Animal shelters in Northeast help relieve TN overcrowding - WSMV Channel 4

Animal shelters in Northeast help relieve TN overcrowding

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COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Animal advocates say many shelters across the Southeast are constantly full. But instead of putting those dogs down, pet owners up North are saving some southern dogs.

"We have a program with the Northeast Animal in Boston that we transport about 500 animals a year to that facility," said Kyle Peterson, owner of PETS, LLC.

Peterson is in the transport business, and his cargo is dogs rescued from high-rate kill shelters across Tennessee and the Southeast.

For the past decade, Peterson has transported rescue dogs from the South to the Northeast. These days, he and his team travel 6,500 miles a week with two trailers each full with 100 dogs.

"There are a lot of dogs in the rural South that end up in shelters. And there are a lot of people in the Northeast that want dogs," Peterson said.

Last year alone, PETS, LLC, took 6,000 dogs on a northbound trek.

Animal advocates say there is a way to solve the problem of overcrowding and unwanted pets. It involves education and legislation.

"Not only is it a lack of education in our communities. It is a lack of want in our legislation to solve the problems of over population, and of neglect and abuse for the pets of Tennessee," said Lacy McDonald, with All About Rescue and Fixin' Inc.

McDonald says pet over population is a problem across the state. But she believes current pet owners are key to the solution.

"Spay and neuter your pets," she said.

Peterson says there's another factor contributing to the pet over population: A lot of Tennessee counties don't have animal control officers or animal control facilities.

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