This is a list of most of the shelters and rescues that we have visited.
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 email@example.com.
All 4s Rescue League
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.
Animal Harbor is a private nonprofit shelter saving dogs in the Franklin County area, including pulling dogs from Franklin County Animal Control. It is a progressive shelter with excellent leadership, staff, volunteer programs, foster programs, and rescue connections. Read about our visit here.
Animal Rescue Corps
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 and listen to our podcast about that visit here.
Cheatham County Animal Control
Read about our 2019 visit to Cheatham here, and our most recent visit to Cheatham to learn about SCAMP here.
Franklin County Animal Control
Franklin County Animal Control is a publicly funded, open intake shelter that is sometimes forced to ‘euthanize for space’. Thanks to the efforts of their dedicated Animal Control Officer, Heather, they save as many animals as they can through rescue connections. Read about our 2019 visit here, and our most recent visit in 2021 here.
Maury County Animal Shelter
1233 Mapleleash Ave
Columbia, TN 38401
Paws to Care
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.
Rural Animal Rescue Effort (RARE)
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.
Red Fern Animal Shelter
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
Camp Jean is a private, nonprofit shelter that sets an incredible example of how well sheltering can be done. It quite literally feels like ‘camp.’ They pull dogs who are at risk from local shelters and pounds, many with medical or behavioral issues that need more time than an average public shelter or pound can give them.
Read about our visit at Camp Jean here.
Paws 4 the Cause
Paws 4 the Cause rescues dogs all along the I-75 corridor from Cincinnati to the Tennessee border. They specialize in the hardest of luck cases, bringing them to their downtown shelter for assessment, veterinary care, and immediate placement in foster care before adopting them out or transferring them to rescue. They are in teh midst of renovating their building to include expanded kennels, a spay/neuter clinic, and community space to bring together people of all ages and all walks of life to help the animals.
You can read about our visit with Remy and Paws 4 the Cause here.
Hayti Dog Pound
This dog pound has a hard history of killing every dog that landed in its pound, but there is hope in Hayti now with new advocates working hard to change that history. Read about our visit here. Sadly, Dave is no longer working for the city, so the fate of the many stray dogs in Hayti is unknown at this point.
Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter
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 and listen to the podcast about our visit here.
Horn 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 utilize play groups/socialization, rescue, and determination to save every animal they can. Read about our visit here.
(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)
Midsouth Animal Welfare Foundation
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.
UPDATE: Meredith is no longer working with Midsouth Animal Welfare Foundation.
Mississippi Animal Rescue League
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. Listen to our podcast about MARL here.
Brindlee Mountain Animal Rescue
Private non-profit rescue run by a remarkable woman who specializes in Great Dane’s but rescues all kinds.
Read about our visit here.
Humane Society of Chilton County
The Chilton County shelter is a bright spot in the center of Alabama with a dedicated staff saving every adoptable animal.
Read about our visit here.
SHARK (Safe Haven Animal Rescue Kennel)
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.
mailing address: P.O. Box 126, Abbeville, Alabama 36310
Walker County Humane and Adoption Center
Walker County Shelter is supported by RUFF (Rescuers United For Furbabies), a foster-based rescue that works hard to find rescue placement for the shelter animals.
Read about our visit here.
Anson County Animal Shelter
Lenoir County SPCA
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.
UPDATE: Helen is no longer working with Lenoir SPCA, so we cannot vouch for the situation there.
A Shelter Friend
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 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.
Anderson County PAWS
Humane Society of Greenwood
Newberry County Animal Shelter:
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.
Oconee Humane Society
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.
Margaret’s Saving Grace Bully Rescue
Front Royal, VA
MSGBR saves the hardest to save dogs — pit bulls. They often choose to rescue dogs with medical issues and in desperate circumstances. You can read about our visit with them here.
You can donate directly via the website or mail donations to:
Margaret’s Saving Grace Bully Rescue
115 Chester St
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
Paws of SWVA (South West Virginia)
Wise County, VA
Paws of SWVA’s mission is to keep animals out of the Wise County Shelter through foster homes, adoptions, and spay/neuter transports. Read about our visit with Paws here.
Scott County Animal Shelter/Scott County Humane Society
Gate City, VA
Tappahannock/Essex County Animal Shelter
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.
Donations to TECAS can be sent to:
c/o Ellen Shifflett
202 South Church Lane
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Saving Webster Dogs
Saving Webster Dogs is a nonprofit rescue that is effectively the county shelter. They save hundreds of dogs, mostly discarded failed hunting dogs. Read about our visit here.
You can donate via paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by mail:
Saving Webster Dogs, c/o Rose Cochran, 168 foxfire Lane, Cowen WV 26206.