Editorial: PETWORKS’ new facility is worthy of your support

Editorial Board • Mar 18, 2019 at 1:57 PM

The culmination of a long struggle by a group of caring and dedicated people is in sight. You can help them complete their mission, which has been underway for decades, to provide the best possible care for cats and dogs needing homes in the greater Kingsport area in a clean, modern facility.

Kingsport’s new animal adoption center is close to becoming a reality. With $2 million already pledged, PETWORKS has launched its capital campaign to secure the remaining $1.5 million to build a 17,000-square-foot animal shelter and dog park on a 3.5-acre site on Stone Drive, just east of Cleek Road between Clayton Homes and Kingsport Used Tires.

“We are so excited to give our community’s pets — and people — the shelter they deserve,” said Tom Parham, president of PETWORKS — Kingsport Animal Services. “We have already received so much support for this project, and we know the animal-loving community is as excited as we are for the construction of the new building.”

With every confidence that the community will come through for our furry friends, construction is expected to begin in the second half of this year and wrap up in 2020.

PETWORKS has already raised more than half of the project’s financial needs, including a $680,000 commitment from the city of Kingsport and a $1 million lead grant from The James & Laura Rogers Foundation. Other significant grant commitments include the Kingsport Community Foundation (an affiliate of the East Tennessee Foundation) and the Randy Boyd Foundation.

“We’re indeed blessed to live in a community that has such a strong belief in sharing and giving,” said Jim Harlan with the Kingsport Community Foundation. Speaking on behalf of the Rogers Foundation, Tammy Cottongim, grant chair, said, “We believe we should be good stewards of all we have been given, including the animals in our community. We hope others will join us in support of this fabulous project.”

It’s been a long time coming, but Parham said the new shelter will address the significant challenges faced in the existing facility, allowing more pets to be saved and maintaining the organization’s “no kill” goal. The current 30-year-old facility was not built to animal shelter standards, and it does not meet standards for proper care and disease management of animals housed.

The new facility will address all challenges in the current center including overcrowded and stressed animals, lack of a medical clinic, insufficient airflow, and lack of space for customers. It will employ bestpractice animal housing with adoption, holding, isolation, examination and clinical areas, dedicated adoption spaces with quiet indoor adoption counseling and “get acquainted” areas. It will include an adjacent a 1.2-acre dog park.

If you love animals and want Kingsport to be a model in caring for those in need of help and a forever home, PETWORKS needs your strong support. We encourage your donation, which you can make by visiting petworkstn.com or mailing it to PETWORKS Regional Animal Services, 2141 Idle Hour Road, Kingsport, TN 37660. And Tom Parham is always interested in providing information at (423) 360-8092.

Parham has championed this project and worked on behalf of cats and dogs in the city and the region for decades. He would be embarrassed to be given any recognition for his outstanding service, but when this building opens as we are confident it will, we hope that an appropriate way is found to recognize him.