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.

Why There Are "Urgent" Dogs

I'd like to talk about shelters and why there are "urgent" dogs for those new to our site.  There seems to be some general confusion as to what we do, so I want to help clear the air as best as I can.

Firstly, we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and the urgent dogs posted on this site and social media pages are in shelters throughout Tennessee. We do not have these dogs and therefore, have no say in which dogs are euthanized at these facilities and when it will occur. Shelter staff and their volunteers list these dogs on our website and we in turn share them on various social media pages. The goal for us and the shelters we assist is to help these dogs find their way to safety.

While we are very happy to help those shelters who share their urgent dogs with us, keep in mind that there are many more shelters out there that do not. Most of them are also euthanizing dogs, but either don't want people to know it, or they are just not taking the time to post them on our site. It bothers me to see people making hateful comments regarding the urgent dogs posted here. Why? Because the shelters whose dogs you see here are the ones trying to network their dogs the best they can. They want their dogs to make it into loving homes and rescue groups. That is why they are open about which dogs are next to be euthanized and when it will occur. It's because they care enough to be willing to face the occasional angry email or phone call, if it means one dog makes it out alive.

Tennessee Death Row Dogs Urgents

I understand the anger and frustration some feel when they see these urgent posts. If I didn't, I wouldn't have been here volunteering my time for the last 4 years. Everyone has a choice, you can either unlike the page because it's too much to bare, or you can decide like I did that you want to do something about it.

Let's talk briefly about why there are urgent dogs. The main reason is quite simple and that is shelter crowding. There are more dogs being picked up as strays and surrendered to these shelters by their owners than there are being adopted. Each facility only has so much kennel space. There are shelters that will try to house multiple dogs together to make more space available. The problem is that at a certain point, they start fighting for food and conditions become unsanitary, resulting in sickness.  

There are a few factors that contribute to the number of homeless animals. One is that a large number of people are not spaying and neutering their dogs. These dogs are then breeding, reproducing puppies that are unwanted and either abandoned, given away or brought to their local animal shelter. The majority of these puppies will also not be spayed and neutered, so they just continue to reproduce and their puppies will have puppies and so on..

Instead of adopting, many people are still buying puppies from breeders despite the fact that millions of adult dogs and puppies are euthanized each year. 20-30% of these dogs that are purchased are later surrendered to animal shelters because their owners no longer want them. Shelters then have even more homeless dogs to find homes for.

People are surrendering their dogs and puppies to shelters at an alarming and very bothersome rate. Instead of shelters simply having to place stray dogs into homes, they also have to try to place dogs that owners no longer want.

Lowering the number of homeless dogs, will ultimately lower the number of dogs being euthanized because another needs their kennel. This is very possible, be we as a society need to work together. We have to absolutely make sure our pets are spayed and neutered, no excuses. We need to adopt our next dog and when we do, we need to make a commitment to our new family member for the rest of it's life. 

If you want to do more to help, donate to your local shelter or a reputable rescue organization in your area. More than likely they need volunteers as well for help with events, fundraisers, photos of their adoptable dogs and probably a whole lot more!

If the urgent posts upset you, it's because you're a compassionate person that cares. Harness your anger and use it in a positive way to help these shelters and the many dogs in need of homes. 

"Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now." ~Author unknown

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We Have Joined ResQwalk!

We Have Joined ResQwalk!

ResQwalk is a mobile application that allows users to raise money for their favorite rescue or shelter everytime they go for walk.  The app is currently available on both for Android and Apple users!

Each week ResQwalk announces a donation pool, and in order for our rescue to receive a portion of the pool, users need to download the app and select "Tennessee Death Row Dogs" from the list of participating rescue organizations.  Then each time someone goes for a walk, they can check-in to the app to make sure their miles are logged.  It's that easy!

At the end of each week, the donation pool is split up and distributed to rescues proportionally, based on the total distance walked.  Donations are paid to each rescue weekly and the totals for each organization are listed on their profile page.

This is a great way to hit the street or trail and help raise funds for a great cause!  Just download the ResQwalk app to get started!

