Forever homes

Foundation pairs strays with new owners during adoption fair

The Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation’s work is never done.

Even though the Blount County Animal Center is up and running, the SMACF foundation president Chris Protzman said on-going needs for funding, volunteers and “forever-homes” continue.

According to Protzman, the foundation recruits volunteers needed to maintain a clean facility and give quality care to the animals.

“This is our shelter. It’s up to us to make it the best we can,” he said.

Emily Straquadine, the foundation secretary and treasurer, said a clean facility generates more adoptions.

“If someone comes to look at an animal, they may not want it because it is sitting in a messy kennel.”

Both Straquadine and Protzman said keeping the shelter clean is a daunting task. Volunteers are mostly needed during the week for two-hour shifts in the morning or afternoon. The shelter needs at least 25 more volunteers, double what they have now.

The recent adoption event held on June 26 not only provided homes for 15 animals, but also brought in 12 new volunteers.

Protzman said, “Most impressive were the number of people who wanted to volunteer, and we signed them up that day.”

The event drew more than 200 supporters as people followed the story in the media about an animal hoarder in Wildwood where more than 20 dogs were rescued.

The shelter and SMACF partnered with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to hold the event. Straquadine said only two puppies remain from that hoarding case.

Protzman said more than 1,000 animals have been placed in homes since the shelter opened in November.

He said more “forever homes” are needed to provide for the constant population of abandoned animals.

“There are a lot of potential best friends over there.”

Money is also an on-going need to fund transportation and medical costs for the rescued animals.

To contribute to the efforts, email the foundation at or mail donations to SMACF, P.O. Box 7218, Maryville, TN 37802.

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