Rescue Spotlight: Down South Dog Rescue

Heartworm can be a devastating diagnosis for dogs in shelters. One Southern rescue is making sure the dogs get treatment and forever homes.

Teaching children how to be kind to animals is just one of the many things the rescue does. By: Down South Dog Rescue/Facebook
Teaching children how to be kind to animals is just one of the many things this animal rescue does. Photos by: Down South Dog Rescue/Facebook

Two things that are ever present in the lower United States are hot temperatures and mosquitoes. We can’t do much about the weather, and we do our best to avoid the flying pests.

Unfortunately, mosquitoes also mean heartworms for our pets. Many heartworm-positive animals end up in shelters and face difficult odds to get treatment and find an adopter, but Down South Dog Rescue never shies away from helping them out.

The all-volunteer Murfreesboro, Tennessee rescue takes care of as many as 14 heartworm-positive dogs at a time. Down South knows the dogs have the condition when they are pulled from the shelters, and chooses to give them a second chance at life and love.

Donations help pay for treatment, and foster homes provide a safe haven for the animals to be comfortable until they are ready for adoption. The rescue also helps dogs who are heartworm-negative and pulls puppies from kill shelters.

Rescuing dogs isn’t all they do:

  • They regularly highlight the importance of spay and neuter.
  • They advocate for stricter animal cruelty laws.
  • They work to help shut down puppy mills.
  • And they teach children about animals and how to be kind to them.

Current Needs

Fosters and donations are constant needs for Down South Dog Rescue.

Right now, 16 dogs are available for adoption. The group also needs help transporting dogs to foster and forever homes, so people within Tennessee who are willing to drive dogs are welcome and certainly needed. Dogs awaiting or undergoing heartworm treatment also need foster homes until they can recover.

Volunteers for adoption events help get adoptable dogs in front of potential adopters. Last weekend, for example, the rescue showcased the dogs to the public, and 4 were adopted. If you are interested in adopting, fostering, donating or volunteering, check out their website and Facebook page.

Elsa was pulled from the Blount County Shelter in Maryville, Tennessee and found her forever home through Down South Dog Rescue.
Elsa was pulled from the Blount County Shelter in Maryville, Tennessee, and found her forever home through Down South Dog Rescue.

Down South Dog Rescue was the charity chosen for a $250 donation from Petful (formerly Pets Adviser) by Courtney Kendzierski, one of our 2014 Halloween Pet Photo Contest winners.

Kendzierski’s guinea pig, Snicker Doodle, was born from an owner-surrendered pregnant guinea pig. The shelter she worked at did not accept small animals, so Kendzierski offered to take “Honey Bun” home so the guinea pig could have her babies. She ended up keeping both Honey Bun and Snicker Doodle.

Petful holds a Halloween photo contest every year. Winners receive cash prizes for themselves and donations to give to the animal shelter or rescue of their choice. Stay tuned for details of our 2015 contest coming up in October.

To find out more about our yearlong work to make a difference in the animal welfare community, please read How Petful Helps.

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of the book One Unforgettable Journey, which was nominated for a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. In addition, she was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. Kristine has been researching and writing about pet behaviors and care for many years, with her articles appearing in various publications. She is the CEO of a large mental health practice in Louisiana and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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