Photo by Jan Runions|Claiborne Progress

The Claiborne Animal Shelter dedicated its new Dog Park earlier this year. The Park and Pet Cemetery remain open, as does the Shelter, despite rumors to the contrary.

Claiborne Animal Shelter to remain open

Rumors of the imminent closing of the Claiborne Animal Shelter are untrue. However, the shelter is experiencing intermittent staffing problems which administration says are in the process of being corrected, with the help of Claiborne sheriff Bobby Brooks.

The Claiborne Progress contacted the shelter late last week, to follow up on the unsubstantiated allegations that it would be closing its doors, in part, due to a lack of volunteers from the Claiborne County Jail inmate pool. Rumors circulated that the sheriff had stopped inmates from working at the facility due to the trafficking of illegal drugs that were allegedly brought back by the prisoner volunteers.

In a telephone interview over the weekend, sheriff Brooks confirmed that his office will continue to provide inmates.

“We had one suspected incident of drugs being brought back to the jail.I don’t have a problem with them continuing to volunteer at the shelter, as long as they are supervised,” said Brooks.

Rumors aside, the shelter is moving forward with renovations that include the revamping of former animal holding rooms, located in the front lobby. One of the rooms is being renovated as a visitation area for those looking to adopt a pet.

The second room will serve as a reception area to surrender pets for spay and neuter surgeries.

The late Ann Bowling, who worked alongside her late husband Glenn to establish the shelter, left monetary provisions to help keep the doors open. The budget is supplemented with regular donations of cash and items. Volunteers make up the work force, further helping to ensure that the facility remains a viable part of the county.

The shelter can always use donations of cash or gift certificates. Pet food, toys, leashes, collars and carriers are in demand. So are grooming tools like dog and cat shampoos, clippers, brushes and Q-tips.

Donations of cleaning items like bleach, Dawn dish soap, detergents, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, gloves and alcohol are always appreciated.

Also greatly needed are blankets, towels, heating pads and office supplies like printer paper and packing tape.

On the shelter wish list are firewood, a chest freezer and the hardware, posts, fence and railings to build chain link fencing.

The Claiborne Animal Shelter is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The shelter is located on Ritchie Road in New Tazewell.

For more information, or to offer assistance, call 423-626-2686.