The Purple Paw Society

When Sonia Young, Chattanooga’s Purple Lady, passed away on December 22, 2022, McKamey Animal Center lost one of its oldest and dearest advocates. Sonia was instrumental in the creation of McKamey Animal Center, and served MAC and its mission, Saving Animals, Helping People, every day. She often called her dog Cheerio, adopted from MAC, her “McKamey Miracle,” but to us she was a miracle in her own right.


In Sonia’s memory, we are honored to launch MAC’s new Purple Paw Society, designed to keep Sonia’s commitment to the animals alive by supporting a new and innovative program expansion every year. This new giving society is something that Sonia always envisioned and shared with our staff on many occasions.

The Purple Paw Society is established in Sonia’s memory as an annual support fund for MAC’s life-saving work, program expansions and much more. Each year, as you renew your commitment, the program you are supporting will change dependent upon the needs of MAC.

This year’s commitments to the Purple Paw Society will support a new sensory enrichment garden and memorial garden at MAC. Designed to give MAC’s animals a place to roam, explore and just enjoy life, we know Sonia would have been thrilled to learn of this new initiative. As one of only a handful of shelters around the county with such a garden, this project is sure to keep MAC at the forefront of innovation and will help to enrich the lives of the thousands of animals who will walk through MAC’s doors for years to come.

Requirements & Purple Paw Perks

  • Special communications (e-mail, letters, etc.) just for members.
  • Special invitations to exclusive special events.
  • Insider updates on internal programs and projects at MAC that you are helping to support.
  • A special gift for joining the Purple Paw Society.
  • All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of U.S. Law.
  • Your name, if you so desire, displayed on our Purple Paw Society Wall Display in our lobby outside the entry to our Community Room.
  • And more!
  • A minimum commitment donation of $1,000.
  • Gifts must be renewed on an annual basis to maintain Purple Paw Society member status.
  • Donations can be made online by clicking the “Join” button on this webpage, by mailing a check to our Center, or by stopping by the Center in person.

2023 Project: The MAC Gardens

Phase One

Phase Two

Have a question about The Purple Paw Society? Please email MAC Director of Advancement, Lauren Mann at or call (423) 305-6500 x8.