Tails of the Trail ® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit launched in August 2015 where volunteers hike with shelter dogs for much needed exercise and socialization.

The ASPCA indicates that of the roughly 3.9 million dogs entering shelters per year, approximately 31% are euthanized. In some urban areas these numbers run as high as 78%.

Be a part of reducing euthanasia rates by hiking with local homeless hounds! Socialization and exercise can reduce kennel related stress and anxiety and improve a shelter dog’s behavior, thus extending their lives!

Jeanette Farrell

Montgomery County Animal Care and Control is thrilled to participate with Tails of the Trails monthly hikes! This program has enriched the lives of our shelter dogs and brought members of our community to come to the shelter that have never been here before. It has increased public awareness of how important it is for dogs to be socialized and exercised and we have also gained many new volunteers and dog walkers during the week because of this wonderful program!”

Jeanette FarrellDirector, Montgomery County Animal Care and Control
Emmylou Harris

Bonaparte’s Retreat is proud to partner with Tails of the Trail. It is our mission to find forever homes for shelter dogs. The more socialization and enrichment we give them (like the TOTT hikes!), the more adoptable they become. Animals truly do transform our lives. I can think of nothing better than ‘humans hiking homeless hounds’ as a way to give back to these dogs just a fraction of what they give to us.”

Emmylou HarrisFounder, Bonaparte’s Retreat Dog Rescue and singer-songwriter
Nick D’Asaro

“I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your help with the animals. The time spent walking the dogs not only helps to socialize them but it also helps them re-build confidence in humans. It’s a wonderful sight to see.

Thanks again for all you do!!”

Nick D’AsaroAnimal Care Supervisor, Nashville Humane Association
Mark Basenberg
“The Tails of the Trail monthly hikes have become one of our favorite events at Williamson County Animal Center. We think of it as another part of our enrichment program for the dogs in our care, as well as another outreach program providing exposure to the community. The hikers seem to really enjoy themselves and our volunteers love seeing our dogs show themselves.  It’s a great thing for all concerned!”
Mark BasenbergCommunity Relations Coordinator, Williamson County Animal Center
Sarah Hagood

“We have loved having Tails of Trail hike with our dogs. It is obvious how much the dogs enjoy being able to get out and go on a real walk. We love seeing how much fun the hikers have with the dogs as well! It has truly been a huge part in ensuring our dogs’ happiness before they are adopted.”

Sarah HagoodProgram Coordinator, Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control
Brenda Bass

“This was so much fun for the dogs! It was so great to give the dogs a genuine workout, which they usually don’t get on our routine short walks. The volunteers were eager and delightful to work with, and the dogs thought so, too!

Thank you, Lisa, for organizing the event with MTBR, and for organizing Tails of the Trail. We look forward to our next event with you and your group.”

Brenda BassDirector, Middle Tennessee Boxer Rescue

“We’re so thankful for the Tails of the Trail program. As you saw yourself, our dogs need to get out. This is an invaluable experience for them.”

Kristin StanfordShelter Manager, Pet Placement Center, Chattanooga, TN
T.J. Jordi

“I cannot express with words what these people have done for the animals. They have helped save a lot of lives today.”

T.J. JordiDirector, Cheatham County Animal Control, Pegram, TN


Photos courtesy Maddie Kleinman, Melissa Miles, James Quach, Kelly Stewart, Lisa Thomas, and Reiner Venegas.

Thank you to Michael Mitchell and Ken Tucker/Wild Side TV for video projects.