Episode 3118.2 | Tails of the Trail | Tennessee Crossroads

– [Susan] It’s a
beautiful, sunny morning. – [Susan] And the
four-legged guys and gals of Middle Tennessee Boxer Rescue can’t wait to get
out and enjoy it. Volunteers are arriving and
checking in for instructions with Lisa Thomas,
co-founder and director of Tails of the Trail. – So Tails of the Trail is a
501c3 nonprofit organization, and we have a mission statement to engage with community
to come out and join, participate in our
weekend events. We partner with rescues,
animal controls, and our goal is to hike and
exercise the shelter dogs. So we do a volunteer orientation when you show up at
each of our events. We sign waivers and
liability forms. We instruct you on how
best to walk the dogs within our environment. We walk what’s
called a dog parade, a front to back hike and sweep. – For dogs like Layla,
the chance to get out and stretch their legs
and get some fresh air, and meet new friends is
nothing short of glorious. You ready to go? Ready? – [Lisa] We’re all about
reducing kennel stress and lowering euthanasia rates. So the dog needs to de-stress
from being in that pen and being around the loudness
of the dogs in their vicinity. So when we get the dogs
out onto the trail walks, just that one-on-one attention, the love and treating
that they get, just to help get them out of
that kenneled environment, out into nice grassy
areas and green ways, to help them change their
scenery, to be loved on, just really getting those dogs out of their
kenneled environment will seriously improve their
behavior, their demeanor. They’ll be much more
show-able to people that might come
through the shelter to look at them after an event. We’ve had a very high
adoption rate occur immediately after our
events, when the dogs are showing their best selves. – [Susan] Brenda Bass is
founder and assistant director of Middle Tennessee
Boxer Rescue. She’s partnered with Tails
of the Trail since the start and is grateful for
the difference it makes to the dogs in her care. – It makes a big difference. The dogs are so
much more adoptable when they’re leash trained,
and most of our dogs come in as strays
or owner surrenders from owners who
never trained them. They need training,
all dogs need training, but the larger the dog,
the more training it needs to be a good pet. So the more we can
get out with them, the better trained they
get, and the easier it is to get them adopted. Just getting them out
of the kennel is fun, and around people, it helps
with their socializing. – [Susan] Of course,
it’s not only the dogs who like to socialize. Katherine is a recent transplant from southern
California, who found Tails of the Trail
on social media. – Don’t know very many
people, so I wanted to get out and give back to the community. So I looked up on meetup a
bunch of different groups, and I looked up dogs and I
found this rescue hiking. I like hiking, I love dogs, and
I can’t have dogs right now, so it was kind of
the perfect match. I loved Layla, she’s
just a sweetheart. We bonded pretty quickly. – [Susan] Full disclosure,
it happens a lot. Kay fell for and adopted Mason from Middle Tennessee
Boxer Rescue after she hiked with him
a year and a half ago. – No, I was not
looking to adopt, but then I walked him, and I
just kind of had to have him. I thought about it
for a couple months, but I kept going back and back, and I was like, I don’t
know if I should do it, but I just, you know, it
was just after a little bit, I was just like, okay, he’s
definitely the right fit. He needed a home, and I
could give that to him, so I took him home. – [Susan] Sadly,
only about two-thirds of the nearly four million dogs entering shelters
nationwide each year are lucky enough to find a
second chance like Mason did. Every year, over a million
dogs are euthanized here in the U.S. alone. Lisa dreams of a day when
all dogs have loving homes, but in the meantime is
doing all she possibly can, in as many ways as she can, to give as many
dogs as possible, the chance for the wonderful
life they all deserve. – [Lisa] We’ve had
a lot of success. I think our current
numbers are about 422 dogs that have been adopted as
an outcome of our events. We get as many dogs
out of those shelters and into homes as
we possibly can. – [Susan] After returning
from their hike, the dogs happily cool off
with homemade pup-sicles and bonus belly rubs before
heading back to the kennel. It’s been a morning that has
left both hound and human richer for the experience
they’ve shared. – [Lisa] Knowing that every
time we show up to run an event, that these dogs are
getting loved on, that they are happy
wagging tails. When we leave and see
these happy, calm faces, these loving dogs, you
know, it’s very rewarding. Very fulfilling. You want a treat? Hmm?

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