Wags to Wiggles

Our Thrift Store

Here at Friends of the Animal Shelter we are very excited to have our very own Thrift Store, run entirely by amazing volunteers!  We have hundreds of wonderful donated items, so there truly is something for everyone.  The best part!  All proceeds go to our Shelter to help us help the animals!  By stopping and shopping, you help an animal in need.  Just imagine what we can achieve together!

Please stop by and see us real soon!

*We are closed for the winter season, but are reopening on March 18, 2021!

Our new open hours will be:

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

106 Wildwood Way

Gatlinburg, TN 37738

(865) 325-8303


Antique briefcases and hats

Our Story

A Bit of Background

Image by Cynthia Smith

The first animal shelter in Cocke County, Tennessee was started in 1978, by Lynn Bright and Cynthia Woods at the Newport Fairgrounds.  The shelter was run entirely by volunteers and donations.  In the early 1980’s, the shelter was flooded, and the facility was wiped out.  Thankfully, all the animals were saved and by 1984, the City of Newport agreed to allow a portion of a garage and salt storage area, used by the Newport Street Department, to be used as the animal shelter for Cocke County.  Living conditions for the animals was extremely poor, they did not have adequate space and the building did not allow for their proper care.

In the early 1990’s, a small group of dedicated individuals were worried about the conditions of these homeless, abandoned animals in the county.  This support group was started by Dr. Carol Hood and was named, “The Friends of the Animal Shelter”.  The purpose was to raise money for supplies and to give physical help as volunteers. As this wonderful group of volunteers grew, they also became determined to somehow afford to build a proper animal shelter, knowing that they would not receive the necessary funds from the government.  They worked tirelessly to obtain donations and thankfully, two acres of land was generously donated for the shelter to be built on in its current location.  After several years of writing grants, numerous fundraisers and generous donations, the group had enough money to start building.  Since then, many additions and improvements have been made to the shelter because of extremely caring and generous donors and volunteers.   

The Friends of the Animal Shelter became incorporated in 1993 and the shelter doors opened in its current location on May 6, 2000.  Our shelter exists because a local group of dedicated individuals had a dream of having a proper animal shelter for Cocke County.

Many people are unaware that Friends of the Animal Shelter is not owned by local government and that the shelter receives limited funding from the local government.

Image by Nine Köpfer

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”

Mark Twain

Make a Difference through Fostering

Help provide a safe space for pets to begin their new happy lives.


Foster care volunteers provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats. Our foster families save pets who are too young to be adopted yet, are elderly, recovering from surgery, scared or depressed. Fostering is a selfless, compassionate and generous commitment and we recognize that.  As foster parents to the cats and dogs of our facility, you provide the love and stability they need. We thank you for that!

Some animals may only need a home for several days, while others may need several months of care. By offering your time, energy, and home to an animal in need, you prepare an animal for adoption into a permanent home and prevent overcrowding in our shelter.  We are particularly in need of foster homes to help feed orphaned kittens.  This is a challenging but very rewarding job, and spring brings many orphaned kittens to the shelter.


Simple Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent

Complete the Foster Care Application and be on your way to changing the life of a cat or dog!

Save A Life

When you foster a pet, we have room to bring another pet to our no-kill shelter. You’re saving two lives!

Free Food and Medical

We provide you with all the food and supplies you need. We take care of all their medical needs as well.

Perfectly Paired Pets

After you fill out your foster application, our shelter staff and volunteers work with you to find the right pets for your home.

Image by freestocks

Why Foster an Animal?

Fostering allows us to save even more lives by allowing us the space to rescue another animal.  The more people willing to become fosters, the more animal lives we can save every day!

Fostering a dog or cat is a fun and rewarding experience that the whole family can participate in and receive unconditional love in return.

We cover the cost of all the medical needs, food, bowls, litter boxes, cages etc. while you are fostering, so there is no cost to the foster home.

You are keeping the animal in a safe, quiet environment while they get all of their booster vaccines so they won’t get sick.

Typical Steps for Becoming Cat/Kitten or Dog/Puppy Foster Parent

  • Our shelter will contact you as soon as we process the application to discuss what type of foster animal may work well in your family.

  • Once the animal arrives, we will notify you when you should arrive at the shelter to pick up the animal and we will give you everything you need to take them home that day!