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Cleo, Available for Adoption

Cleo, Available for Adoption

Cleo is a foxy 2-3 year old English Bulldog mix with an adorable face and equally precious underbite. It is impossible not to fall in love with her, she has so much personality! Cleo is a sweet girl that loves belly rubs and sits politely for her treats. She is the great size at 45 lbs, which makes her a perfect travel buddy! Whoever adopts her will be the envy of their friends because she is truly awesome! Cleo does well with other dogs her size and loves daily walks and Mellow Mushroom pizzasmile emoticonHer white and brindle coloring is stunning and Cleo has such a cool, laid back personality. She is going to make a loving, loyal companion that will add a healthy level of coolness to anyone's life!

Cleo's adoption fee is $250 and includes her vaccinations, fecal check and deworming, heartworm test (she is negative), spay surgery and micro-chipping.

If you're interested in adopting Cleo, our adoption application can be filled out via this link:

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Sansa, Available for Adoption

Sansa, Available for Adoption

Say hello to the lovely and talented lady Sansa!  When we took her her in, her shelter said she was a 6 month old puppy, but on arrival we noticed she had adult teeth.  What that means is that this girl is going to stay puppy cute forever!  We estimate Sansa to be 2-3 years old, she is cute and uber adorable!  Sansa is a very outgoing little girl that loves to meet new people. She came to us very underweight, but has gained some much needed pounds and filled out really well.  It was a pleasure to take her to the vet for her checkups.  She hopped up in the chair next to me and curled up for a nap.  Needless to say, Sansa is confident and comfortable in every situation!  She is also a great car rider and loves ice cream! ;)  Sansa is currently in training to make her a well-polished super-star, but she will be done very soon and looking for a place to call home!  Sansa is good with other dogs and a pleasure to spend time with.  She is very smart, loves to learn new things and walks on a leash like a lady.  What more could anyone ask for?

If you’re interested in adorable Sansa, our adoption application can be filled out via this link:

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TDRD Heroes, Part 1

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TDRD Heroes, Part 1

When many people hear that word "hero" or "idol", their first thought is of a celebrity or famous sports figure.  For us, we think about some of the dogs we've rescued because they are heroes to us.  Over the years, we've been lucky to provide the needed care (both medically and mentally) to dogs that have suffered terribly at the hands of people.  The very people that they still loved, the ones that were supposed to love and protect them in return.  Instead, they beat them, starved them, mutilated them and left them to die.  The mental trauma some of them have been forced to endure is unimaginable and it's difficult to think about.

These dogs were mistreated terribly, yet held no grudges and had such strong wills to live.  Every memory they had of a human was painful, yet they let us into their hearts, they thrived and overcame abuse that nearly killed them.  Out of the ashes of their former lives, they rose stronger than ever and let us into their hearts.  We loved them, gave them the medical care they needed and each of these dogs found their forever homes.

This is the first in a series of our TDRD heroes.  We wanted to share their transformations and honor them for being truly amazing.

As always, we thank our generous donors for helping us make these stories possible.  We could not do this everyday without them!
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2015 Saving Pets Challenge Starts Today!

bonus challenge wk1 We're super excited to let you know we're part of a really amazing campaign called the Saving Pets Challenge. It's a friendly fundraising competition funded by Michelson Found Animals where animal welfare organizations like ours compete to raise the most money for their cause. The top raising animal welfare organization get donations between $5000 and $50,000 and we're out to win that grand prize of $50,000.

Here's where we need your help...

Each week, there are Bonus Challenges with opportunities to win extra cash for our cause. The first one starts right now and if we raise at least $250 between May 4th at 12pm ET and May 12th at 12pm ET, we'll get entered to win a $4000 donation to our cause.

We could really use your help to raise the $250 and get entered into this Bonus Challenge. Every donation makes all the difference so please Click Here and give what you can.

If you want to go a step further and set up a fundraiser for our cause, that would be even more amazing. Imagine the money we could raise together if you reached out to your network. So, so great. To donate or to start a fundraiser, please Click Here.

And, one more quick thing...if you donate at least $25 to our fundraiser, you'll be entered to win a DOG for DOG or Adopt & Shop dog or cat gift basket each worth $100. Just one more reason to give.

Join or Facebook event for this challenge and watch our progress!
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Join Us on Tumblr!

For the all of our passionate, dog loving friends, we're now on Tumblr!  "Follow" us to see the latest rescues and dogs available for adoption!

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Raven's Journey from Homeless to Fabulous!

