The Nashville Humane Association is one of the oldest facilities in the area, and is committed to finding cats and dogs loving, forever homes. Editor Rachel Rowney met with the team to find out more about its programs that promote wellness for both animals and humans…
The Nashville Humane Association has been working in the city since the 1940s, and offers a huge range of services to the community. From pet adoptions and education to medical services to foster care for dogs and cats, this organization holds an invaluable place in the heart of Nashville.
“We are one of the oldest nonprofits in Nashville,” remarks Laura Chavarria, executive director. “We have three pillars. One is adopting out homeless animals, the second is providing low-cost spay and neuter services to the public, and the third is education and raising awareness about our mission.” The center takes in around 4,000 animals each year that have either been given up or are strays. The association is the largest animal nonprofit in Nashville that focuses on adoptions. “We also step up in times of need, with puppy farms or natural disasters, we take in those animals to our program and help them find their forever home,” says Laura.
The average length of stay for an animal is a month, but there are animals who have been there for a longer period. “We want to be a temporary solution for their home, we don’t want them to stay forever. Animals aren’t designed to be in a shelter, no matter how great the care is that we provide or how many times we get them out [of the shelter]. It’s important to us to provide enrichment, as the happier they are, the faster they get adopted.”
Laura explains that the Association takes its responsibility of finding forever homes for animals very seriously. This includes carrying out landlord checks and liaising with animal control to make sure there is no history of animal abuse for prospective adopters, as well as conversations with the potential new owners to make sure the animal is the right fit for them.
The Humane Association encourages local people to socialize with the animals who are currently living in the center. There have been numerous studies on the positive mental health benefits of interacting with animals, as well as the physical benefits of spending time outside. It’s proven that walking and going on hikes is good for both mental and physical health, which is why the programs offered by the Nashville Humane Association are a benefit for both the animals themselves, as well as those individuals who wish to spend time with them. The organization encourages local residents to sign up and take out an animal for the day.
It’s proven that walking and going on hikes is good for both mental and physical health, which is why the programs offered by the Nashville Humane Association are a benefit for both the animals themselves, as well as those individuals who wish to spend time with them. The organization encourages local residents to sign up and take out an animal for the day.
The Nashville Humane Association often attends events to promote what it does, and to engage with people who may be interesting in adopting an animal. On June 1, the Nashville Health and Wellness Fest will be hosting ‘Puppy Pilates’ with dogs from the center, together with Julee Jones of The Pilates Place in Nashville. “We want to promote wellness and exercise,” says Lindsay Keitel, the Association’s events and outreach coordinator. “We want to create a healthy lifestyle for the person, as well as the animal, and by taking part in the Fest, we can do all of that together. Within the community, raising awareness is always a very important thing for us. We want to take part in what is going on, being out there and showing people that we are here and we support Nashville.”
Laura explains that many people don’t feel comfortable visiting the shelter, so a way to encourage adoption is to take the animals out into the community, attending events such as the Nashville Health & Wellness Fest. Positive human interaction is also good for the animals themselves. “Taking part in events is beneficial for dogs who are nervous, as safe interactions build their confidence in humans.”
Don’t miss your chance to meet the puppies from the Nashville Humane Association and take part in Puppy Pilates on June 1. The team from the center will be on hand to answer questions, accept donations and explain how you can help animals looking for a new home. “We’re here and we have loving animals that need homes,” concludes Laura.
Don’t miss Puppy Pilates at the Nashville Health & Wellness Fest on June 1! Meet local puppies that need to be adopted and take part in this session with Julee Jones, the owner of The Pilates Place in Nashville.
Bring your pilates mat to get started at 11.30am, but please don’t bring your own dog! You can also bring donations for the Nashville Humane Association.
Visit www.NashvilleHealthandWellnessFest.com for more information and to buy tickets.