How YOU Can Help

There is much YOU can do to help! This situation will not change until you get involved.

  1. Find out what is happening in your local shelter. If it is a publicly funded shelter, then you have a say in what happens there. After all, this is your tax dollars at work. Start by asking questions – how many animals do they handle each year? What are the outcomes – how many are adopted, reclaimed, transferred to rescue, or destroyed? Do they accept stray animals, owner surrenders, or dogs brought in by Animal Control or law enforcement? What is the average stay for a dog at their facility? Are they vaccinated? spayed/neutered? tested and treated for Heartworm (and then given preventative)? Dewormed? Is there a foster program? Volunteer program? Dog enrichment program?

If you don’t like the answers to any of these questions, SAY something. Change won’t happen unless people advocate for it. Better yet, get involved. Good shelters and rescues have active volunteer programs and will welcome your help with dog enrichment, adoption events, grant-writing, marketing, social media, and fundraising, plus many other programs. There is something everyone can do to help their local shelter no matter their skill level or talents.

2. If you are looking for a new pet, choose to rescue from a shelter or rescue. If you know someone else looking for a new pet, encourage them to adopt. Share your adopted pet and its story everywhere you go and online. We need to make adoption the first option for everyone looking to add a new pet to their family. The problem has never been a pet overpopulation problem, it has always been a marketing problem. At any given moment there are more people looking to add a new pet to their family than there are dogs in shelters. If just half of those people who plan to buy a dog, instead adopted one, our shelters would be emptied in a day. Imagine that.

3. If you have room in your heart and your home to foster an animal –do it! If you need want to know more about fostering for a shelter or rescue, visit or contact your local shelter or rescue.

4. If you can’t volunteer, foster, or adopt, right now, you can still support your local shelters and rescues not just monetarily, but by donating supplies, making dog toys, or helping to spread the word by being active in their social media activities. On every shelter tour, we take along donated items like food, treats, dewormers, and flea/tick preventatives, plus bags and bags of handmade dog toys made by local families, library groups, and scout troops. There are lots of directions online for making simple dog toys that can brighten a shelter dog’s stay and get kennel stress at bay. See what your local shelter or rescue needs, and/or donate to our efforts through our Amazon Wishlist. We take all gifts from our Amazon wishlist directly to the shelters on every trip.

5. If you’d like to help some of the deserving shelters and rescues we have visited in the south, choose a few below. We’ve tried to provide information on each, including a link to the story of our visit with them. Look them up on social media, follow, comment, and support. Check out their Amazon wishlist and donate when you can (this makes a great ‘alternative’ gift for the people who have everything). If a particular organization speaks to your heart — get involved and help them any way you can. For many involved in rescue in the south, it can be a lonely and disheartening business, your support can make a difference.

We do our best to keep this page updated, but if you experience any links that don’t work or if you are one of these shelters/rescues that would like your entry updated, please email


All4s-106All 4s Rescue League

Memphis, TN

This amazing group spends their days on the streets of Memphis offering dog houses, food, spay/neuter, and when necessary, rescue, to animals living their lives on chains outdoors. Read about our visit here.



Amazon Wishlist

Arc and Laura-18Animal Rescue Corps

Lebanon, TN

Animal Rescue Corps is an ‘army’ of volunteers all over the country who step in to help in the case of natural and manmade disasters (hurricanes, hoarding cases, etc.) to assist law enforcement to provide shelter, medical treatment, behavior assessments, and ultimately rescue placement for all kinds of animals. Read about our visit here.



Amazon Wishlist

Cheathum and Nashville-51Cheatham County Animal Control

Pegram, TN

Cheatum County Animal Control is one miraculous places doing impossible things with an impossibly small budget in a rural county in Tennessee. The leadership of their current director Kristin is inspiring and is a model for other shelters in impoverished rural counties. They need all the support they can get!
Read about Cheatham here.




Amazon wishlist

_DSC5559.JPGKarin’ 4 Kritters

Greenfield, TN

Karin’ 4 Kritters is a private non-profit shelter that rescues strays and dogs impounded by Greenfield city. Read about our visit to Greenfield city pound and Karin’ 4 Kritters here.



