2018 to two in 2022.
Increased activity from 2021 to 2022
· The shelter served 15,906 visitors, up 8.5%
· Service calls increased by 25%, with 7,130 service calls, an average of 27 calls per day
· Intakes increased by 22%, with 4,883 (14 animals per day) entering the shelter
· Owner surrenders increased by 6%, with 667 pet surrenders
· Adoptions increased by 13%, with 1,754 pets adopted
· 835 dogs were reclaimed or returned to their owners in the field
· 62 cats were reclaimed
· More than 47,000 rabies tags were issued by local veterinarian clinics
· 1,768 microchips implanted
Service call areas
· Eighty percent of all calls come from within the City of Clarksville
· Fourteen percent are in the unincorporated areas of Montgomery County
· Six percent are from Fort Campbell
Kaske explained the lack of available veterinary services is due to fewer clinics accepting vouchers and increased costs for the clinics to stay competitive. He also shared that changes to housing is a reason more people are bringing their pets to the shelter. Renters find themselves in a different situation when new individuals or corporate ownership no longer allows pets.
“We accomplished more than ever before in 2022. That would not be possible without my amazing staff members,” said Kaske.
The new shelter, to be built off Purple Heart Highway by early 2025, will offer more than 22,000 square feet of space and offer an in-house clinic for most of the veterinarian services currently outsourced.
“Our County’s Chief Engineer, Nick Powell, is working with Shelter Planners of America to get the best use out of the facility for our community and the animals we care for,” added Kaske.
“The work done by Dave and his team is often overlooked and unappreciated. They provide the best service possible with limited space and personnel and are truly concerned about the animals in their care. I’m thankful they will have relief with the new facility,” said Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden.
To view the full 33-page report, click mcgtn.org/animal-control/reports-and-statistics. More information about MCACC, including the list of adoptable animals, is at mcgtn.org/animal-control.
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