Thankfully, Maury County Animal Shelter was much changed from the last time I was there. That was clear from the faces of the dogs.

photo by Ian Achterberg

We met with Jack, the new director, and Maily, a volunteer leader; both are new to Maury and having a positive impact on the place.

We’re a day into this trip, but all we’ve done so far is drive (and drive). No traffic, no complaints, it just feels very anticlimactic and I’m ready to get to the shelters. I forget how friendly and sweet people are in the south until I get down here. Not sure if it’s authentic, but it sure is pleasant. I’ve already been called honey, darlin’, and sweetheart more times in twenty-four hours than seems reasonable, but I’ll take it.

Ian has snapped hundreds of pictures out the window but has not deemed any of them ‘post-worthy’. Hopefully, he’ll lower his…

All over the southern US, dogs are waiting.

Some lucky dogs are in progressive shelters who have staff, resources, and community support that allows them to place all of their adoptable dogs through local adoptions and outside rescues.

When we pulled up at the gate for our first stop in Alabama, enormous dogs loped towards us. My photographer, Nancy, and I waited while Rhonda, the director of Brindlee Mountain Animal Rescue, put the giant creatures in their kennels and opened the automatic gate for us.

Rhonda is a smart, efficient, sensible woman who created BMAR so she could save animals her way — which we would learn is not only dog-centered but creates excellent, adoptable pets who probably don’t know they are living in a shelter.

Rhonda of Brindlee Mountain Animal Rescue (photo by Nancy Slattery)

Around these parts, they know Rhonda as the ‘Dane Lady.’ Not only…

“I hope this isn’t some wild-goose chase,” I warned Nancy, my photographer and friend, as we headed south from Montgomery to visit our next shelter.

We were traveling from our home in Pennsylvania to Tennessee and Alabama to raise awareness about the situation in southern shelters and rescues. Volunteering and fostering for a rescue wasn’t enough, the endless stream of dogs coming from the south compelled us to do something more — we were convinced that the problem wasn’t that people didn’t care, it was that they didn’t know.

We would tell them. So we begged friends and family for…

Out to the west of Nashville, after a long slog on US 40 and several smaller highways that took us through Paris and Pillowville, we arrived in Greenfield. Our destination: the police station. We’d come to meet Tabi, officially the records clerk for Greenfield Police Department, unofficially-the keeper of the dog pound.

Tabi is a friendly, cheerful soul, despite the situation she faces every day regarding the fifty-nine dogs in her care. She greeted us and invited us to follow her to the city pound, just a few blocks away. …

cara sue achterberg

Cara is an author, blogger, and shelter dog advocate. She is co-founder of which works to raise awareness & resources for homeless dogs

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