Emmylou Harris Reflects on 10 Years of Animal Welfare Activism

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Emmy Lou Harris with Sochi the dog at Woofstock at Fontanel 2014 on June 7, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images)

Emmylou Harris began her inspiring journey in animal welfare activism after Bonaparte, her people-friendly poodle mix and 10-year tour companion, died suddenly in 2002.

“He was so easy,” she tells PEOPLE. “He was a great traveler, so good on the bus and with people. I just thought to take him one day and then for the next 10 years he came with me everywhere.”

Impossible to replace, Harris opened her home as a halfway house for pets in 2004. She called it Bonaparte’s Retreat. “We keep up to four dogs, at any one time,” she says of setting the facility up on her just-shy-of-two-acres plot in Nashville, Tennessee. “You know, we want to make sure we only take as many as we can to be sure everyone still gets the royal treatment.”

Harris will be featured this month on the fifth episode of PBS’ Shelter Me: Partners for Life. Hosted by Emmy-winner Jon Hamm, the hour-long special features Nikita, a shelter dog who was rescued in Worcester, Massachusetts, before being adopted and trained for a K-9 unit. Also during the episode, Harris will give a tour of Bonaparte’s Retreat (which includes a beautiful dog run as well as a bunkhouse for escape from bad weather) and speak about her work raising awareness and funding for local Nashville shelters and her Crossroads Pets program, which partners at-risk youth with at-risk rescues.

Full Article at People


Shelter Me is an inspiring series that celebrates the human-animal bond with uplifting stories about shelter pets. Shelter Me was created and is produced by Steven Latham. The project also includes a website – ShelterMe.com – which enables anyone to create and share profiles of shelter pets to help increase adoptions. Shelter Me works closely with other animal welfare organizations to organize effective spay-neuter and humane education programs and helps develop and implement life-saving projects directly at animal shelters. Follow ShelterMeTV on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.