Tails of the Trail®, where public participants hike with shelter dogs for much needed exercise and socialization, launched in November 2014 and received official 501(c)3 non-profit status in May 2015.

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!

Amber Adams
“As the Volunteer Coordinator and a Board Member at the Humane Society of York County, my absolute favorite event that HSYC does is Tails of the Trail. This great organization provides the dogs with a morning out, kind of like their own field trip to hike and be carefree. While observers and participants do potentially scout the dogs while they are at the event, it seems to me and I am sure the dogs, as if they get the morning to forget it all and just be a dog. And I love that!! If we find a home in the process, and in some cases we have, then perfect!!”
Amber AdamsVolunteer Coordinator & Board Member, Humane Society of York County
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 BassFounder, Middle Tennessee Boxer Rescue
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
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
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
Boxer Beau with Denise Brantley

Boxer Beau says he is “just waiting on my friends from Tails of the Trail who always show me love and petting, and all my friends here that get extra loving and walks too. Fresh air and friends… what a special day for all the furry residents here.”

Boxer Beau with Denise Brantley Director, Maury County & City of Columbia Animal Control


Photos courtesy Melissa Miles, James Quach, Reiner Venegas, Rachel Poole, Lisa Thomas, and Maddie Kleinman.

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