Animal Rescue of the Week: Episode 34 – Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue

Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue is committed to ‘Helping His Helpless’ through quality care and healing, adoptions, and population control awareness. Their mission is to provide shelter and loving care for animals who have been abused, abandoned, owner surrendered or otherwise destined to be euthanized due to overcrowded shelter conditions. At no time shall they be euthanized due to time constraints, medical need or other issues. Through the use of foster homes, Proverbs will provide loving care for our animals, to include veterinary care, food, and any other necessity until responsible, loving homes can be found for all adoptable pets.


Welcome to the ARPA Animal Rescue of the week podcast, featuring outstanding organizations around the country that are helping animals & the people who rescue them. This podcast is proudly sponsored by Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues & shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal rescue.

Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue founded on 2006 is an all volunteer organization who feel that it is their privilege to care for God’s helpless creatures. This rescue works slightly different than others due to the fact that they do not have an actual facility. Their organization chooses to keep their pets in foster care and show them every Saturday for adoption day at a local business. This has not slowed them down, one bit. Since it’s opening, Provers 12:10 has arranged placements for over 7,000 animals and that number continues to grow every day.

Hey Holly, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it. So you’re with Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue in Tennessee. So why don’t you get us started and just tell us a little bit about your organization and what your role is there and how you got started. Sure. So Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue is a nonprofit organization in Tennessee. We rescue animals, obviously, but we’re probably one of the largest foster-based animal rescues in the state, and that means that we don’t have a physical location or facility. All of our animals, dogs and cats are placed in foster homes all across Middle Tennessee. We have some very wonderful homes, families, volunteers that open up their homes to these animals and they keep them, hold onto them until they find their forever homes. We do host an adoption event once a week at the Bellevue Petco from 11:00 to 2:00. So it seems like a short timeframe there for adoptions, but we have so much that goes on during a short amount of time. People come in that are pre-approved to pick up their animals.

So what is your position there? I’m a Foster Coordinator that means that it is my job to find foster homes for the animals that we do take in. My responsibility is to ensure that everybody is taken care of, that when they leave from adoption day on Saturday, the pets have some place to go to stay in a foster home for that week. And I also communicate with our fosters on the day to day basis to ensure that all their supplies are taken care of, that they have enough dog food, that everybody’s getting their monthly preventatives. Okay, great.

So I know you mentioned that you work with pre-approved applicants. So what is the process for that? Like, how does somebody become approved to be a foster? Excellent question. So we have this question a lot of time. We are unlike a community shelter where people are able to just come in and say, “oh, I want that dog. I’m taking him home today.” So with Proverbs you have to fill out an electronic application that’s on our website, it’s located a We have an adopt tab at the top of our website. There’s a drop down menu, that will take you to our application. It takes about probably 5 to 10 minutes to fill out. And we do landlord checks. We do vet checks, landlord checks especially are to ensure that people who rent their homes are allowed to have pets because if they have breed restrictions or weight limits so that we can ensure that a pet is going to be the best fit for the family that is adopting it. We have a review committee that is comprised of solely volunteers. Great. I’m very grateful for them. But they process applications Monday through Friday. They work full time jobs of their own. So they do the processing of our applications, like on their lunch breaks. Or they have just a couple of minutes in between a few things.

It takes about three days for us to fully process an application for someone who wants to adopt one of our pets. And then they’ll receive an email from me saying, “hey, you’re approved.” That’s great that people are willing to do that, like on their lunch breaks, that’s dedication right there. Yes, it absolutely is, especially for a lot of the things that are involved with processing an application, because like I mentioned, we do vet checks. So we call the vet, the people who are interested in one of our animals to ensure they are good pet owners and they do medically take care of all the health needs of their current pets.

I know that’s one of your programs, but does your organization have any other programs that you guys offer? We offer a foster-to-adopt program, which is for people who are unsure, if a pet will be a good fit. If they have, like young children or other animals in their home. The foster-to-adopt program is a one week trial in the home with one of our pets to ensure that it is going to be a fit. During that time, we hold all the paperwork we hold the adoption fee. If it is not a good fit we take our animal back. It does not impede the applicants from taking home another one of our animals, if this one happened to not be the best fit. So it’s just a really good way, it sounds terrible, try before you buy. Yeah that’s a good way to put it. Make sure it’s a good fit. Yeah, so I think that is one thing that I probably sets us apart from other organizations and shelters, especially is we offer that to our applicants. Yeah, that’s awesome.

So what is the community like in your area? Are there any particular challenges for the animals in your community? So we pull animals from high kill shelters that are on the euthanasia list. So that helps our shelters out to ensure that they have space to take in other stray animals. But at the same time, we’re helping an animal. We don’t necessarily always take owner surrenders—special circumstances usually we’ll take owner surrenders.

