Community Chest Spotlight: Animal Harbor

The 2021-22 Sewanee Community Chest Fund Drive is underway. Sponsored by the Sewanee Civic Association, the Sewanee Community Chest raises money yearly for local charitable organizations serving the area. This year’s goal of $102,291 will help 20 organizations that have requested basic needs funding for quality of life, community aid, children’s programs, and those who are beyond Sewanee but still serve our entire community.

This week we shine the spotlight on the Animal Harbor.

The purpose of Animal Harbor is to provide health care and temporary shelter for lost and homeless companion animals; find new loving homes for these pets; reduce pet overpopulation by promoting spaying and neutering; promote animal welfare by creating a high standard of care and educating adults and school children; support the animal welfare community as a whole including Franklin County Animal Control, creating relationships that allow rescue to rescue collaboration; and maintain a no kill policy except for reasons of mercy or dangerous temperament.

Animal Harbor’s adoption program is the pillar of the organization which cares for homeless dogs and cats and provides them with complete veterinary care including spay or neuter. Animal Harbor places them into new, loving homes, both locally, and outside of the immediate area via transports. In 2018 they developed a Transport Program to transport animals from both Franklin County Animal Control and Animal Harbor to rescue partners in the north, which saved significantly more lives in doing this. The transport program is thriving, and since 2018, Animal Harbor has placed more than 800 cats and dogs in foster-based rescues. The SNAP Program is a subsidized spay/neuter program for pets belonging to low-income residents of Franklin County. This program helps combat the pet overpopulation problem, which is the root of the problem the county faces.

In 2020, Animal Harbor took in a total of 206 dogs and cats from across Franklin County. Of this total, eight (3.8 percent) came directly from Sewanee, and 47 (23 percent) came from Franklin County Animal Control, which includes animals picked up from the entire county, including Sewanee. Among those adopted, 16 pets (7.8 percent) were placed with adopters in Sewanee. In 2020, with low intake in comparison to previous years, Animal Harbor allocated some of their time and resources to help pull and transport Franklin County Animal Control animals. In 2021, Animal Harbor is experiencing a much higher volume of animals in desperate need, with the intake numbers increasing by almost 100 percent, and trending to exceed 100 percent of 2020 intakes.

The average direct and indirect cost of vetting and caring for (housing, feeding, staff care, operation costs) a dog in 2020 was $462, while the average cost of vetting and caring for a cat was $472. This cost of additional stay guarantees these animals are protected, emotionally cared for, and provided medical treatment and preventions until the best fit adopter can be found, but this also increases the costs associated with caring for the animal. The average cost of care for an additional month is $90 per animal.

The Animal Harbor will receive $3,000 from the Sewanee Community Chest for project/program support and general operating expenses in the quality-of-life and Beyond Sewanee funding areas. With the goal this year to rescue and find homes for 350 abandoned pets, Sewanee Community Chest funding will help to provide complete care for these pets while they are in Animal Harbor’s care.

Since 1908, the goal of the Sewanee Community Chest has been to help citizens by funding the community. With Community Chest donations, local organizations provide for basic needs such as books, food, animal care, housing, scholarships, recreational spaces, elder care, children’s educational needs and more. The Sewanee Community Chest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. Send your donation to Sewanee Community Chest, P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375. Go to <>; for more information or to donate online.

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