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.

Oh Metro.. You're Kidding Me, Right?

I don't live in Davidson County and so I wasn't familiar with rules and regulations there regarding the three dog parks in Nashville.  Recently, someone mentioned a ban on Pitbulls and any dog slightly resembling a Pitbull in the Nashville dog parks.  I thought that surely they were mistaken and that a rule that ignorant and prejudice couldn't possibly be true.  I'm going to copy this portion for all to see because not only is this rule silly, but technically it's not even politically correct.

Under Section II, Rules and Regulations for Metro Dog Parks

I.  The following are not permitted into Metro Dog Parks:

1.  Pit bulls or dogs having any characteristics of the pit bull breed

Well maybe I'm really misinformed, but since when was there a Pit Bull breed?  Secondly, if it was in fact a recognized breed as they're indicating, would it not be proper to capitalize the name of a breed?  I'm pretty sure it would be.

Back to my original point, Pitbulls are not a breed but a label.  A label given to a handful of different breeds that all the breed experts out there (insert sarcasm) have lumped together apparently because they think they're the same.  However they are not the same, they are all distinctly different breeds. 

Generally these breeds are considered "Pitbulls":

  1. American Bulldog

  2. American Pit Bull Terrier

  3. American Staffordshire Terrier

  4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  5. Bull Terrier

  6. Mini Bull Terrier

Many also consider Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs to fall under this label as well.  My thought is, where does the prejudice end?  I can't recall the number of times one of my "Pitbull" mixes was bitten, humped, dominated and chased down my by unattended children at my local dog park.  None of the dogs he had issues with were "Pitbulls".  Not once did he ever respond aggressively, even when other dogs were acting completely out of control.  I remember one especially aggressive Golden Retriever who had absolutely no business being at the park to begin with.

Why must places continue to lump multiple breeds together and think that by doing so, all their problems are going to be solved?  Breed Specific Legislation banning these dogs has been proven not to reduce the amount of dog bites.  A dangerous dog is a dangerous dog, it doesn't matter what breed it is.

It's time to start looking at each dog as an individual and start educating the public about responsible pet ownership.  THE DOGS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM, IT'S THE PEOPLE THAT OWN THEM.  Until we address the cause, things will never change.
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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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Painted Black


I still remember the day I first heard the term "Black Dog Syndrome".  Out of curiosity, I googled the term to find "The conjecture that black dogs (and cats) are less likely to be adopted from rescue shelters than animals of other colors".   I looked over at my own dog, who was black as a puppy but had matured to be a lighter seal color.  When I adopted him from the rescue that saved his very pregnant mother, it was his personality that I fell in love with.  The lady from the rescue let him out of the pen and he charged out of there, running around as fast as he could.  He spotted a kiddie pool full of water and dove in, laying down to drink the water.  I loved his character, I could have cared less what color he was.

When we started rescuing dogs, the very first dog we took was a black brindle female that we still have.  Her name is Lily.  A month or so later, I received a euthanasia list from a high kill shelter in GA late one evening.  I scrolled down looking at each dog, reading their brief description of breed, sex, personality and how they came to be at the shelter.


About three quarters of the way down the list, I came to a young black face peering out from behind the kennel fence.  I looked at her description, it simply read "Black Pit, no chance".  The particular shelter where she was didn't adopt out anything they felt had even a sliver of Pitbull in it.  There was a county wide breed ban and I knew she didn't have much of a chance, but to see it written as her description really bothered me.  Determined to prove them wrong, we committed to this dog and months later, we still have her.  Her name is Callie and now that she has matured, she has turned out to be one of the nicest, most intelligent dogs we've ever had.

We also have a male black and white Pitbull mix named Kane who is a gorgeous dog.  He needs a little obedience work, but he is a very sweet, happy dog.  I've received one inquiry on him in the last three months.  Most recently, we also pulled a small, black Terrier mix female named Pepper.  It's been about a month but not a single person has contacted us about her.


If you had asked me previously, I would have never thought there was any truth to Black Dog Syndrome.  However at every adoption event I have watched people scan the crates and look at our dogs, only to pass right over the black dogs as if they are invisible.  At our last event, I made it a point to dress Callie up in her pink harness, pink collar and we kept her out walking with one of us for a good portion of the day.  She rolled around with little children, gave them kisses and was so happy to spend what time she could with everyone she met.  There was no way to miss her this way or not notice her, but still most of the people there still proceeded past her to look at the other dogs.

