TN Death Row Dogs

Our mission at Tennessee Death Row Dogs is to promote the adoption of animals, network and rescue dogs that are scheduled for euthanasia and educate the public about the importance of spay/neuter in reducing the number of homeless animals.

Where is the "nice" in Rep. Niceley?

Recently I have been very frustrated by our states reputation regarding the staggering number of animal abuse cases.

The Humane Society ranks our states animal cruelty laws near the very bottom of the nation.  They have also ranked us the worst state for protecting animals.

Who do we have to blame for this reputation and complete lack of respect for the plight of our animals?  I may not know all the names, but there is one name I know very well, Rep. Niceley of Knoxville.

Let me tell you a little bit about Mr. Niceley.  You might want to go grab a cup of coffee, or find a comfortable spot because I have a lot to say.

Last year he proposed a bill to bring a horse slaughterhouse to Tennessee.  He claimed this was to ensure that horses were being slaughtered humanely, but when you get to know him better it's obvious there is nothing humane about this man.  The horse slaughter facilities that were in the U.S. before the last one was shut down in TX, were primarily foreign owned facilities.  We allowed them to open these slaughterhouses in our country and slaughter America's horses.  It's not the humane slaughter methods, he is worried about.  Rep. Niceley is only concerned with the money that would be paid by foreigners to operate such a facility and the high price those overseas will pay for horse meat.  He is more concerned with lining his pockets, then he is the treatment of our horses.  If his claims were true, he would have supported the federal Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, HR503/S727.  A bill which would ban horse slaughter and would prevent horses from being hauled outside of the US for slaughter.

Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, has stated that the Humane Society has spent millions of dollars deploying to Tennessee to help our animals which is more than they've spent in any other state.  He also added that TN has one of the weakest anti-cock-fighting laws in the entire country.  There have been repeated bills proposed to change this law and they have been consistently blocked by members of the House Agricultural Committee.  Mr. Pacelle was also quoted saying, "The leader of the House Agricultural Committee says cock fighting promotes tourism and that's good for the state's economy."

The leader of the House Agricultural Committee also told Nashville's news 2 that cock-fighting is part of Tennessee's heritage.  Adding that he doesn't believe it warrants more punishment than a misdemeanor, which is the current law.  If someone is caught at a cock-fight in Tennessee, the punishment is a $50 fine, which is less than a speeding ticket.

Guess who is the leader of the House Agricultural Committee?.........Wait for it..... Rep. Niceley of Knoxville!

He also had these intelligent comments to say, "I don’t go to rooster fights and I don’t have fighting roosters but I have friends that do.  They pay their taxes.  They’re not bothering anybody. ... It’s been going on for centuries; I don’t know what the big deal is.”  Statements like these from Rep. Niceley embarrass the entire state, not to mention himself.

Especially considering that cock-fighting was banned as a cruel blood sport in Tennessee in 1881.  Way to blatantly disregard our laws Mr. Niceley.

Three years ago in a state audit, it was concluded that Tennessee needed uniform animal control rules and regulations, a statewide training program and funding to provide consistent protections across all 95 counties. But today, more than 40 counties lack even a suitable animal shelter, and animal protections still widely vary county by county, leading to protection gaps, particularly in the state's rural counties. Animal cruelty -- including cockfighting -- remains a misdemeanor charge, and aggravated animal cruelty charges cannot apply to the abuse of horses or livestock.

Guess what has been done since then to correct the issues addressed?  Nothing.  But do you know why?  If not, don't worry I'm going to tell you!

Rep. Niceley!  He had this to say about their findings, "We've got plenty of laws to protect animals. They're trying to stop all animal agriculture".  "They've got one idea and I've got another.  As long as I'm chairman of ag, there's not many of those bills that will come up."

Last year, Rep Sontany proposed a bill that would have made it a felony to starve and abuse farm animals (HB3386).  She proposed this bill after participating in the rescue of 84 starving horses in Cannon County.  Although her bill had much public support, it was opposed by Farm Bureau Insurance Company and it's lobbyists.  They have refused to give farm animals the same protection as domestic animals against abuse.

So what did Rep. Frank Niceley have to say about the bill?  "This bill does nothing."

Although nothing that I'm writing about has to do with dogs specifically, indirectly it does.  I am a strong advocate for mandatory spay/neuter laws in Tennessee.  We have far more unwanted and stray dogs than most states.  As a result, our shelters are packed full of dogs that don't stand a chance because there is such a shortage of space.  We will never move forward with people like Frank Niceley having such a say in our laws regarding animals.

We need to stand up and say we've had enough.  We need to not give people like Frank Niceley our vote so we can ensure that people are elected who actually have a heart that beats.

I've had enough of Rep. Niceley and anyone like him who's only concern is keeping companies like Farm Bureau Insurance Company happy.
Continue reading
  1192 Hits

Ups, Downs and All-Arounds

While embarking on this journey of building a page in an attempt to save dogs, I've gone through a lot of emotions.

