TOP PHOTO: At Monday’s County Commission workshop, Campbell County Animal Shelter Director Patricia Sawinski warned commissioners that the shelter was “turning into a kill shelter.”

By Charlotte Underwood

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Animal Shelter Director Patricia Sawinski addressed the commission at Monday’s workshop saying the “shelter was in trouble.”

She reported high numbers of surrenders at the shelter and that the shelter has been inundated with dogs and cats during the last couple of months.

She warned commissioners that the shelter was “turning into a kill shelter.”

“The shelter has been on the struggle bus…in the month of September the shelter was caring for 431 animals. I’ve been a director here for eight years, and for the first time, I had to make a decision to euthanize animals for space. We euthanized healthy, adoptable animals because we needed the room to put additional animals,” Sawinski said emotionally as she addressed the commission.

She said the shelter was out of other options, because they did not have room.

She reported adoptions were up and 36 adoptions had taken place in September, but it was too little too late.

“When you have over 400 Animals, 36 being adopted doesn’t make much of a difference. We’re headed towards being a kill shelter. If we had a shelter the size of a football field, this county would fill it,” Sawinski said, adding that the problem was going to continue to happen unless some other solution could be found.

She told commissioners she was asking the community for support to help with this problem.

“It’s a nationwide problem, not just here.

Inflation is out of control. It’s costing more to feed animals, so they are surrendering them left and right,” Sawinski said.

She also said that other shelters the county had been able to send animals to were having similar issues themselves and “were not able to take animals from the south like they used to.”

She also asked for help getting the shelter building and grounds ready for state inspection.

“We have state inspection coming up. The county hasn’t mowed or taken care of the grounds in 15 months,” Sawinski said.

Commission chairman Johnny Bruce said this fell under the Building and Grounds committee and asked Commissioner Rusty Orick if he could work on that with her.

Sawinski also said the shelter needed extra freezer space for euthanized animals.

Scott Kitts said that he had visited the shelter and said its condition “was sad.”

Kitts asked if the facility would pass state inspection currently.  Sawinski said “not the way it is right now.”

“It’s a community problem. I’m just trying to fix it. We have too many animals, and we don’t have the resources to take care of them,” Sawinski said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/10/2023-6AM)

2 Replies to “Animal Shelter struggling with too many animals”


  2. Everyone can do something to help this shelter. That need supplies, food, blankets.. if you cannot physically help .. please donate.

    I am afraid if shelters do not get the community support they need nationwide that the USDA will be making the decisions and municipalities will be forced to comply.

    Listen to Oat folks. You are so lucky to have her. Look into tge faces if those poor animals who have no choice that they are there.

    I urge you to stand up Citizens of Campbell County. Please . This is a crisis!

Comments are closed.