MADISONVILLE (WATE) – The Monroe County Animal Shelter is saying goodbye to 73 dogs. The animals are on their way to New Jersey.
The group of dogs are the largest number the shelter has transferred. They will become new additions to St. Huburt’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey.
The transfer provides the dogs a better opportunity at a second chance.
Liz Sneed has been an animal lover all her life, and she turned that love into her calling. It all started when she fostered her first dog, from the shelter she now runs.
“They’re everything,” Sneed said. “I don’t have kids so they’re my family. They’re not just animals. They’re my family.”
It’s a grueling task, taking in between 200 and 400 animals a month at the Monroe County Friends of Animals, founded in 2004, and operating the shelter on a small budget, half of which is funded by donations.
So when St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center of New Jersey called offering assistance, she welcomed the help. Together, the organizations will be giving 73 East Tennessee dogs a new beginning by sending them up north to find loving homes.
“Looking at some of those people who have been working with those dogs… they really have an attachment to them, especially their foster parents, and then to see them go, but it’s sort of like seeing a child go to college. They have their whole life ahead of them,” Keith Sanderson, Monroe County Friends of Animals volunteer, said.
Crews loaded up a large truck with dogs from Monroe and two other neighboring counties on Tuesday and sent them up on a nine hour trip up to New Jersey to a no-kill animal facility, where they will soon be available for adoption.
“It is life changing, because our shelter is small and space is always limited, so to move 38 dogs at one time, knowing all those 38 dogs are now safe, and are making room for others to come in, it’s life changing for those dogs,” Sneed said.
With the Monroe County shelter only able to find homes for about eight dogs each week, this opportunity gives many animals a second chance they might not have had otherwise.
“The beauty of this is that they’re taking larger dogs, not just puppies,” Claire Moxim, Monroe County Friends of Animals Publicity Director, said. “ A lot of the transports only take young dogs, which is really great, because those dogs can sit at our shelter for a really long time.”
Though Sneed admits that it is hard to see her dogs go, she said she finds comfort in knowing their best days lie ahead.
“I just love them and I want to see them have happy, forever homes, so it’s what I can do to help them,” Sneed said.