KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Young-Williams Animal Center is at “crisis capacity” at their shelter and they need your help. The shelter is hoping that free adoptions starting this weekend will help bring their numbers back down.

“We have roughly 330 kennels and we have 432 animals right now in our care. We have another 313 in foster care,’ said CEO Janet Testerman.

She said they’re one of many animal shelters across the county that have been inundated with dogs and cats.

“We have seen in 2022, we took in over 11,000 animals and we are tracking to exceed 12,000 this year and that is a seven-year high for us,” said Testerman.

The influx comes from a handful of issues according to the shelter.

“Post COVID, you know in Knoxville and a lot of other communities people are experiencing housing crisis. So what’s causing a lot of people to move to look for other housing that might not be pet-friendly? There’s also a veterinarian, vet tech, vet assistant shortage around the country, so that is delaying spay and neuter services as well,” said Testerman.

Young Williams has 50 or more animals coming into their doors every day. This is why they’re offering free adoptions for all of their dogs and cats 6 months old or older.

“These animals are spayed and neutered, they’re vaccinated, they’re microchipped,” Testerman said. “So we want anyone who has ever considered adding to their family and adding to their family, then now is the time.”

Young Williams is expecting a lot of people at their centers this weekend. So they’re asking you to be patient if you are coming and want to adopt. 

Young Williams also needs fosters. We’re told they will provide all the supplies needed.

You can visit or visit in person at their two locations, 3201 Division St. or 6400 Kingston Pike.