Just prior to the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter's fourth birthday in December, Nashville Paw magazine named the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter the third best shelter in Middle Tennessee.
To celebrate its fourth birthday and this award, the shelter will have an open house birthday party on Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. It will be a party four hours long, when any dog, cat, puppy or kitten can be adopted for $4.
"4 Ever Homes, 4 Keeps" is the theme of this birthday celebration. Volunteer Organization Benefit Fund will make up the difference in cost, making this once-ever offer for many to adopt a shelter animal. Since opening its doors in December 2008, more than 2,000 animals have come into the shelter. Of that number, more than 91 percent have been placed, adopted, rescued or returned to owners. New programs brought online this past year include a free pet to any senior citizen 65 years or older, and a free pet to any family who has an immediate family member deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq.
A grant from Allstate Insurance, and the Terry Burns agency in Mt. Juliet made this possible.
The open house celebration will include popcorn, cotton candy, fancy desserts, chips, salsa, Quincy the Saint Bernard and "Gentle Giant," along with Sharon, his owner. There will be pictures taken with Wilson and Juliet, the shelter's mascots, along with Anthony the Balloon Kid, and several more surprises. They invite people to come see their state-of-the-art-facility and especially the animals up for adoption.
Plans for the shelter
Volunteer Coordinator Jon Gray said the shelter currently has two animal control officers, and one director, who is Ed Blackwood.
"Ed Blackwood just recently resigned to accept a new position as the director of Animal Protection in Ketchikan Gateway Borough in Alaska," he said. "The city plans to hire two part-time employees instead of another full-time animal control officer."
He said it was a "golden" opportunity for the recruitment and training of additional volunteers.
"They care for the animals and spend more time caring and socializing the animals and getting them ready for adoption than the animal control officers," said Gray.
The next orientation seminar for new volunteers is Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at the animal shelter. The volunteer organization's website is in the final stages of development and will be up and running by early February.
The shelter continues to hold adoption fairs, pet therapy programs, and Humane Education programs in the schools. Call 615-773-5533 for shelter hours, which have been changed, or call Gray at 615-294-1095.
This story will appear in the Wednesday edition of The Democrat and Mt. Juliet News and was held due to unforeseen circumstances. It is available now in advance of our print editions or e-Editions.