Every single time this happens, it breaks our hearts because we know that Callie knows she is being rejected.  I'm sure she doesn't know why, but she still knows and we can see it in her face and behavior.  Very rarely do we have a dog that tries so hard to please people.  It's hard for us to watch the same scenario keep playing out at every event.   She wags her tail at each approaching person, she tries to get their attention and she so badly wants a family of her own.  Every time she gets her hopes up, we watch her get passed over time and time again.  It's simply not fair.  We have become very upset by it because we love these dogs.


If you're looking to adopt a dog, please give every one a chance to show you who they are on the inside.  Personality and character should be what really matter when it comes to adopting a new companion.  If I had passed over my own dog because of his color, I would have missed out on the best dog I have ever had.  He has changed my life and I can't imagine a day without him in it.
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Saving Grace

Sometimes there are dogs that touch your heart in very powerful ways.  The mark left can be so profound that it lasts forever.  There are dogs that although now adopted, will always have a part of my heart.  I like to think that this part goes with them when depart my life and move on to the next chapter in theirs.

Grace in the shelter

I've seen some rescues that are so picky about the dogs they take.  I understand their logic, but that doesn't mean I find it logical.  The reason I founded this organization was primarily to post and network dogs facing euthanasia in Tennessee.  Later, I felt the need to help some of these dogs that I felt were being overlooked.  I saw so many dogs that were being passed over by rescues because of their breed, their color, a medical condition or their appearance.  I thought these dogs deserved a second chance just as much as any other dog.

One night a couple of weeks ago, I was looking through an album of dogs scheduled for euthanasia the morning of Friday 3/16/12.  There were more than 20 dogs and I was immediately drawn the swollen, blood crusted face of #121084.  I thought at the time that she had been in a dog fight and worried that she may be dog aggressive.  When I inquired about her with Maria, the rescue coordinator, I asked if they could please dog test her to make sure she was not aggressive.  That's when I learned what really happened to this dog.  She wasn't in a dog fight, she was punched and beaten by a person.  When I heard this, it was very hard not to break down as I looked at her face.  She was broken and withdrawn, one photo had her curled up in a ball in her kennel.  The other photo showed her swollen face with blood crusted on her forehead.  Her irritated eyes were running down her face.  She almost looked as though she was crying, and although I knew she wasn't, I knew inside she was crying out for help.

It was hard for me to imagine that someone could do this to this sweet soul.  She had never done anything to anyone, in no way did she deserve this.  I knew I had to help her, despite how serious her injuries could be.  In a world where this dog had not been extended one hand of kindess,  I wanted her to feel what being loved and cherished felt like.  She deserved to know that she was worth something and believe me she is.

Grace, the night she arrived in TN

She arrived here the evening of 3/16.  It wasn't until the next day when I saw her in the daylight that it really hit me.  This poor baby could barely see at all.  She squinted in the sun, her eyes were full of discharge and she was hesitant to walk.  I was so upset when I was finally able to see her on this brightly lit day.  I was angry at whoever let her become this neglected and abused.  Her head has many scars, some old and some wounds were scabbed over.  She had what appeared to be cigarette burn marks on her hind quarters.  I thought about this poor dog being beat up and abused without even having the ability to defend herself.  It days like this that have at times made me lose my faith in mankind.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, Grace has had her first surgery to correct a very severe case of entropion.  Her eyes have ulcers from this condition being neglected for so long.  The vets caring for her are confident she will recover, but will more that likely need one more surgery.  It was hard for me to believe that this poor dog was only a year and a half old.  She has been through so much in such a short lifetime.  She is still a little timid and isn't quick to trust anyone, but she is slowly coming out of her shell.  What Grace needs right now is a quiet home with a loving foster where she can heal, both mentally and physically.  She will make a wonderful dog when that very special day comes and she finally goes HOME.
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Bingo Was His Name..O!

