Kroger Community Rewards

By | News

Kroger Community RewardsHere is an easy way for you to support HALT by doing what you already do! It’s time for the annual 2014-2015 enrollment in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. They’ve expanded the program and will be giving away $2.5 million to local organizations this year.

If you registered last year simply log in and click on “My Account” and choose HALT (organization 51944) under Community Rewards.

Not registered? Register your Kroger Plus card for Community Rewards (or get one at your local store if you don’t have one) and choose H.A.L.T (organization 51944). Every time you shop, Kroger will make a donation to the HALT program, and you’ll be helping these wonderful kids and rescue dogs that participate in the program.

Fall 2014 Session

By | News

Sherman(1)Our fall session is here! The fall “Fab 5” have been with our vet the last couple of weeks getting to know each other better, and getting all their vaccinations finished up. We are excited to get them to the kennel this week so we can start training with them.

The teens that will be training the dogs are also getting ready to meet the dogs next week.

Volunteer orientation for those signed up for classes is this Thursday, September 11th at 6:30pm. Classes start Monday, September 15th.

Our first adoption event is Sunday, September 14th at Mast General Store downtown from 1pm to 3pm. See our Events page for other upcoming opportunities to meet the dogs.

Hamlet(2)Thank you to our supporters and volunteers helping this fall – UT School of Veterinary Medicine, Young-Williams Animal Center, Ideal Veterinary Hospital, Catatoga Kennels, Mountain Mutt Media, and the local businesses that help by hosting adoption events for us.

Special thanks to the Abby Gibson Memorial Foundation for providing the Cool Class Sponsorship for both the fall 2104 and spring 2105 sessions. Their donation will help us provide snacks and drinks for all of the kids during their four weeks of class, plus t-shirts, certificates and goodies for graduations.

Check back for weekly updates on how training and adoptions are going with the dogs.


4th Annual Picture Day with Smokey

By | News

It’s football time in Tennessee! Come to Mast General Store to meet the University of Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey X and the cheerleaders on Saturday, August 23rd.

Registration for photos start at 1pm, and Smokey will be there from 1:30pm-3pm. Photos will be provided by Mountain Mutt Media.

We will have goodie bags for the first 60 sign-ups that will include treats, coupons and gifts from Mast General, PetSafe and more. Smokey will have to leave at 3p, so be sure to get there early!img_5905

Spring 2014 Reunion

By | News

What a beautiful spring day we had for our spring reunion! It was a great day to kick off our 27th year. Thank you to all the graduates, volunteers, supporters friends and families that came out for the event. Our new group of dogs had a fun time meeting lots of new dogs and people, including some potential new families.

Daisy is a very happy little girl. She really had fun at the event and we’re working on a home visit with her potential new family. We learned the other day she does not like cats!

Eddie showed us that he can be very focused and a fast learner. He had some initial issues meeting new dogs, but he started learning manners from us very quickly. He will love an active family that can keep him busy.

Charlie is another happy guy. He can be very playful in addition to loving a lap to sit in. We had fun watching him bounce around while he was meeting new dogs. He is a pretty calm dog but will enjoy playtime as well.

Mocha is definitely our shy girl. She does great with other dogs and did very well with a lot of dogs around. She is quite shy with people right now so we’ll focus on having her around lots of people over the next few weeks. She will benefit from a dog-savvy family that can include her in lots of activities to continue building her confidence and trust.

Lucky also met a potential new family. Their current dog and Lucky look like brothers! He is another fast learner that loves to play and spend time with others. He will be best suited for a home with another dog and a family that can keep him included in their daily activities.

We are excited to start classes Monday and see how our dogs grow over the next four weeks with their teen trainers!


2013 Gift Wrapping Fundraiser

By | News

What a great weekend we had at Mast General for our 2nd annual gift wrapping fundraiser! We had a lot of fun. Past graduates Wally (2011), Skip (2010), Diamond (2008) and Chica (2013) were great representatives of the program. The days were filled with lots of Christmas cheer, wagging tails and happy faces. Our volunteers did a wonderful job wrapping presents and we raised a lot of money to go towards our spring class.

I can’t thank our fabulous volunteers enough for donating precious time the weekend before Christmas to help. To our volunteers, those that helped provide supplies, the folks at Mast General for having us, and all those that came out to support us we greatly  appreciate it!

Furapalooza 2013

By | News

What a great turnout we had for Furapalooza! We had a lot of runners, walkers, and really great dogs come out for the event. This is our first annual 5K and 1 mile walk/run that is both family and dog friendly to benefit two great groups – H.A.L.T. and the US Cellular Soccer complex maintenance fund – supporting local kids, at-risk teens and rescue dogs.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers that showed up before dawn this morning to finish getting everything set up, and to all the walkers and runners that came out to support us! A special than you to Pilot Flying J, PetSafe, US Cellular, Willis, Catatoga Kennels and many other sponsors that helped make this fun day a reality.

