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Sevier Co. animals receive Buc

Aug 12, 2023

by: Melanie Vásquez Russell

Posted: Dec 16, 2022 / 09:59 AM EST

Updated: Dec 16, 2022 / 11:23 AM EST

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While East Tennessee is awaiting for the Sevierville Buc-ee’s location to open, “the friendliest beaver” is already making a positive impact in Sevier County with a gift to adoptable pets. An error in an early shipment of merchandise to the store resulted in a donation of pet clothing that has helped some dogs get much-needed attention, comfort, and of course, adoptions.

The Texas-based company launched a line of pet clothing and accessories. A construction company working on the Sevierville site reached out to the Sevier Animal Care Center to see if they’d be interested in a dog clothing donation for its adoptable pets. The shelter accepted the donation and the clothes were delivered in early December.

Director Ashley Thomas, who has been with the shelter since its opening in November 2018, said on Friday that the donation of dog clothing has aided in the adoption process since the clothes give the animals some style and give the would-be owners some visuals of them as pets.

“It’s definitely been something great for our larger dogs,” Thomas said. “They’re harder to adopt, but if you throw a sweatshirt or shirt on them, it makes people visualize having that pet in their home better. And the Buc-ee’s shirts have given them a lot more attention.”

Thomas said when they received the Buc-ee’s pet clothing in early December, they dressed the larger dogs up first, then a few cats who were more tolerable of the smaller clothes. Thomas said it was a generous amount of clothing.

“We are so grateful that Buc-ee’s reached out and brought us a donation of dog shirts and sweaters,” Thomas said. “It is so heartwarming that this company is thinking of our homeless animals and giving back to their community! Putting shirts and sweaters on our adoptable dogs definitely helps them get adopted quicker and keeps them warm in this chilly, rainy weather that we are having.”

A construction company representative, who declined to be recognized for the simple act of kindness, made the donation due to an early shipment of merchandise to the ongoing construction project.

Shelter operations have been busy, Thomas said, especially within the last few years amid the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.

“Operations are going as well as you can expect, pretty well considering the circumstances,” she said. “This year and with Covid, animal welfare in East Tennessee is struggling. Our intake has increased by 30 percent, so there are some new struggles post-Covid and we’re also getting a lot of under-socialized dogs.”

The shelter has been taking in dogs that haven’t been well-socialized with others due to lockdowns or other factors. These types of dogs require more resources and attention, according to Thomas.

Now the shelter has been able to add the Buc-ee’s pet clothing as an additional resource. Thomas said they brought in so much clothing, they’ve been able to outfit many dogs plus a few cats well into the month so far.

“Even though this isn’t a small gift, even the smallest gift makes the biggest difference,” Thomas said. “I feel like this is really a first gesture by Buc-ee’s, they haven’t moved in yet, but it really fills me with a good sense of these are going to be really good partners in our community and for our animals at large.”

The Sevierville Buc-ee’s just off Exit 407 will briefly hold the title of the world’s largest convenience store – until the Luling, Texas location opens. The Sevierville Buc-ee’s is set to open in summer 2023.

Coming up, the Sevier Animal Care Center will be hosting its “Home For the Holidays” adoption special, where fees will be waived and potential pet owners can do a “trial” period with an adoptable pet, free of charge.

They’ll also be hosting its “Santa Claus & Paws” event on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. at the shelter. Printing Pretty Souvenirs and Picture Perfect Memories is bringing the Santa spirit where pets can have their photo taken with the big guy in red. The public is welcome to bring their pets and some adoptable pets will likely have their photo taken with Santa as well.

As for needs, Sevier Animal Care Center, they’re in need of volunteers, foster families and donated pet items such as dog and cat toys, especially dog chew toys and large dog carriers. More information about the shelter can be found here.



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the donation of dog clothing has aided in the adoption processthey dressed the larger dogs up first, then a few cats who were more tolerable of the smaller clothesShelter operationsdogs that haven’t been well-socialized with otherthe Buc-ee’s pet clothing as an additional resourceComing up“Home For the Holidays” adoption special“Santa Claus & Paws” event on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. at the shelterAs for needs