Who We Are

Our History

Of the six men who chartered the Humane Society back in 1885, one was Peter Kern, a German immigrant who was a connoisseur of worthwhile things; cruelty prevention being one of them. The HSTV was originally known as the Knox County Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals. It kept that full name for years but by 1900, there were other advocates for child welfare and the Humane Society was focused almost entirely on helping animals. In the early days, the Humane Society didn’t have a headquarters, but met once a month in their attorney’s office. They always had an attorney in their organization, because much of the early efforts were based on the enforcement of laws and to “secure by all lawful means the arrest, conviction and punishment” of people who mistreat animals, either by hurting or neglecting them. In 1957 Knoxville established its first animal shelter, which was also the only animal shelter in the State of Tennessee. The Knox County Humane Society began a longtime contract with the County to take care of stray animals. 20 years ago, the Knox County Humane Society expanded its borders beyond the County to become the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley. The Humane Society left its Knox County contract in 2001, and at that time opened its first no-kill shelter. Since then, our organization has found homes for nearly 22,000 dogs and cats. Our Adoption Center and Spay/Neuter Clinic is located on Bearden Hill. The Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley has worked hard throughout its existence to be at the forefront of animal welfare.

Statistics

Based on our continued success with adoptions and animal care we are at a lifesaving rate of 96% of all incoming animals into our shelter.
This is based on our report of intakes and outcomes through Maddie’s Shelter Animals Count. In 2020 we had 1588 animals come through our doors for the opportunity to find a forever home.

Join Our Team!

If you have a passion for our mission and want to make a difference in our community and beyond, please consider joining our team. Your commitment to animal welfare and expertise in the field can help grow our impact to animals and humans in the communities we serve. All candidates must be 18 or older, pass a pre-employment drug screening, comply with random drug testing, possess a clean, valid driver’s license to drive our company vehicles, have an excellent work ethic, be able to work effectively under high stress, and handle an emotionally and physically demanding work environment. All candidates must be computer literate, using Microsoft Suite products, email, internet browsers, and be able to learn and use database programs. Animal care, animal handling, rescue, and/or sheltering experience is not required for every position – but if you have any at all, please include it on your application and/or resume!

Due to the volume of applications we receive and in the interest of thoughtfully considering individuals best suited for each position, the hiring Manager will contact only those applicants moving forward in the selection process. No phone calls, or walk-ins please. For questions or concerns, please contact us at careers@humanesocietytennessee.org.

Animal Care Technician (Full-Time and Part-Time)

Are you obsessed with laundry and not afraid to get dirty cleaning up after puppies and kittens? Do you love to be outside in all types of weather as long as you have a canine friend with you? Does a clean litterbox make you happy? Our Animal Care Team works hard every single day of the year making sure our animals are healthy and happy with full bellies and clean kennels, litterboxes and dog yards. We need people to keep the shelter running smoothly and make the care of the animals a top priority. Must be able to demonstrate the ability to multi-task, work independently as well as part of a team and identify tasks that need to be completed without being asked in order to make the animals stay at our shelter the best it can be while they are here. MUST love both people and animals and be willing to pitch in for other departments when needed. Applicants must be very flexible when it comes to scheduling including early morning shifts, evening shifts, weekends, and holidays. This is a fast-paced environment with a need to be physically active, lift 50 pounds, work outside and inside, reliable, compassionate to people and animals, able to laugh and willing to learn. A clean, valid driver’s license to drive our company vehicles (we will process a DMV check) is a must in case one of our animals needs emergency care! If you are ready to launch your career in animal welfare, please send a cover letter/resume of letter of experience and your desire to work to improve the lives of shelter animals please email careers@humanesocietytennessee.org. No phone calls or walk ins please.

A complete job description will be provided upon job offer and acceptance. A valid driver’s license and insurable driving record is required. If you are interested in joining the Humane Society, Tennessee Valley team, please email a cover letter and resume to careers@humanesocietytennessee.org or mail a copy to PO Box 51723 Knoxville, TN 37950. No walk-ins or phone calls please. Due to the high volume of interest, we will only contact applicants that will be considered for an interview. 

