KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Hooves and Feathers, a farm animal humane society in Knoxville, announced on Monday that it will start closing its doors for good.
According to a Facebook post by the group, the rescue organization is no longer sustainable.
“We always want to give all of our animals the best care possible, but it has become too big a financial challenge,” according to the post.
The group stopped accepting new animals from law enforcement on Friday.
According to the post, the closing process will take a long time because the group wants to make sure the animals will be in good hands.
“Our work and your support has ensured that 145 farm animals were able to find healing, love, and better situations. We will strive to be as transparent as possible in the coming days about the progress of our closure and dissolution,” the post said.
Stephanie Solomon, executive director of Hooves and Feathers, said the rescue relies on donations to operate.
The organization opened in May 2018. During it’s first fiscal year, Hooves and Feathers total operating cost was $94,970.
“Our biggest expense is always vet bills. Second biggest is feed,” Solomon said.
Hooves and Feathers rescues and rehabilitates any type of farm animal from Knox County and any breed of horse from across the state that law enforcement needs help with.
“Knox County and (Knoxville), they need us. These animals can’t go to Young Williams and these officers, they’re trying to do the right thing, but they have to have somewhere to take the animals,” Solomon said.
She said state law requires an animal to be taken away if the owner is being prosecuted for neglect or abuse.
Since January, Hooves and Feathers took in 67 animals.
Solomon said the cost for them to take in one animal could range from $125 to $500.
“All of our animals receive vet care when they first come in. They get evaluated and then we treat whatever’s wrong or whatever they need. A lot of times it’s re-feeding due to neglect,” Solomon said.
She said many of the animals stay at Hooves and Feathers for at least six months, depending on what condition they were rescued in and the type of animal.
Solomon said they have a hard time finding new homes for pigs.
“We can’t take in any more animals. We can’t continue on. We just don’t have enough donations. We don’t have enough money,” Solomon said.
Solomon said that, similar to any non-profit organization, it’s hard to know if Hooves and Feathers can stay open even if it got enough donations to get through the end of its lease in April.
She said their current goal is to rehabilitate and adopt the remaining animals before their lease ends.
Hooves and Feathers has at least 10 pigs, six equine (horse breeds), a goat and four ducks that need to be adopted.
She said that Hooves and Feathers is needed for the area, and she hoped they could get enough donations to keep them open for another year.
Solomon said they accept several types of donation, whether it’s money or food.
If you’d like to help Hooves and Feathers Farm Animal Rescue, click here to find ways to donate.