Metro Animal Shelter Happy Hour Program

If you are looking to become more involved with the Tuscaloosa community, are in search of service hours for your organization, or simply just love dogs, the Happy Hour program at the Tuscaloosa Animal Shelter could be a good fit for you! The program provides the opportunity to take the shelter dogs “out on the town” for a few hours. No commitment to foster or adopt is required. The experience is a good way for the dogs to socialize and get away from the stressful shelter environment.

Megan, a 2-year-old pit bull mix from the Metro Animal Shelter, at a park.

Thrust in front of the many sweet faces of the shelter, Mackenzie Tolliver, an Honors College student at The University of Alabama and photographer for the Mosaic team, found it nearly impossible to choose just one. “I must have stood there for 10 minutes,” said Tolliver. That is until she laid eyes on sweet Megan, a 49 lb, 2-year-old pit bull mix. A new rescue and a new mother, Megan was the only dog in the room not barking. Instead, her big brown eyes settled gently on Mackenzie, and the two were off. 

Megan arrived at the shelter only a couple of weeks prior with several newborn puppies.  Since becoming a mother, she was protective of her puppies around other dogs in the shelter. Timid at first, she quickly grew comfortable in the car. After a long walk at the riverwalk, she even fell asleep in the car. Her fears included stairs and other declining surfaces, her enemies included signs that pop up out of nowhere and small dogs, and her loves included treats, but only when eaten in the car.

In complete contrast to Megan, Templeton was an instantly energetic gentleman from a second visit to the shelter. This time, Suzy Doody, a chemistry major in the Honors College, tagged along to the shelter and got her own meet-cute. After asking the shelter volunteers for a dog that volunteers didn’t frequently take out for Happy Hour, Templeton waltzed out on his leash and flashed his big smile. A 4-year-old terrier-pitbull mix, Templeton was 45 lbs of pure energy. He slobbered viciously and desperately wanted to sit in the front seat with the driver. 

Incredibly curious, Templeton insisted on stopping to inspect every bush on the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk. Finally, after about 20 minutes of dragging Kelsie Jackson, another Honors College student and writer for Mosaic Magazine, down the path, he was ready for a break and plopped himself in the grass. “We will definitely be doing this again,” said Suzy Doody after returning Templeton to the shelter.

Templeton, a 4-year-old terrier-pitbull mix from the shelter, on her Happy Hour.

The shelter can house around 300 animals at a time. Unfortunately, the shelter is often at capacity as strays are found and animals are given up. Luckily, many animals are also adopted into loving homes each year. As a result, approximately 3000 animals cycle through the shelter annually. With such a large number of animals to care for, the shelter greatly appreciates any volunteer efforts. 


Both Megan and Templeton are available for adoption!

Link to all animals up for adoption:

Where do I sign up?


Lucky enough, this program is incredibly easy to become involved in. Volunteers can check out dogs for free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday. Appointments can be made online at Volunteers will be asked to provide a photo ID, sign a waiver, and take a quick learning course, but the whole process should take less than 20 minutes.


For more information: