AnimalShelter

Rebecca Troutt poses with a mural painted inside Trousdale County’s animal shelter. Troutt took over as the director of the facility last month.

Trousdale County’s animal shelter has a new director, who is hoping to see a new direction for the facility.

Rebecca Troutt took over as the facility’s director at the beginning of December and spoke with The Vidette about her vision for the shelter. Having spent 10 years as a veterinary technician, she said she was ready for a new challenge but still wanted to work with animals. Trousdale County’s job opening presented the perfect opportunity.

“I’m a 10-year tech, got burned out, and thought I would be able to contribute to this,” she said. “It’s started pretty well.”

The animal shelter, which is located next to the Convenience Center on Industrial Park Drive, is currently open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Troutt said she hopes to be able to expand to weekend hours if the county is able to hire a part-time assistant. That position is funded in the county’s current budget, per previous reports by the mayor’s office.

“As soon as that position is filled, we might have the ability to let people come in and look into adopting. Right now, we can only take in strays or surrenders by appointment,” Troutt said.

Troutt noted that the county does not currently have an animal control officer, who would be responsible for picking up loose dogs and bringing them to the facility, which is a no-kill shelter.

“We don’t pick up animals at large right now, but we are looking into that direction. If and when it happens is up in the air right now… There is a need. I get calls a lot about animals needing to be picked up.”

Troutt said she had short-term and long-term goals, starting with updating the intake procedure at the shelter.

“At this point we don’t really do a whole lot. We do a quick exam, do a five-day hold and then go for vaccines and spaying/neutering. I’d like to get those things done in house,” she said.

Troutt said she would like to see the building reworked to be able to separate dogs available for adoption from those in their five-day holding period as well.

“I’d like to see this area blocked off, for the comfort of the animal,” she said.

Finding a better site is among her long-term goals, Troutt said. She acknowledged that many people do not know where the animal shelter is located and being next to the Convenience Center tends to turn people off.

“There’s a negative connotation to, ‘Oh, it’s over by the dump.’ I understand why it’s here, but I’d love to see a more accessible direction to the animals and to the public,” she said.

Updates to the current building, including insulation and the HVAC unit, are among her short-term goals. She would like to add viewing areas where the public could see dogs available for adoption and a play area for the dogs currently on site.

“It’s good for their morale for the animals to be with each other,” she said.

Troutt is also working to promote the shelter and adoptable dogs on the shelter’s Facebook page, which is listed under Hartsville Trousdale Co. Animal Shelter.

Anyone interested in adopting a dog can apply by contacting the shelter at 615-680-4022 or by email at animalshelter@trousdalecountytn.gov. Applicants would fill out a form and pay a $125 fee. That fee covers having the dog vaccinated and spayed/neutered.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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