Cheatham County Animal Control understands that every animal has a story to tell and has created the perfect path for sharing it.
“The Storyboard Trail is here to engage the community to help with socializing and engaging our animals,” CCAC Director Kristin Reid said. “We have 80 acres out here to play with three hiking trails. This is a rich outdoors culture that offers fun, family activities for walkers and the dogs. We have great animals and great people here.”
One of the walking trails has 10 platform stations that share a portion of the story of a sheltered animal at CCAC.
CCAC volunteer Robin Lapre said that the first Storyboard Trail featured a long-term resident, Mimi, illustrated by local artist Dina Capitani.
“The Storyboard Trail was started as a way to attract visitors to the shelter and to learn about our animals,” Lapre said. “The idea is to walk a shelter dog while reading the trails, so that the shelter dogs get some attention and we also want people to become familiar with the shelter and the dogs and cats.”
In January, CCAC’s latest storyboard was released, with a poem entitled, “Why Can’t Scooby Go To School?” written by Lapre and illustrated by Kingston Springs resident Emily Derek.
Reid said that members of the creative writing class at Harpeth High School are writing a story about CCAC shelter dog Big Tate.
“We want this to become a destination,” Reid said. “We have hidden rocks on the trails for people to find and relocate. Communication and engagement help to socialize the animals so they get adopted.”
Lapre said that the plan is to have a new story every 3-4 months.
“We are always looking for talented writers and artists who would like to donate their time toward this project,” she said.
Lapre said that the dogs featured are long-term shelter dogs. Scooby has been at CCAC about six months. The stories are all based on a CCAC shelter dog.
“Or maybe we will do a cat story sometime,” she said.
Derek said she is happy and honored to be a part of the Storyboard Trail team.
“I reached out to Robin and sent a portrait as a sample of my work,” Derek said. “The animal shelter is lucky to have her there. I love contributing to the fun and art, and look forward to seeing more pups personified as well as more adopted.”
Drawing people to the center to interact with the animals or volunteer is one of Reid’s goals.
“You come to the activity desk to take a dog out to socialize,” she said. “You might want to adopt or find your forever friend to take home. Taking a break to interact will do you and the dog a world of good.”
Reid said she is touched to see senior citizens take out the dogs for walking and teaching basic skills like sit and stay.
“We want the public to know our animals are well taken care of, socialized and loved,” Reid said.
To participate in the Storyboard Trail or to volunteer, call (615) 792-3647.