We thank Kaseigh Long for putting together this wonderful video of our Raven and her journey to a better life!


Raven is currently available for adoption!
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Use Goodsearch and Goodshop to Raise Money for our Rescue!

The best way to save pets from euthanasia is to educate the public and promote the adoption and rescue of dogs. You can be a part of our efforts by shopping online and buying anything you need through the Goodshop portal. With every purchase you make at your favorite merchants through this portal, Goodshop will donate funds to Tennessee Death Row Dogs. Get started raising funds and saving money by visiting the Goodsearch website to sign up, select Tennessee Death Row Dogs as your cause, and use Goodshop to shop online. Goodshop even gives you access to hundreds of coupons to help you save money!

Goodshop snapshot
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"Be My Valentine" Adoption Event - February 14th

Come join us and the Mount Juliet Animal Shelter, Saturday, February 14th for puppy breath and doggie kisses at The Dog Spot in Mount Juliet! We will have some of our adoptable dogs and puppies there, hoping to find their forever families! Those considering adopting one of our babies that day are encouraged to fill out an adoption application ahead of time because we do not do same day adoptions. Those approved before the event can come pick out a new family member!

Our friends at The Dog Spot will be offering $5 nail trims and $20 dog washes during this event!  All proceeds will be donated to Tennessee Death Row Dogs and the Mount Juliet Animal Shelter.  This is a great way to treat your dog to a little pampering and support homeless animals!  They will also have have snacks, beverages, dog photography, and a puppy kissing booth!

We hope to see you there!

Event Flyer (2)
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A Beautiful Soul Needs a Place to Call Home

[caption id="attachment_1205" align="alignright" width="266"]Xena1 PHOTO CREDIT: Kisa Kavass Photography

There are many truly heartwarming and heartbreaking times in rescue. We take in so many dogs that I feel would never have a chance otherwise and their stories are often full of tragedy, trauma, neglect and sadly, pain. Such is the story of Xena, a sweet brindle female we rescued last winter. Her story became known when animal control responded to a complaint of neglect and cruelty. They found her chained up behind what should have been her home, on a windy, bitter cold winter night. She had no shelter, no food or water and was in the very late stages of her pregnancy. I try not to think about how many nights she spent hungry, curled up in a ball shivering, trying to stay warm. The AC officer decided to immediately seize Xena, intending to bring her back to the shelter where at least she would be dry, warm and have food. When she arrived back at the shelter, she found it full with dogs that had arrived earlier that day. Her choices were then to either allow Xena to be euthanized, or try to find a way to help her. She found a local vet where Xena could stay for a couple of days and she put out a plea to every rescue she could find, asking for help. When no one stepped up to take her in, she became part of our rescue and forever part of our hearts. The day after arriving in foster care, Xena had her puppies. She was a great, caring mother to her babies, who later found amazing families of their own. Now nearly a year later, Xena is still waiting.. Her rescue was heartwarming, but seeing her excitement and hope when greeting people at events, is the heartbreaking part because it has never been HER day. She is a very smart dog and is incredibly eager to please. I taught her "sit", "shake" and "down" in 5 minutes one day. This is why I know that Xena absolutely understands that she is being overlooked each time someone passes her at an event. Potential adopters are giddy with delight at meeting our puppies, or are immediately drawn to some of our other dogs, but never Xena. XenaMaybe she seems too average, I honestly couldn't say for sure, because what I see is an incredibly loyal dog that would make the most devoted companion. I see a dog that never has a bad day and has never met a stranger. I see a dog that regardless of the cards life has dealt her, she is still so happy and hopeful for the day someone picks her. What worries me the most, is that someday that flame of hope that burns so brightly within her with flicker and die. Xena has not given up, so I refuse to either because we promised her a family and a better life. We must deliver because she deserves nothing less than the most amazing family out there. Her requirements are simple, a home with another calm male dog or she would like to be the only dog. Her bubbly personality may also be a little much for small children and knock them over, but a home with older children would be fine. She would love a fenced in yard, but this is not required if she is able to go with her family on daily walks. Xena is house-trained, crate-trained, rides in the car like a pro, she loves vanilla ice cream and Arby's roast beef sandwiches. If all of her dreams could come true and she could wake up Christmas morning with her family, then ours would too. Someone please give this amazing, sweet, loyal dog a chance. You will not regret it!

