Animal shelter fundraising can now begin in earnest

Matthew Lane • Aug 26, 2018 at 11:30 AM

KINGSPORT — There’s now an understanding between the Model City and PETWorks – Kingsport Animal Services. It has to do with money and the plan moving forward on the city’s new state-of-the-art animal shelter.

PETWorks, the nonprofit organization that oversees Kingsport’s animal shelter on Idle Hour Road, has been working for years on the creation of a new, larger adoption center, since the current facilities are inadequate and overcrowded.

Recently, with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Boyd Foundation, PETWorks has added a 1.2 acre dog park to the new shelter plans.

Now, the next step is for PETWorks to raise the necessary funds from the community to build the new shelter. With this understanding in place, that fundraising can now begin in earnest.


PETWorks is planning to build a 13,000-square-foot adoption center on property it owns on East Stone Drive. It’s a 3.5-acre site just east of Cleek Road — between Clayton Homes and Kingsport Used Tires.

Design work would take place next year, construction would begin in 2020 and the new facility would open in 2021.

Tom Parham, the president of PETWorks, said the new facility would have 94 dog kennels, a quarantine intake to prevent disease, a meet and greet area for adoptions, room to grow and an educational area for animal care and training. The estimated cost of the facility is $2.2 million.

“It does a lot of things just besides having the kennels, and this plan lets us expand to a regional plan,” Parham told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen last week.


Last week, the BMA approved a memorandum of understanding with PETWorks. Essentially Kingsport would provide $100,000 upfront for engineering and design work for the new facility and an additional $580,000 after July 1, 2019.

PETWorks aims to raise the remainder of the funds, some $1.4 million, from the community, businesses and foundations. This $680,000 is the same amount of money Kingsport had previously earmarked for the project when the city and county were working together on a joint facility.

A more formal agreement between Kingsport and PETWorks will likely be made in November.

“This (move) kicks off the fundraising campaign and I think contributions will happen fast,” Parham said. “We shouldn’t have a problem raising the money for the project.”

One example pointed out at last week’s meeting was the announcement that Dr. David and Erika Garrahan had made an unsolicited donation to PETWorks in the amount of $25,000.

“There’s other donors waiting on what (Kingsport) is going to do. They want to know that the city has skin in the game,” said Russ Adkins, vice president of PETWorks. “When we have your buy-in, we’ll go into active fundraising work.”