PetSmart Charities’ grants help Young-Williams Animal Center keep pets with owners, boost space

Young-Williams Animal Center has received nearly $50,000 in grants from PetSmart Charities to support programs that encourage keeping pets in their homes and to install space-boosting sliding doors in dog kennels.

A grant for $32,000 is aimed at pet retention to keep more than 300 pets with their owners instead of being surrendered to the shelter. Several programs and services can be offered such as pet supplies, wellness and medical services – including microchip programs – and intervention for immediate help.

“The funds for pet retention will keep hundreds of pets with their owners,” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “Sometimes, pet owners think turning over their beloved pet to us is their only choice. It is a win-win when we can offer programs and supplies to support keeping pets with their families.”

Another grant for $16,740 will be used to install vertical doors, which connect dog kennels and allow the shelter to double or even triple the size of a kennel space to create a greater quality of life and capacity for care. Dogs are placed in these holding areas before being moved to the adoption floor.

“These doors will add much-needed versatility to our holding areas that we use to house dogs upon intake,” Testerman says. “Not only does this give larger dogs more room, it also allows our staff to easily move the dogs between kennels and clean the space.”

Young-Williams Animal Center already uses portals that can be opened or closed between cat kennels, which provide more freedom for the felines.

“We have had such great success in our cat holding areas, and we anticipate a similar positive effect on the dogs,” Testerman says. “Support such as the grants from PetSmart Charities is crucial to help us care for Knoxville’s homeless animals and, ultimately, find a home for every pet.”

PetSmart Charities is a leading funder of animal welfare in North America. Grant funding to support shelter operations and improvements can be challenging to acquire in animal welfare. PetSmart Charities created a stream of funding that supports an animal welfare organization’s core sheltering operations and practices with a focus on programs that are both innovative and sustainable.

Shelter Operations is one of PetSmart Charities’ seven grant categories designed to support nonprofits that share a commitment to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets closer together.

About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year.

PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to nonprofits aligned with its mission under four key areas of support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets and Providing Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting almost $340 million since its inception in 1994.

Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 15 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit