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

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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.

Adoption Event at PetSmart Turkey Creek

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We had a good weekend at the PetSmart Adoption Fair. A huge “Thank You” goes out to Kelly, Julie, Karli, Penny, Sara T, Anne D, Ann S, Patty, Jill KW and Jill W for helping me out over the two long days.

We had a nice couple that came to Mast General last Sunday come back this weekend to submit their application on Bumble. The adoption team is processing it and we will share updates later in the week.

Jesse (aka Belle) is settling in nicely to her new home on her weekend visits.

Norris had a great first home visit with his potential new family so his application is moving along our process.

Harry has an application being processed as well and the team is working on scheduling a home visit sometime this week.

We had interest in Mikey over the weekend, but no applications have been placed just yet. Please share Mikey’s information with anyone local that may be interested in meeting him.

This is great progress for us considering we are just starting our second week of class!



Adoption Event at Mast General Store

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We had a great first outing this afternoon with Mikey, Norris and Harry! They were a little anxious at first in a crowded, noisy environment, but settled in and were very well behaved. They had lots of people stop by to share scratches, pets and attention.

One of the folks from Mast came by to share his homemade treats and the dogs loved them as you can see in the photos. All eyes were on him while the yummy smells of peanut butter or cheese filled their noses. They were respectful and waited their turns for the most part. Not too bad considering they haven’t started their training yet!

An application has now been submitted for Norris that is being processed, and we have strong interest on Mikey and Harry after today’s event.

Belle’s application is moving right along and she  was on a home visit this weekend with the family that wants her. They had a wonderful time and this looks to be her new forever home. We will post updates on the class as they’re available.

Thank  you to the wonderful folks at Mast General who are always great hosts, our volunteers that helped today, and everyone that stopped by.

Training starts Monday and we are super excited to be working with these great dogs!




Fundraising event at Just For You

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Thank you to Just For You: The Stockroom for hosting a private shopping event for HALT to raise money for our fall session. We had a great turnout, a fun time and 15% of the sales were donated to HALT. Plus, everyone that made a purchase got a 15% discount coupon to use on their next visit!

This “boutique down the street” has been open for about a year now, and these ladies know fashion. They have everything from really pretty clothes and accessories to vintage items and jewelry that they make in house! Kim and her associates at the store are very nice and will help you find just the right piece or put a full outfit together. They are located in west Knoxville near Turkey Creek. Stop by to check them out, and let them know you heard about them from HALT!

HALT showcased on WVLT Moms Everyday

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group-fall13Jeannine and Robin will be taking two of our dogs to WVLT Tuesday to be on the Moms Everyday show with Kelli Parker. We will record it Tuesday afternoon and they’ll let us know when it will air once we’re there. Mom’s Everyday airs Monday-Friday at 12:28pm on WVLT and 9:57 am on MyVLT



Welcome to our new website

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Dora_sm_halt_spring_2012_16Have you heard the news? We’ve got a brand new website! Take a tour and check out all kinds of great information about the HALT program. You can check out pictures of the adoptable dogs in our upcoming class and graduates from past classes, fill out applications online, plus learn about upcoming events, how to volunteer and easy ways to donate online.