Late one evening back in January, we were emailed an urgent puppy known only as B-9 from Tipton County.  The shelter staff had came to work one morning to find this young, Red Heeler puppy inside of the fence that surrounds the shelter.  His owners apparently could not wait until the shelter opened, so they surrendered him by tossing him over the fence.  The fall caused an injury that they believed to be a break in his left front leg. Unfortunately, the shelter did not have a vet on staff nor the funds to repair his legs.  There was no way to know exactly where the break was and whether it was a clean break or not.

B-9 in the Tipton County Animal Shelter

I have never had a dog with a broken limb before and I had no idea how much it would cost to fix his leg.  All of the normal vets we use were closed at the time but I found a couple of emergency vets here to call in hopes of getting some kind of price estimate.  It was really impossible to predict a cost however, because there were so many unknown factors that would affect the overall total.  I was told by both vets that we were looking at anywhere from $200 to $2,000.  They said it could be a a simple clean break or a more complex fracture.  The treatment for which could be as simple as a splint, surgery to help repair the break, or worst case, an amputation of the leg.

I knew we had to help, but we had never taken something this big on before and it was a little frightening when I thought of the potential expenses.  I had hope that we could raise a decent amount of funds but this little puppy was very urgent.  We didn't have much time and it takes a lot of work to raise that much money.  I decided to set up a FundRazr with a goal of $700 and I posted it to our Facebook wall.  It was very late by the time I was finished and I had to get up early, so I decided to call it a night.

Bingo (B-9) when we picked him up from the transporter

When I woke up the next morning, I eagerly rolled over to pick up my phone and check the FundRazr.  I was ecstatic to find that it already had just over $400 in it and I knew this was a great start.  On my way to work, I called the shelter and asked them if they would be able to take him to a local vet for some x-rays.  The shelter staff was wonderful and they really wanted to help this little guy.  They agreed to take him for us and gave me the name of two clinics that were in their general area.  I called both clinics and chose Gentle Care in Memphis.  They were so friendly and helpful on the phone and were willing to give us a break (no pun intended:) on services for him.  I called the shelter back to let them know I had made arrangements and they agreed to drive the thirty minutes that afternoon to take him there.

Waiting for his results was a real nail-biter but after what seemed like an eternity (it was about 1 hour, but seemed like 5) they called to give me the results.  After taking some x-rays of his leg and foot, they confirmed that he simply had a broken foot!  All he needed was a splint which would need to be changed out in two weeks.  This was the best news we could have possibly hoped for and I gave them the go ahead to set and splint his leg.  While he was there he also received his vaccinations, fecal and de-worming.

Bingo with his new family at Nashville Pet Products in Spring Hill

While B-9 was getting fixed up, we put out a plea for a foster in the local area to give him a place to stay while his leg healed.  A few people contacted us and we chose an amazing woman named Lydia who lived in Nashville.  We also put out a plea for help with his transport to the Nashville area and we were lucky to find one right away.  She was the person who gave our Bingo his name, because saying B-9 sounded a whole lot like you're playing a game of bingo.

Bingo was lucky to find a wonderful family and new home.  This little guy was able to get a second chance because so many people stepped up to help.  I wanted to update this story for all of those people who had a hand in his happy ending.  Events on the page go quickly so this is my way of making sure that everyone knows how Bingo's story ended.  Thank you to all of our Facebook followers for your support and thank you Lydia, you were the best foster we could have ever asked for!



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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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Our Dogs For Adoption - Chevy

Back in October, a follower of our Facebook page went to visit the Cleveland Shelter because there was a special dog there named Lily (at the time her name was #406).  When he walked through the shelter looking at the dogs, a dog named #447 really got to him and he wanted to save him as well.

#447 was surrendered by his owners to the shelter because they had purchased an RV and wanted to travel the country.  Apparently, they felt that #447 no longer fit into their plans, he was no longer convenient.  So like thousands of dogs across the country each day, he was dropped off by his owners at the shelter.  Let me tell you that surrendering a dog to any kill shelter is a death sentence.  People think when they drop a dog off there, they will find loving families and live happily ever after.  Nothing is further from the truth.  When dogs are picked up as strays, there is a mandatory state required hold on them while attempts are made to locate the dogs owner.  If a dog is brought in by it's owner, then there is no need to go through all that.  If we learned anything by watching the live camera's at the old Memphis Animal Shelter that closed a couple of weeks ago, it's that these dogs can be surrendered and immediately taken to the back and put down.  When shelters are full, it will always be the owner surrenders, aggressive and sick dogs that die first.  That is the sad reality.

