Chattanooga animal shelters hope to increase adoptions with waived, discounted fees

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / A litter of puppies scratch against the door to their enclosure at McKamey Animal Center on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.

Like many animal shelters across the country, Chattanooga shelters are seeing an increase in intake and a decrease in adoptions.

In 2022, McKamey Animal Center has cared for more than 4,000 animals, which is 600 more than it had cared for during the same time period last year, according to a news release.

The shelter is now at 200% of its humane capacity, with more than 270 dogs and 500 animals total in its care and more than 100 pets up for adoption, McKamey Director of Advancement Lauren Mann said in a phone interview.

One reason for the influx is that so many people adopted at the start of the pandemic that the "market" for adopted pets is saturated, she said.

The economy is another factor, as more people are feeling financial hardship when it comes to owning a pet, Mann said.