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.

Raven's Puppies Have Gone Home!

Back in November of 2014, we received a plea for a stray mama dog who was in dire need of help.  She wasn't scheduled for euthanasia in a high kill shelter like most of the dogs that we rescue, but we knew we had to help her.  Raven had found a dog house in the neighborhood that she lived in to have her puppies.  She probably felt this was the safest place for them, where she could best keep them warm in the bitter winter cold.  When the homeowners discovered her in their dog house, they wanted her out of there.. immediately.

[caption id="attachment_1217" align="alignright" width="300"]Raven's puppies living in the dog house, prior to their rescue. Raven's puppies living in the dog house, prior to their rescue.

Over the last three months, these tiny babies grew a lot!  While they were growing up, we had posted them online and worked hard screening potential families.  Last week, they were finally old enough for their spay and neuter surgeries, after which they were able to go to their new families!  We wanted to share how much these little puppies grew and share their new family photos!

Adeline, Bozley and Cheyenne

The first collage is Adeline with her new family, Bozley with his new dad (he also had a very excited mom and little boys waiting at home), and Cheyenne with her new mom.

In the second set of photos are DaVinci, Elise and Riddick.  All of these babies have settled into their new homes and are doing wonderfully!

DaVinci, Elise and Riddick.

We thank our adopters for making these precious babies members of their families!  We also thank everyone who donated to help us buy food, puppy pads and pay for their medical care.  We couldn't do what we do without the support of our generous donors!
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We Need Prizes for our Photo Contest!

prizesVery soon, we are planning to hold a Photo Contest in which everyone can enter their dog! All photos are posted online and people can vote for the photos they like best. We want to offer some great prizes to our top 3 winners as an extra incentive to enter. The better the prizes, the more entrants we hope to have! Not only will this be a very fun way for people to show their dogs off, but this contest will also help us raise some much needed funds for our rescue. All donated prizes are tax-deductible and very much appreciated! If you'd like to donate an item as a contest prize, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
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We Are Now 10,000 Strong!

Our Facebook page hit a huge milestone today.  We now have 10,000 followers!  For each and every dog posted facing euthanasia, there are now 10,000 sets of eyes to see them and share the posts with their friends.  Thank you everyone who has donated, shared, transported, volunteered and fostered a dog from our page.  You guys have made the difference between life and death for hundreds of dogs in Tennessee!  ~Jamie
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Despicable Selfishness

"The deepest essence of human nature consists of self-preservation, aggression, need for love, and the impulse to attain pleasure and avoid pain".  -Sigmund Freud

My work rescuing dogs has really reinforced how true this statement is.  Humans have a natural greed to put themselves first and their own needs first.  We see this everyday in the way people treat their animals.  In no way am I saying that everyone is like this because if they were, there would be no animal rescues.  There would be no one dedicating their time to advocate for animals that so badly need it.

When I first learned of this in one of my college classes, it really put things into perspective for me.  All the frustrations I felt about people's lack of willingness to help, finally made sense to me.  Before I didn't understand why someone would for instance drive by a dog who had been struck by a car and was left on the roadside to suffer.  Some people would probably pass and want to help, but not badly enough to actually follow through and do so.  Others would feel nothing at all and maybe 1 person out of 15 would actually stop to try to help. 

Along this journey of rescuing dogs, I have met many different types of people.  I've met a few really great people, who sacrifice their free time, foster dogs, donate money and do whatever else they can to help dogs in need.  I've heard people such as these referred to by others as "bleeding hearts", which I find borderline offensive.  What gives anyone the right to judge these people?  They think it's silly to work so hard to save one dog when there are millions that need help.  Would it be silly also then for someone to help one of them if they were in an accident and stranded like the dog on the side of the road?  If asked, they would surely say that as a human, their life has a higher value.  In their case, I would have to adamantly disagree.

I've met many more thoughtless, self-absorbed people lately than I've met genuinely kind people.  These people have probably never emphasized with anyone ever.  Those who top my list of selfish people are those that surrender their senior dog to a kill shelter, only to drive up the road and buy a cute new puppy.  This is one of the most despicable acts I have seen in my lifetime.  How someone can take an older dog who has given them a lifetime of love and devotion to a kill shelter is beyond my realm of understanding.  The loud, chaotic shelter environment is highly stressful and frightening to a dog who has spent their life in a quiet home.  They are left with a stranger, only to helplessly watch their owner walk away and cry out for them.  They don't understand whats happening, when their owner is coming back, or what they have done wrong.  By far the worst part of all is that surrendering a dog to a kill-shelter is a death sentence.  There is no mandatory state required hold period for owner surrendered dogs.  Unlike those picked up and labeled as "strays", there is no need to attempt to locate an owner and give them time to claim their dog if it's lost.  These owner surrendered dogs were unwanted by their owners and often times if the shelter is full, they never even make it into a kennel.  They are taken straight to the back and destroyed.  Instead of dying with dignity surrounded by their family, they are left to die alone and afraid at the hands of a stranger. 

