Oak Ridge Animal Shelter, Animal Control taking extra safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic 

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (April 16, 2020) – The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter is taking extra measures to mitigate the short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by following guidelines recommended by the National Animal Control Association (NACA).

These measures include appropriately protecting animal control personnel to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, as well as working to manage and minimize the number of new animals entering our shelters.

Animal control officers are continuing to respond to emergency and high-priority calls, such as:

  • Law enforcement assistance
  • Aggressive, dangerous, injured, or sick stray animals
  • Cruelty and neglect complaints
  • Bite complaints

The response to non-emergency calls and low-priority activities are temporarily suspended. These include:

  • Non-aggressive stray animal pick-up
  • Leash law and licensing complaints
  • Barking and nuisance complaints

For non-aggressive stray or lost-and-found animals, animal control officers gather information about the animals to cross-reference with shelter records and other resources to help locate their owners.

The Animal Shelter is taking active measures to reduce non-essential shelter intake by returning pets in the field instead of impounding them, encouraging owners who are ill to keep their pets at home whenever possible and facilitating the fostering of intakes whenever possible.

Animal control officers clean and decontaminate every animal received at the shelter.

In addition, animal control officers are provided personal protective equipment (PPE) for cases requiring a response to a location with someone who is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19. Officers make every effort to avoid entering the home of anyone who is known to have been exposed to the virus.

Adoptions and non-emergency owner surrender intakes can be scheduled regularly by calling the shelter at (865) 425-3423.

For more information on changes and closures at all City of Oak Ridge facilities, visit OakRidgeTN.gov or click here.