Communications and Event Coordinator (Full or Part Time)

Do you love the spotlight and talking about what you are passionate about through your work in animal welfare? Humane Society, Tennessee Valley is searching for someone who is obsessed with social media and event planning. This position will present the public message of our organization to the community, donors and businesses through the development and coordination of community, outreach and fundraising events. This position will develop and manage the related content on social media, collaborate on website and newsletter content. Organize, manage, field inquiries for and promote community and major fundraising events including our signature events and adoption/outreach events. A strong work ethic and desire to grow with our organization through expansion of responsibilities is desired. Proven experience with social media and event planning is a must. Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite required, knowledge of Canva & Constant Contact a plus. Must be willing to work most Saturdays and extended hours during signature events. If you are committed to animal welfare and promoting our mission and vision please send a cover letter and resume to careers@humanesocietytennessee.org. No walk ins or phone calls please.

A complete job description will be provided upon job offer and acceptance. A valid driver’s license and insurable driving record is required. If you are interested in joining the Humane Society, Tennessee Valley team, please email a cover letter and resume to careers@humanesocietytennessee.org or mail a copy to PO Box 51723 Knoxville, TN 37950. No walk-ins or phone calls please. Due to the high volume of interest, we will only contact applicants that will be considered for an interview. 

Adoption Counselors (Full & Part Time)

Our adoption counselors give the best first impression to all of our guests at Humane Society, Tennessee Valley! A happy and polite attitude is a must along with passion, compassion, and a love for both people and animals in order to make the perfect match for our adoptable pets. Being part of the adoption team, you will help educate the public by answering all animal and shelter related questions. Keep in mind that our busiest days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you must be flexible with your schedule to be available to find the most homes for the animals in our care. The ability to multi-task is essential along with exceptional customer service skills. Must be computer literate using all Microsoft Suite products and have the ability to learn and use Shelter Buddy database to process and manage adoptions. Experience with animals through sheltering/rescue if preferred. A great attitude and willingness to learn is a must. Please include any animal handling experience on your application. If you have the desire to save lives and launch a career in animal welfare, please send your cover letter and resume to careers@humanesocietytennessee.org. No phone calls or walk ins please.

A complete job description will be provided upon job offer and acceptance. A valid driver’s license and insurable driving record is required. If you are interested in joining the Humane Society, Tennessee Valley team, please email a cover letter and resume to careers@humanesocietytennessee.org or mail a copy to PO Box 51723 Knoxville, TN 37950. No walk-ins or phone calls please. Due to the high volume of interest, we will only contact applicants that will be considered for an interview. 

Our Team

Administration
  • A. Constance Paras, CAWA
  • Executive Director
  • Patricia Miller
  • Development Director
  • Brian Neilsen
  • Operations Manager
  • Cera Smith
  • Clinic Manager
  • Victoria Smith
  • Foster and Volunteer Program Manager
Veterinary Team
  • Katherine Ransom, DVM*
  • Shelter Veterinarian
  • Diane Laviola, DVM*
  • Wellness Clinic Veterinarian
  • Amanda Niethammer, DVM*
  • Shelter Veterinarian
  • Ken Turner, LVMT*
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Paige Taylor*
  • Veterinary Assistant
Adoption Center Team
  • Anna Nichols
  • Adoption Counselor
  • Marie Ooten
  • Adoption Counselor
  • Samantha Abrams-Cohen*
  • Animal Care Technician*
  • Leiza Kelley*
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Lyric Lantz
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Meghan Leader*
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Molly McClure
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Lennie Swindeman
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Josh Uphoff*
  • Animal Care Technician

Financials

Board of Directors

Aaron Richardson

Aaron Richardson

President

Kati Goodner, Esq.

Kati Goodner, Esq.

Vice President

Rob Stivers

Rob Stivers

Treasurer

Dianna Condon

Dianna Condon

Secretary

Robyn Ulrich

Robyn Ulrich

Past President

John Blum

John Blum

Maureen Bosch

Maureen Bosch

Joseph N. Clarke, Jr., Esq.

Joseph N. Clarke, Jr., Esq.

Tammy Kaousias, Esq.

Tammy Kaousias, Esq.

Victoria Konar, PhD

Victoria Konar, PhD

Sable Manske

Sable Manske

Ken Parent

Ken Parent

Jennifer Weisent, DVM, PhD

Jennifer Weisent, DVM, PhD

Advisory Board
Sharon Gigliotti

Sharon Gigliotti

Member

Patrick Hackett, DVM

Patrick Hackett, DVM

Member