There are those who have absolutely no sense of commitment.  They claim they want to foster one of our dogs, because they "want to help".  It makes them feel good in the moment to be doing something noble and selfless.  After a short amount of time and minimal effort, they become tired of taking care of the dog and give any and every excuse imaginable why they can no longer foster it.  The real reason however, is that they are to self-centered to follow through with what they agreed to do.  Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they try to blame it on the dog, their job, their family and anything else.  The only one that is to blame is themselves.  I can't remember how many times I've heard, "Well at least they had a home for a couple of weeks".  In that couple of weeks, we could have found a foster that would have actually followed through with their commitment.  Yet instead, the poor dog has been returned, only to have to adjust to another house of strangers when we are able to find another foster home.  That statement is yet again a way to convince themselves they've done a good thing so they can feel good about their decision.

There have been a few people I've encountered who pledge specific amounts of money for dogs they want to save, only to not follow through.  Rescues work on very limited budgets and sometimes pledges make a huge difference when it comes to their ability to take a dog.  A rescue will take a dog with a few hundred dollars in pledge money, only to never receive a good portion of the pledges promised to them.  They have followed through with their part of the commitment, yet again people don't follow through with theirs.  Once the dog is saved, people don't feel the need to contribute because the dog is "safe".  They leave the rescue to bare the financial burden of these dogs which they were supposed to have pledged funds for.  Many times, they have paid out money to transport or have the dogs vetting completed and this leaves them in a dire situation.  Again this is selfish behavior that makes people feel good about themselves for trying to help, but then they don't want to follow through and part with the money they pledged.

It's completely fine with me and I accept that there are those who don't feel the need to help save the lives of these dogs.  However, doing more harm than good due to their own selfish agenda is intolerable.  We have far more important things to do than pander to these people.  The only ones we should care about making feel good about themselves, are the dogs we've saved.  For those who want to surrender their pet of any age to a kill shelter, I think the shelter should be required to send you an after picture of what happened to your dog.
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A Little Reflection....

As I'm sure many of you noticed, I haven't written in awhile.  There hasn't been much free time to speak of in my life lately.  I started the Facebook page at the very end of August last year.  At that time, I simply wanted to make a place where all the dogs facing euthanasia could be shown in one place.  I hoped that some local rescues would follow the page so they would be able to see the dogs in need and where they were located.

Buddy went from death row to a college campus. He now has fan club of his very own.

Our sweet Leia with her new family at Nashville Pet Products in Spring Hill.

I never thought that only a few short months later, the Facebook page would have over 5,000 followers and over 700 dogs in the "Safe" folders. Looking at the numbers literally blows my mind on a daily basis.  People from all over the state and country follow the page, along with many rescues both in and out-of-state.  Their efforts have made such a huge difference to dogs in need here.

Along this journey, so many people wanted to help these "death row dogs" that TN Death Row Dogs also officially became a rescue.  This has made it so much easier to coordinate with adopters from out-of-state that need to quarantine and transport their new family member.  Many shelters don't have the staff or resources to coordinate these type of adoptions.  This was a huge step for us, and in doing so, we are able to help many more dogs.  We are currently chartered with the State of Tennessee as a charitable organization and our 501c3 packet has just been submitted.  All of these things have been done in a relatively short amount of time and wow, what a lot of work!  Despite what some may think, we don't have a huge group running the page and rescue.  It is literally myself and Tonya.  We have been lucky enough also to have met some amazing people who volunteer to help us.  It's been wonderful to meet other passionate animal lovers who don't mind donating a little free time to help make a difference.

My former foster dog Aspen being spoon fed by his new bestfriend.

Currently, we have around 30 dogs available for adoption that come in all shapes and sizes.  We are slowly building up a network of amazing foster parents who provide temporary homes our babies awaiting adoption.  Please visit Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet and take a look at our babies.  We think they're all amazing but of course we are a little biased :)

I wanted to take a moment to thank:  St. Bethlehem Animal Clinic, Rock and Country Vet Services, Animal Care Center of Carters Creek, Animal Attraction, Kathy's Pampered Pets, Doggie Doos and Nashville Pet Products.  These businesses have been a tremendous help and we are so grateful for everything they have done for us.  I'd also like to thank our foster parents who selflessly step up for dogs that have no place to go.  They make saving these dogs possible and they really deserve a pat on the back.  I want to send a huge thank you as well to our donors and Facebook followers because you make what we do possible.  We depend solely on donations to help rescue these dogs from death row, have their vetting completed and take care of them until they find their forever families.  So many people have come together to make a difference for dogs in Tennessee and I'm truly honored to know each and every one of you.

When I met Bree in the shelter, she was so terrified that she couldn't even walk. She now is the happiest girl in the world and loved by the sweetest couple. I will never forget you Bree!

~ Jamie
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