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Our Featured Knoxville, TN Partner:

HALT: Humans & Animals Learning Together

Dog adoption saves lives. Adopt a dog and you'll have a friend for life! Contact us, or contact another local humane society, animal shelter or SPCA.

Pets at Our Rescue Group:

Cities, Towns, and/or Counties We Serve:

Serving Knoxville, TN, Oak Ridge, TN and immediate surrounding counties. Because of our home visit policy we are unable to do adoptions outside of our immediate area at this time.

Volunteers must be at least 21 years old and have your own transportation.

About Our Rescue Group:

Founded in 1987, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit program benefiting adolescents and dogs whose purpose is to provide a therapeutic intervention for at-risk teens through dog obedience training. Sessions are held in the spring and fall.

Through a series of classes, volunteer instructors helps student trainers teach basic obedience commands to dogs selected from a local animal shelter. Dogs that participate in the program are available for adoption, and each dog is placed in their forever homes after graduation.

Suitable dogs are selected by the HALT program and medically and behaviorally screened. They are given a standard series of inoculations, neutered or spayed, micro-chipped and boarded at the class site.

The dogs get up to 8 hours of quality class time each week learning basic obedience skills from their student trainers. The dogs get additional socialization with other people and dogs at adoption events each week through the 4 week session.

Student trainers are adolescents from residential centers for treatment of substance abuse, behavioral or alienation problems. They are selected by the staff of their agency and are transported to the class site for the classes. The student trainer commits to one four-week course, meeting two times per week. Up to four agencies furnish student trainers to work with the group of dogs, training on different days.

The teens get an opportunity to develop a positive sense of accomplishment, self-worth and pride. They are given the chance to improve specific living skills such as assertiveness, patience, staying on task, communication and commitment. They get the opportunity to have positive experiences with dogs as pets, and the satisfaction of knowing they've saved a dog's life by participating in the program. They also learn about different career opportunities in animal related fields, responsible pet ownership, reason for pet over-population, and the importance of spay and neutering our pets.

As of fall 2016, HALT has successfully worked with more than 1,500 adolescents and placed more than 375 rescued dogs into new adoptive homes. The program is solely made up of volunteers, many of whom have been a part of the program almost since its beginning.

In addition to looking for new homes for the dogs that go through our program, we are always looking for volunteers to help with classes, adoption events, and fundraisers. Volunteers must be at least 21 years old and have your own transportation.

H.A.L.T. is dependent on private donations, adoption fees, grants and volunteers for the program to exist. We welcome donations and memorial gifts to fund the program. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and your donations may be tax deductible. You can give online by clicking the DONATE button, or send a check payable to HALT to:

HALT: Humans & Animals Learning Together
C/O Catatoga Kennels
1737 N. Campbell Station Rd
Knoxville, TN 37932

Donate to Our Rescue Group...

Come Meet our Pets:

Classes are held in the spring and fall. When classes are chosen pictures of available dogs will be posted. Our adoption events are held around class times. Events are typically held April-May and September-October. Events will be posted as dates are scheduled.

Photos will also be posted on our website and on Facebook

Our Adoption Process:

Because of our home visit policy we are unable to do adoptions outside of our immediate Knoxville, TN area at this time.

Dogs are available for adoption in the spring and fall. Potential adopters are asked to complete and submit an application. The application review includes vet and personal reference checks, and can take up to a week to complete.

Applications can be submitted online at

If application is accepted, we conduct a home visit to ensure the dog you've selected will get along in your home. We want to be sure it's the best fit for both you and the dog.

Upon approval of application and home visit, we complete our process with an adoption contract.

Dogs must complete the program with their teen, and then go to their new homes at the end of the 4 week class session.

Our adoption fee is $150 per dog which includes spay/neuter, vet-check, heart worm check, vaccinations, and micro-chip.

Our Adopted Pets:

We have helped lots of pets connect with loving and caring owners. Check out our adopted pets list!

Why should you adopt?

Dog adoption and cat adoption saves lives. Adopt a dog or adopt a cat and you'll have a friend for life! What is the difference between adopting a dog or puppy versus getting dogs for sale or puppies for sale from a dog breeder? When someone is breeding puppies, they are creating new dogs who need homes. Some people are interested in a very specific breed of dog or puppy and they think the only way to find that specific breed is to buy a dog for sale from a puppy breeder. Yet animal shelters are filled with dogs who must find homes. So rather than buying a dog or puppy for sale from a dog breeder, we encourage people to adopt a dog or adopt a puppy at their local animal shelter, SPCA, humane society or pet rescue group.