Sevier County Humane Society building reopens after wildfires

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – People and businesses in Sevier County are continuing to move forward after the wildfires. That includes the Sevier County Humane Society.

For nearly four months, their gate was closed off to the public and the building sat empty. The night they evacuated 65 animals is still fresh on their minds.

“The power was out. The sirens in the building were going off. Just in the dark with a few flashlights, just a few staff members and volunteers were here just grabbing animals and throwing them in crates and putting them in any vehicle we had to get them out,” said shelter manager Michaela Sorey.

Previous story: Sevier County Humane Society one step closer to new location

After that they were at the fairgrounds housing the animals they already had and taking in hundreds displaced by the fires.

“Many came in injured or were burned,” Sorey said.

Most of those have been reunited with their owners or found new homes. Now the rest of them are moving back to their building after extensive work to get the building ready.

“The cleaning process has been very difficult. We were operating on a 24 hour basis for quite a while so the staffing was difficult,” Sorey said. “Cleaning constantly, walls, ceilings and floors, and Pro-Tech Heating and Cooling came and did all our air ducts and heat and air system which was a blessing for us.”

They moved all the animals back in Monday and were ready to open for business Tuesday, hoping for good things for the future of the humane society after months of trials.

“When we get them adopted into a new home or when we find their owner and we see the reunion of the pet and the owner and the bond there, it makes it all worth while,” Sorey said.

The humane society is also working to acquire the funding for a new building. They hope to begin construction within the year.

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