Matt wanted to save #447 and that is exactly what happened.  He could not foster him, but offered to pay his vetting and board until he found a loving family.  That is when #447 became Chevy, one of our adoptable dogs.


We believe Chevy is a Doberman mix and he weighs roughly 55 pounds.  He is a very friendly dog who loves to play fetch.  Chevy would be a great dog for an active family.  I see him being a perfect companion for someone who likes to fetch or do things outdoors.  He is very playful and honestly very entertaining to watch.

He has been completely vetted to include all of his shots and he is neutered.  He is heart worm negative and has been on preventative while in our care.  We would love to find a foster home for Chevy and would also consider a foster to adopt option if anyone would like to take him on a temporary basis to see if he is a perfect match.

Please contact us if you're interested in Chevy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Our Dogs For Adoption - Jagger

A couple of weeks ago on Columbus Day, I had the day off from work so I decided to make a trip down to Cleveland.  I planned to pick up one of the dogs we had in boarding there and bring him up to the Nashville area.  I wanted to be able to get more exposure for him and be able to spend a little more time with him as well.


Once I got down there, I decided to make a quick trip by the shelter to say hello.  I stopped in and chatted with the staff for a few minutes.  Afterwards, I grabbed my camera and headed to the shelter to take pictures of the dogs.  I figured I might as well while I was already down there.

There were a lot of really nice dogs there that day as always, but one guy stood out in particular to me.  He had a larger than life personality even behind a kennel fence.  As with all the other dogs, I wrote his number down (#624), along with "male brindle Pitbull".  On my way back through this dog was just so excited and happy to see me.  He was trying so hard to get my attention so I tried to pat him through the kennel which was pretty much impossible.  He frantically licked my fingers and wagged his tail.  This dog was really getting to me, there was no doubt about it.  I took this picture of him there that I will never forget.  Look at the huge smile on his face!

I kept calling to check his status and I was told he was reclaimed by his owner.  Days went by though, I kept checking on him and he was still there.  His owner had been served with a citation for letting him run at large and it was claimed that he killed a neighbors kitten.  At any rate, his owner was not willing to pay the fine and pay for the time the dog had been boarding at the shelter.  He made the decision to sign #624 over to the shelter and I found out almost immediately.  Beautiful Boy

There were two things I knew immediately.  #1 was the shelter was full and this boy had been there awhile.  #2 He was a Pitbull.  #3 I know what kind of person this dog would attract and it was something I couldn't get out of my mind.  As much as I didn't want us to take on another dog, I couldn't image this sweet soul being subjected to a life of misery.  A life of being forced to fight, or being chained up like a prisoner in someone's backyard.  It was a no brainer for me.  I knew we needed to get him to safety and we needed to do it fast.


I got the pleasure of seeing Jagger again two weekends ago when I drove down to Cleveland to pick a couple of our dogs up.  I was actually giddy about seeing this dog.  They let me in the back to see him.  I wanted to take him for a little walk before I loaded him in the car.  We got outside and I reached down to pat his head and this poor dog just cowered to the ground.  Some may say he is just a submissive dog but in my opinion, he thought I was going to hit him.  It was really upsetting to me and honestly it made me angry.  How could anyone be cruel to a dog that is so kind?

Looking him over it wasn't just the fact that he was frightened that bothered me.  He was also borderline emaciated, so very, very thin.  This was something I couldn't see in the shelter as he was facing me the entire time.  It was apparent to me then that this dog had not had a great life, not by any means.  I also learned that day that Jagger is mildy heartworm positive.

Jagger (aka Heartbreaker)

After bringing him to Columbia, I was able to go down this past weekend and see him.  I had made him an appointment for a second heartworm test at my vet here so we could start him on treatment.  Tonya and I went in to pick him up, again I couldn't wait to see him.  Let me tell you that the folks at Animal Attraction are amazing.  They brought him out and he burst through the door and it was as if I was seeing a completely different dog.  I could not believe how much difference was made in one week.  They had bathed him for me, his coat looked amazing and he had gained at least a couple of pounds.  He looked fantastic and not once did he cower in fear of us or anyone else.  Jagger was given a lot of love and attention last week, something he had clearly waited a long time for.

