Our History

Our History

New Leash on Life (NLOL) was formed in July 1978 under the original name of the Humane Association of Wilson County by a group of caring individuals dedicated to end the suffering of abandoned and unwanted pets in Wilson County.

Our first meeting was attended by community members interested in the same mission. Those who gathered confessed to feeling helpless to aid in the cause of ameliorating animal suffering and homelessness. There were no resources and no place for homeless animals to be sheltered.

In October 1978, we became incorporated and began our goal of obtaining funds to build an animal shelter. Our 501(c) 3 status was granted on May 28, 1980. In late 1982, our first successful capital campaign was launched, and in July 1983, we opened our current adoption center.    

Recognizing the importance of spay/neuter in solving pet overpopulation and homelessness, we began operating the first mobile spay/neuter clinic in Tennessee in 2000. The Spay Station provides spay/neuter services to qualified low-income pet caretakers in rural Tennessee who might otherwise be unable to afford these services. We provide these services at no cost to the pet caretaker when funds are available through grants or donations to operate it, as is the Snip & Tip program, which started in 2003. Snip & Tip is a trap/neuter/return program for feral and free-roaming cats. And in 2008, we opened the doors of Fix For Life, a low-cost, high-quality Humane Alliance-model spay/neuter clinic. To date, all our spay/neuter programs combined have sterilized well over 60,000 animals.


Unfortunately, due to recent losses of funding sources, we were forced to close the doors of Fix for Life on May 16, 2014. However, New Leash on Life remains committed to spay and neuter as a means of controlling pet overpopulation, as well as the adoption of cats and dogs. We expect to announce in the near future more information about services available through our Spay Station.

By 2003 it became apparent that the structure, size and aging condition of our Adoption Center hindered our ability to meet the demand and health of our animals. Over the next few years, research and planning efforts led to the development of a strategic plan, which included the hiring of an executive director and the formation of a timeline for the completion of a capital campaign. 

We are not affiliated with animal control in Wilson County and do not serve simply as an animal shelter. New Leash on Life is an animal welfare organization which operates a limited admission shelter as well as a wide range of programs that benefit both companion animals and residents in the area.

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