What was biggest challenges in your organization today? One of our biggest challenges is probably having enough available foster homes to accommodate all of the animals that we take in. There are times that we do take in animals just on faith, in hopes that we have someone step up and apply foster to open their home to these animals. I think a lot of people don’t understand kind of what all it entails, as far as fostering. We literally just need for people to open their own homes to foster pets until they’re adopted. We provide all medical care. We handle all the financial needs, and like I mentioned earlier, I try to supply by the fosters with all of the supplies that they need. So I will lend out crates to my fosters, make sure that they have dog food. We have all kinds of supplies donated all of the time, which is a huge, huge blessing. We’re really thankful to people that use our organization as their charity of choice to donate to us. Yeah, that’s amazing that you have that support.

I know you mentioned medical care, say someone is a foster and they have an animal in their home that they’re fostering that needs, I don’t know, whether it be surgery or they’re just sick. Do they just reach out to you guys and you take the dog or the animal back in, or do you refer them to a vet? Or how does that process kind of work? Good question. So all our pets are seen by our primary veterinarian. We have two board-approved veterinarians that work with us as an organization. One of our other staff members is our records keeper, so she handles all medical records. She actually houses in her home every single record for every animal in our care. So if we have somebody that has a foster dog that needs medical care, we typically know beforehand that we can inform the foster before we place it in their home. We’ll say, “you know, this dog has a spay or neuter procedure that’s scheduled here in the near future. This is the appointment. This is the time that it is. Are you able to get the dog to their neuter or spay apponitment?” So if they’re not able to, we have some very wonderful volunteers that are dedicated solely to transporting our animals. So I can ensure that I’ll have a transport arranged for my foster if they’re unable to get their foster dog to the vet themselves.

And as far as anything else that may come up in a foster home, like if somebody notices that their foster dog is not eating or may have a little bit of diarrhea, something like that. I’m their first point of contact. So they reach out to me, if they cannot get in touch with me, we have three other staff members that they can get in touch with. So that we can ensure that all of our pets are taking care of. We can make an appointment at the vet. Yeah, that’s great that they can just reach out directly to you. And then it sounds like you guys have a really good process of figuring out how to get the animals to the vet and how to get that animal care. So that’s great. Yes. Yeah.

What does the future look for your organization? Do you have any upcoming events or plans that people should know about? Yeah, we absolutely do. So we typically are present at several events every month. This past weekend we have four different events that we had all of our volunteers as everybody was just dispersed in different directions. We were at Preds Fest on Sunday. We were at a parking lot event on Saturday. We had a couple of others, but our biggest event coming up will be on November 1st. And it’s our annual Putts for Proverbs Golf Scramble. Okay. It’s one of our largest fund raisers of the year, so it’s an entire day. There’s check in about 10:30 in the morning. People come in and it’s just a whole day of golf. So we do lunch.

We have golf teams that go out on the course and play for about four and a half hours and they come back and we serve dinner and we have a silent auction with some really excellent items. There’s some fantastic things there this year, and then we have trivia. Fun! So it’s just the whole day that’s full of fun. We have an entire golf team that’s $400 ant that includes lunch and dinner and access to the silent auction. And then we sell just dinner tickets as well. Our dinner tickets are $25 and that includes dinner and trivia and access to our silent auction.

So is anyone able to come to your annual golf scramble or is it kind of I can invite only? Like, how does that work? No, it is open to anybody who wants to come. So we actually have an Eventbright link, I cannot remember off the top of my head what our link is, but if you go to the Eventbright and you search Putts for Proverbs, it should pop up and we have online ticket sales so you can purchase there tickets online or they can email us and say, “hey, I want to attend, But I’m gonna show up the day of.” Okay. That’s not a problem either. Awesome.

And I think you mentioned, I’m not sure if I’m saying it correctly, but Pred Fest? Yes. So what does that entail? So we were out at Bridgestone this past weekend on Sunday for Preds Fest, and it was just a big festival with a bunch of Predators players and Yannick Weber was out there, who’s number seven and the Predators have been a really huge donor supporter of our organization for a while now. So they had done a donation drive for us. They had ordered, I think pretty much everything that it was on our Amazon wish list. Oh wow. And sent it to us. Yes. That’s amazing. We had a ton of supplies thanks to them right now. And they also presented us with a check, which was amazing. That’s great.

And then your parking lot event, what was that event? That was an event with Veritas Salon and Oh My Chives out in Franklin and Nolensville. So they hosted kind of like a block party event. They had vendors out there. They had some food trucks, different things like that. And we brought a litter of puppies out just for everybody to say “hey, look at these puppies. Cuddle with them. Get some puppy love,” that kind of thing. So we frequently do events like that where we bring out puppies just for people to love on and spread awareness about what we do. I feel like nothing’s more enticing than a box of puppies. You see that you’re running over there? Oh, yeah.

