Our Journey Home

39 Partner Shelters in East Tennessee & beyond need our help daily.

Every companion animal that enters our doors, comes to us with a story of abandonment. We give them hope, love and a healthy start on their journey to a new home. Join us in celebrating this past year by reading about our programs and impact across East Tennessee where you will share in our success, because of your support. Thank you for helping change lives.

Traveling Tails

In addition to partnering with shelters and rescues across our region to transfer animals to our Knoxville shelter, Humane Society, Tennessee Valley is working with organizations across the country to provide transport for animals from areas in East Tennessee where shelters are overwhelmed and often lacking critical resources and funding, transport programs help create space so these shelters can help even more animals.

The goal of the new transport program, Traveling Tails, is not just to move animals, but to create a network of source and destination shelters to save more lives. All of the destination shelters go through a detailed process to ensure they have the same value for the life of the animals we transport to them. Prior to transport all animals are up to date on vaccines and they receive a health certificate from a Veterinarian to cross state lines. We are fortunate to be able to provide this service to some of our source shelters because obtaining the requirements to transport an animal can be cost prohibitive.

Your donation, to our Traveling Tails program, can provide vaccines, health certificates and much needed funds for gas for our transport vehicles. Some of our trips to destination shelters are over 1400 miles roundtrip from Knoxville!

Last year alone, more than 3000 additional lives were saved by various transport groups from East Tennessee. Please consider helping Traveling Tails save even more in 2021 by supporting our new transport program.  If you are interested in more details or want to be a volunteer transport driver please email [email protected].

Wellness Clinic

It can happen to anyone, at any time, the need to help your companion animal but medical care is out of reach.  Especially during these times, pet owners find themselves having to make the choice of paying a bill or paying for much needed medical care for their beloved pet.  Our PetHelp Program, works hard to Keep Pets and People Together and more importantly animals in homes and out of area shelters.

Our Wellness Clinic is typically scheduled twice a month and staffed by our team to provide vaccines, heartworm tests and preventative medicine for fleas, ticks and heartworm.  We also sell tags for the City of Knoxville once your pet gets a rabies vaccine.  We provide this low-cost service for those in need and your donation can help support this program.  In the new year we hope to expand our offerings and create a fund for anyone who needs our help but any amount of money to keep their pet vaccinated is out of reach.  We see if often and it’s in our own backyard.

Your $25 donation covers the cost of one Wellness exam and an additional $10 covers the cost of a rabies vaccine.  For a total of $30 your donation provides lifesaving care for someone in need.  Someone who wants to keep their companion with them and provide them with much needed Veterinary care.  Won’t you consider supporting this valuable program?

Pet Food Pantry

Pet Food Pantry Program

The Pet Food Pantry Program is here to help when you are struggling to feed your beloved pet.  We understand that people fall on hard times and we offer that lifeline to help.  When COVID-19 hit us in March of 2020 we launched our Drive-thru Pet Food Pantry and cars lined up for food.  We met individuals, families and friends of neighbors who couldn’t drive show up at our Knoxville shelter for help.  It was heartbreaking to see the need but at the same time heartwarming to see our community come together.

Those more fortunate dropped off dozens of bags of donated food to help support the program.  Supporters gave us much needed donations to purchase what was needed in addition to our donations.  Not one person or family left without some supplemental food to Help Keep Pets and People Together.

In a few short weeks your donations helped more than 30 families keep 69 dogs and 46 cats in their homes.  Your support also helped community cat caregivers provide food to 34 cats.  Did you know that community cats are often cats that are just abandoned by their owners?  An amazing 1493 pounds of dry dog food, 230 cans of wet dog food, 472 pounds of dry cat food, 349 cans of wet cat food and 294 pounds of litter was distributed to families in need.


Please consider supporting our Pet Food Pantry by making a donation today.  Our biggest need is often for cats in home but a $25 donation today will provide a small bag of food and litter for a cat or some dry dog food for the pet owner who is struggling to keep their pet in their home.  Your monthly donation to this program ensures that all companion animals in need have full bellies when they rest their head at the end of the night.
If you prefer to drop off a donation our Pet Help/Clinic patio is covered and checked daily for donations.   Food, litter, and treats are protected from the elements.  We welcome gently used bowls, beds, litter boxes, leashes, collars and new toys (for sanitary purposes) too.  Or, if you make a donation we will make sure that it goes directly to the support of the Pet Help Program and the items we need to keep this program running and our community provided for when they find themselves in need.

Pet Food Pantry


The Adoption Program at our Knoxville location saves thousands of lives every year.  Our team works with over 55 shelters and rescues in this region to help alleviate overcrowding and provide a second chance to abandoned animals that find themselves in need.  Daily, we get calls for help to transfer dogs and cats to our shelter.  We take the injured, the sick, heartworm positive dogs and sometimes the ones that need just a little extra love to trust humans again.  The lives saved because of your generous donations allow us to say “yes” to calls for help.

Our medical fund is the most critical need to support our Adoption Program.  That fund allows us to take in dogs like Bella who had a broken leg that was left to heal without medical attention but was rushed to surgery and is now on the mend.  It also covers cats like Festus who came to us through our partnership with UT Hospice when his owner passed away.  He needed a dental and your donation allowed us to get him the medical attention he needed before finding his new family!

