Young-Williams Animal Center equips Animal Control officers with tools to reunite lost pets and owners


Young-Williams Animal Center has equipped all Knox County and City of Knoxville Animal Control trucks with microchip scanners to help reunite lost pets and owners. The scanners were provided to Animal Control officers at a presentation at the shelter at 3201 Division St., on July 12.

Animal Control officers can use the scanners in the field to check lost and stray animals for a microchip. If a microchip is detected, officers can contact the owners and take the pet directly home.

Pictured from left: Knox County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officers Jevon Hinkley and Cpl. John Pitts; Young-Williams Animal Center Director of Shelter Operations Nichole Boudreau, CEO Janet Testerman and intake team member Christi Woodruff with a stray dog; and Knoxville Police Department Animal Control Officers Nick Powell and Keith Hogue.

“The ability to scan for microchips on-site will allow Animal Control officers to reunite lost pets with their owners much more quickly,” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “Not only does it expedite the safe return of these animals, it also prevents them from ever having to come to the shelter.

“This also allows us to more acutely dedicate our resources, including lost-and-found staff, intake procedures and shelter space, to animals who don’t have a microchip and need additional services and attention.”

Young-Williams Animal Center donated 15 microchip scanners, equipping all eight Knox County Animal Control trucks and seven City of Knoxville Animal Control trucks with the tools. The shelter purchased 11 scanners using the Petco Foundation life-saving grant and received four additional units from Mission Reunite, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to missing pet prevention and recovery.

Mission Reunite donated the scanners through its “Bring Them Home, Keep Them Home” program, of which Young-Williams was the first grant recipient.

“Having microchip scanners on our trucks is a win for everyone,” said Officer Keith Hogue, supervisor of the Knoxville Police Department Animal Control Unit. “This is a benefit for our officers who can more efficiently help return lost pets to owners; it reduces the strain on shelter resources where thousands of animals are brought annually; and it makes the process less stressful on the animals.

“This is why we recommend that every pet parent microchip each of their animals. It’s the identification tag that never falls off, and it can help us bring your beloved pet home to you more quickly. We’ve already experienced success in doing so thanks to these scanners.”

Any found animals suspected of being the victims of animal cruelty or neglect will continue to be taken directly to Young-Williams Animal Center for evaluation.

A microchip is a tiny radio-frequency identification chip embedded under an animal’s skin in a quick and painless procedure. The microchip stores a unique ID number that corresponds to the pet owner’s contact information on file with a microchip registry company. When a microchip scanner is passed over the skin of the pet, the scanner reads the chip’s unique ID code, the registry is called, and the registry company retrieves the pet owner’s contact information.

Young-Williams Animal Center provides discount microchipping to pet owners Monday-Friday from 1-5 p.m. at its 3201 Division St., location. The fee is $15, which includes microchip registration through Found Animals.

For more information, visit www.young-williams.org.

About Young-Williams Animal Center
The vision of Young-Williams Animal Center is “a home for every pet.” It is the municipal shelter of the City of Knoxville and Knox County, and in 2017, the center took in more than 10,000 animals.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Young-Williams Animal Center serves the needs of lost, unwanted, abandoned and neglected animals. The center’s mission is to lead the community to end pet homelessness, promote animal welfare and enhance the human-animal bond through the shelter and placement of animals, spay/neuter initiatives and public education of companion animal issues. Young-Williams Animal Center reminds pet owners to spay and neuter their pets.

Young-Williams Animal Center’s main facility is located off Sutherland Avenue at 3201 Division Street. Young-Williams Animal Village satellite adoption location and public spay/neuter program is located at 6400 Kingston Pike.

Both locations are open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The shelter closes from 1-2 p.m. for an hour of quiet time for the animals. For more information about Young-Williams Animal Center, call 865-215-6599 or visit young-williams.org.