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So how important is fundraising to your organization? I know you mentioned you have a lot of these events, and it sounds like that plays a pretty big role for your organization. It really does. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit. So we rely on our fundraisers and our donations from a monthly donors to help us keep up with our vet bills and everything else that we do for our animals. So it’s a very big operation. I don’t think the general public really understands how big an operation it is. Right now, we have about 210 dogs in our care about 100 cats. And like I mentioned, they’re all in foster homes. It’s pretty big. We, we do rely on our donors, and our sponsors to help us with things like that. Yeah, I feel like fundraising is a huge piece in animal rescue because, like you said, there are so many animals and so many of them need care and supplies. And yes, it absolutely is.

So do you have any memorable stories about a particular animal or maybe a volunteer or a staff member? Or just a story that really resonates with you and kind of reminds you why you’re in this industry and why you do what you do? Well, so only do we just pull animals from high-kill shelters but we will also pull pregnant dogs from medical shelters. As you can imagine, there can be so many diseases in a shelter for a dog to give birth that could be contracted by the babies. So we will pull pregnant dogs from shelters, and we have a couple of designated maternity fosters that are just absolutely amazing. Sometimes we’ll pull pregnant dogs that already have babies, that they have to be bottled fed because the mamas either, not producing enough milk or she can’t nurse for babies, or just some reason that she’s not able to feed her babies.

And puppies that young typically has to be fed every two hours around the clock. So I have a maternity foster in particular. She and her husband. They are just absolutely phenomenal. I cannot even tell you how many pregnant dogs, mama dogs, babies that they had had come through their home that they have bottled and the babies and have taken care of the moms, and make sure that the babies that they are nursing are weaned and time and things like that. She’s extremely, extremely knowledgeable. I’m actually surprised that she’s not a veterinarian because she is so knowledgeable. That’s great.

But earlier, I guess it was late last year, late last year, we pulled a great pyrenees pregnant mom from a shelter. And she went to this maternity foster’s home. And she had her babies in care, and not all the babies lived, which is pretty typical, you know, pulling it off from a high-kill shelter, there are so many things that could already have the gone wrong with them, or that there were either not enough food or not proper nutrition. Anything that could, you know, cause puppies to pass away after they’re born and be still born. So they took care of this litter. They took care of this mama dog. And great pyrenees are huge. They are big dogs. Yes, yes. Well it ended up this dog had a uterine infection, so she went to the vet and our vet took excellent care of her, but she just did not seem to be getting better. But there was one evening we felt for sure that she was gonna pass away her name was Elsa.

Our veterinarian revived Elsa three different times. Oh wow, that’s amazing. Yes, I think it was the week before Christmas last year and all of us on staff, we were up all night long and we’re like, “oh, my gosh. What is gonna She’s gonna be okay? Is she gonna be able to leave the vet anytime soon? Is she gonna make it?” So Elsa has since been adopted. But yeah, we spent a while there. Several days we really didn’t know what was gonna happen. And like I said, Elsa was revived three different times and was able to go through recovery. And her babies that did make it were amazing. And they were placed in foster homes and they have since been adopted. But Elsa is with very loving family right now. It’s always great to hear those feel good stories of animals who you aren’t sure if they’re gonna make it or not, or they have a certain situation that you’re not sure if they’re gonna pull through. And it’s always great to hear the work that people put into it and the care that they give. And then those animals end up going to loving homes. So that’s awesome. Yeah.

Speaking a little bit more about fosters, I know that people take fosters for animals that just need homes, then some people have to foster because animals are sick or animals are pregnant, like there’s all sorts of reasons that animals need foster care. Would you say that most of your fosters have healthy animals or sick animals, or it’s kind of all over the board? It’s really on a case by case kind of thing. The majority of our animals that are in foster homes right now are ready and available for adoption. So they’re listed on our website available. They’re fully vetted. They don’t have any medical issues. We do have some very special fosters that are comfort care fosters and these are for the animals who are basically unadoptable, where they have medical conditions that will not allow them to be adopted because they could pass away. They’re not actively dying, that sounds awful. We used to call him hospice fosters, but it’s not—the dogs are not technically hospice. They’re not actively currently passing away. Sure. But they have a condition that prevents them from being adopted to a long term home.

Right now, we actually have a puppy that is a comfort care foster that’s in a home. His name is Frosty. His litter of puppies were left on someone’s doorstep in the middle of winter last year, in a rubbermaid container. So we took them in, and Frosty has a heart murmur, a pretty severe one. But he’s the only one out of his litter that has a heart murmur that’s that severe. The rest of his litters, perfectly healthy. They all been adopted. They’re all placed in wonderful homes. But per our veterinarian, Frosty is very susceptible to have a heart attack which could cause him to pass away. And we don’t want to adopt out an animal like that to a family, you know, to traumatize anybody. And since we are 100% no kill organization, we don’t euthanize either. So Frosty still has a wonderful quality of life. He’s with a comfort care foster who loves him, plays with him.

He’s actually at Adoption Day every single Saturday, because his foster mom volunteers with us every Saturday. And I frequently have people come up and say, “oh, I want to adopt this one!” I have to say “I’m sorry. You can’t, he’s in a comfort care foster.” It sounds like you guys have a theme going on with the names you have, Elsa and Frosty. Sounds like we have a winter theme going. Oh, yeah. We try to pick up theme for each of our puppy litters, but when they’re born so right now we have a litter that’s going to become available, that all have fall names. So we have, like Pumpkin, and Flannel, and Haystack. That is so cute. I love that. Yes. That’s great.

I know you kind of touched about it a little bit when we first started talking. But how can people get in touch with your organization if they want to get involved? So the very best way is go to our website and send us an e-mail. Our general e-mail addresses We have a lot of people who will message us in Facebook. Sometimes that’s not always the best way to communicate with us because we can’t check it like 24/7, but we also have an Instagram. People do send questions through Instagram, I mean, it’s fine to use those venues to send those questions. But if you really want to get involved, the best way is to use e-mail. We have had people in the past ask if we have a phone number. There’s a reason we don’t have a phone number. There are only four of us on staff that handle all daily operations, and if we had a phone number, we probably wouldn’t get anything done. Sure, you just get flooded with calls. I’m sure. Yes, so the best way is e-mail. We communicate pretty much almost 24 hours a day via e-mail.

If somebody wants to foster more than once do they fill out an application on your website multiple times or are they already in your system? And if they choose to foster again, they just reach out. And they say, “hey, I’m ready for a new animal”? Yeah, excellent question. So you just have to fill up foster application once. We keep it on file, we keep it in our database. I keep a list of my active foster homes in my phone. So if I receive an animal and I needed to place it. I usually reach out to my fosters that either haven’t fostered in a while or currently don’t have a foster animal. I will have people reach out to me that haven’t fostered in a while. They’ll say, “hey, I’m ready for another foster dog.” And I’ll say, “okay, this is what we got.” Okay, great.

So, I know you just said that you have foster dogs. Do you always have foster dogs with you? Yes, I typically have more. Well, not more than most people, but my husband and I, typically take the bigger ones or the ones that nobody wants. Okay, that’s great though. So right now I have four permanent dogs and two fosters and I will be receiving a third foster later today.

So when you bring home a new foster dog, how do you introduce them to the animals that you currently have? I usually do it in the yard, which is considered a neutral territory by a dog. And that’s what I try to tell all my fosters as well, is that you don’t want to necessarily introduce them to each other inside the house because your permanent dog will be like, “hey, uh, what are you doing in my house? This is my territory.” I’ve never done it before, so I’m curious about how it goes.

So do you kind of have them on leashes? And you slowly introduce them? Or you just let them, like, run around out back or what does it kind of look like? I typically let them run around out back. We have a fenced in backyard, which makes it easier. So I will usually put the foster dog outside in the backyard and then let each one of mine out one at a time. Because right now we do have somebody, so it could be overwhelming for a foster dogs, especially a dog that may not be used to being in such a large pack. It usually goes pretty well. We’ve never really had any tips or anything in our house. Yeah, the fosters that I have right now, I have Rue, which is about a 70 pound Red Heeler Mix. And he’s been with us for the last six months, and I don’t know why he hasn’t been adopted.

He’s a fantastic dog. He’s totally housebroken. He knows how to sit and lie down and shake. He gets along great with our other dogs. He loves like going on an adventure. So he’s great in public. He’s great on leash, and he loves the water, so he likes to swim like that kind of stuff. And then the one that has kennel cough right, we pulled him from a high-kill shelter just earlier this week. Actually, I’ve only had him since Monday, but his name is Oreo, and he is like an eight year old Shih Tzu. So before he’s ready to be adopted I got to make sure that his kennel cough is cleared up first. So he’s on medication and everything.

Well, is there anything else that you’d like to share before we wrap things up? Really, just that Proverbs is such a wonderful organization. And if people are interested in volunteering or fostering or even just sponsoring us or sending a donation, anything like that, we are so grateful and so appreciative for everybody that’s involved. Proverbs is like a great big family. We actually have hashtag on social media that we use that’s #ProverbsNation because any time we have a need come up, we’ll post something. And I mean within just hours, it’s taken care of because of our wonderful volunteer base. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Holly. I’ve learned so much, and I had a really great time talking with you. Yeah, absolutely. I thank you for having me on today. I’ve enjoyed it.

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