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.

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)

MUST HAVE FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE INCLUDING ABILITY TO WORK WEEKENDS, HOLIDAYS, and EXTENDED SHIFTS The primary functions of our Animal Care Technician (ACT) includes providing humane handling and care for our shelter animals, maintaining a safe and sanitary facility, and performing daily tasks to support animal care. Job duties include but are not limited to: daily feeding and medicating of animals, thorough cleaning of all kennels in intake, the adoption center, offices, clinic, and isolation. Must be willing to do laundry all day every day, dishes, sweeping, mopping and a myriad of tasks to keep the shelter running smoothly and the care of the animals a top priority. Must be able to demonstrate the ability to multi-task, work independently 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. You must have reliable transportation and a clean, valid driver’s license to drive our company vehicles (we will process a DMV check). If you are a person with no experience in animal sheltering but still want to apply, we encourage you to do so but please include a cover letter telling us why you are the person we should hire as part of our team. MUST be supportive of our mission and vision!

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. 

Director of Development

Are you passionate about our mission and someone who thrives on developing fundraising strategies and engaging donors to see our vision for the future? Is your ideal day focused on relationship building including engaging existing donors, engaging new prospects, talking with corporate and foundation partners, and managing awareness events? If you have superior communication skills, both verbal and written, have a high standard of professional and ethical conduct, integrity, and accountability we welcome you to apply to be part of our team. If you have seven or more years of progressive business development/partnership building experience with five or more years in a professional fund-raising environment including demonstrated success identifying and cultivating prospects and increasing revenue in a non profit setting we encourage you to apply. Please send a cover letter and resume to careers@humanesocietytennessee.org and consider joining our thriving organization poised for future growth and community impact.

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
  • Brian Neilsen
  • Intake and Transport Manager
  • Cera Smith
  • Adoption Center Manager
  • Victoria Smith
  • Foster and Volunteer Program Coordinator
Veterinary Team
  • Monique Hanrath, DVM
  • Shelter Veterinarian
  • Diane Laviola, DVM
  • Wellness Clinic Veterinarian
  • Amanda Gudgel, DVM
  • Wellness Clinic Veterinarian
  • Ken Turner, LVMT*
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Paige Taylor
  • Veterinary Assistant
Adoption Center Team
  • Anna Nichols
  • Adoption Counselor
  • Julia Brimer
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Maria Kinnun*
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Meghan Leader*
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Marie Ooten
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Khaylah Robinson
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Aspen Wilson*
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Josh Uphoff*
  • Animal Care Technician

Financials

Board of Directors

Robyn Ulrich

Robyn Ulrich

President

Aaron Richardson

Aaron Richardson

Vice President

Dianna Condon

Dianna Condon

Secretary

Rob Stivers

Rob Stivers

Treasurer

Maureen Bosch

Maureen Bosch

Joseph N. Clarke, Jr., Esq.

Joseph N. Clarke, Jr., Esq.

Robert Cooper

Robert Cooper

Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVAA

Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVAA

Pam Halcomb

Pam Halcomb

Kati Goodner, Esq.

Kati Goodner, Esq.

Tammy Kaousias, Esq.

Tammy Kaousias, Esq.

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