Knoxville volunteer gives dogs second chance at life

Julia Gibbs and Whiskey

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Dozens of dogs with Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee are waiting for loving families right now. Thanks to volunteers like Julia Gibbs, they stand a chance at happier lives.

Gibbs spends countless hours caring for foster dogs, making sure they get medical care and ultimately find a permanent home. She does all of this in addition to working at a local veterinary clinic.

Gibbs doesn’t like to be in the limelight, but she hopes the WATE 6 On Your Side Hero Award would help spread the word about the need for more foster families for dogs.

Nominate a WATE 6 On Your Side Hero

When WATE 6 On Your Side met with Gibbs, she had a 6-year-old Pomeranian named Whiskey by her side. Whiskey has been through a lot.

More online: Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee

“He was found on the road by a veterinarian that actually works with small breed rescue and he had to have some care for awhile but he’s good. He’s good to go,” said Gibbs.

Right now, Whiskey is staying with Gibbs. He’s one of several dogs she has fostered over the years as a volunteer with Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee.

“We always need are more fosters,” Gibbs said. “We could take more dogs if we had more foster homes.”

Gibbs’s love for animals is clear. When she’s not volunteering, she’s working at the North Knoxville Veterinary Clinic.

Whiskey is one of close to 20 dogs available for adoption through the Small Breed Rescue organization. Dozens more aren’t quite ready yet. Like Whiskey, each one has a sad history.

“Sometimes we get dogs from puppy mills and when you hear about the large hoarding problems that go on, they contact Small Breed Rescue when those dogs are found,” Gibbs said.

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