Good things are happening at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter–lots of good things! And we want our community to know about the many programs, events, and opportunities found at TMAS.
Get involved at TMAS
In addition to helping to save animal lives, this shelter also offers many ways for the public to get involved in animal welfare. Founded in 1994, TMAS is funded by the City of Tuscaloosa, City of Northport, and the Tuscaloosa County Commission. It receives animals from both animal control and from private citizens.
Volunteer at Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter
There are many ways to volunteer at the shelter; people are needed to cut grass, wash towels, walk dogs, and cuddle with cats, just to name a few. Simply fill out an application on the website’s volunteer page (https://www.metroanimalshelter.org/volunteer). You will need to attend a short orientation session and then you’re all set. Volunteers are needed every day except for Wednesdays and Sundays when the shelter is closed to the public. Volunteers must be 16 years or older, though younger people can volunteer at the shelter if accompanied by a parent. Whether you have an extra day during the week or a few hours on the weekend, there is a place for you as a volunteer!
Foster or adopt a pet
Looking to adopt a pet? The shelter can help in several ways. It provides spay and neuter certificates to help cover the cost of those procedures. One Saturday a month, TMAS takes a van loaded with dog and cat food to the parking lot of a local elementary school. For two hours, or until the food runs out, the public can get free food for their pets. School locations are updated on the website.
Fostering is another option for helping our local pets. You can foster for several weeks, as in the case of puppies who must be old enough before being adopted, or you can try out an animal for a shorter time.
The shelter provides needed supplies (such as food, leashes, litter, and other items) for fostered animals. The Happy Hour program allows available pets to be taken home for a few hours or overnight. Check the website to see photos of these adorable animals and to sign up for fostering.
Libby listens to local children
Another wonderful program sponsored by TMAS is Libby Listens. Headed by retired teacher Mary Calhoun, this program sees former shelter dog Libby visit area schools to allow children to read to her. The purpose is twofold–it encourages children to read, and it provides information about responsible pet ownership. Due to Covid, this popular program has been suspended, but TMAS hopes that Libby can get back to visiting schools soon.
Jennifer Earp, Executive Director of TMAS, encourages the public to see the shelter as a resource and emergency center. If you need to find a home for a pet that you or a family member can no longer care for, the Home to Home program is a great option. This program keeps animals out of shelters through direct home placements. Since TMAS is always full, placing pets directly in homes alleviates overcrowding. Also, many animals do not tolerate the conditions of a shelter well. Puppies, for example, may not be able to adjust to the noise and constant activity of a shelter. Contact the shelter for help in transitioning a pet from one home to another.
Please consider helping the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter by donating money, time, and/or supplies. Online shoppers can buy items through the TMAS wishlists on Amazon and Chewy. There are more animals in Tuscaloosa County than there are homes available, so TMAS needs your help.
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