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Agape Car12-Point SignWorks

Agape would like to give special recognition to our angel-level Glitter & Glam sponsor, 12-Point SignWorks!

The Franklin-based, commercial sign company’s mission statement reads: “12-Point SignWorks provides creative services that enhance our clients’ brands and advertising. Our foundation is built on twelve characteristics that guide our individual and company behaviors and decisions. The company is an economic engine, fueled by our creativity and work ethic that sustains each employee with competitive compensation and career growth opportunities through skill development, leadership training, and increased responsibilities. Our culture fosters respectful collaboration and encourages synergy to extract our very best efforts. We develop unique and profitable solutions that offer greater-than-expected value to our clients.”

In sponsoring Glitter & Glam, 12-Point SIgnWorks graciously donated most of the car wrap on Agape’s official Lexus that was also donated by a very special family in Middle Tennessee.

“When Agape approached us regarding this project, we were interested in helping the organization create a “mobile billboard” that would communicate the various objectives that Agape pursues,” said Murray Johns, 12-Point SIgnWorks’ owner.

“Our wrap designer, Rich Novia, loves dogs in particular and was very generous in donating some of his own time to make the project come together,” said Johns. “We receive worthwhile requests for assistance from many organizations each year, and although we aren’t able to help each one, we work with a few organizations each year with discounted and donated services in order to help support these causes.”

“We appreciate the trust that Agape placed in us to lay out a wrap design that ties in so closely with other marketing materials the organization had already developed,” said Johns.

FundraiserMy Second Home Pet Resort Hosts Fundraiser for Agape

Do you ever feel guilty for leaving your pet behind at the groomer or kennel? Most dog owners do. The moment you arrive and your dog looks at you desperately, knowing he’s about to loose you for who knows how long (hours, days, weeks - it may as well be an eternity if you ask him), how can you not?

As a new concept in pet care, My Second Home Pet Resort has changed all that. Loving your pet as much as you do is their business, which is why My Second Home has gained so much recognition for being the best-in-class dog boarding, grooming and day care facility in the nation.

Because the folks at My Second Home love dogs so much, the company has agreed to host a fundraiser to benefit Agape Animal Rescue. Their goal: to raise $10,000 by October 1, 2013.

FundraiserLEFT: Siblings enjoying a private suite at My Second Home Pet Resort.

“Agape is a fantastic organization,” said Chris Starko, campaign manager and Director of Marketing for My Second Home Pet Resort. “We initially became involved with Agape by providing free boarding to some of the foster dogs.”

My Second Home Pet Resort is a sponsor of the Agape Animal Ball, scheduled for October 19, 2013 at Events on Third in Nashville, Tenn.

“On top of that sponsorship, we wanted to try adding a further donation option for our customers,” said Starko. “Customers already seem to be responding well, so we have high hopes that this campaign will raise a significant amount for Agape.”

“My Second Home truly is the best place you can take your dog for boarding, grooming or sitting,” says Tanya Willis, Executive Director of Agape. “It’s so much more than a kennel. They spend time playing with the dogs in groups and one-on-one, and they seem to really enjoy the dogs while they are visiting, which is something the dogs pick up on, I think.”

FundraiserRIGHT: “The Villas on the Beach” Dog Boarding Luxury Suites at My Second Home Pet Resort.

As a dog owner, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your pet is receiving the very best care and attention available. And your dog will love it there. With round-the-clock supervision, scheduled playtime and comfortable areas for dogs to relax and unwind, your dog may not want to leave!

So treat your dog to pampering and playtime at the nation’s finest full service cat and dog boarding, dog grooming and day care facility.

Stop by My Second Home Pet Resort to donate, take a tour or book an appointment.

On behalf of the entire Agape team, Thank You to our friends at My Second Home Pet Resort for being so supportive of the pet community in Middle Tennessee.

By India Stone
Freelance Web Content Writer

Poo DooPoo Doo Leash to Benefit Agape

Most dog owners love taking their dogs on walks. Cleaning up after their dogs: not so much.

Now you can make cleanup a little bit easier with the Poo Doo Leash, a dog walking leash that comes with a built-in poo pouch meant for storing your pet’s waste.

The original Poo Doo Leash #1 is an all-in-one, 6’ dog leash with an 8”x 4.5” pack. The pack includes a container for plastic bags, dog waste, and personal items.

Poo DooThe great thing about the Poo Doo Leash is that you can keep the poo tucked away on the leash, away from you, where it is less likely to cause accidental messes.