I will have the results of Jagger's second blood test tomorrow and we will know how to best proceed with his treatment.  He will not be available until he tests heartworm negative but we will be taking applications for him to start the process of finding him an amazing home.

Jagger is 1 1/2 years old, he weighs roughly 48 pounds, is current on his shots and has been neutered.  He has a great temperament, he loves people and other dogs.  I would not recommend him to a home with cats.  If you're interested in Jagger, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Our Dogs for Available for Adoption - Lily


#406 at Cleveland Animal Control

This is Lily, previously known as #406.  Lily was  pulled from Cleveland Animal Control just in time thanks to her angel Matt, who graciously offered to sponsor her.  She was a shelter favorite due to her sweet personality and she is great with other dogs.

Lily is a small, 3 year old Pitbull mix with an amazing disposition.  She loves attention, kids and dogs of all sizes. She also has a beautiful, unique black brindle that draws compliments wherever she goes.

Lily outside of Community Animal Hospital

I picked Lily up last weekend from boarding and she greeted everyone in the waiting area.  Some dogs seem to know they have be given a second chance and Lily is one of those dogs.  She seems happy just to be alive and her tail was wagging so hard that I thought she might fall over.  She walked up to a little girl there and washed her face with kisses.  Lily is a spunky little girl with lots of love to give and will make someone a fantastic companion.

She is spayed, is current on her shots and is HW NEG.  She needs a home to call her own and we are now taking applications.

Amazing adopters only need apply, please email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
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Two Weeks of Awesomeness

I'm pretty sure awesomeness is not a word, but it's the first thing that comes to mind when I think about all that has happened recently.


Last week in the nick of time, I was able to change the life of one little dog for the better.   A little dog called #431 who appears to have lived most of his short life as a stray.  My contact for his shelter, Loraine, was able to pull him for me and he was taken to a local vet.  This past Saturday, Tonya met me and we made the two and a half hour drive to go pick up this little boy.  I honestly thought I was picking up a puppy, he looked small in his pictures and at the vets, weighed in at 33 pounds.

Taken with my cell phone, #107 on our trip through the shelter.

We made a visit to the shelter before picking him up and walked through looking at the dogs.  The shelter in Cleveland was beyond packed, with 3-4 dogs per kennel.  There were so many nice dogs there.  I was shocked and surprised at how these dogs had ended up at the shelter.  How could all these beautiful dogs be unwanted?  Cleveland has 20 kennels, and last Friday alone they took in 18 dogs.  Anyone can do the math and realize how full this shelter is.  The kennel area was loud, dogs were barking and jumping up on the kennel door, trying to get our attention.  One our first trip by, there was one dog that really stood out to me, not necessarily because of his looks but because of his personality.  When we came back through the kennels, we found him in the same position as before.  Laying down with his paws crossed looking at us so politely but his eyes were pleading for help at the same time.  He had a look of defeat, a look that told me that there was a time when he got up to great people but he had lost all hope.  Sometimes dogs get to you in a place deep down and this dog got to me.  Sadly there was nothing I could do to help him but hope someone saw how special he was and gave him a loving home.

We left the shelter and headed to pick up #431, whom I had decided to call Neo because I felt he deserved a really cool name.  When we arrived at the vets office, we really wanted to see some of the other dogs saved through the Facebook page who were also there.  They were kind enough to let us go back to the kennel area and see two of the dogs, Augie and Guiness.

Was was all wiggles and very happy to see us.

Augie was a senior Aussie mix that had been surrendered to the shelter by his long time owner.  Sadly, senior dogs are surrendered all too often and subjected to a shelter environment that is frightening to them.  Most seniors do not do well in the shelter and many never make it out because most people want a cute puppy or a young dog.  Augie was one of the lucky ones, as he was seen by a kind woman in New York who saved his life.  Augie is going to live at a beach house and I'm a little bit jealous.

Guiness in his kennel at the vets office.

Next we got to visit a Beagle puppy that had been saved by a kind woman named Heather from Greensboro, NC.  He had looked terribly sad in his shelter picture and his foot was bandaged.  We were pleased to see that his foot looked good and he was so happy.  He was so happy actually that he wouldn't hold still for a picture so the best one I was able to get was inside his kennel at the vets office.