Here are a few quick pictures from the morning

HALT loses a founding father and great supporter

By | News

1377381_680841308593565_1596704589_nI write this note with a heavy heart. Some of you may know by now that Dr. John New, one of the founding members of HALT, passed away Tuesday night. It was unexpected and we are all deeply saddened by the loss of such a great man. He had a long list of accomplishments and was a big advocate for animals and the human and animal connection. He was still active on our board after 26 years, and was planning on retiring at the end of this year.

HALT was one of the programs that was near and dear to his heart. He always loved hearing the stories from classes about the kids and the changes we see once they experience the magic that happens between a kid and a dog. In addition to HALT, he was also a founding member of HABIT (Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee) and CAIT (Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee). He will be greatly missed by so many.

We are dedicating the Furapalooza walk/run Saturday morning to Dr. New so we can celebrate his life, his loves, and his contributions to the veterinary and social work fields. We would love to have all of our HALT supporters come out to honor this wonderful man and program he helped start. Please wear your HALT shirt if you have one.

Quotes from the kids: fall 2013

By | News

At the end of the classes we ask the teen trainers to write letters to their dog’s new family. We ask them to share some of their experiences with the dog they’ve been training, personalities, quirks, things that were hard to learn, things that were easy to learn, etc. Whether they realize it or not, it is helpful for them to put down on paper in their own words. It helps them with the process of letting go and saying goodbye. Here are some quotes from the trainers in the fall 2013 session in their own words….

Bumble“More about my eperiance with Bumble: HALT stands for Humans and Animals Learning Together. As such, it’s purpose is to learn as much from your dogs and they learn from you. I feel like this program has been a success for me…when i first met Bumble I don’t think I realized how much we were alike…I saw a lot of things in Bumble that unforchantely were true for me at the time. As the program went on I saw Bumble grow, along with myself. While I know that I am almost ready to gradute, it touches me to see my own progress reflected in a living being. Bumble has touched my heart in uniumaginable ways which i will never forget. Thank you for giving Bumble a home. It means the world to me that you’re doing this for me and for Bumble.”

“Dear new owners of Bumble, Bumble is the best dog in the world to me. I hope you think so to. i hope you enjoy him as much as I did.”

“Bumble is…well, Bumble. I picked him on the first day because of the fact that he was named after the Abonible Snowman off Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. That instantly gave him cuteness in my eyes. Anyway, Bumble is great with the five basic commands. He loves when you gently pull the hair on his head into a mohawk. It doesn’t stay for very long though. If you want it to stay, maybe you can try some hair gel. I hope you enjoy Bumble, we have worked hard.”

“Bumble is the sweetest thing ever. He is spoiled because he’s cute. He loves to run and lots of attention. Make sure he has a mowhawk because he’s a cool dog. The best think I like about Bumble is the way he looks at me, that shows me that he loves me. so if he looks at you that means he loves you and he understands. I hope you will love Bumble the same way I do!!”

Mikey“I have been training Mikey for four weeks. Mikey is a wonderful dog. Training his was fun. He has some trouble learning how to stay but that is not a problem. He loves to dance while standing on his back legs. I have had a lot of fun with him and hope you do too. ”

“Mikey listens, he likes to play. He is nice and he doesn’t bite. i didn’t like dogs but Mikey does wshat you tell him after the 1st or 2nd time. I tried to teach him to roll over but he didn’t do it. I don’t even have to use commands now he does everything when he sees a treat. I like his ears and tail. He likes to be brushed.”

“Mikey is an awesome dog to be around. He needs lots of love every day. He doesn’t like to run until he’s warmed up. If you say ‘Mikey watch me’ he will. You may have to say sit 2-3 times and put the treat up to his nose. He needs lots of attention. He is a lap dog. He loves to lick you in the face. He never plays rough. He needs exercise every day. For at least 30 minutes he needs to lay and rest. He listens to everything you say and when you’re done talking he will come lick you. He is a very good dog. I will miss him dearly.”

Norris-19984174(3)_lowres“Dear Norris Family. it has been a pleasure working with Norris. these past weeks I have worked with him and he has improved a whole lot. He sits, comes stays, and etc. This is a special individual dog you are adding to your home. He also loves the doggy trents and also a very energetic god. So with this new addition you are adding to your household. Take good care of him and you’ll love him.”

“Norris works best with food rewards because of his short attention span. He loves FOOD!!”

“Hi, my name is Norris. I like to meet new people, learn new tricks, and be a good pet. Every 7 days in dog  years is 1goodday for you. the four main tricks I know and am getting to know is sit, stay, halt and come. If you meet my needs I will be 2x more willing to do as you say, so we will have good times together forever.”

Belle_IMG_3894_lowres“Jesse is the best dog in the pack. She kicked the other dogs butts. I  hope you enjoy her as much as me!! thank  you for adopting Jesse.”

