Thinking of going for a walk? Take a MAC dog with you! The MAC Trailblazers program lets you hang out with an awesome shelter dog for a day, giving some wonderful company and her a great day out – and potentially even a new home!
MAC has select Trail Pups available for you to “check out” for a walk around town, a hike, or just lunch at a local pet-friendly restaurant. All we ask in return is that you keep her safe, have her back in time for bed check, and help us get her adopted by sharing your adventures on social media!
Each time you Trailblaze you’ll be giving a lucky Trail Pup an amazing opportunity to spend time outside a kennel, relax, stretch her legs, and hopefully meet her new family! And you’ll have great companionship while you’re doing it!
Anyone over 18 can be a Trailblazer – no training or orientation necessary! Just review the Trailblazer Welcome Packet materials and make sure you understand the do’s and don’ts, complete your online application and release form, and call us to see what Trail Pups are ready for an adventure (we can’t guarantee which dogs, if any, will be available for Trailblazing on any given day).
Then come to the shelter during adoption hours (first come first served!), sign out your Trail Pup, grab your Trailblazer Kit, and you and your new best friend (for the day) will be on your way!
What’s the catch? There is none! Our dogs love to get out and enjoy the City, and we are grateful to you for showing them the sights! Of course, the supplies and other things necessary to make this Trailblazers program happen aren’t free (every Trailblazer kit costs us about $50), so we hope that you’ll consider making a donation to help us keep this program going – thanks in advance!
Pretty simple, right? We think so!
Once your adventure is over for the day, we’ll ask you to fill out a quick “Trail Pup Report Card” which will help us find her the best possible home.
Where To Go
All MAC animals remain the property of MAC until we have approved and finalized their adoption – that means even if you find the best adopter EVER, your Trail Pup must stay in your care and be returned by you to MAC by bed check (Tuesday – Friday, by 5 PM and Sat/Sun, by 3 PM). Instead, please give any interested adopters a Trailblazer “Adopt Me” card and have them call the Center to begin the adoption process.
Please take your Trail Pup out to places where they might meet potential new adopters (downtown, popular hiking trails, etc.), but please do not take them to dog parks, day cares, or other areas where they might have an unpleasant encounter with another dog (while our Trail Pups are generally well behaved, not all other dogs are, and we don’t want to risk an unfortunate incident)
Your Trail Pup must be on a standard leash (no flexi-leads, please), handled by the Trailblazer who signed out the Trail Pup, or within a securely fenced enclosure at all times – no off leash roaming, please!
Please do not allow a Trail Pup to interact with any other dogs, even your own. Some of our dogs are particular about who they do and don’t like, so unless a formal introduction has been overseen and approved by MAC staff please keep them separate from all other dogs. Besides, our Trail Pups are dying for some one-on-one attention, and they’ll certainly stand out more to potential adopters if they’re solo!
Although she will surely beg for them, please remember that some of our Trail Pups have sensitive stomachs and special diets, so please keep treats to a minimum and never allow your Trail Pup to eat “human” food (particularly things like chocolate, grapes, and other toxic items).
Remember that Trailblazing is more than just having fun and giving your Trail Pup an opportunity to leave the shelter for the day, it’s about trying to increase your pup’s exposure to the public and hopefully find her a wonderful new home! That means not only bringing her places where she will be exposed to people who can’t help but notice how wonderful she is, but also harnessing the power of social media to spread the word.
While you are out on your adventures, please be sure to take lots of photos and videos of your Trail Pup being fabulous, and post them on social media using the hashtag #MACTrailblazer and tagging @McKameyCenter. The more people who see your fabulous Trail Pup in action the better chance she has of being adopted!
McKamey Animal Center
4500 N. Access Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37415
McKamey Animal Center was founded in 2008, serving the pets and people of the cities of Chattanooga, Red Bank and Lakesite, Tennessee. MAC is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization.