Dickson humane society to end role as county’s animal control

The Humane Society entered into a three-year pilot agreement with the county in 2019.
The Humane Society entered into a three-year pilot agreement with the county in 2019.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 5:23 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 7:40 AM CST
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DICKSON, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Humane Society of Dickson County will no longer be serving in an animal control capacity for Dickson County, the agency announced Thursday.

The agency will continue to serve and support the City of Dickson’s animal control operation, according to a news release.

The Humane Society entered into a three-year pilot agreement in 2019 to provide Dickson County and the City of Dickson with custodial, medical and animal adoption services, and complete care and responsibility for the animals that the governmental agencies took in.

“Our objective was to provide these extremely important and mutually beneficial animal welfare services on a contractual basis. Initial numbers of animals to be served were loose estimates that grew exponentially in years two and three,” the Humane Society of Dickson County said in a news release. “Our costs to provide these services increased substantially in the last two years and as a non-profit, we need to ensure that we are not supplementing county or city budgets at the expense of the greater animal community that we serve, as well as, even more importantly, the mission on which the HSDC was founded on.”

The Humane Society of Dickson County approached the city and county leadership in the third and fourth quarters of 2022 with revised fees for services provided, based on actual costs. HSDC said Dickson city leaders agreed with the service fee increases and paid the increase retroactively for 2022. The Dickson City Council voted to have HSDC continue to care for the animals in need with the Dickson city limits.

According to HSDC, the county decided to return to “warehousing” animals at the former HSDC site on Eno Road.

“HSDC leadership finds this extremely disappointing on many levels with quality of animal concerns, euthanasia policy for overcrowding and after hour coverages are our greatest concerns,” the agency said in a statement. “Regardless, as a non-profit, we are not in a financial position to provide services to Dickson County at a significant loss. The increase we asked for was to cover minimum costs associated with caring for an additional 575-plus county animals annually, many of which required more medical care, were less adoptable without significant, long-term socialization and training, all of which contributed toward long-term boarding and training expenses prior to adoption.”