There is the determination that I feel to make the site successful.  These dogs depend on us and we have the power to save each and every one of them.  We also have the power to promote spay and neuter, as well as discouraging the purchase of dogs from breeders.  These are the reasons we have such a large overpopulation of animals.  It isn't responsible as a society to keep breeding dogs when we are euthanizing 3-4 million dogs a year.  It is the animals that ultimately pay the highest possible price for our negligence.

There is frustration that some of the shelters I have contacted are more more concerned with their image, then saving the lives of the dogs in their care.  They don't want to look bad and so have made the decision not to post their urgent dogs, even though they have them,as well as the power to help save them from being destroyed.

There is sadness because although people have offered to help me with this project,  some haven't followed through.  As if these dogs lives aren't worth an hour or two of their free-time.  It can be very discouraging.

There is sheer joy when I receive a response from a shelter that is as excited as I am about the site.  Many of our Tennessee shelters are rural and staffed mainly by volunteers.  I have been so impressed and deeply moved by the passion they have to find loving homes for these dogs.  It has helped restore my faith that there are still people that will sacrifice their free time for the greater good.

Everyone can help saves the lives of the dogs in Tennessee.  If you can't adopt a dog, you can foster and provide it a temporary home until a permanent home is found.  You can volunteer at your local shelter or provide dog food or other supplies they may need.  You can advocate for the spaying and neutering of our dogs and cats, ( I actually started a petition for this a couple of months ago, and you can sign it here:

Lastly, you can make sure to always adopt your next pet and not buy it from a breeder.
Continue reading
  1190 Hits

Calling all Tennessee Shelters!

This blog serves as a place to start while I'm working on constructing the website.  I've made a list of all the shelters I could find listings for in the state of Tennessee, a whopping 98!  Eventually I will send information to each shelter regarding the site and what I aim to do with it.  However, since this is new and I want to gauge how much time it takes to post the dogs, I have reached out to 7 shelters to start the site.  However, I will post for any Tennessee shelter that contacts me with urgent dogs.  I just don't have the time at this stage to contact each shelter.

My goal is to post only the most urgent dogs with one week or less to live throughout our state.  They will be posted by euthanasia date and I would like to include a photo with biography for each dog.  Currently I have not found a site dedicated to these dogs in Tennessee and I have high hopes that it will be very successful.

Starting next week, I will have dogs posted and I encourage anyone reading this, to tell everyone they know about this site.  I know that rescues and shelters need to find homes for their dogs as well, but I hope people will look at these dogs that are scheduled to die first.

If anyone would like to help me by posting the dogs or networking the site, I would love your help.  Please feel free to email me, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Continue reading
  1242 Hits

The Truth About Euthanasia

I wanted to share this video for those who have not yet seen it.  It is very difficult to watch, but this was made by a woman who had to go to work everyday and assist with euthanizing animals.  I wanted to post this for those that are angry with the shelter systems and think they don't give the animals adequate time to be adopted.

They have one of the most difficult jobs in the world, a job that I hope someday won't have a need to exist anymore.

You can view the video here: http://youtube/emGZBLVJmGI



Continue reading
  1164 Hits

Getting Started

Hello Fellow Dog Lovers,

A few days ago while looking through pictures of dogs that would soon be euthanized, something amazing happened.  This day was like many before it, I checked the lists and I saw the sweet, scared, confused faces peering out at the world, their eyes begging for help.   I got angry,  I got sad and I felt the despair of not being able to help them.   Tears swelled in my eyes as I  looked at these poor souls that were just about out of time on this earth.  But on this day, something inside of me changed and I felt empowered.  I felt an undescribable drive to do something about it.  That's what these dogs really need, they don't need our sympathy or pity, they need us to stand up and fight for them.  That's exactly what I intend to do with this site.

All too often, people want to point the finger and blame the shelters for killing perfectly good, healthy animals.  I've been guilty of it myself on occasion, perhaps in times of our deepest sorrow and despair we need someone to blame for it.  However the real problem lies with us, we are the ones that aren't spaying and neutering our pets.  We are the ones that want to buy pretty puppies from pet stores and breeders.  Every time we buy a dog, ultimately it is one less home for a shelter dog and results in the death of one dog that could have been spared.  So what I don't want as a result of this page, is angry calls to shelters.  They are doing their job, which is far from easy and anyone that thinks they enjoy killing animals is terribly misinformed.

We need to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.  I hope that one day spay and neutering will be mandatory and only those licensed in this state will be able to breed dogs.  However that day may never come.  Until then, we need to stop pointing the finger and start networking these dogs like crazy.  We can do our part to help healthy dogs find loving families.

This is a call to action, we have the power to save the lives of countless dogs in Tennessee so let's get started.  Shelters I urge you to please send me your most urgent dogs.  Try to get a great photo and biography with as much information about each one as you can.  The more people viewing the dogs can connect with them, the higher the chances are that they will want to save them.

I in turn will post them and start networking and sharing them with as many people as I can.  Please join me in helping the dogs of Tennessee because they desperately need our help.

Continue reading
  1233 Hits