Franklin County Humane Society (Animal Harbor)
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56 Nor-Nan Road
Winchester, TN 37398
Organization Details



The mission of The Franklin County Humane Society (Animal Harbor) is to provide shelter and care for homeless dogs and cats and to find them loving permanent homes. Our mission is also to reduce the number of unwanted companion animals through the promotion of spay/neuter and through our subsidized spay/neuter program for low-income residents, and to provide information to the community on such issues as pet overpopulation, animal cruelty, and other animal welfare matters. We also work with the school system to provide reading materials and onsite visits to educate the students about animal welfare.


Animal Harbor, the facility maintained by The Franklin County Humane Society, is a small limited intake shelter in Winchester, TN. The dogs and cats in our care stay with us for as long as it takes to find them permanent homes. Animal Harbor opened its doors in January 2003 in what had been a hog barn. We managed to care for our rescued pets in this antiquated facility until we moved into our new Animal Harbor shelter in December 2014. In addition to the shelter, The Franklin County Humane Society administers a program for the county's low-income residents to alter their pets, which we started in 2006. When we can we provide food for low-income families through our food bank. We began a Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral cats in 2015. We have provided educational materials to the schools and have sponsored an essay contest for fifth graders. We continue to work with the schools to provide education for children in the care and proper treatment of animals.


Through December 2018, we have placed over 6,900 dogs and cats in new loving homes since our shelter, Animal Harbor, opened in 2003. Our goal is to place another 500 in 2019. We continually search for ways to place our homeless pets more quickly and decrease the time they remain in our shelter. All of our pets are spayed or neutered before adoption along with being up to date on all required vaccinations. A grant from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is a great help in funding this part of our operation. We subsidized(via grants specific to this program) the alteration of 336 pets in our spay/neuter program for pets of low-income families in 2018. We plan to help over 350 people have their pets altered in this program in 2019. We will continue to build participation in our low-cost pet altering program and to search for new funding opportunities. Education initiatives for the public schools in the past years have been very successful and we plan to continue these. So far, we have altered over 150 feral cats in our TNR Program.Our capital campaign to raise funds for our new shelter reached 100% of our goal of $600,000.00 in August 2015.


Our new Animal Harbor was completed in December 2014. We admitted 20% more pets in 2015 than we had in the previous year and intakes continue to grow every year, which increases our operating costs substantially. We need donations to fund operating expenses in our expanded operations. Need funding for shelter vet bills. We spent $40,651 for vet care for our shelter pets in 2018. All of our pets are vet checked, up to date with shots, dewormed, given a flea preventive such as Frontline or K9 Advantix, spayed or neutered and microchipped before adoption. Adult dogs are tested for heartworms and put on a monthly heartworm preventive. Kittens are tested for feline leukemia (FeLV) and adult cats are tested for FIV and FeLV. All of our pets are given rabies shots when they are old enough. Stray animals that come to us often do so with medical conditions that need to be treated. Though we do charge a fee for adoption, it is not nearly enough to cover our costs. Need funding for our Trap/Neuter/Return program, which is designed to reduce the number of feral cats. We spent $6,621 on this program in 2015. We would like to resume this program if we can get funding for it. Need volunteers to socialize our animals, assist in our office, and help with special events.

