In Tennessee, an abandoned Rottweiler wins hearts


The Petfinder Foundation‘s Rescue U is here in Jefferson City, TN, renovating the Humane Society of Jefferson County, a shelter that desperately needs our help. The team — students from Tennessee’s University of Knoxville and Pennsylvania’s Delaware Valley College, as well as volunteers from Oklahoma and even one from Michigan — are building a new dog meet-and-greet area, replacing the old fencing on the kennels and capping them, building shelves and updating the shelter’s interior design to make the layout easier for the employees to do their great work.

Outside, we’re building another meet-and-greet area, a large exercise pen and a building just for cats; updating the dilapidated perimeter fencing, adding drainage pipes and building new kennels. All this work will give the pets a chance to run and play and meet their future owners in a quiet, comfortable setting.


I was able to meet some of the amazing pets at the shelter, including Aggie, a Rottweiler who was found two months ago, tied up in the backyard of an abandoned foreclosed home in Jefferson County. She weighed just 61 lbs. (she should weigh 80-100) and had damaged her trachea straining against the chain in an effort to find food.

Since then, Aggie has put on 20 lbs. and turned into a very happy camper! She is 6 years old and very mellow. She has an amazing temperament, and is just as comfortable with cats as she is with the other dogs at the shelter. Shelter manager Melissa Enck says, “She is a great walker, doesn’t tug or try and lead.”

Aggie has a sweet disposition and is extremely affectionate, house trained and great with children. My hope is that during this renovation, someone will come into the shelter and spend a little time with Aggie. If that happens, my guess is that she won’t be at the shelter for long after that.

Stay tuned for more Rescue U updates to come!

To learn more about the Petfinder Foundation or to donate, visit

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More about this trip:

A Tennessee shelter gets a much-needed makeover (and cat room!)

More from the Petfinder Foundation:

Katherine Heigl helps the Petfinder Foundation fight kennel cough

VIDEO: Volunteers give a broken shelter a bright tomorrow

Would your mom care for homeless pets if she could?

A transport grant saves hundreds of pets in rural shelters

A family is reunited with their cat after a devastating flood

A Thundershirt helps a terrified dog trust humans

A trip to Florida gives an Alabama puppy a second chance

Training helps a shelter dog get adopted

PHOTOS: The pitties were nestled all snug with their KONGs

The Foundation’s 2011 success stories

A grant helps a rescue group tame three feral kittens

A starving Boxer and her puppies get lifesaving care