Amazon Wishlist


Maury County Animal Shelter

Columbia, TN

The shelter continues to improve as it works to be a no-kill shelter and a resource for its community. Read about our first visit to Maury here and our second to the shelter nine months later here.

Maury County Animal Shelter
1233 Mapleleash Ave
Columbia, TN 38401

Paws2Care-Dyersburg-39Paws to Care

Dyersburg, TN

Paws to Care works to save dogs from the Dyersburg-Dyer County Animal Shelter helping to take them from at 90% kill rate in 2017 to no-kill status this year. They focus on moving dogs out via rescues, local spay/neuter, and a new TNR cat program. Read about our visit here.



Amazon Wishlist




Rural Animal Rescue Effort (RARE)

Columbia, TN

RARE was founded and is currently run by a remarkable woman who not only handles the adoptions and houses many of the animals at her home, but travels all over western Tennessee saving animals who are weeks, if not days, away from dying from neglect in dog pounds. She truly is a life-saving hero for many, many dogs.  Read about my heartbreaking visit with Trisha to the Huntingdon Dog Pound here.




Amazon wishlist

65178587_396723011190080_2255540584171175936_nRed Fern Animal Shelter

Dresden, TN

Red Fern is a private non-profit animal shelter started by two sisters to do the work their county wasn’t doing — saving animals abandoned, neglected, and/or unwanted in Weakley County, TN. Now, in their sixties, Anne and Kim care for as many as 70 dogs and over 140 cats.

You can read about our visit to Red Fern (and Huntingdon Dog pound) here.

They can use ‘pretty much anything’ and I’ve been bugging them to create an Amazon wishlist, but you can send donations to:
Red Fern Animal Shelter,​1487 Miles Rd.,Dresden, TN. 38225





Hayti Dog Pound

Hayti, MO

This dog pound has a hard history of killing every dog that landed in it’s pound, but there is hope in Hayti now with new advocates working hard to change that history. Read about our visit here.

The Hayti Pound Puppy rescue was created by local residents to raise funds to build a real shelter in Hayti. You can follow and support their efforts on Facebook.

Amazon wishlist


Corinth-2Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter

Corinth, MS

Corinth-Alcorn is the only shelter for six counties in the northeast corner of Mississippi. They are chronically overcrowded in their dangerously outdated building whose roof is covered in blue tarps. Committed to becoming a no-kill shelter, the staff at Corinth-Alcorn saves every animal they can and utilizes every possible space, but without a new shelter building they are fighting a losing battle. Read about our visit here.



Amazon Wishlist

HornLake-30Horn Lake Animal Shelter

Horn Lake, MS

Just south of Memphis, TN, Horn Lake struggles with a large population of not just unwanted pit bulls, but heartworm positive dogs. Despite those obstacles, the remarkable staff utilizes play groups/socialization, rescue, and determination to save every animal they can. Read about our visit here.

Friends of Horn Lake (like many municipal shelters, if you want your donation to go to Horn Lake, it must go via a third party otherwise it may very well end up in the general fund and not help the animals)


Amazon Wishlist

MidSouth-56Midsouth Animal Welfare Foundation

Corinth, MS

Midsouth focuses on local low-cost spay/neuter, moving puppies out of the south, and tackling rescues with serious medical needs. They provide veterinary care, foster homes, and transport to rescues out of the area. Midsouth is fairly close to the Ripley Market, a flea market that sells puppies and dogs once a month flooding the are with unvaccinated, unaltered, ‘purebred’ animals with a variety of health issues.

Read about our visit with Midsouth here.




Mississippi Animal Rescue League

Jackson, MS

MARL is an open-intake shelter in Jackson, Mississippi that takes in over 10,000 animals a year and destroys about 80% of them per the policies established by their board. We are including them on this list because this shelter needs more help than any other place we’ve visited, but so far we have not figured out how we can help change their entrenched habits so that they could embrace new programs and policies that could save lives. Read about our visit here and PLEASE refrain from offering judgment. Instead, help us find solutions. We remain convinced that change only comes after awareness.





Shark-57SHARK (Safe Haven Animal Rescue Kennel)

Abbeyville, AL

SHARK is the volunteer group that effectively runs the Henry County/Abbeyville City shelter and animal control. When the county and city decided to shut down their shelters, SHARK stepped up to fill the gap. Located in the wiregrass corner of Alabama, it’s current director is Dave Rice, a 76-year-old disabled veteran. They run the shelter that takes in over a thousand dogs a year completely on donations and sends all their dogs out through rescue. Read about our visit with SHARK here.

donate through paypal

mailing address: P.O. Box 126, Abbeville, Alabama 36310





Scott County Animal Shelter/Scott County Humane Society

Gate City, VA

Scott County Shelter budget only includes food, nothing else. Everything else, including medical treatment, dewormers, and flea/tick treatment must be purchased by volunteers or donated. The budget also does not pay for an employee to come in on the weekends, so once again, the remarkable volunteers of the Scott County Humane Society volunteer their time to clean kennels and care and feed the dogs.
Read about our visit to Scott County here.


20190331_182534260_iOSTappahannock/Essex County Animal Shelter

Tappahannock, VA

Tappahannock/Essex County Animal Shelter (TECAS) is a small, county-owned facility which opened in 2008. They are a ‘kill shelter’ but do their very best (which presently is best described as ‘no-kill’ thanks to the leadership of one remarkable woman) to minimize the need to euthanize animals unnecessarily.

​There are pictures and more information from my visit to TECAS in this post.


Amazon Wishlist

Donations to TECAS can be sent to:
c/o Ellen Shifflett
202 South Church Lane
Tappahannock, VA 22560



IMG_0643Anson County Animal Shelter

Polkton, NC

Anson County shelter is a small but mighty shelter working hard (and creatively) to save dogs just an hour outside Charlotte, NC. Read about our visit to Anson here.

55912419_2292726407675559_1004004495849422848_n.jpgLenoir County SPCA

Kinston, NC

Lenior is a small shelter in one of the poorest towns in North Carolina that is holding its own thanks to the heroic efforts of staff and their volunteer rescue coordinator, Helen. Click here to read about our first visit to Lenoir and here to read about our second.

shelter friend dogA Shelter Friend

Bladenboro, NC

A Shelter Friend saves dogs from Bladen County Animal Shelter and moves them out through rescues, many times pulling the dogs (and cats) out on the day before their time is up. Click here to read about our visit to A Shelter Friend






Abbeville County Shelter

Abbeville, SC

Abbeville is a small brand new shelter that replaced the wretched Abbeville City Shelter (an ancient cement block building without proper heat or air conditioning or public access that was finally destroyed).  Abbeville’s well-qualified director is striving to create a progressive shelter that can not just save animals but be a resource for its community.



Amazon Wishlist

56393187_2295379364076930_749467584084049920_nAnderson County PAWS

Anderson, SC

PAWS is a bright shining example of how shelters can save dogs and be a resource for their community and other shelters. Read about our visits with this outstanding shelter here and here.


Humane Society of Greenwood

Greenwood, SC

Greenwood is blessed with a new, modern shelter to replace the desperate place where too many dogs died. The continue to work to become a no-kill shelter in a challenging part of our country. Read about our visit to Greenwood here. Our volunteer visited a second time, read about that visit here.


Newberry County Animal Shelter:

Newberry, SC

Newberry County is a large county-run facility in South Carolina with 48 kennels that are almost always full. While they do as much as they can to prevent it, they do find it necessary to kill dogs who remain at the facility too long to make space for new dogs coming in.

My post inspired by our visit to Newberry County.




allenOconee Humane Society

Seneca, SC

Oconee is a high volume, open intake shelter where the Humane Society works VERY hard to save dogs and to be a resource for their community. Read about our first visit to Oconoee here. Our volunteer team visited a second time, you can read about that visit here.