Welcome to CrittersWork Service Dog Partners.
I would like to tell you a bit about us. We are a small 501 c 3 nonprofit in Greeneville Tennessee. We are located in the foothills of the Bald Mountain in South Greene County. If you have never been to Tennessee you owe yourself a trip out here. I originally came from New Jersey when my husband and I decided to relocate here we were not disappointed. Everyday we marvel at the beautiful mountains surrounding us.
I was looking for a groomer for three dogs after my original groomer moved back to Florida.
I stopped in at a few of the places that I had passed in my travels, but none groomed Airedale Terriers. To the phone book I went and the first place I found was All Critters Bed & Biscuit. It was fairly close to our home so I called and asked the question about grooming. They did groom Airedales. I was very pleased with their work but soon learned that they would be closing this location and relocating to the parent kennel (All Creatures Country Club), also located in Greene County. This was the start of an adventure that changed my purpose in life. After transitioning my grooming to All Creatures Country Club we were pleased to have found a wonderful and reliable establishment that took excellent care of our animals.
A few years later I attended a series of seminars given at the training center which was part of All Creatures Country Club on the old fashioned ways of life and how we could put them to use in current times I discovered that there were volunteer opportunities at the kennel little did I envision that this opportunity would open many doors to both a wealth of knowledge but to a wonderful friendship with people who felt, cared, and respected animals as much as I.
I soon learned in addition to the kennel Kat ran not one but two nonprofits the first one is GreenePets Foster Network, Incorporated and the second, CrittersWork Service Dog Partners, Incorporated. Now comes my biggest education, our family had done many years of fostering dogs while living in New Jersey while being a busy mom of two girls, with two dogs of her own, we also took in a foster dog. Other parts of rescue never crossed my mind
Kat put me to work with my first task of looking for grants to help fund the organization, something which I had very little experience with. Wow the things I learned. Rescue is not just about taking in dogs but finding monetary ways to sustain the mission. I was even more surprised when I learned that there were not that many dogs in this rescue. When I asked how many dogs could be accommodated in this rescue I was really impressed with the mission of this woman. Yes dogs were rescued by GreenePets but the other part was to leave enough room and resources in the event that any of the other nine small rescues that operate in Greene County and other states had need for kennel space that it was always available. On more than one occasion I have seen this rescue come to the aid of other rescues trying to place a dog in our area and needing an assist with arrangements for transport kenneling and pick up by the adopters. We have on numerous occasions been the halfway point for transports. This is a small rescue and its ability to network with other rescues to make permanent and long-lasting bonds between dogs and families is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. There are many stories to be told but I will leave those for another page.
CrittersWork Service Dog Partner has a mission of helping people with disabilities find a brighter life by having a bonded partner to help them achieve things they could not otherwise achieve on their own. Although CrittersWork was created in 2008 it is still somewhat in its infancy. There have been service dogs trained and successfully paired with their human partners. However in this area there is a lack of knowledge as to need for such highly skilled dogs. Pair that up with the economically depressed area that Greene County is and the challenges are enormous. That did not stop Kat. The local sheriff’s department was in need of canines to start their K-9 division Kat working with a deputy from the Sheriff’s Department located, rescued, housed and assisted in training and socialization of these dogs for the sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s department received dogs which which were made cost-effective to the department by All Creatures Country Club, who absorbed enormous expenses in creating these dogs. The undertaking had a wonderful outcome for several dogs to assist our county officers and the community. Unfortunately due to the lack of a trainer this program has been put on a back-burner hopefully to be looked at somewhere down the road.
Most of the rescued dogs were Belgian Malinois, coming from high kill shelters across the country. While in the process of training these dogs a generous donation of a pair of highly bred Malinois were donated to the program from Kansas. Tom Brown, Vom Fieldcrest Shepherds. A male Belgian Malinois, who is now serving as a K-9 with a small department in Indiana, and a female Dutch Shepherd, who is a service dog to a family court judge in West Virginia. She not only serves her handler, but works with the children in the courtroom.
So up to the present. With the ever-growing number of disabled veterans coming home from the Middle East we’re getting calls from veterans wanting to train their dogs to be a service dog. We started them in a regular training classes, which wasn’t wonderful for their personal issues, so it was time to open up the CrittersWork workbook again and launch a specialized program for Making Our Veterans Priority. Stay Tuned for More!