Our Heartworm Fund is another critical need that we have in support of our Adoptions Program.  Because of the cost of treatment for heartworm positive dogs the rural shelters are unable to treat this condition, so they call us for help.  Just a monthly dose of prevention is all these dogs were lacking but now heartworm positive they need lifesaving treatment.  Your donation of $100 would allow us to transfer in one heartworm positive dog and start treatment.  Giving to this fund has an immediate impact on a need that truly lifesaving.  Both for the dog and the shelter that cares enough to reach out to us with a request to transfer them to save their life.  Thank you for considering a donation to the Heartworm Fund.

To view our adoptable animals please visit the Adoption page.


In a life where humans are not your best friend, our staff at the Humane Society, Tennessee Valley works tirelessly to gain the trust of dogs like Boomer.  Adopted as a puppy then returned five years later, Boomer had some challenges when it came to strangers but we knew that somewhere inside this large, scared dog was that small puppy full of love that we cared for years ago.

Boomer spent most of his life on a farm with one owner so there was not a lot of opportunity for socialization.  When one human turned into four humans he became guarded of his owner.  Who could blame him, it was just the two of them for his whole life.  When Boomer was returned to us he did not trust any of us.  But we never gave up on him.  For months we worked slowly to gain his trust.   He spent time in one of the runs on the adoption floor to get used to the sights and sounds of other dogs and humans.  The minute he was stressed he went back to rest in his own space.  We got to know him, we came to love him.  And Boomer became the dog we knew was deep down inside.

Ivette came into his life one day when she came to look at dogs on the adoption floor.  Curious about Boomer she asked about him and returned several times to make sure he liked her as much as she liked him.  A bond was formed.  But, we were very careful about adopting him to just anyone because we wanted to be sure this time was forever.  As you can see from this photo, Boomer is enjoying a great life.  We are grateful to Ivette for being patient and seeing what we saw in this amazing dog.  Help us help other dogs like Boomer by considering a donation to our general fund.  Boomer doesn’t look too enthusiastic about the raincoat but you can see in his eyes he is finally home.


Dave is a cat full of cat-ti-tude.  He never quite adjusted to shelter life so he was placed in foster try and work on his social skills.  After many months out of the shelter, Dave was brought back in an attempt to find that one person who would understand him and give him a home.  His foster wrote an honest story about Dave asking someone to love him for the sassy cat he is and perhaps understand that he may never like being picked up and he may always swat and nip at you.  We posted that story and waited for that angel to appear and give Dave a home.

After being at our shelter for over a year, Augusta said yes!  Yes, I want to adopt Dave.  Miracles do happen and the staff never gave up on this cat finding his one true companion even with all of his quirks.  This picture proves that every shelter animal waits for their human.  This “cranky prince” as his Mom calls him is finally home.  Please consider donating to our general fund to help cats with cat-ti-tudes find love in all the right places.


We saved over 600 lives this year because our Foster Volunteers opened their homes to abandoned animals in need! What more incentive do you need to join this amazing program. We are grateful to our current fosters and think they do amazing work to save lives. Interested in Fostering? Sign up today!


To learn more about our foster program, please visit our Foster Page.


Sloan was born early January by the sweetest of momma dogs, Delilah. Around 3 weeks of age, the foster family noticed he was a bit shakier when trying to walk than his siblings. Since he was just learning to walk, this was not a huge concern at the time. However, this condition seemed to progress and he was seen by our staff veterinarian. He was able to walk, but his back end bounced around quite a bit, especially if he was excited! Slone needed more specialized help so we sent him to UTCVM for a neurology consult. It was determined that he likely had Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH) which affects the development of the cerebellum while in utero. This means he will likely always be a little off balance. While Sloan didn’t know he was any different, we knew he would need a family who would take extra precautions to make sure he lives his best life! He stayed with his foster family longer than his siblings, so that we could share his story. Just as his foster family was considering keeping him, we received an inquiry from an amazing family. They met with the foster family and everything just fell in place! Sloan now had a new best friend/big sister, Lakelynn. He gets to play in the river, and the water therapy has seemed to help his condition!

"The Van Kittens"

On July 25th, one of our partner shelters arrived in their van, transporting animals to our shelter for adoption. When they got out of their van, some tiny “mews” were heard under the hood! They staff rallied and the search was on to get the babies out of the van. We found four, 2 week old kittens, under the hood! They had traveled about 2 hours in the battery hub. Momma cat must have hidden them there for safety. The next day, that shelter brought us a 5th kitten assumed to be from that group that was found beside where their van was. These 5 “engine babes” were sent to foster with one of our powerhouse medical kitten fosters! And OF COURSE they were named engine themed- Turbo, Hyper, Hurricane, VooDoo, and Houdini (he was the one that escaped the van before transport). They all grew up to be big healthy kittens, and were all adopted mid-September.


In animal welfare we always refer to the term “it takes a village” and it truly does to make an impact.  This map of East Tennessee reflects the number of animals transferred in to our shelter by county and some from out of state.  This is a true picture of how many lives, human and animal, that we have impacted since the beginning of the year.  Your donations allow us to transfer in animals and give them the hope for a life they deserve.  Become a monthly donor and let our animals be the imprint you choose to make on one dog or one cat’s life.  Our goal for 2021 is to impact 5000 lives and we cannot do it without your support.