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July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

For more information,
Contact: Lauren Christ
Moxley Carmichael
(865) 544-0088


A $6,000 award from the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge helped Young-Williams Animal Center move a step closer in fulfilling its mission to reduce the pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering more animals.

As the official animal shelter for Knox County, all stray animals picked up by both City of Knoxville and Knox County Animal Control units are taken to Young-Williams Animal Center, and many of these pets are not spayed or neutered when they arrive. With the prize money from the Challenge, the veterinary team at Young-Williams performed a total of 108 spay and neuter surgeries on lost or stray animals that were then reunited with their owners.

“Spaying and neutering pets is the single most effective, most humane solution to help control pet overpopulation in East Tennessee,” said Young-Williams Animal Center CEO Jeff Ashin. “With this award, we were able to offer free spay and neuter services for lost pets who were reclaimed by their families. The prize money therefore helped us prevent 108 pets from potentially having unplanned litters of puppies and kittens for which there simply are not enough homes.”

The 108 altered pets included 86 dogs and 22 cats that were returned to their owners through the shelter’s Lost and Found Center. The impact of the free surgeries was especially meaningful for families reclaiming their pets, many of whom could not otherwise afford to get their pets altered. Ashin emphasized the importance of encouraging owner reclaims, in addition to spaying and neutering, in order to keep animals out of the shelter.

“Research shows that animals that wander from their homes are at high risk for producing unplanned litters,” said Ashin. “Additionally, spay or neuter surgery can often reduce the pet’s desire to roam and therefore decrease the chances of these animals coming through our doors again as strays. We appreciate the ASPCA and this award for helping us with the funding to address both issues for these pet owners.”

Young-Williams received the $6,000 award from the ASPCA last fall. In 2012, Young-Williams finished 2nd in the Southeast Division and 15th in the nation among the top 50 competing shelters by saving 523 more animals from August through October than during the same three-month period in 2011. During this time, the shelter placed a total of 1,735 homeless dogs and cats with loving families and owners through adoption, rescue group placements, and reclaim by owners.

With this accomplishment, Young-Williams earned a $5,000 grant for achieving the baseline goal to save at least 300 more animal lives during the contest months as well as a $1,000 award as a runner-up in the Challenge photo contest thanks to a picture of adopted dogs Opal and Sloth. The shelter also earned an additional $1,000 for participating in the 2012 Society of Animal Welfare Administrators annual conference to cover travel and attendance expenses.

If you have a lost pet or if you find a stray animal, you can contact Young-Williams Animal Center Lost and Found Department at 865-215-6665. If you are interested in spay and neuter services, contact Young-Williams Spay/Neuter Solutions at 865-215-6677.

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center, visit or check out Young-Williams Animal Center on Facebook.

About Young-Williams Animal Center

Young-Williams Animal Center reminds the community to please spay and neuter your pets.

The Young-Williams Animal Center is the official animal shelter for Knox County and the City of Knoxville. The center is a nonprofit organization, community-supported through public and private donations, that turns no animal away and is dedicated to the sheltering and placement of animals, general animal welfare, and public education of companion animal issues.

Young-Williams Animal Center is located off Sutherland Avenue at the entrance to John Tarleton Park at 3201 Division St. Young-Williams Animal Village is located at 6400 Kingston Pike adjacent to Deane Hill Drive. Both locations are open seven days a week from noon-6 p.m.

For more information about Young-Williams Animal Center, including detailed driving directions, call 865-215-6599 or visit