Xena's adoption fee is $200 which includes her vaccinations, fecal exam, deworming, heartworm test (she is NEG), spay surgery and micro-chipping.  Those looking to add Xena to their family can fill out our adoption application via this link:
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Dean, one sweet senior in need of a family.

Dean is one of five dogs that our rescue saved from euthanasia last Friday.  Like many dogs, he found himself at a high kill shelter by no fault of his own.  Despite what some think about dogs on the euthanasia list being aggressive or unhealthy, that's rarely the case.  Dean lived the majority of his life with a wonderful owner, who loved and cared for him.  A couple of weeks ago however, his owner became sick and was hospitalized.  When this happened, his owner's family brought Dean to a high kill shelter, along with five years of his medical records.

[caption id="attachment_1188" align="alignleft" width="255"]Dean relaxing in his foster home. Dean relaxing in his foster home.

Like many senior dogs, Dean didn't have people lined up waiting to adopt him.  Those looking for new companions often look for puppies or younger dogs.  As the shelter filled up and there were no more kennels to place incoming dogs in, the shelter where Dean was decided it was time to euthanize dogs to make space.  Dean and many other dogs there were then put on the dreaded "list".

After putting out a plea for foster families, five families stepped up and wanted to help.  Because of these amazing families, we were able to save the lives of five dogs, including Dean.  He has lost everything that is familiar to him; his home, his person, his world.  We are very grateful to his foster family because at least he now doesn't have to lose his life too.  The same day we rescued Dean, his owner passed away.

Dean has seen a vet for a checkup and is now available for adoption.  Dean is a seven year old, Chihuahua who weighs four pounds and he is as sweet as can be.  Those wishing to add Dean to their family are welcome to fill out an adoption application via this link:
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Gia ~ Available for Adoption

We see a lot of truly horrible things here, but along with that, we also are privileged enough to see some pretty awesome things too. In witnessing the mental and physical journey of Gia, we have seen both. To see firsthand the cruelty and neglect she suffered at the hands of people made me feel sick and angry. She arrived here from the shelter with over 100 circular puncture wounds that littered her frail body. These wounds were left untreated, causing her to suffer from a terrible skin infection. Her body was covered with parasites and motor oil from the junkyard that Gia previously called home. The worst of her pain and suffering was caused by a recent home crop job on her ears, completed with either a knife or pair of scissors. Her ears were so badly infected that it was extremely painful and treatment required daily ear drops which left her panicked and terrified. Yet Gia learned to trust us, she knew we were trying to help her. When she had finally recuperated and was ready to find her family, we knew that Gia now needed a different kind of help. She had never been lucky enough to have a home and a family. Every life experience was new for her from meeting new people, to greeting other dogs, taking walks on a leash, etc. Gia needed to learn all of these things to be a perfect canine companion, so we called our friends at The Calm K9 for help. They have been working with Gia for over a month now and what progress she has made. This video shows her happiness, her loving soul and how badly she wants to share it with people. Humans may have not always been her friend and treated her kindly, but Gia holds no grudges. She has put her past behind her now and embraces everyone she meets with her whole heart. It's time for Gia to find her forever family and for them she will made an incredible dog. She is thankful each and everyday for her new life and while it's easy to pity her, all she wants is love. We know there is a special family out there that can give Gia the life she deserves and it's her time for her day to come. Those interested in adopting Gia are welcomed to fill out our adoption application: Inquiries or questions about Gia can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

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New "Donor" Hoodies are Here!

We are grateful for our donors every day because without their generosity, our efforts wouldn't be possible. As our way of saying thank you, we had this hoodie custom designed and there is only one way you can get one, by donating! Those donating $50 through this link will score a free "Donor" t-shirt and those donating $75, will be the proud new owner of an awesome, zippered hoodie! All donations made through the link are tax-deductible AND count towards our total raised in the Saving Pets Challenge! If you've already donated at least $50 to the link above, then you're already the winner of some free TDRD swag! We'll be reaching out to our donors at the end of the contest for mailing addresses, preferred shirt color and size. Thanks everyone!

