As restaurants, hotels and even yoga studios become more pet friendly, a Chattanooga resident is hoping to bridge the gap between lifestyle and pet advocacy with a new local website, TheHowl.co.
Dana Shavin launched the full-service pet owner website in October of 2018, with help from her friend Phyllis Mescon. The goal of both gals is to help Scenic City residents fully enjoy their lives with pets and promote pet rescue/ adoption.
The lifestyle website includes things like, “animal-focused book reviews and blog posts, a dog trainer, articles about life with pets curated from across the web, and a gift guide for pets and their people, to name just a few things,” said Dana.
Signal Mountain residents might find the hiking trails information particularly interesting. “What’s cool is that, as a local site, we use reviews (and photos) of dog-friendly restaurants, bars, and trails from locals who have eaten at those restaurants and hiked those trails with their dog and so can speak to what it’s like to be there. Want to know if a certain trail has swimming access for your dog? Go to Thehowl.co and read what fellow hikers have said,” Dana said.
If the name Dana Shavin seems familiar to you, that’s because she is a monthly columnist for the Lifestyle section of the Chattanooga Times Free Press and has written a memoir, “The Body Tourist,” published by Little Feather Books. While writing is one of her favorite past times and even a way she makes money, she has been in love with dogs and pet welfare since the age of eight.
“The first animal I loved was a giant stuffed dog named Scorpio. I was about 8 years old. After that, I had three make-believe horses that went everywhere with me. Then, I loved all our family dogs (to the point that I “married” one of them when I was about 10). My very own first dog came from the Atlanta Humane Society when I was 16, and I had her until she was 16 and I was 32. In all, I have had nine dogs, including my two current rescues, Jada and Theo.”
She admits she can’t rescue all unwanted pets, but TheHowl.co helps her feel like she’s at least working to alleviate the problem plaguing our country. “Here in Chattanooga, our shelters are overly full. Because there aren’t enough local adopters, they regularly transport cats and dogs to facilities up north, where they find certain placement. Thankfully, this is an option. But we shouldn’t have to rely on them as much as we do. Spay and neuter your pets. It’s the best defense against overpopulation,” Dana said.
Dana says the future of TheHowl.co looks great. “Our tagline is ‘”Don’t Google it. Howl it.’ That pretty much speaks to our goal to become the go-to site for anyone wanting to know anything about pet-related stuff in the Chattanooga area. On down the road we have bigger dreams and goals for Thehowl.co, but for now, we are focused on perfecting the site and making it awesome.”
Other features of the site include a community calendar with fundraisers, fun events, spay-neuter clinics, links to local animal rehabilitators, emergency contact numbers, book reviews, gift guides, really cool hoodies, T-shirts and aprons with Thehowl.co logo, and a section on how to be an advocate for animals. It’s a plethora of useful and interesting information!