During the month of March, the makers of the Poo Doo Leash will donate 20% of the proceeds from the Black Striped Leash design.

To order your Poo Doo Leash, visit and enter AGAPE in shopping cart.

We don’t blame dogs for doing their business, and every responsible dog owner knows that leaving behind dog waste is frowned upon. But let’s admit it; carrying around a bag of fresh poo isn’t exactly most people’s idea of a good time.

With the poo pouch on the leash itself, you don’t have to carry a multi-purpose bag with you each time you take your dog for a walk, and you can separate yourself from the poo because the pouch is on the leash. With the Poo Doo Leash, you never have to worry about how you will carry your pet’s poo again.

By India Stone
Freelance Web Content Writer

Breed Guessing Contest"Wutts the Mutt" Breed-Guessing Contest to Benefit Agape

Ever wonder about the breed of your dog? Randy Kohrs did. Kohrs speculated with his wife about the breed of their dog, Coulter, for so long that they finally had the dog’s DNA tested once and for all.

As word about the mystery of Coulter’s breed spread, anticipation grew. Friends of Kohrs began placing their bets on what breed of dog Coulter would turn out to be. Finally, the idea for a guessing game emerged from the energy centered around their mutt mystery. As a Grammy-winning producer, artist and owner of Slack Key Studio, Kohrs decided to use his connections within the Nashville music community and create the event, now known as “Wutts the Mutt,” to raise funds for Agape Animal Rescue.

To enter, donate $5 to Agape Animal Rescue using the form at Slack Key Studio’s website. While there, you can watch a video of Brindle Lee, a stray that was found nearly starving on Kohrs’ studio property. Then enter your first, second and third choice of breed to which you think Brindle Lee belongs.

“It’s a fun way to help support a worthwhile cause,” said Kohrs, who is going on the second year of hosting the event to raise funds for local dog rescue.

Winners will be announced live on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at a Randy Kohrs & Friends show at The Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn. with Jack Pearson, Josh Shilling, Andy Reiss, Jay Weaver, John McTigue and other musicians. Prizes will include t-shirts, autographed CD’s, accessories from Urbandillo, Agape merchandise and more. The show starts at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door with all proceeds from the show going to Agape.

Enter "Wutts the Mutt" now to guess the breed!

Last year’s event raised over $1,000, and Kohrs and the Agape team hope to increase donations in this year’s event.

With so many dogs going unspayed and unneutered, it is no surprise that animal rescue shelters see so many “mutts,” or mixed breed dogs that were probably the result of unplanned canine pregnancies. However; that the dogs were unplanned doesn’t make them any less deserving of a loving home, say Agape representatives.

“There is a tremendous variety of dogs out there,” said Tanya Willis, Executive Director of Agape. “We try to give our best guess when determining the breed of our dogs, but sometimes you just can’t tell.’

‘What’s more challenging is figuring out the breed of a puppy when the parents are also mixed breeds,” said Willis. “We just want to find forever homes for all of our dogs, regardless of their breed.”

To that end, Agape encourages anyone who is looking for a dog to keep an open mind and consider a mixed breed, or mutt, as their next four-legged friend.

Download the event flyer

By India Stone, Web Content Creator
ContentWorks Nashville

BissellAgape Partners for Pets Participant

Dog owners spend a lot of time cleaning and grooming. Not that we’re complaining. Each and every rescue dog is well worth it, and most would agree the occasional sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing and steaming is a fair trade for the unconditional love and devotion you get every day from your pet.

So it would only make sense for Agape to partner with Bissell Inc. and the Partners for Pets program. BISSELL and have teamed up to help organizations like Agape raise money, and now you can help too. When you purchase pet products on and enter the promo code “ADOPT” at checkout, a portion of your purchase will be donated to Agape. What’s more, every purchase goes towards an entry for Agape to win a $5,000 quarterly giveaway!

Visit Bissell online now to check out their selection.

Bissell has developed a network of partnerships among animal rescue organizations and works to help raise money to save the lives of displaced or abandoned pets across the country. In addition to the donations from online sales, Bissell is also running a sweepstakes among its Partners for Pets. So each purchase goes towards an entry for Agape to win an additional prize.

So stock up now on pet cleaning products. You not only get the best quality from the Bissell brand, your purchase is also helping to save the lives of dogs just like yours.

