If you are planning to add a new pet to your home this fall or holiday season, consider adopting from one of Tennessee’s outstanding local animal shelters. They work tirelessly with volunteers to rescue and rehabilitate animals and place the very best of these with loving homes throughout the state.
Each of the shelters and rescue organizations listed below has been recognized by the community for providing outstanding service and loving care to the animals they take in, as well as giving new pet owners all the tools they need to provide the best homes possible.
We highly recommend each shelter on the list, and hope you find the pet you’re dreaming of through one of them before the year’s out!
Proverbs 12:10 Rescue
The Middle Tennessee Area
Proverbs 12:10 is an independent, non-profit rescue organization connecting a wide network of volunteers to pets in need. Working together, the volunteers and forever homes rescued nearly two thousand displaced, neglected, or abused animals in 2018 alone! Over the last decade, the founder of Proverbs 12:10 has facilitated the permanent, safe placement of more than seven thousand pets.
Unfortunately, even these impressive numbers are small in comparison to the number of animals in need. If you would like to help directly, Proverbs 12:10 is always eager to facilitate donations, establish new foster homes throughout the community, and of course, help loving homes find the perfect furry companion.
Rutherford County PAWS
285 John R Rice Blvd | Murfreesboro
Rutherford County Pet Adoption & Welfare Services is a community-partnered organization working to reduce unwanted pets and organize the rescue of those currently in need. Through compassionately educating the community about optimal pet care, offering spay and neutering services, and investigating abusive situations, they help create safe, loving homes for animals and the humans who care for them.
Rutherford County PAWS accepts surrenders and offers vaccination, rabies control, and microchipping services.
Agape Animal Rescue
Online Only | Nashville
Agape Animal Rescue works with a robust network of volunteers to find forever homes for displaced, neglected, and abused dogs. Their skilled foster volunteers work to train and socialize rescue dogs with positive techniques tailored to the needs of each individual animal. Agape strives to establish basic obedience and housetraining skills for each dog before they are placed into their forever homes.
As anyone who has worked with a rescue organization knows, lack of training, lack of proper grooming and vet care, and miseducation about the level of commitment pet ownership truly requires are responsible for the majority of rehoming situations. This is the reality that Agape invests so much time and effort into improving, hoping to reduce the population of unwanted dogs through promotion of fully informed, responsible pet ownership.
Agape Animal Rescue is noted for being exceptionally careful about placing dogs. Their main goal is ensuring the animal never again enters the rescue system, so they work with each prospective adoptive home to find the dog that is the perfect match, from temperament and grooming needs to age and health status. While this means the application process is perhaps longer and more involved than one might expect, the end results are intended to create optimally joyful homes for both pets and their human caregivers.
Nashville Humane Association
213 Oceola Ave | West Nashville
Since 1946, Nashville Humane Association has served the community by finding responsible and loving homes for healthy and friendly displaced animals, ensuring humane pet population levels, and promoting optimal pet care through educating the community on the humane treatment of animals of all species.
Nashville Humane Society is the best community resource for locating lost pets. They keep a detailed record of lost and found animals from all around the Nashville area and update their system often to reflect data collected from public sightings and newspaper listings. Their greatest joy is reuniting lost animals with their owners!
Odds are, if you live in Davidson County, you’ve probably seen the Big Yellow Bus around. This service provides free spay and neuter services for pets whose owners cannot otherwise afford them, so give a wave if you see them in your neighborhood!
New Leash on Life
507 Jim Draper Blvd | Lebanon
New Leash on Life strives to make life better for pets in the community. They facilitate foster opportunities, placement, spay and neuter services, and continuing community education designed to help people become outstanding owners to their companion animals.
Thanks to a generous donation from Joy Bishop, New Leash on Life also operates the JOY Clinic, serving all pet owners who want to have their companion animals spayed or neutered.
While they focus their work mainly in Wilson County, New Leash on Life has also extended their services far into the surrounding counties. Their dedication to the humane reduction of pet overpopulation means any pet owner who cannot afford to spay or neuter their pet should contact New Leash.
Williamson County Animal Center
106 Claude Yates Dr | Franklin
This publicly-funded shelter has been awarded 2nd place in the 2014 ASCPA Rachel Ray Challenge and prides itself on providing fun, compassionate care for individual animals on a large scale suited to the community’s needs.
Williamson County Animal Center works toward creating a community in which no animal is abused or neglected. Their efforts are focused on finding great homes for adoptable pets, educating people to become ideal pet owners, and careful and humane population control efforts.
This huge shelter is tended by a large staff of twenty employees. With a full-time vet on-site and two vet techs to help, animals are cared for promptly and expertly.
No matter the age, gender, or breed of the pet you’re looking for, Williamson County will have your dream pet. If you don’t find The One right away, keep in touch; this facility spans 17,000 square feet, so your odds are excellent.
The shelter boasts an enclosed cat patio, visitation rooms for cats and dogs alike, wooded hiking trails, a long dog run, and a puppy play area. All new intakes are kept carefully quarantined, so if a pet is available for adoption here, you can be sure your pet is healthy and ready for a forever home.
Safe Place for Animals
905 Mallard Dr | Gallatin
Safe Place for Animals is wholly non-profit and funded by donations alone, yet provides low-cost veterinary care and grooming at their compassionate clinic. Voted the best non-profit in the county since 2010, they serve Sumner County through education as well, working to improve community safety by helping pet owners become more responsible.
Reach out to Safe Place for assistance with low-cost spay and neutering, adoption services, safe surrender of animals, or to access help with reporting an abusive situation.
Mt Juliet Animal Care & Control
115 Industrial Dr | Mt Juliet
Mt. Juliet’s Animal Care and Control Division provide compassionate care for displaced pets in this state-of-the-art facility. They are able to house up to 100 animals at a time and connect the most qualified of these with prospective owners in familiarization rooms.
Upon arrival, furry friends are first groomed at the on-site facility, checked carefully in the clinic, and taken outside often for walks and runs! Visitors and volunteers are welcome, so call or visit the website to find out more.
Love at First Sight!
4423 Murphy Rd | Nashville | Sylvan Park
Located in the heart of Nashville, Love at First Sight has been open since 1995. Working with volunteers, they have found homes for more than nine thousand companion animals and taught the community how to be the best pet owners they can be.
Founded by two Nashville veterinarians, this non-profit organization takes in puppies and kittens from families who have had unexpected additions, as well as shelters who have too many litters of puppies and kittens, arrive at once. For this reason, we recommend Love at First Sight when one is looking for a healthy, vet-approved puppy or kitten in the city of Nashville. Your new little one will have all their vaccinations, have been fully treated for pests and parasites, and loved by volunteers right up until you arrive to take your pet home.