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Tennessee Rescue Dogs: No Papers, but Plenty of Love

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PHOTO: Lena needs a foster home or forever family. CREDIT: East CAN
PHOTO: Lena needs a foster home or forever family. CREDIT: East CAN
June 10, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With so many dogs and cats in shelters across the state, Tennesseans planning to add a pet to the family are being encouraged to adopt, instead of shop. Mary Laske, a steering committee member of the East Community Action Network (East CAN), said loving animals are in need of good homes across the state, and the problem is especially acute in Nashville.

"We've got a very large stray, neglected and abandoned dog problem. So just because of the volume of dogs that need homes in Nashville, it's really important that people first try to adopt a dog if they can," she said.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), around 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in the U.S. each year.

In addition to pushing for adoptions over shopping, Laske said East CAN is also trying to educate the public about the importance of having pets "fixed."

"There are so many dogs running around that are not spayed and neutered. Then they're making puppies," she said, "and we end up either with litters of puppies or with dogs that grow up on the street."

Purchasing a pet instead of adopting a rescue animal also leads to more of what Laske called "amateur backyard breeders who haven't done their research."

"They don't really know what they're doing," she said. "They're just taking two of what they believe are purebred dogs, breeding them and then selling puppies for $300 a pop. Well, you can't be sure what you're getting there."

Some dogs that end up in shelters are purebred, Laske noted.

Sources in addition to the shelter include rescue organizations that focus on certain breeds, from greyhounds to Rottweilers.

More information is available at and at

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TN