By Katie Lamb,
Freelance Writer

“Johnson County is one of the few counties in Tennessee that does not have an animal control system. Without such a system, county residents can only seek help from the Sheriff’s Department when they have an animal problem or rely on the Mountain City animal control officer, if time permit and in case of an emergency.
The Sheriff will respond when he can, but his department does not have the necessary training, manpower, and facilities to handle and secure neglected, abused, abandoned, and feral animals.” This quote from the Johnson County Humane Society (JCHSI) website clearly communicates the need for county Animal Control.
“For years, we have tried to get the county involved in the need for Animal Control,” said Johnson County Humane Society Chairman, Richard Dionne. “The County Commission continues to ignore the desperate situation to employ an Animal Control Officer.”
The situation persists even after the Humane Society has appeared before the Commission many times regarding this matter. The Humane Society presented a petition with over 900 names on it asking for a county animal control presence.
“The commission remains disinterested in the subject.” Dionne expresses his disappointment, “The commission does not want to hear or talk about the necessity of County Animal Control.”
Dionne says that Mountain City employs an Animal Control Officer, but there is no such position at this time for the county. “The only option for county residents and visitors is to call the Sheriff for animal-related issues. “And the Sheriff’s Department can only respond to threatening situations.
“JCHSI offers free shots for cats and dogs during Free Shot Day At The Park and has spent $200,000 of
JCHSI funds to do so,” says Dionne.
The JCHSI meets at the Johnson County Public Library at 4 pm on the second Tuesday of every month. To become a member of the JCHSI, please visit www.jchsi.org. For more information, phone 423-727-9286, write to P.O. Box 307 Mountain City, TN, 37683, send email to jchsigm@gmail.com or visit www.jchsi.org.