Young-Williams Animal Center raises $90,000 for new Spay Shuttle, asks community to donate during season of giving


On Dec. 17, Eric Barton presented a $45,000 donation from his Angels Over America Foundation to support Young-Williams Animal Center’s efforts to replace the shelter’s aging Spay Shuttle. Young-Williams Animal Center announced that it raised an additional $45,000 to match the donation by Barton and issued a challenge to the community to raise another $45,000 by the end of the year.

The new shuttle, which will cost $367,000, will help enable the shelter to perform more low-cost and convenient spay/neuter surgeries in the community and help prevent the birth of unwanted animals – up to 30,000 homeless pets in Knoxville every year.

Young-Williams Animal Center CEO Janet Testerman, right, receives a $45,000 check from Eric Barton, founder of the Angels Over America foundation.

“We are incredibly grateful for Eric Barton’s generous donation that set the bar for us to raise a total of $90,000 to kickstart our efforts to purchase a much-needed, new spay shuttle.” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “We are grateful for all the donors and supporters who stepped up to match his gift, and I now challenge the community in this season of giving to help us raise $45,000 by the end of 2019 to get us a third of the way toward our goal.”

The Spay Shuttle performs approximately 4,000 surgeries per year, but the aging vehicle has had major maintenance issues, forcing the cancellation of surgery days. The Spay Shuttle is a mobile surgical clinic that increases access to low-cost surgeries by setting up at local parks and library branches, as well as Knox County Health Department locations. On every trip it takes, the shuttle also serves as a rolling promotion to spay and neuter your pets.

Barton, a local entrepreneur and businessman, established the Angels Over America Foundation in 2014 to direct his family’s charitable efforts, which include outreach to veterans, education and animal welfare.

“The mission of Young-Williams Animal Center is ‘a home for every pet,’” Barton said. “A proven way to reach that goal is to stop unwanted litters that create even more homeless pets. The Spay Shuttle takes the services directly to the pet owners in their communities, which is very effective in increasing the number of spay and neuter procedures. We are thrilled to help get the new shuttle rolling, and I encourage everyone to pitch in, so we can continue the important work of the Young-Williams’ Spay Shuttle.”

To donate, community members can visit www.young-williams.org, click on “Donate” and select “Fund the Need – New Spay Shuttle” in the drop-down menu. Gifts also can be made by check and mailed or delivered in person to Young-Williams Animal Center at 3201 Division Street, Knoxville, TN, 37919. For more information about charitable donations, please contact Stephanie Eastman Vozar, director of development, at seastmanvozar@young-williams.org or 865-215-6664.

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center spay and neuter solutions, call 865-215-6677 or visit www.young-williams.org.

About Young-Williams Animal Center
The vision of Young-Williams Animal Center is “a home for every pet.” It is the municipal shelter of the City of Knoxville and Knox County, and in 2018, the center took in more than 9,000 animals.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Young-Williams Animal Center serves the needs of lost, unwanted, abandoned and neglected animals. The center’s mission is to lead the community to end pet homelessness, promote animal welfare and enhance the human-animal bond through the shelter and placement of animals, spay/neuter initiatives and public education of companion animal issues. Young-Williams Animal Center reminds pet owners to spay and neuter their pets.

Young-Williams Animal Center’s main facility is located off Sutherland Avenue at 3201 Division Street. Young-Williams Animal Village satellite adoption location and public spay/neuter program is located at 6400 Kingston Pike.

Both locations are open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The shelter closes from 1-2 p.m. for an hour of quiet time for the animals. For more information about Young-Williams Animal Center, call 865-215-6599 or visit https://www.young-williams.org/.