I realized after visiting with them that I had walked right by Neo.  I was expecting a 33 pound puppy which is what I had been looking for.   To my surprise, he wasn't a young puppy but an older puppy.  His weight made me think he was small, but he was actually very good size but extremely skinny.  He was beyond happy to be out and I could tell immediately that he was one super friendly boy.

Neo is finally in a safe home where I can spoil him appropriately.  I will be his foster Mom while he waits for his perfect forever home.  If you are interested in adopting Neo, please contact Critter Cavalry.  You won't be sorry.  He is going to make someone an amazing dog.

Skipping forward a few nights to Wednesday, it was a night like many others.  I was emailed a list of dogs to be euthanized in the coming days.  On the list for that night, was none other than the special dog from my Saturday visit to the shelter.  I learned that he was taken to the shelter months earlier because his owner went to jail leaving him homeless.  After waiting this long with a packed shelter, it was determined that his owner wasn't going to be able to come back for him and no one had adopted him.  They had to make space for all the incoming dogs.

As I watched the clock tick down on this dogs life today, I was honestly sick to my stomach.  All of the other dogs had people interested in them and were being saved, all but my sweet boy.  He was lucky to have received a sponsor last night who was generous enough to pay his adoption fee.  Even still, he needed a place to go once he left the shelter.  I was so saddened that no one wanted him, because I knew he was a special dog and I wanted him to have a chance so badly.  I felt very helpless, very sad and very frustrated.

Neo, (#431) sunning himself on my lawn.

When Loraine arrived at the shelter to pay the fees for the dogs, she asked me what I wanted to do.  I couldn't bare the thought of losing this dog.  I kept thinking about him being put on a table, given a shot and watching his life slip away.  It kept playing over and over in my mind.  I kept picturing his sad face, laying there with his paws crossed so politely.  

I didn't know what we would do with this dog.  I didn't know how long it would take him to find a home or much of anything for that matter, but the one thing I did know, was that I couldn't live with myself if he died.   I made the decision to save his life today and I was able to do that because a kind soul named Jennifer stepped up to sponsor him.  So tomorrow morning, the shelter will transport him, along with a Border Collie that one of our followers saved to the vet for his checkup and shots.  He will stay there until a forever home is found and let me tell you that I will be picky.  This boy will go only to a home as special as he is.  Maybe that lucky person could be you.

It's been a busy last couple of weeks and we have saved a lot of dogs.  I want to sincerely thank everyone who shared them and those who sponsored their adoption fees, as well as helped with transport costs.  These dogs are proof of what can happen when passionate people come together to make a difference.

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Making a Difference

I haven't had much time to keep up with the blog lately, but I can honestly say that I was not prepared for how fast the Facebook page would grow. It is almost a full-time job in itself to keep up with.
Since August 12th when I had the idea for the site and Facebook page, a lot has happened. I was lucky enough to have Tonya Gibbons offer to help with the Facebook page and not only has she helped me tremendously, but she has been a huge help to dogs on death row.
Since this amazing journey began, I have seen so much love and caring for these dogs. People from all over the world have made an emotional connection with our dogs and their stories. It's truly inspiring.
We have received donations and offers to help with transport. Our Facebook followers have shared our dogs and put their faces in front of thousands of people that would have never seen them otherwise. Our success is a direct result of the amazing people supporting us. I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you. Our strength is in our numbers, and our numbers are growing. I speak on behalf of myself and the dogs of Tennessee when I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your hard work.
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I've watched our puppy numbers grow in the last few days and I wanted to share them separately here on our blog.  People don't generally think puppies are urgent, but sadly there are many everyday in shelters across America.  Just like the other dogs, puppies are euthanized for space.    It's the hard reality of the society in which we live.  As long as there are puppy mills, pet stores that sell puppies, breeders and many people who do not spay or neuter their pets, we will continue to have this problem.

Shelters do their best, but many are limited by space and funding.  Many have so many new dogs coming in per day, they don't have the time to constantly update their Petfinder page and many are not allowed to have a Facebook page.

