Rutherford County PAWS Re-modifying Operations to Move Towards Normal Operation

Rutherford County Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) is aiming to move towards normal operation, cautiously modifying services and programs to best serve residents, while continuing to protect the health and safety of customers, employees and volunteers.

“PAWS is taking steps towards operating as normal as possible,” said Director, Michael Gregory. “We greatly appreciate the community for their continued support and patience, as we do our best to continue to serve them during this crisis.”

The following will be in effect beginning May 1:

  • When necessary, guests will be permitted into the building, limiting 6 guests in the shelter at a time. Guests will be asked to maintain proper social distance of 6 feet, and staff is advised to enforce this measure. Guests are encouraged to wear masks to best protect themselves and others.
  • Pet adoption and owner reclaim appointments will continue to be offered. Guests who walk up will be assisted first come, first serve – appointments are highly recommended to reduce wait time.
  • Rabies and microchip services will be available. Guests who walk up will be serviced first come, first serve – we highly recommend making an appointment to reduce wait time.
  • Staff will begin contacting spay and neuter applicants to make appointments for their pet(s). Those whose appointments were previously postponed will be contacted first, and staff will continue to call and make appointments for those who apply, as soon as possible. Residents interested in applying are encouraged to do so by email or fax. Owners may visit the shelter to apply if needed; however, appointments will not be made in person at this time.
  • The Pet Resource Desk has already began accepting animals at the shelter by appointment only, and staff will continue to accept and return calls to provide further resources and tips to those in need.
  • Animal Control Officers will continue to respond to high priority calls and will begin to respond to additional calls as needed.
  • Volunteer and community service programs and activities remain postponed until further notice. Staff will continue to ensure shelter pets receive their walks, socialization time and as much love and care as possible.

To help us maintain proper social distancing, residents are asked to continue to contact the shelter for any inquiries. Please be advised that due to these changes, it is possible that PAWS will not be able to immediately take your call. Leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, and a brief description of the reason for your call and we will return it as soon as possible. We will also be monitoring Facebook messages, but advise urgent concerns or questions be directed to the shelter’s phone line. We ask for patience as we service guests and residents as quickly as possible.

Additionally, to help find as many forever homes as possible during this unpredictable time, pet adoption fees continue to be waived until further notice. The general adoption process will still be conducted.

PAWS will continue to provide updates concerning services and operations via numerous community outlets, including the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page. Residents may also stay up to date on special conditions of PAWS and other Rutherford County Government departments via the County’s website:

For any questions, please contact the shelter at 615-898-7740. View all current pets up for adoption at:

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