In February 2000, Nine Counties. One Vision. started when several groups
began talking separately, but simultaneously, about the need for a
process to create a common agenda in the Knoxville area. It was
designed as a grass roots initiative to give a voice to the general
population in the future of the region. The strongest message that
emerged from Nine Counties. One Vision was an exhortation to citizens
and leaders to recognize and protect the values and assets of the
region, “a region growing into greatness.” The 9 counties area was
defined as Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Roane,
Sevier, and Union Counties. Nine Counties. One Vision. began
gathering ideas from citizens in the region on how to make our area a
better place to live and work. A total of 8,827 ideas were gathered.
Animal welfare ranked fifth on the list of concerns.
"One Vision was an exhortation to citizens and leaders to recognize
and protect the values and assets of the region, “a region growing into
The Animal Welfare Task Force developed out of those concerns, and in 2002, began working to develop
a plan to address this complex issue. The Task Force was co-chaired
by former Dean Michael Blackwell and Mr. William VonSchipmann and
divided its focus into three areas:
- humane education
Nine Counties. One Vision. dissolved December 31, 2004. It was
the strong feeling of the Animal Welfare Task Force members that the
initiative must continue under a new administrative organization.
Thus, the members and activities of the Task Force moved to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine under the name “CAIT” (Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee). This new program will complement existing activities of the College such as H.A.B.I.T. (Human Animal Bond in Tennessee), and Veterinary Social Work Services.