By India Stone
Web Content Writer, ContentWorks

AmerigoAgape to Participate in Amerigo Wine Tasting Charity Fundraiser

Amerigo has chosen Agape Animal Rescue to take part in its annual charity fundraiser event. If you love Italian food and animals, visit Amerigo in Cool Springs on Tuesday, March 5th from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for an evening of wine tasting and light appetizers.

“We are really looking forward to hosting and raising money for this wonderful organization,” said Ali Gensert, Sales & Marketing Manager for Amerigo Restaurants.

Amerigo, a casual dining Italian restaurant with four locations in the southeast region, will donate 25% of the proceeds from the night’s event to help save the lives of dogs who have been abandoned or displaced. The cost of the event is $15 per person.

“This partnership couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Tanya Willis, Executive Director of Agape. “We just kicked off our 2013 annual giving campaign, and this will add momentum to the programs we already have planned for the remainder of the year.”

Agape relies on support from both individuals and businesses to help with the cost of caring for rescued dogs. On average, it costs Agape $350 per dog to provide basic medical care, however Agape’s adoption fee remains low at $175 per dog.

In addition to taking part in fundraiser events, eager supporters of Agape dog rescue can also sign up to sponsor a dog directly on Agape’s website. Click here to learn more about what it takes to support the dogs of Agape.

Agape would like to thank Amerigo for its ongoing support.

By India Stone
Web Content Writer, ContentWorks

EmmaAgape Winner of 2012 “Emma 25” Award

We’ve all heard that to receive should never be a reason to give, but sometimes it just works out that way. We're talking about the recent prize Agape Animal Rescue received from Emma, an award-winning Nashville-based email marketing company with an affinity for giving back to nonprofits.

"The Emma 25 initiative awards free Emma service to small, deserving nonprofits to (help them) do more to reach their donors and supporters with email marketing,” said an Emma representative.

Agape was selected among 400 other nonprofits around the world to receive free email marketing service for life. Agape Executive Director Tanya Willis has plans to fully utilize the hosted service, saving Agape about $840 per year.

"We've been entering the sweepstakes for the past three years,” said Willis. “I entered us and didn’t even tell anyone because it was such a long-shot. We really couldn't be happier."

Agape would like to thank the team at Emma for this generous gift.

“We are honored to have received this award and look forward to leveraging this invaluable tool to continue to help misplaced and abused dogs,” said Willis.

See a full list of this year's Emma 25 honorees

JackalopeJackalope’s Rainy Day Blues to Benefit Agape

No, we are not feeding our dogs beer. However, for all the thirsty humans looking for a good winter seasonal beer, Jackalope’s Rainy Day Blues is the way to go.

Jackalope Brewery is giving 20% of the proceeds from sales of this beer in the Jackalope Taproom now through February. In effort to help local animal rescue efforts, Jackalope has partnered with Agape Animal Rescue to help fulfill its mission of finding forever homes for dogs who have been displaced or abandoned.

“When we were bringing Rainy Day Blues to the market, we knew we wanted to pair it with an animal rescue,” said Robyn Virball, part owner and founder of Jackalope Brewery. “We had heard good things about Agape and thought they’d be a perfect fit.”

And a perfect fit it has been. Last year’s partnership between Agape and Jackalope was a great success, and both organizations hope to increase sales of the specialty beer this year.

“We are so fortunate to get support from Nashville businesses like Jackalope,” said Tanya Willis, Executive Director for Agape. “Coupled with donations from individuals, marketing initiatives like these are what keeps Agape up and running.”

The local brew was named for a black Labrador Retriever named Rainy who belonged to a good friend of the brewery. Rainy was such a loyal and well-behaved dog that she inspired her owner to name a beer after her. Today, Rainy Day Blues (the beer) is famed for its smoky flavor, black-and-tan appearance and subtle blueberry aroma that lingers on your pallet at the end of every sip.

So hurry down to the Jackalope Brewery Taproom, located at 701 8th Ave. South in Nashville, Tenn. You may be able to drink beer all year long, and you may be able to donate to Agape all year long, but now is the only time you can do both at once!

By India Stone, Freelance Writer / Content Creator in Nashville, Tenn

IndiaAgape Welcomes India Stone as Senior Web Editor

Whether it was destiny, divine providence, or just being at the right place at the right time, the arrival of Agape’s newest addition couldn’t have come soon enough.

