Nashville Paw

Operation Freedom

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07.14.12 UPDATE
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...And the animals are moving out! It is a very emotional day for myself and everyone else who has been working the Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) extractions and shelter over the past 11 days...

Today, many of these 180+ animals are taking the next step toward their beautiful new futures... and I am stuck in the office getting our next issue to press! ;)

However, our good friends at Agape Animal Rescue kicked off the day at 10am by taking 12+ dogs into their foster program (photos of which have already been posted to their Facebook page). Tomorrow, another 40-50 animals will  placed with local rescues such as New Leash On Life, Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue, Noah's Ark Society and Country K9.

Fifty or more dogs will be transported to trusted ARC placement partners outside the state, and ARC hopes to close the shelter by the end of the coming week.

As we send these amazing animals off to their bright new futures, I'd like to share this video from News 5 documenting their progress and their journeys. Please view and share below... and check back soon for further updates! | Nashville News, Weather


I write to you today on a brief break between two large-scale animal rescue missions....

As many of you know via our Facebook page, I have set aside my role as publisher of Nashville Paw magazine over the past week to wear the "blue" and serve as an on-site rescuer and volunteer manager at an emergency shelter at the TN State Fairgrounds.

On July 3rd, I was among the group of 30 or so Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) members who set upon a dismal wooded property in Wilson County to remove 100+ dogs from a lifetime of abuse and neglect.

Now settled in at our emergency shelter and making great progress, the dogs are receiving the care they need for physical and emotional rehabilitation thanks to the veterinary staff from the Nashville Zoo as well as dozens of compassionate and dedicated volunteers.

But our work is far from over. Today, our ARC team is in the midst of a second animal rescue in rural TN, and this evening we'll be setting up a second emergency shelter at the fairgrounds to house the 12 dogs, 7 cats, donkey, goat, rabbits, turtles, chickens, roosters, geese and ducks that are now in our custody and will soon be en route to their new lives.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Please take a moment to watch this video.

Operation Freedom: Part One

Our July 3rd rescue took place on a rural property in Lebanon-- an abandoned property with no electricity or running water.  The collection of animals began with eight unsterilized dogs twenty years ago, developing into a case of large-scale hoarding – the largest ever addressed in Wilson County. On scene, we found 100+ dogs living in outdoor rusted pens with nothing more than dilapidated wooden boxes and rusted-through metal bins to use as housing. With only occasional feedings and watering, and with no true shelter from the elements, it was a dire situation.

“The temperatures in Tennessee have been brutal lately and these dogs have had no shaded relief from the sun or any clean water. The conditions were extremely crowded and unsanitary, and therefore unsafe," says ARC's Tennessee State Liaison Peg Petrelli. 

Many of the dogs rescued have been affected by medical conditions such as mange, broken legs, bone disorders, conjunctivitis, and blindness resulting from their living conditions and the absence of daily care and medical attention, in addition to infestations of fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites. Many of the dogs have shown positive for heartworm disease and are also battling dehydration and other issues. 

A variety of medium and large dogs were rescued, including mixes of German Shepherds, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Chow Chows, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers and others.

In addition to their physical state, many of the dogs are emotionally wounded as well. Born into packs on the grounds and left much of the time to fend for themselves, with little to no human interaction, many of the dogs are unsocialized and fearful of their new human caretakers as well as their strange new environment. However, with every passing day, the dogs are settling and becoming more curious about the kind individuals who come to their kennels to feed, water, clean and care for them. Meanwhile, our dog behaviorist is working on assessments to determine each dog's rehabilitation needs.

Operation Freedom: Part Two

Our second rescue is underway today (July 9), with the arrival of 24 chickens, 12 rabbits, 12 dogs (including a Great Pyrenees mix, a Chow mix, a Border Collie mix, and small terrier mixes), seven cats, six ducks, three Musk turtles, one goose, one goat, and one donkey at our emergency shelter. The animals were rescued earlier today from abuse in White County.

Most of the animals are underweight, suffering from external parasites, and have untreated wounds. Their living conditions were hazardous to their physical, social, and emotional well being and no animals had access to clean water or sufficient food. I will update this blog post as more details are available and as time permits.

How to Help


We are in continual need of volunteers at our emergency over the course of the next week or two. While we have a strong need for individuals with previous ARC training and/or emergency rescue experience, we are happy to welcome new volunteers looking to learn the ropes! If you are comfortable around a variety of animals and can give your time on our 9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm shifts, please email with your contact information and any relevant skills/experience so that our volunteer coordinator can contact you if needed.

Please note that we only have one person handling volunteer scheduling... she is making every effort to return emails, but please understand that she may not be able to return all emails once shifts are filled. Please bear with ARC and be patient... they are handling the incoming messages to the best of their ability. Thank you!


We are currently in need of the following supplies, which can be delivered to the Vaughn Building at the TN Fairgrounds:

puppy pads
latex gloves
paper towels
large KONG dog toys
equine pine / pine shavings
chicken scratch
goat and donkey feed
duck and geese feed
rabbit food
timothy hay


We are in need of vegetarian/vegan lunches for about 35 staff and volunteers at around 1pm each day... if you can donate a lunch, to coordinate. Thank you!


When the opportunity arises to rescue animals that are suffering, ARC does not hesitate. But we can only save lives with YOUR support! Each rescue mission comes with an incredibly high price tag to cover rent of an emergency shelter, transport vehicles, veterinary supplies and medications and so much more. Whether you can donate $1,000 or $10, your donation matters... and will help us continue to save animals from abuse, and to give them a second chance at life. If you are able, please make a donation today at 


ARC website
ARC Facebook page
Nashville Paw Facebook page


Rescue Part One: FOX17 Video

Rescue Part Two: FOX17 News

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