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Monroe County Friends of Animals

December 1, 2018:

Shelter Updates:

In 2015 your MCFA board engaged a shelter design consultant to determine the necessary size and conceptual design for a new shelter. The key findings include:
  • Monroe County is overpopulated with dogs and cats, thus it could require a larger shelter to accommodate the need.
  • The present facility is undersized, allows for animals to be housed in partial outside conditions and many improvements are needed. An approximate building size would be 10,300 sq. ft. which could be done in two phases as money was recommended. The estimated cost at that time was over $2,000,000, excluding land.
  • In 2017, thanks to a donation MCFA purchased five acres of land in the Madisonville industrial Park to build a new shelter on. The County was receptive to this location for a new shelter.
MCFA has set aside approximately $350,000 from funds raised through gifts, Thrift Store operations and excess income over the past five years. In addition, MCFA has invested approximately $150,000 since 2013 in improving the facility conditions in the present shelter through donations and grants.

Recently, MCFA reassessed the previous findings and current shelter operations. This was necessitated by significant changes in intake levels and saved rate. These changes were good, intake decreasing from 3,200 in 2015 to 2,600 last year and the saved rate going from 70% to 83%.

Although the intake into the shelter is decreasing due in large part to public Spay and Neuter programs, animals are being kept longer to rehome more of them. Our best estimate, based on changing conditions from 2014 operations, is that a new building may need to be slightly larger and in a cost range that appears to be above the 2015 estimate. That evaluation is still underway and it is too preliminary to provide a range at this time.

Earlier this year your board established working teams for the various pieces of this effort and the progress of our planning has accelerated.

Where do we go from here?

This year the County elected a new Mayor and several Commissioners. We are working to cultivate a partnership with the new administration. I have met with the new Mayor, Mitch Ingram, and I am optimistic that he is receptive to developing this partnership.

We believe the County must recognize the need for a shelter replacement sometime in the future and have a desire to proactively address the issue. MCFA cannot do this in a vacuum by designing a new shelter, raising the funds; and then telling the County to use it. Neither MCFA nor the county can make this happen alone.

If the County has the desire to replace the shelter, it has options; it could consider a new expanded shelter, or purchase a site with an existing building and convert it to a shelter. We hope they will decide to build a new shelter on the site we purchased with their consultation in 2017.

Under either option, a shelter replacement will increase operating costs for which the County is responsible for, and must be budgeted for in their annual appropriations. This additional cost requirement will be competing with other needs in the County, such as operating a larger prison, which the administration will have to consider in developing its budgets.

Your board members understand the concern and frustration members, volunteers and other interested persons have expressed with the present facilities. This board, as well as prior boards has placed a high priority to finding the ways and means to replace the current facility. However, faced with limited resources and a desire to do what is best for the animals, creates complex challenges. Beginning in 2013 we have spent significant time and personal resources to address this situation. MCFA continues to stand ready to work in a partnership with the County to develop a long-term solution.

This partnership will include:

  • The development of a shelter replacement plan and design.
  • Creating a fund-raising campaign for construction.
The actual time frame cannot be determined at this time because it is dependent on what the county decides to do. Specifically, it must decide if it is ready to replace the present facility and enter into a productive partnership with MCFA. It may take two to five years before we see a facility replacement.

This is not a short-term process.

As we plan for a new shelter we will continue in our efforts to care for the innocent animals and find them homes. Our saved rate in 2009 was 47%; today, it is 84%.

That saved rate is a level that some consider a no-kill shelter operation. If that is correct, it is impressive, as it is a difficult challenge for public shelters to achieve.

We ask that if you want the stray and abandoned cats and dogs in Monroe County to continue to have improved opportunities for better lives, you continue to support us in our mission to find solutions to funding both the construction and funding of an alternative animal shelter.

We appreciate and thank you for your continuing interest in this important topic as well as your volunteer and financial contributions that help to make MCFA and the shelter successful in achieving such a high saved rate. Periodically, we will update you on our progress in cultivating a new partnership with the County.

February 3, 2018:

Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones and his K9 Squad deputies and dogs provided a demonstration on of the prowess of the dogs in detecting drugs and the tracking and apprehension of suspects. The demonstrations were given at the Monroe County Animal Shelter in order to raise public awareness of what the Sheriff's department is doing to fight the opioid epidemic and to raise awareness of the fine dogs and cats at the shelter that are available able for adoption. Sheriff Jones also spoke to attendees about the high correlation between those who abuse cats and dogs and who eventually abuse and hurt humans. He pointed out because of that correlation it is important to report those who abuse and torture animals.
In a dramatic demonstration, Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones plays a suspected criminal as one of his department's K9 dogs demonstrates what happens to bad guys who try to run.

Click here to see a brief video of the demonstration: Video

July 17, 2017:
May 19, 2017:

Max A Pooch to make greenbacks
magically appear in a pail
at "Faces of Rescue Gala"

TELLICO VILLAGE, Tenn. - April 24, 2017 - "We're pleased Max A Pooch will be at our upcoming Gala for the Monroe County Friends of Animals," said Susan Kimball, Chair for the event which will be held May 19 from 6:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. at the Tellico Village Yacht Club.

For full story go to

April 15, 2017:
Deb Moore and Susan Kimball were guests of Claire Moxim on the most recent episode of Pets and Their People. By the way Pets and Their People is one of the most viewed programs on Tellico Village Broadcasting.

Deb discussed many of the facets of what the volunteers MCFA do and Susan discussed the upcoming Gala. You can watch the program on line by clicking this link

March 26, 2017:
In the latest episode of Pets and Their People Claire Moxim interviewed the director and communications associate as guests. Since their founding they have rescued more than 900 horses, and they handle about 60 horses at their equivalent to a shelter.

They have about 90 volunteers, are self funded including their stable and pastures, and take no government money. It is interesting to learn how other animal advocacy groups operate. You can watch the film at

February 28, 2017:
Monroe County, TN Mayor's Proclamation reveals dramatic news:
Spay Day Proclamation signed by Monroe County Mayor Tim Yates
reveals some incredible statistics
showing reduction of unwanted puppies and kittens in the county.

Click HERE to read the letter

Spring, 2017 Video:
New Tellico Village Broadcasting Series:
        > Pets and Their People News Story
        > Video

Read all about it:
Pirate Pines for Popcorn (a dog-napping story)

Fall, 2016 Videos:
Tellico Village Naturally Dogs:
Part I
Part II

TV ad ran in Fall, 2016 on Channel 8:
Sponsor a Rescue ... Lucky Dog Show


The cast includes one-time homeless dogs and a cat helping their homeless buddies.
Watch the ad then make a donation and help Monroe County Friends of Animals help
homeless dogs and cats get a second chance.
(Please select a cat or a dog with your donation.)
There's an animal in jeopardy
that you can rescue
$25 Donation
"Lucky Dog!"
Additional or Recurring Donation
"Lucky Dog!"


Monroe County Friends of Animals | P.O. Box 106 | Vonore, TN 37885
(423) 442-1015

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