Animal Care Center gets money for new home | News

SEVIERVILLE — Sevier County Commission has committed up to $2 million toward construction of a new home for Sevier Animal Care Center, in addition to purchasing the land for the facility.

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The county joined the cities of Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge in creating the service, and it is overseen by representatives of the local governments.

Sevier Animal Care Center was created in 2018, after local governments decided to take over a job that nonprofit agencies were trying to tackle.

Since then, it has been temporarily operating out of a converted car service garage on Dolly Parton Parkway. Local governments plan to build the new, permanent home for the agency on property the county acquired next to the Sevier County Fairgrounds on Old Knoxville Highway.

The cities have agreed to work together to provide up to $2 million, but officials also hope the animal care center can raise funds for the building to help offset the costs, which have been estimated at being up to $4 million.

The current facility is 3,900 square feet, but the new facility will be significantly bigger at 12,500 square feet.

The new facility will have a lot of features they couldn’t include in a temporary home, Director Ashley Thomas said.

“I’m really excited because we have visit rooms planned,” she said.

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Right now, they have a single room where people can spend time with dogs they are interested in adopting.

The plans for the new facility call for two visiting rooms for dogs and two for cats.

They will also have a “catio,” an enclosed outdoor areas where cats can lounge and get some sun and where visitors can have a seat and see how the cats interact with them.

“It’s kind of like a porch that’s screened, and people can go out and sit with the cats, see which ones come up,” Thomas said.

They plan to more than double the dog kennels and cat enclosures they currently have.

They will also have more offices, exam rooms and quarantine areas for animals to stay when they’re first brought in, she said.

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