Donor Hoodie PurpleDonor Hoodie Charcoal
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Solomon, a Pit Bull Pin-Up Looking for His Forever Home <3

It's impossible to spend any time with Solomon and not fall in love with him.  He is sweet, sensitive, affectionate and of course as you can see, stunning as w_MG_1350_resizeell!  Solomon has been looking for his forever home for months now, with not much solid interest.  We don't get it, this guy is a GREAT dog!  Solomon walks like a gentleman on a leash, making him a top-notch walking companion.  He loves car rides, hiking, new adventures and surprisingly, he likes cats!  Solomon knows all of his basic commands, as well as advanced commands, such as "place", "stay" from long distances, "come", "shake" and he is eager to learn anything we teach him.  He is the perfect companion and longs for someone to make him a member of their family.  Solomon hasn't had an easy life and sometimes strangers approaching him makes him nervous.  He is such a social butterfly that this makes us sad thinking about what once happened that make him fearful of people and situations.  He needs parents that understand this and even though he is extremely well-behaved in public, that doesn't mean he wants people he doesn't know touching im.  It's important to respect his space, just as you would when meeting a new person.  This is why we also feel he would do best in a home with older children only.  Solomon is housebroken, crate-trained and does well with other calm dogs.  He is quite the couch potato and would be a great snuggle buddy for movie nights too!  Those interested in adding Solomon to their family, can find our adoption application posted on our website at  Inquiries and questions can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We thank Pamela Parton for taking this amazing photo!
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Join us Saturday at Petco!

This Saturday, August 16th, we'll be holding an adoption event at the Petco store in Murfreesboro!  There will be a few adorable adoptables on-hand that would like to meet your acquaintance!  We will have merchandise on sale as well to support our rescue efforts.  Event location information can be found by clicking the photo below. We hope to see you there!

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We Welcome Talia & Her Puppies!

Mama2A couple of weeks ago, we received a plea from a local shelter to help with a litter of puppies.  They explained their owners wanted to surrender them, but the shelter was currently full.  The reality for the puppies was that their lives could very well be over before they had even started.  Attached to the emailed plea, was photos of the puppies, along with their mom who was living on a large chain in the backyard of their home.  When we were able to find a foster, I was happy for the puppies, but my mind kept going back to the image of their chained mother.  It didn't feel a true rescue if we had to leave her behind and I asked the shelter volunteers about her odds of being able to leave too.  They informed me that after speaking with her owners, they didn't wish to surrender her.  Mama1

When the puppies foster mom planned to go pick them up, in a last ditch effort I asked her to please ask about mama too.  I knew that through our rescue, she could find a loving home where she wouldn't have to live outside, forced to live out her days in solitude.  To my surprise, this time her owners decided to give her up and allow her to have the chance at a new life, with a family that would cherish her.

We are thrilled to welcome Talia and her babies to our rescue!  They've already been to their first vet visit for shots and fecal exams.  Once they reach 12 weeks of age, we can complete their spay & neuter surgeries, they will be micro-chipped and will be on their way to our Maine branch.

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We won the Shelter Challenge for the State of Tennessee!

Shelter ChallengeThe results of the Shelter Challenge were announced and we are very proud that our rescue won the state of Tennessee!  Thank you fans for voting, you guys earned $1,000 for our rescue!  Our mascot, Spud, also won second place in the Ultimate Cute Photo Contest, scoring 50 pet beds for our rescue dogs!

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A Challenge for Tennessee Shelters!

Last night, I attended the viewing of Redemption, a movie based on the book written by Nathan Winograd. It was inspiring to see that large cities like San Francisco were able to redemption posterachieve no-kill status. There are many shelters here that say their intake numbers are simply too high and becoming no-kill facilities wouldn't be possible. However, IT IS possible. In Washoe County, Nevada, their intake numbers are 10 times that of NYC. At a time in their history where they had the 2nd highest unemployment percentage in the nation, they converted to a no-kill facility. In nearly every state now, there is at least one no-kill shelter, but I saw not one shelter on the list that was in TN. If one shelter decides today to convert to a no-kill facility, they will be the first. If they have success, than not only will thousands of dogs and cats be spared, but other shelters will see it's possible. I ask every shelter in our state to consider making this transition and if you do, you will have the full support of your community and others in TN. You will have my support and I will use my MBA in Marketing to help you achieve this goal in anyway that I can. I long for a day when there are no more "death row dogs". ~Jamie

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