News Flash


Posted on: March 30, 2020

Updated 5/14 COVID-19 and Pets + May Rabies Clinic Date

Ondrea Johnson - Director

COVID-19 and Pets


The health and safety of our pets and the community is our top priority. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports,  "Currently we have no information that suggests that pets might be a source of infection for people with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19."   For more info: 

How to protect pets if you are sick

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. It is recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them. For more info:

Be Prepared

We highly recommend having a plan in place should you become ill and are unable to care for your pets. Designate a caretaker and make sure they understand their diet, vet information, medications, microchip information and make sure they know where to find their medical records. Create a to-go bag with this information that can be utilized in case of an emergency with food, medications, treats, a leash, poop bags, crate, litterbox, and toys.

As a standard best practice, we recommend that all pets have proper ID tags with contact information and that their microchip is up to date. This will help your neighbors get your pet back to you in the event they go missing, and will prevent them from having to enter the shelter.

If you find a lost pet, file a stray animal report online, hold the pet you found, and attempt to get the pet back to its owners through posting flyers and using Nextdoor and Lost and Found pages on social media.

Pet owners should wait to surrender their pet and should rehome pets to friends and family if they’re able to do so.

How has COVID-19 affected Williamson County Animal Center?

We are still adopting pets, but the process to adopt has changed.  While we are closed for walk-in adoptions, we are processing all adoptions via online applications. All our adoptable animals are currently in foster homes. You may visit them online at if you are interested in a pet.  Please fill out an application online and a staff member will contact you to make arrangements between you and the foster to meet the pet in our shelter.

The biggest change will mostly impact the owner surrender appointments. About 50% of the pets who enter WCAC are given up by their owners. We are asking owners who are not facing an immediate crisis to hold their pets and to surrender at a later date. For any pet owners who need to surrender immediately, we will still take their pets at their scheduled intake time.

Q: Why can’t I surrender my (healthy) pet?

A: Right now, adoptions are down because people are avoiding being in public. Around 50% of our intake comes from owner surrenders. Those two things combined would mean a whole lot of pets coming in, but not going out into loving homes. We are trying our best to avoid overcrowding. We want to maintain space for the pets that need us the most. If you have questions, please contact 

Q: I don’t want to surrender my pet, but need assistance. 

A: We understand it’s not easy to ask for help. Please send us an email to and explain about your situation. Whether it’s behavioral, medical or financial, we might have a solution to your problem that will enable you to keep your pet. Pet food is also being distributed through these local non-profit agencies Graceworks, The Well, One Generation Away, FSSD, and Williamson County Schools. Please contact those agencies directly for more information regarding time and locations for pick-up. If you have questions about COVID-19 or need other assistance, please call (615) 595-4880.

Q: I found a stray pet. Can I still bring it in?

That’s a great question. WCAC is asking people who find friendly stray pets to consider fostering them for a STRAYcation until the shelter can resume normal operations. We will provide you with everything the pet will need (food, supplies, crate, etc.). Pets typically stay pretty close to home when they go missing, so fostering them where they are found helps get pets home much more quickly. The pets also avoid the stress of the shelter. Stray finders should take the pet to a vet clinic or to WCAC to check for a microchip first. If you are unable to transport the animal, contact us and an officer will come out and scan for a chip. Then, please file a stray animal report online, and hold the pet to give the owner time to locate it. If the animal appears in need of immediate attention by our animal control officers or needs emergency vet care, please call (615) 790-5590 (during business hours) or (615) 790-5757 (after hours). If you have further questions, please contact 

Q: I have stray cats on my property. Can I rent a trap and bring them to you?

A:  We have resumed our TNR (Trap-neuter-release) program for community cats . Any Williamson County resident may trap an unmanageable community cat and bring it to the shelter in a HUMANE TRAP from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM  Monday-Friday. Cats will receive same day spay/neuter services. Cats in airline carriers, dog crates, boxes and makeshift crates will not be accepted. Feral cats will not be accepted at other times of the day. Trappers must pick up the cat the same day between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM.   Please e-mail  with any questions.

Q: How can I help?

A: First of all, THANK YOU! There are several ways you can help our animals while staying home.

Foster: Foster homes are needed now! We are building a foster roster of people that can keep pets for a minimum of four to six weeks. The goal is to increase our foster base by 50% in case we are forced to close. We will supply you with everything the pet will need during its stay. You provide a safe space, time, love, and TLC. If you’re interested in fostering a pet, please visit and complete a foster application online to join our foster roster. Our foster coordinator will be in touch with you as soon as there’s a good match for your situation!

Donate: For a list of current items needed for the shelter animals visit our wish list. Items can be purchased online and shipped directly to us at 106 Claude Yates Drive., Franklin, TN 37064

Financial donations can be made through our non-profit partner:

We are also accepting sealed pet food for our local pet food banks. All food types are welcome. Our non-profit partner Friends of Williamson County Animal Center has partnered with Graceworks, The Well, One Generation Away, FSSD, and Williamson County Schools to distribute pet food to families in need. Simply drop off food in the blue bins located at the front of our building 24/7.

Follow us and share our animals on social media: With our shelter being closed to walk-in traffic, our animals need exposure online now more than ever. We post our pets daily on Facebook and Instagram @wcanimalcenter. Visit all adoptable animals online at Sharing is caring! 

You just might inspire a friend or family member to adopt, foster or donate!

Q: Will you be having rabies and microchip clinics?

A: Yes. Because rabies is a public health issue and the State of Tennessee requires cats, dogs and ferrets to have a rabies vaccination.

Saturday, May 30th 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.: Williamson County Animal Center

*Microchips are $15; rabies shots are $10

Cats must be in carriers and dogs must be leashed. Please bring cash or check only.

Please observe COVID-19 precautions and social distancing.

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