City of Dayton joins forces with Rhea County at Animal Shelter

From left, Cheyenne Swafford, Richard Neal, and Katy Stout (RheaReview/ElmerHarris)

The City of Dayton has joined forces with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department to assist in operations at the Rhea County Animal Shelter.  The move began in January as part of an effort to provide better care with greater efficiency.

“I’m delighted.  This is what we’ve been trying to get done since I was first elected,” said Sheriff Mike Neal who created the shelter in 2003.  “I think it’s gonna benefit everybody as a whole and not burden either the city or the county as much.

“I think it’s good for the animals,” said Officer Richard Neal who’s led the city of Dayton’s animal control efforts for more than 20 years.   “Now there’s three of us so we have the ability to work the entire county.”

Funding for the shelter is now directed through the newly created Animal Shelter Alliance of Rhea County a non-profit group who helps pay for all the medical expenses.

“We definitely make sure all our animals are diseased-controlled,” said Officer Cheyenne Swafford who was a veterinary technician for five years before joining the team in November.  “It’s the best environment for the animals’ health.”

“If you got one free out of the newspaper or out of Walmart, it’s gonna be loaded with parasites,” said Officer Katy Stout who’s worked at the shelter for over two years.  “If you come here, you’ll find animals fully vetted that just need homes.”

The improved veterinary standards also provides greater opportunity for animals to find homes.

“Just since January alone, they’ve adopted out over 100 animals,” notes Sheriff Neal.  “We’re adopting out everything we can with the help of other organizations.”

If you’re looking for a new addition to your family, be sure to stop by the Rhea County Animal Shelter, located at 9118 Back Valley Rd in Evensville, or visit them on Petfinder or their Facebook page.


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