Bone Vivant: Williamson County Animal Shelter Opening New Doors and Bringing New Light to Adoptable Animals

Jan 26, 2022 at 11:46 am by RMGadmin

By Anna Robertson Ham  |  Photography by Penny Adams 

The Williamson County Animal Center (WCAC) has called its location on Claude Yates Drive, in Franklin, home for many years. As the county has grown in population, the amount of animals in need of adoption has grown as well, thus bringing the need for a larger center to the forefront of needs that WCAC has…and a new Center will be opening its doors soon to serve the county. 

Many have been involved with the planning and execution of the new WCAC location. “Friends of WCAC was involved from the very beginning and provided a large amount of funding for specific areas of the building that will serve the public,” says WCAC Director Ondrea Johnson. Private donors have funded several areas that will enhance the offerings of the Center, including dog exercise yards, public education area, indoor dog training facility, and a community spay neuter clinic.”

The beautiful new building, which will offer 35,000 square feet (a huge jump from the current 13,000 square foot facility), was designed by 906 Studio Architects in consult with Shelter Planners of America. Ondrea has had input in every square inch of the building along with the help of Shelter Planners of America, who had data and research behind every single suggestion. “I followed their lead. The process to design this building was very detailed and specialized,” Ondrea says. “We have achieved and maintained a very high save rate for the past several years. But we can’t rest there. We know that the indicator of a healthy pet community is the census of its shelter.” 

“The new building has room for staff which ultimately equates to programming that helps save animals’ lives,” she says. “We believe that the best way to serve animals in our community is by serving the people who care for them. Our future is focused on the citizens of Williamson County and what they need through all stages of pet ownership. Of course, we are also tasked with the enforcement of County rules and regulations pertaining to dogs and cats. We will continue to advocate, educate, and enforce animal welfare in our community.” 

The new facility will house twenty percent more animals than the current building, and every animal area has access to natural light. The ventilation system is also designed to reduce disease, cross-contamination and control odor. The capacity of the new space is designed with twenty years of growth in mind. 

With the current facility so limited in how the WCAC staff can interact with the public, Ondrea is very eager to have the community education space and wants it to be a resource for our community, not a last resort. “Our community has the opportunity to model best practices for partnering with the community to keep pets in homes, help control pet populations, educate the public on pet-related issues and offer adoption services for families looking to add a pet to their home… I strongly believe that the way to improve life for animals is to partner with the people who care for them. The future possibilities are unlimited. We will host monthly foster orientations to increase our lifesaving capacity. We will have more volunteer opportunities. We have plans to partner with Parks and Rec for a summer camp for youth and so much more. We are planning group dog training classes for the community to try to help people and pets live more cohesively together. All of this will be possible due to the spaces provided by the new building.”

Want to help? WCAC has a constant need for volunteers and foster families. They put over 900 animals into foster homes in 2021, including more than 700 cats and kittens. If you can’t volunteer in the shelter, they also need community trapping experts to help with feral and community cat colonies. Local businesses can host adoption events and you can always make item and monetary donations.

WCAC’s ’s new facility grand opening is planned for March 25th. Learn more at