  • Love and care for your foster animal and provide the shelter with pictures, progress reports and personality descriptions, so we can match your foster with the best loving forever home!

  • If fostering a kitten or puppy, they will need to come back to the shelter every 15 days for booster vaccines and go to our veterinary clinic for their spay/neutering on a specified day & time.

  • If fostering an adult dog or cat, you would need to be able to bring them back to the shelter to meet potential adopters.

  • Return your foster to the shelter to find their permanent, loving home through adoption.

Image by Brad Lloyd

Come Volunteer with Us

Join the Team

Here at Friends of the Animal Shelter we are looking for pawsitive, hardworking, honest individuals that not only really love animals, but want to be part of a team working toward making this shelter better than it's ever been!  If that sounds like you and you want to volunteer and make a difference, please fill out the form below!


Thanks for submitting!

Image by Chris Arock
Beautiful Sunsets

Where Camping and Saving Animals Go Hand in Paw!

Friends of the Animal Shelter is extremely fortunate to have wonderful volunteers that go the extra mile to help us achieve our goals.  They have generously offered an RV camping sanctuary for you to reserve on more than an acre of land with a PRIVATE site, full hookup and WIFI.  This RV site is in the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains and is sure to please!  The best part...beside the fact that you're going to have a wonderful vacation?  All proceeds benefit our Shelter!  So if you love saving animals as much as we do, make your reservation today!  We're pawsitive you won't regret it!


Easy entrance into your private campsite!


Your relaxing vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains awaits you!


Ready to make your reservation today or need more information?  Email camping4paws@cerno.us

Image by Sahand Babali

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France

Helpful Information

Pricing and Information on our Low Cost Programs

How do I sign my pet up for the low cost spay/neuter you offer or for vaccinations?

Appointments can be made by coming to the shelter during our open hours and filling out a medical form for your pet(s).  Payment is due upon signing up for the services you choose.  Your payment will reserve your spot for the available clinic date you choose.  In most cases, you will need to bring your pet to the clinic yourself, but we do provide transportation, for an extra fee, for individuals if it is a hardship.

How much is the low cost spay/neuter and who can sign up?

Anyone can sign up by coming to the shelter and filling out a medical form for your pet(s).  The prices are as follows:

-Male cat neuter is $50.00

-Female cat spay is $60.00

*You can also pay only $25.00 if you have a feral female or male cat that needs to be spayed or neutered.  Ear tipping is mandatory for this price.

-Female canine spay includes a pain injection and is:

Up to 70 lbs is $68.00

70.1 to 80 lbs is $78.00

80.1 to 90 lbs is $88.00

Over 90.1 lbs is $108.00

-Male canine neuter includes a pain injection and an e-collar and is:

Up to 70 lbs is $68.00

70.1 to 80 lbs is $78.00

80.1 to 90 lbs is $88.00

Over 90.1 lbs is $98.00

How much are vaccinations?

Vaccinations done during your pet(s) spay or neuter surgery costs are:

-Rabies: $10.00

-FVRCP: $12.00

-DHPP: $12.00

-Bordetella: $12.00

Vaccination prices for pet(s) not having surgery are:

-Rabies: $12.00

-FVRCP: $14.00

-DHPP: $14.00

-Bordetella: $14.00

Do you offer additional services?

Yes!  You can also come in to schedule an appointment for the following services:
-Heartworm test: $20.00
-Heartworm prevention: $11.00 and up per monthly pill
-Flea prevention: $12.00 (one month dose)
-FELV/FIV Test: $20.00
-FELV vaccine: $14.00
-Microchip: $15.00
-Nail trim: $6.00
-Ear cleaning: $6.00
-1 Dose of earmite treatment: $6.00
-Dewormer: $5.00 and up, depending on the weight of your pet


Our Mission Statement

The Mission of Friends of the Animal Shelter is to provide comfort, care and shelter to lost, homeless and unwanted animals, to coordinate spay/neuter and other medical services for companion animals, to provide programs and education to reduce overpopulation of animals and to find quality homes for homeless and neglected companion animals.

Foggy Mountains

Our Leadership

Board of Directors


Alison Chiaradio


Sara Kenney

Vice President

Derreck Whitson


Anne Fontaine

At large

Shelley Malin


Paula Mitchell

At large