CEO Statement

In December 2019, we celebrated five years in our new Animal Harbor facility, with up-to-date kennels and runs for the dogs, large portalized cages for the cats, several open cat rooms, and an outside cat porch where the more adventurous kitties bask in the sun. We have isolation cages, an intake room separated from the other animals for disease control, and a meet and greet room where adopters can visit potential adoptees. Our staff are continually educating themselves and looking for better ways to clean and care for the animals. They spend quality time on socialization and introduce behaviors which will enhance the chances for adoption. Volunteers help us both inside and outside the building and give time to our fund-raising events. With our mission statement in mind, we have adopted out over 6,900 animals including rabbits, ferrets, sugar gliders and pot-bellied pigs! We have a Spay Neuter Assistance Program(SNAP), and with the help of PetSmart Charities, we did a Trap/Neuter/Return sweep(2015) that resulted in 167 cats being altered. Hundreds of dogs and puppies have made the trip north to find homes through the Rescue Waggin' program. We take dogs and cats from our county animal control whenever we have space. We place books on kindness to animals and character building in grade schools, and provide teachers with a magazine which has lesson plans and reading guides related to animal care. Our Shelter Manager appears on radio shows to discuss animal issues and increase public awareness of better animal care standards. We are working to expand our education offerings. The move to our new shelter in town has sparked new interest in our work, and we see continued growth in our 'fan base' and loyal circle of financial supporters. A dedicated quartet of local vet clinics assure that we get the best possible care for our animals as well as guidance and information. Two adjacent counties have rescue groups and we partner with them to facilitate adoptions. Periodically a local organization will adopt us for a fundraiser, and our two local papers feature Pets of the Week complete with pictures and stories. We have gathered a loyal band who do whatever they can to support our vision of a county in which animals are valued for their intrinsic qualities as sentient beings and as companion animals--a county in which cruelty and neglect will be rare occurrences, and there will be no more homeless pets.

Board Chair Statement

There are few pictures of me as a little girl without a cat in my lap or a dog by my side. The splendid thing about growing up on a farm was playing with the animals and talking to them. Cats resigned themselves to going to 'school' on our back porch where I would line them up left and right on the banisters and teach them to sing and recite poetry. They were a long-suffering clowder whose patience gave me a peek into their loving natures. Perched on the fence, I tried out my Broadway repertoire on a herd of mystified (but seemingly appreciative) Hereford cattle, and then sat on the big rock by the creek with my dog, looking at milkweed pods, clouds and trees. Every spring the lambs came frisking over the grass for a feeding, signaled by clanking two milk bottles together. Growing up meant becoming aware of the larger scope of animal cruelty issues, and this led me to become an advocate for all animals. Now I have come to be president of Animal Harbor, largely I think, because of those kind animal souls and spirits who helped a child form a broader view of life and learn that each creature has its own unique personality and inner life, its own sense of fun, its own way of expressing love and loyalty, and a willingness to connect with us.Fast forward through many rescues and pets to 2000. I was invited to join a small group of animal lovers operating a pet rescue in an alpaca stable. Many was the night I cleaned cat cages by the light of my car headlights and carried water from a nearby pump for lack of electricity. This group eventually joined with the local humane society, and in 2003 we opened the first bona fide animal shelter in Franklin County. Animal Harbor had its birth in the acquisition of an old hog barn which had been used as a transfer point for pigs on the way to slaughter. This place of fear and suffering was transformed into a 'harbor' of rescue, love, and care. Our staff was volunteer and we made use of inmates from the county prison. Conditions for workers and animals alike were far from optimum. The roof leaked. It was hot in summer and freezing in winter, but with fans and heaters we kept our animals comfortable. Patching wires and pipes became a weekly occurrence. Little by little, learning as we went about sanitation and enrichment for our animals, we began to grow and place these pets into loving homes. Gaining 501(c)(3) status was a cause for celebration, and we never looked back. The days of the alpaca stable and hog barn seem very far away. We struggled to overcome a myriad of difficulties as all shelters do, and we continue to address financial concerns. We work constantly on raising the necessary funding for our expanded operation. But the truth is that we have come so far in our efforts to transform the lives of our rescued animals that I often have to remind myself how much nearer to our goals we are than we ever could have imagined in the early days. And often those 'schoolroom' cats on my back porch flash past my mind's eye and remind me that patience and perseverance got us where we are and will continue to move us forward.

Service Categories

Primary Category: Animal Related  - Animal Protection & Welfare 
Secondary Category: Animal Related  - Animal-Related NEC 
Tertiary Category: Education  - Elementary & Secondary Schools 

Areas Served

We serve all of Franklin County, Tennessee. We provide adoption services throughout southern Tennessee and beyond our southern borders, now reaching rescues and adopters north of the Mason-Dixon line!

TN - Franklin