 These three cuties to the left are Blue Heeler/Bluetick Hound mixes.  Two are males, one female and they are simply gorgeous.  I've never  seen such brilliantly colored blue eyes.  Blue Heelers are some of the smartest dogs around.  They are quick learners and some can learn and retain and work dozens of commands - both voice and hand. PLEASE consider one of these babies for your family!  For more information on these sweet babies, contact the Montgomery County Animal Shelter at 931-648-5750

This sweetheart on the left is a female Chihuahua who is absolutely precious!  Her adoption fee is only $50 and includes one exam, one worm check, one deworming (if necessary), one set of vaccines that include Rabies, and the spay or neuter.  This is a very cheap fee for all these services.  Small dogs are very popular so here is your chance to have a super cute Chihuahua puppy!  For more information, please contact Cleveland Animal Control 423-479-2122. Address: 360 Hill St. SE Cleveland, TN 37311.  Hours of operation M-F 11-5 Sat. 10-12 .  Her ID # is 554.

We know all puppies are just adorable, it doesn't matter what kind of puppy it is.  They are all ridiculously cute.  I'm pretty sure Reggie here could still win a cuteness award.  Look at his debonair pose this picture.  He is almost too cute to even look at! Reggie is a four month old, Pitbull/Hound mix that has a very beautiful and unique red brindle coat.  He has a perfect white blaze between his eyes, and white on his chest and the tips of his paws.  Reggie likes to play with toys and he is at that goofy puppy stage where he trips over his own feet sometimes when chasing after a ball! Reggie is very very sweet. He loves to cuddle and he melts into you when you pick him up. Reggie would make a great family pet. He's been outside running and playing tug with children under the age of 7 - and he was fun and gentle. Reggie needs a home now. He does not have much time left so please call now!  Reggie is at Montgomery County Shelter, and he is waiting for you!  Please call 931-648-5750 for more information on this precious boy.

Sparky is a Bull Terrier mix and is super cute with his bat ears!  I'm also told that he craves human attention and simply loves and affection he can get at the shelter.  Sparky was scheduled for euthanasia last week but since some of the adult dogs were adopted, they had the kennel space to keep him for another week.  He has now been extended to 9/15 but he may not be so lucky this week.  There is a video of him located on the Lewisburg Animal Shelter Facebook page and it shows just how cute he is!  You can view it here: . Please call the Lewisburg Animal Shelter for more information on Sparky at 931-359-5954.
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Featured Dog: Cocoa

Cocoa is a stunning, 6 month old brindle Pitbull mix with a gentle, sweet personality.  I cannot believe no one has scooped up this little girl yet.  She is beautiful, look at her precious face!

Rescues, if you can fit one more, this little girl deserves a shot to live out her life with a loving family.  She is a very adoptable dog, I would adopt her myself if I hadn't already hit my dog limit. 

Potential adopters, what are you waiting for?  She is an awesome dog that needs an equally awesome family.

Go get her out now!  She may not have another week.

Please call the Maury County Shelter at 931-540-0897 for more information on Cocoa, or email Donna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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The Power of You

People might not think so, but I think that each person carries with them the power to make a difference.  I call this the "Power of One".

For starters, you can always adopt your pets so that you are directly helping dogs in need find forever homes.  You can encourage your friends to do the same.

You can become a foster.  When you foster a dog, you may not only save that dog, but you could very possibly be saving another dog.  Many shelters are packed full and as a result have to euthanize for space.  If you foster, that space left open by your foster dog may provide another dog the time it needs to be adopted or rescued.  By fostering a needy dog, you are saving it's life.  You can provide that dog a safe, temporary, loving home until the perfect family comes along.  You could literally be the difference between life or death.

You can volunteer or donate to your local shelter.  Many of which could really use the help.  You can help them walk dogs and provide them with the socialization they'll need to be perfect canine pals.  Shelters generally need supplies, items that you may have at home and not even need anymore.  They usually always need dog beds, blankets, toys and dog food.

You can donate to your local rescue groups.  Rescues work tirelessly and selflessly to save animals from shelters and find them loving homes.  In my opinion they are making a much bigger difference to animals than the ASPCA or PETA.  Everyone thinks of these larger groups to donate to, but to be honest they aren't exactly what you would call short on funding.  Some of these local rescues are, and it prevents them from being able to save as many animals as they potentially could with more donations.

There is a lot you can do.  There is a power in you to help changes things for the better.  You can make a difference so start now!
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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.
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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.
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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..
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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



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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.

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