While New Year’s resolutions are popular when it comes to losing weight, eating healthier and being more financially stable, what about impacting the lives of other living creatures around you? A small, simple task and a minimum of an hour a day could highly impact the life of an animal in the community.
The Tullahoma Animal Shelter is full of cute, snuggly dogs just waiting on their forever home. Even if finding that permanent home takes a little longer than expected, consider making a difference in the life of a shelter pet.
The Tullahoma Animal Shelter currently has approximately 18 dogs of all shapes, sizes, colors and breeds begging for attention. They pace their cages day in and day out patiently waiting for someone to visit. While they have each other for companionship, they still long for the day that they acquire their very own human.
“It’s important to volunteer at the animal shelter,” said shelter attendant Taylor Minor. “Dogs like and need as much human interaction as possible.”
Minor focuses on the importance of volunteering at the animal shelter because the staff’s time is limited with all the dogs currently at the shelter.
“This is a no-kill shelter,” Taylor said. “A volunteer would make a huge impact on the dogs. Just coming to take them for a walk and give them human interaction makes all the difference. They hate being kept up all the time.”
Taylor described the process of volunteering at the Animal Shelter.
“It’s easy. Just come to public works, tell the front desk that you’d like to volunteer for however many hours, a shelter attendant will take you to the building and let you spend as much time with the dogs as you’d like. This includes walking them around for exercise, playing with the dog and petting the dog.”
The dogs at the shelter are friendly, outgoing and patiently waiting to be picked by someone who will love them for the rest of their days. Until that day comes, volunteers have the opportunity to genuinely make a difference in the life of the sheltered pet.
“Volunteering helps the dogs a lot,” said animal control officer Sam Sells. “It helps so that they aren’t kept up in their kennel all the time. It helps stretch their legs, and the dogs really benefit from the attention.”
Receiving human interaction helps socialize the dogs and it prepares them for their new homes. As most of the dogs were picked up from the street as strays, learning to be loved by a human is a new experience for many of them.
While the dogs wait for adoption, the Tullahoma Animal Shelter is also making a few additions to make sure the dogs are happy and healthy. A new shelter is being built and awaiting approval from the city for the dogs to move into the building.
“The new shelter will have heat and air conditioning,” said Sells. “It has runs and a play area. It also has a medical room in the back and a meeting room up front so that when families come to meet a dog they have a special place to interact with it.”
Sells also commented that the old shelter building will still be in use for dogs in quarantine or dogs that display aggressive behavior around other dogs.
While the funding for the animal shelter varies from month to month, donations are greatly appreciated by the animal shelter. Because dogs are in and out of the shelter each month, the cost to run the facility can fluctuate. According to Sells, the highest expense is in dog food.
“We accept all donations,” commented Sells. “Donated dog food is huge help and greatly appreciated. We don’t turn down any donation. Blankets, food and money help us tremendously.”
Taylor and Sells said that at the shelter it’s all about the dogs and their well-being.
“It’s really all about the dogs,” they said. “When people come to spend time with the dogs, its benefits them tremendously. If people have spare time to give, we encourage them to spend it here at the animal shelter.”
The benefits of volunteering stretch beyond the animal shelter. Some volunteers have fallen in love with a dog and decided to take them home. Volunteers can also help spread the word about dogs at the shelter to increase their chances of becoming adopted.
To volunteer at the animal shelter, visit during operating hours. The shelter is open six days a week - from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
To see the dogs available for adoption, visit Tullahoma Animal Shelter on Facebook, or visit the shelter. Dogs may be adopted for a $35 fee that includes a free spay or neuter and a bath from a local groomer. For an additional $15 donation, the newly adopted pet can also receive a microchip identification.
To donate to the animal shelter, drop items off at the public works building, 942 Maplewood Ave., during business hours.
For more information, call 931-454-9580.
Faith Few can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.