Rutherford County Animal Drop Box Watch

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Friday, November 19, 1999 - Drop Boxes CLOSED in Rutherford County

Drop Boxes Going Down! Drop Boxes in Smyrna being torn down!!!

County Commission demolishes pet drop box By Jim Mahanes, Staff writer. They are to be demolished this morning, and County to demolish drop boxes By Debbie McClanahan, Staff Writer.

November 18, 1999 - DNJ reported Commission considers abolishing last drop box By Jim Mahanes, Staff writer. The motion that came out of the Public Safety Committee to open them after renovations during the hours the shelter is closed, until a new shelter is built in Smyrna failed 18-3. Voting YES to re-open them were Grant Kelley, Robert Peay and Trey Gooch. Then a motion to tear down the drop bins passed 19-2. The only no votes were Robert Peay and Trey Gooch.

The October 26, 1999, Tennessean reported Smyrna to reopen animal drop bins and the Daily News Journal reported County to keep drop boxes open: Smyrna facility won’t close until new shelter built

PAUL JOHNSON, VICE-CHAIRMAN of the Public Safety committee has a web-page: and he covers the events of the meeting.

Sunday, October 16, 1999 The DNJ reports County Commission balks at drop box closure

To contact the Rutherford County Commissioners personally on this issue

Thursday, October 14, 1999

An editorial appears in today's DNJ, Board right to recommend drop box destruction I agree.

Wednesday, October 13, 1999

Today's Tennessean reports that County likely to abolish pet drop bins By TRINE TSOUDEROS, Staff Writer.

UPDATE!!! Tuesday, October 12, 1999

Today's DNJ reports that Last drop box dumped: Rabies Control Board will raze Smyrna facility for unwanted pets By Jim Mahanes, Staff writer. Now it is up the the County Commission to follow their proposal. Next 'hurdle' is the county's Public Safety Committee on October 25th at the Courthouse in room 205. Here is info on who is on what committee and when they meet. County Commission Committees and Meeting Schedules

Saturday, August 28, 1999

Today's Drop Box Rally a Great Success! 'drop-box' rally was a tremendous success!

Media Coverage

Some more pictures from the rally:

K.T. Oslin spoke K.T. Oslin was a speaker. Billy at the Drop Boxes Local Volunteer Billy at the soon-to-be-renovated Smyrna drop-boxes after the rally.

UPDATE!!! Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Smyrna Drop Boxes Closed? Smyrna boxes closed for renovation.
Are they closed because of the rally this coming Saturday? How long will it stay closed? And the boxes at Haley Drive in Murfreesboro have been destroyed.

UPDATE!!! Saturday, August 7, 1999

Volunteers For Animals in Tennessee is holding a rally on August 28 at 1:00pm at the drop boxes on Weakly Lane in Smyrna. For a map of the location and driving directions, Choose this link on Yahoo! Maps. To RSVP, go to IMOM's Bin-Petition and sign it and RSVP to the group. OK?

Monday, July 12, 1999

Today the DNJ reported: Family dog positive for rabies: First case in pet in decade. A few friends and myself put our collective brains together and have come up with a plan to solve the Animal Drop Box Problem in OUR county.

  1. Find veterinary clinics where isolated in a different location we place 3 dog kennels and 3 cat cages.
  2. The Animal Control Board or private citizens will drop off lost or unwanted pets at these veterinarians.
  3. The veterinarians will take a picture with a digital camera of the pet in question and e-mail it to where they are posted so owners of the lost pets can find their loved one.
  4. On that web-site we SELL ad-space to feed stores or pet food manufactures and DONATE that space to participating veterinarians.
  5. We get the local papers to run color insert page(s) with paid advertising from feed stores / pet supply manufacturers and Free advertising for participation vets every Wednesday (sales day) and Sunday.
  6. There is also a good chance that the local vet may know the animal's owner.
  7. After four days the animal is put up for adoption (again on the same web-site) and after three more days if not claimed or adopted it is then euthanized. That gives the owner a week to find their lost pet. Even if it is adopted, the rightful owner will know who adopted it.
  8. For each animal claimed or adopted the vet is credited a certain amount, say $20.
  9. For each animal euthanized the vet is credited a certain amount, say $10.00.
  10. No money changes hands, the 'credit' will go toward their property tax bill.

Plan's PROs

  1. Animal Control has less 'dead time' taking animals to the central location on Haley Drive.
  2. Animals are cared for by a professional staff but are isolated from vet's client's animals.
  3. Pet Owners have better chance of finding lost pet.
  4. Pet Owner Want-a-bees can view all animals available for adoption.
  5. No additional taxes needed to be raised - the plan will SAVE money just saving trips for Animal Control back and forth to Haley Drive.
  6. Entire county's residents have a close location to leave stray dogs and cats.

Plan's CONS

I can't find one. Can you? Please e-mail any comments, suggestions or criticisms.

This weekend my son and myself took some pictures of the drop boxes

Please note, we sacrificed some 'quality' to compress images to allow the downloading of the page to be 'quicker'.

Rutherford County Rabies ControlRutherford County Rabies Control office on Haley Drive.

Drop-boxes at Haley Drive facilityDrop-boxes at Haley Drive facility

Weakley Lane drop-boxesWeakley Lane drop-boxes for northern end of the county.

Big Dog Drop Chute and Pick Up TimesBig Dog Drop Chute and Pick Up Times

The inside of the Small-Dog boxThe inside of the small-dog drop box at Weakley Lane.

We check one night and find dogs like this beagle mixWe check one night and find dogs like this beagle mix

And this nice LabAnd this nice Lab

We discovered the boxes to be extremely clean. But keep in mind disease such as Parvo are highly contagious and we do not know how often the chutes or rooms are disinfected. Each box had a large water bowl. The sign on the building says (and I have verified this with Rabies Control) the boxes are checked and cleaned before 10:00am and 8:00pm seven days a week. So the worst-case scenario is that a pet left at 8:30pm would have to stay overnight until 10:00am the next morning.

I called David Boone of Rabies Control. I found out that in the history of these drop boxes just once has someone dropped a cat in the big dog chute and only once has someone put a small dog in the big dog box. My theory on hearing that was that the person prone to dropping cats in the dog chute are probably too lazy to drive to the boxes and just dumps their cats in someone else's neighborhood.

My opinion of the drop-box 'issue'. I do not think you can blame Mr. Boone or his staff one iota for the drop boxes. They had to have some plan to service the northern, faster growing, end of the county. With DELL moving in just over the county line, Lavergne will see tremendous growth in the next few years. This map may give you a better idea of the area Rabies Control has to cover. Haley Dr. is in Murfreesboro, the county seat, off of Samsonite Boulevard. Weakley Lane is in Smyrna near the airport. In my opinion, much like the local school situation, our 'conservative' county commissioners are to blame.

Some folks are trying this plan, The American Animal Care Foundation.

The Drop Boxes and the Beesley Humane Society have been in the news, both locally in the Tennessean, Internet used to stir outrage over animal drop-off bin, and the DNJ, County eyes new shelter contract with Beesley. Dateline NBC and a European TV station have also done stories on the issue. Please review our LINKS page for several links to sites dedicated to this issue.