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Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville gives $30K holiday gift to local animal shelters

December 22, 2022

In the spirit of the holiday season, Furrow Automotive Group’s Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville donated $15,000 each to Young-Williams Animal Center and Humane Society, Tennessee Valley to support the shelters’ efforts when they are needed most in the community.

The Furrow family’s commitment to community philanthropy inspired Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville to give to both organizations for a second time in 2022 after donating $10,000 to each of the animal welfare advocates in July. Furrow Automotive President Lee Ann Furrow Tolsma and the Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville team presented shelter representatives with $15,000 checks on Dec. 21. The donations represent a percentage of the local dealership’s recent sales as part of the Benzie’s Friends fund.

“Thanks to our team and customers, homeless pets’ holidays will be a bit brighter,” Tolsma said. “It brings us joy to give back to Young-Williams Animal Center and Humane Society, Tennessee Valley again this year. We hope the gift provides some comfort to pets and their people during this special time.”

Young-Williams Animal Center is the official municipal shelter for the City of Knoxville and Knox County. The shelter has served more than 11,000 pets this year. Humane Society, Tennessee Valley is the longest operating animal shelter in the Tennessee and relies solely on donations and grants.

During the holidays, the animal welfare organizations seek additional support to place pets in loving homes and help any pet owners who may need assistance such as pet food or resources.

“This is an incredible Christmas present to the tens of thousands of pets and their people that need our assistance year-round,” said Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “We are grateful to the Furrow Automotive Group and Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville for their continued belief in our mission to end pet homelessness, promote animal welfare and enhance the human-animal bond.”

“By extending this Christmas donation to our organization, Furrow Automotive’s Group Mercedes-Benz Knoxville, is providing shelter, food and love to the thousands of abandoned animals and families that we serve each year,” said A. Constance Paras, executive director of Humane Society, Tennessee Valley. “As the need increases, to keep pets and people together, we are grateful for the support of the Furrow Family and their customers that fuel our mission and provide hope to the animals and people in the communities we serve.”

Furrow Automotive Group has been operating in East Tennessee for more 105 years. Company leaders and employees are dedicated to bettering the lives of residents and the region as a whole, resulting in numerous contributions, including those to Young-Williams Animal Center and Humane Society, Tennessee Valley.

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 11,000 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

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 for more information.