"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big."
"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
~ Albert Schweitzer
Dedicated to Tiger
Tiger was one of those special dogs who defied description. If you have ever known a dog like Tiger, you know what we mean. If you have not, our hope is that, someday, you will be privileged to know and love one. When that time comes, you will experience what we have learned: loving one dog opens the door to loving every dog. Tiger is the reason for Red Fern Animal Shelter.
Who We Are
Red Fern Animal Shelter is a no-kill, non-profit, 501(c)(3) shelter located between Martin and Dresden in Weakley County, Tennessee. We operate entirely on the basis of public donations and receive no funding from the city, county, or state to help us with expenses. Most of our expenses are paid from our own pockets. We are staffed by volunteers -- we have no paid staff.
We currently shelter 94 dogs and 103 cats. Our animals receive food, clean water, exercise, and flea and tick preventatives. They also receive the same expert medical attention that our own animals get. The only thing our cats and dogs need more of is one-on-one attention and love from a special person or family. But you are reading this, so there is hope!
Our mission is to facilitate the adoption of companion animals to permanent and caring homes, to reduce pet overpopulation and abuse by promoting spay/neuter and responsible pet guardianship, and to provide a sanctuary for animals deemed unsuitable for adoption.
Adopting a Friend
Don't skip reading this section if you are unable to adopt a shelter animal!! You can still "adopt" by sponsoring a cat or dog. Just click here, then scroll through the listings and pick out one (or more!) animals that you'd like to sponsor. Click on the animal's name, and you'll see a green "Sponsor Me" button near the animal's photo. After doing this, tell all your friends that you "adopted" a shelter cat or dog from Red Fern! Your sponsorship will help pay for "your" animal's food, vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and veterinary care while in the shelter.
If one of our dogs or cats catches your attention and you're considering adoption, please contact us. You may reach us at this site through the link to our email address, or you may call (731) 332-9116 or (731) 332-0318. We work full-time, so please be prepared to leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible. If you have not heard from us within 24 hours, please call us again. You will be asked to complete an online adoption application, after which a home visit will be made and references will be checked. If you are a local adopter, we will also ask you to visit Red Fern Animal Shelter so that you can spend time with the dog or cat that you are interested in adopting. If all goes well, you will be required to sign an adoption contract.
Our adoption fee for dogs is $200. If long-distance paid transportation is required, there is an additional minimum $150 transportation fee. We also transport dogs through a network of volunteer transporters. Our adoption fees may seem high, but our average cost for spay/neuter surgery, microchip implantation, vaccinations, Heartgard, and Frontline is $300.00. Please do not equate a dog's value with his/her cost in dollars. We have no "cheap dogs." Our careful screening process and adoption fees are intended to protect the animals we have grown to love so much. You are making a commitment for the duration of the adopted petís life. We take our responsibilities very seriously. Our only interest is in placing our dogs with adopters who will do the same.
We love cats too! We have some beautiful cats available for adoption. The adoption fee for cats is $100, and, as with the dogs, they are spayed or neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations.
We strictly adhere to the TN Spay/Neuter Law which requires all animals adopted from shelters to be spayed or neutered. Click here for the TN Spay/Neuter Law (2000)and click here for amendments to the TN Spay/Neuter Law (2010).
Low Cost Spay/Neuter Assistance
Animal overpopulation is a huge problem in our area. We urge you to have your cats and dogs spayed and neutered. If you live in West Tennessee and need information on low cost spay/neuter, please visit this website for more information.
Good dogs and cats are waiting for you at Red Fern Animal Shelter, and we can not wait for you to meet them! If you are planning to visit, please call ahead of time to make sure someone will be here to assist you, as our hours can vary from day to day. When you visit, please dress to impress the dogs, not us! Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed by a committee of dogs who are out of their kennels for their daily exercise. They will be saying to you, "Pick me! Pick me!" And how can you resist?
We Need VOLUNTEERS!
There are many ways that you can help our animals. If you are interested in volunteering or fostering for Red Fern, please contact us or fill out the application below. Perhaps you have time or talents that you are willing to volunteer. We can always use an extra pair of hands!
If you would like to donate money for food, spay/neuter surgeries, Frontline, or Heartgard, please click on the Paypal "Donate" button below. Contribute any amount you wish, and specify whether you would like your donation to be used for food, veterinary care, or supplies.
If you prefer to write a check, our mailing address is 1487 Miles Rd., Dresden, TN, 38225. Please make checks payable to "Red Fern Animal Shelter."
To help us purchase food and supplies for our shelter, send us an e-gift certificate for Petco by clicking on the link below. Type in Dresden, TN in the location box and select Red Fern Animal Shelter as the gift recipient.
If you shop online, we ask that you click the iGive.com link below. It will take you to almost 700 online stores that will give Red Fern a percentage of the amount you spend.
Finally, the most important ways that you can help are: Tell your friends about us. Spay and neuter your own pets.
What to Do About Animal Cruelty
Animal cruelty and neglect are crimes. If you are aware of animal cruelty or neglect, immediately contact the local police or sheriff, and follow up to make sure that your concerns are taken seriously and that the situation is investigated. Please do not ignore the problem or assume that "someone else will do something about it." Even if you visit an animal shelter and observe cruelty or neglect, don't hesitate to report it. Click here for Tennessee Animal Cruelty Laws
Red Fern Animal Shelter 1487 Miles Road
Dresden, TN 38225
Phone: (731) 332-9116 or (731) 332-0318
Please understand that we work full-time jobs and we receive numerous phone calls on a daily basis due to the overwhelming animal population in our area. Please be prepared to leave a message. We will return your call as soon as we possibly can. If you have not heard from one of us within 24 hours, please call us again. We are not avoiding your call--there simply aren't enough hours in the day to work, provide care for so many animals, and return every call as soon as it is received. If we stopped to answer the phone each time it rang, the animals would not get fed. It's not unusual for our voicemail to fill up in a single day's time. If we could do more, we would do more.
We are always filled to capacity and stretched to the limit. We have a waiting list for animals who need to come to Red Fern. We rarely accept owner surrenders so please be understanding when we tell you that we cannot take in an animal that you no longer want or one that someone has dumped on you. We may be able to help you find a home for unwanted animals, but we rarely, if ever, come to people's homes and pick up animals.