Furrow Automotive Group’s Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville donates $20K to help homeless pets

July 21, 2022

Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville has donated $20,000 to Young-Williams Animal Center and Humane Society, Tennessee Valley to support both organizations’ work to end pet homelessness and promote animal welfare. Called “Benzie’s Friends,” the donation campaign set aside a portion of Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville’s recent sales for the shelters.

Continuing Sam Furrow and Ann Baker Furrow’s passion for community philanthropy, the dealership team selected the nonprofits because of their love of pets and the lifesaving programs and valuable resources both provide in East Tennessee. Furrow Automotive President Lee Ann Furrow Tolsma and the Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville team presented two checks for $10,000 each to shelter representatives on July 21 at the dealership.

“Providing compassionate care to animals is truly a labor of love,” Tolsma said. “The staff at Young-Williams Animal Center and Humane Society, Tennessee Valley put their whole hearts into this mission. These organizations make a positive difference in the lives of pets and people in our community, and thanks to our customers we are able to contribute to that mission. After seeing the enthusiasm, we hope to bring back Benzie’s Friends every year.”

Young-Williams Animal Center is the official municipal shelter for Knoxville and Knox County and cares for more than 10,000 animals each year. Humane Society, Tennessee Valley was the first shelter in Tennessee and opened in 1957 in Knox County. The Humane Society has been finding homes for animals since being founded in 1885.

“Furrow Automotive Group and Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville are not only leaders in business – they’re leaders in our community,” said Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “We appreciate Lee Ann and her team’s support, and we plan to immediately put the money to use finding ‘A Home for Every Pet.’ ”

“The Furrows know the significance of family and how pets’ love can enrich the lives of East Tennesseans,” said A. Constance Paras, executive director of Humane Society, Tennessee Valley. “We are grateful to Furrow Automotive Group and Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville for the generous donation and know it will go far as we work toward a future in which all animals are treated humanely with compassion and respect.”

Furrow Automotive Group has been operating for more 105 years. Amid the company’s long history in East Tennessee, leaders of the business have built lasting relationships with employees, customers and the community. Contributions including those to Young-Williams Animal Center and the Humane Society, Tennessee Valley reflect the Furrow family’s commitment to bettering the lives of residents and the region as a whole.

About Furrow Automotive
Furrow Automotive is the parent company of Knoxville Motor Company, Knoxville Motor Company BodyWerks, Mercedes Benz of Knoxville, Sprinter Knoxville, Land Rover Knoxville and the Chattanooga Auto Square. Known for excellence in customer service and dedication to the community, Knoxville Motor Company’s award-winning locations have proudly served Knoxville for over 107 years. Mercedes Benz of Knoxville is the J.D. Power Dealer of Excellence Award winner for the third year in a row and a MBUSA Best of the Best Award winner.

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 each year takes in more than 10,000 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 young-williams.org.

About Humane Society, Tennessee Valley
Founded in 1885, Humane Society, Tennessee Valley is the longest standing animal shelter in the State of Tennessee. A stand-alone 501(c)(3) limited admissions animal shelter, Humane Society, Tennessee Valley receives no funding from national humane entities or government agencies; relying solely on private donations and grant funding. Located on Bearden Hill in Knoxville, our organization is committed to our relationships with over 50 shelters and rescues across East Tennessee and beyond.

Our lifesaving programs include our Knoxville Adoption Center, Traveling Tails Transport Program, PetHelp Program-Keeping Pets and People Together, Collaboration, Foster and Outreach. Our Wellness Clinic offers the public and their companion animals a low-cost option to help keep pets out of area shelters and in their homes. Our staff is a group of dedicated individuals that work tirelessly each day to maintain a 98% save rate for the thousands of animals that enter our doors each year. Humane Society, Tennessee Valley is dedicated to providing lifesaving programs and resources to enrich the lives of people and companion animals in the communities we serve. Visit humanesocietytennessee.org for more information.