“Dear Jesse’s family, I have been glad to train your dog for the last couple of weeks. She has improved alot. I’m just glad she has a new home to be looking forward to. Have lots of fun with your new addition. Take care of her,”

“Jesse is a great dog with a great future. Shes a fast learner but can be distracted easily if your not careful. Jesse is a sweet dog to is very observint, careing, and intelligent. She loves belly rubs and lot of attention.”

“I have loved being with Jesse. I hope she has a good home. She loves to be brushed! She knows how to stay for 30 seconds. Jesse loves other dogs. She really loves to go for a walk and sometimes runs.”

Harry_IMG_4036_lowres“Dear Harry new family. Harry will be a great member of your family. He is a happy dog. he loves treats and will do the commands sit, stay, heel and down. he loves to be petted and he loves to run and play. He is a great friend. i wish that you will love to make him a member of your family.”

“Harry is a really good dog. He is very hyper and active. He runs alot and loves to jump on people. I am trying to teach him not to do it. He has gotten better. I have been working with Harry for 1 month. He seems to pick up on the commands very quick. but other than that he is a very lovely dog. I hope he gets a good family.”

“Yo, new family. Well, what up? So I trained this new dawg your getting but heres the thing its not just a dawg its also a family memeber. its part of you so treat him right harry is a bad-A dog so peace! p.s. be good to him!”


HALT Program to receive $5,000 grant from the PetSmart Gives Back Initiative

By | News

We are so happy to share that HALT has been chosen to receive a donation from the PetSmart Gives Back program! Check out the story below!

KNOXVILLE, TN – Small non-profit programs often find it difficult to compete with larger organizations for grant monies.  But when a program thrives for 25+ years, puts together rescued dogs and at-risk teens, improves the self-esteem of the teens and boasts a 100% adoption rate for the dogs, others begin to notice.  And that’s just what happened!  On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, the PetSmart Gives Back Initiative will present a $5,000 check to the HALT (Humans and Animals Learning Together) Program at the PetSmart Turkey Creek location.

The PetSmart Gives Back Initiative is a new program at PetSmart that provides local District Managers the ability to donate to organizations in their community that enrich the lives of people through pets or organizations that support a diverse and inclusive community.

“H.A.L.T. is a program that made its way into my heart about 8 years ago. I adopted my dog Maggie from the program, and have been volunteering ever since. The teens going through this program have all kinds of stress and sadness in their lives for various reasons. To see firsthand what the unconditional love of a dog can do for these kids is absolutely amazing. Even the toughest and most shut off kids end up with a smile when their 4-legged partner come bounding towards them wagging its tail and licking their face.

In its 26 years, H.A.L.T. has had over 1380 teens go through the program, and we have rescued 348 dogs from shelters and adopted them into their forever homes. This program is dependent on private donations and our dedicated volunteers to make it a success. Receiving this donation from PetSmart Charities community outreach program means the world to us. This enables us to help more teens and rescue more dogs in the future. We are truly grateful, and we thank Trey and Chris for choosing to nominate H.A.L.T. for this generous donation.” – Jeannine Jones, Board President

At the conclusion of classes, the teens are asked to write letters to the dogs’ new adoptive families.  Here’s what one teen had to say:

“Dear adopter of Sadie… I want to thank you for helping save and protect Sadie from harm and danger… she is an amazing dog and just needs a great caretaker… I believe God has chosen Sadie and will put her in a good home with a caring family… I hope she touches your heart as she did mine… please love her as much as I do… I have struggled with depression, insecurity and poor self-esteem. Sadie put a smile on my face, brightened my day and kept my faith in wanting to become a veterinarian…. please love her and treat her well… Thank you for helping me save Sadie’s life.”

The agencies notice a big difference in the teens as well.

“One of the kids has been dealing with grief. It was so powerful for her to realize that she took part in “saving a life” of an animal and that she could really train a dog to make a difference.”

Begun in 1987, the HALT Program rescues five dogs from a local shelter twice yearly and pairs them with at-risk teens from residential centers.  The teens are responsible for teaching basic obedience commands to the dogs over the course of four weeks.  While the dogs are learning basic manners, the teens are learning about patience, teamwork, self-esteem and responsible pet ownership.

About PetSmart

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs approximately 52,000 associates and operates more than 1,301 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 196 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information ( PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp SM day care services and pet adoption services. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities®, PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 5 million pets since 1994. PetSmart Charities, Inc. and PetSmart Charities of Canada, Inc. (“PetSmart Charities”) are independent, nonprofit organizations that save the lives of homeless pets and reduce shelter intake through spay/neuter efforts. In 2012, nearly 450,000 dogs and cats found homes through the organization’s adoption centers in all PetSmart stores and by sponsoring community adoption events. PetSmart Charities is the leader in granting money to help pets in need, with more than $28 million given in 2012 throughout North America.