Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does “no-kill” mean, and is DDG really “no-kill”?
A. Our definition of no-kill: Animals are not euthanized except in rare cases of terminal and painful illness or injury as a compassionate end to suffering for which there is NO hope for recovery. DDG is emphatically no-kill.
Q. “Why are you “no-kill” when you could save higher numbers of dogs by sacrificing some older or sickly ones, or ones that are hard to place in homes?”
A. There are several great rescues in West Tennessee; we have chosen to operate a little differently than most. Our philosophy is that every life is precious and virtually no dogs are truly “unadoptable.” We feel there are many rescues able to save and adopt out healthy puppies and young adult dogs; we are called to assist the elderly dogs, the sick dogs and the dogs with other issues which might make some consider them to be “less adoptable.”
Q. Why do you charge an adoption fee?
A. All of our dogs are fully vetted prior to adoption, except in rare instances where other arrangements are contracted with the adopter. This means no animal leaves our custody without being spayed or neutered, and all have vaccines, worming, and other medical treatment. Our adoption fees are much less than many veterinarians would charge for the same “new dog or cat” vetting.
Q. How many dogs do you adopt out? What do donations go toward?
A. Because we are no-kill, we treat a variety of expensive illness and injuries. At least half of the adult dogs we rescue are heartworm positive, and heartworm treatments alone run upwards of several hundred dollars. Any responsible pet owner knows it takes a great deal of financial dedication to properly care for an animal, even a totally healthy dog or cat — multiply this by about 50-60 dogs and cats at any given time, and factor in expensive heartworm treatments, maintenance medications for dogs and cats with ongoing health issues, etc., and extended care for harder-to-adopt dogs until they find their forever homes.
We don’t base the success of our rescue on numbers of dogs adopted out. Our focus is not on numbers, it is on each individual dog or cat and his or her particular needs, and we don’t feel we have quotas or deadlines to meet. All donations are greatly appreciated and go directly toward food, vetting, shelter and adoption of our amazing dogs.
Q. I don’t know anyone who would pay $200 for a mutt. Couldn’t you save more dogs by not spaying/neutering, using a “free to good home” ad, and hoping for the best?
A. We don’t feel that a full-blooded dog is worth more than a “mutt;” the lives of all these pets are precious. We often SAVE dogs and cats FROM environments that were at some point thought to be “good homes”. We carefully screen for LIFETIME homes, as frequently, people wanting a free pet have no sense of commitment toward that pet, and will give it up when it grows up and is not “cute” anymore, or when they add a baby to their family, or even sometimes for a younger dog. Many times these dogs are dumped on the streets to have litter after litter of unwanted puppies/kittens; many of them end up at Rabies Control and many die on the streets. Without aggressive action to make sure animals in this area are altered, the horrific abuse, neglect, abandonment, and euthanasia of these loving animals will continue. Experience has shown us that very few “free to good homes” stories end well.
Q. Do you only adopt to the northeast?
A. No, we try to find homes both locally and in other parts of the country. We have facilitated many great local adoptions. Because of the enormous pet overpopulation in West Tennessee, many great pet lovers here already have pets. We adopt into the New England states because they have less of a pet overpopulation problem (due to spay/neuter legislation we don’t have here). All of our rescued dogs and cats are paired with the most perfect home for that individual animal, whether here or out of state.
Q. Why can’t you take this abandoned dog I just found? Why are you always full?
A. For every dog we adopt, we find two more abandoned. We are limited on space, and because we are a “no-kill” rescue our turnover is slower than other rescues. We are NOT a business – we are a handful of people who work full time jobs and have family obligations – but we have dedicated what little free time we have to helping abandoned dogs and cats. Space and funding is very limited, and sadly, not many people in this area want to provide foster homes for animals, nor donate to their care. Please be patient with us if we cannot take a dog you just found, or take in your pet you no longer wish to keep. Rescue is a community effort, it takes shared responsibility, and it takes all of us.