Tanya Willis, Executive Director of Agape, was looking for a copywriter and someone with extensive knowledge about web content writing and SEO to help with a website redesign.

At the very same time, India Stone had just decided to leave the corporate world of e-commerce and online marketing when she cold-called Agape to ask if the organization was in need of that very thing.

Fast-forward to the present. Meet India Stone, Agape’s new Senior Web Editor.

India is a writer, an editor, a marketer and an artist who was born and raised in Nashville. India’s role at Agape is two-fold: to write about the wonderful things that are going on at Agape and to provide much-needed web copywriting and search engine optimization assistance.

India is most interested in working with non-profit organizations and has dreamed of the day she could hold a position as a writer for a non-profit organization.

“While the retail industry taught me a lot about business, I always wanted to work for a company whose primary goal is to help,” said India. “The secondary goal should be to make money, only to support the primary goal of helping the world to be a better place.”

India is excited to be with us and looks forward to 2013 when Agape will launch its new and improved website!

Read more about India here

Luv My DogLuv My Dog Day Photo Event Right Around the Corner

You’ve got to admit, dogs know how to show serious love for their humans. Their love can be seen pretty much every moment of every day, from the happiness they show when you come home to the longing look of affection they give when you aren’t doing anything at all.

Show some love in return (as if you don’t already) by capturing your dog’s personality in a professional photo on Saturday, February 2nd at Harmony Designs Photography in downtown Nashville at Cummins Station. April Hollingsworth, renowned Nashville photographer, is hosting the event and will donate all proceeds to Agape Animal Rescue. There is a $25 per-dog sitting fee. An additional $10 per person will be added on for humans wanting to be photographed with their dogs.*

Be sure to arrive early, as the event is first-come, first-served and only runs until 2:00 p.m. that day.

Hollingsworth specializes in pet photography and has achieved amazing results in portraits of pets and family. You will come away with a rock-star-quality photo of your beloved pet you can keep forever. Display it on your mantle or keep it in your wallet. Who knows, it may be the beginning of your dog’s professional modeling career. Make it work!

Last year’s Luv My Dog Day event was a big hit, with over 40 dogs being photographed, and 2013 is already proving to be a winning year for Agape. Come support local dog rescue while showing some love to your favorite pooch this February. Showcase frame and gallery canvas specials will be offered to everyone who attends. Bring your dog’s favorite toy, treat, article of clothing or anything else you think would help make your dog feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Feb 2nd from 9:00AM – 2:00PM
(first come, first served)

Harmony Designs Photography
Cummins Station
209 10th Avenue South, Suite 146
Nashville, TN 37203 **

Download the event flyer

*Children under the age of two will need another adult in the photo with him/her.

** Paid parking meters are available directly in front of the building.

Local Artists Raise Funds for Agape Animal Rescue

Need a gift for the animal lover in your life? Check out RuffLifeArt and MuttShots, two separate collections of dog-inspired artwork created by local artists Jo Sanders and Lucie Rice. Each artist will donate a portion of holiday sales to Agape Animal Rescue to help rescue dogs find good homes.

CardsMuttShots Rescue Series for Dogs
Rice’s dog, Lola, was the inspiration behind the first MuttShot when her furry mug was immortalized in oil as a gift for Rice’s husband. Her personal art project quickly turned into a fun side business, and now Rice has pulled together some of her favorite k-9 personalities from MuttShots past to give back to the animals that bring so much joy to her world.
As featured in NFocus Magazine 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, Lucie Rice’s MuttShots Rescue Series is a frame-worthy collection of beautifully-illustrated note cards that make the perfect holiday gift. Rice, an illustrator and graphic designer, has captured the personalities of dogs, as well as other four-legged friends, using a mix of fine art and modern design techniques.
The Rescue Series note cards can be purchased in packs of 10 or in singles.

Order your MuttShots note cards now

PrintRuffLifeArt Inspired by a Dog’s Life
The works of RuffLifeArt are as energetic and fun as the dogs that inspired them. Using rogue brush strokes, the artist seems to capture the intensity of dogs’ strongest emotions while at play. Sanders is not afraid to use color or texture to draw you in and add a funky and eclectic focal point to any room.
The master behind RuffLifeArt, Sanders draws inspiration from the k-9 clients that frequent her dog-walking and pet-sitting business.

Purchase your own RuffLifeArt dog art now

Give a Gift, Save a Dog
Those who love animals and, specifically dogs, should be able to find the perfect gift or fun accent for a home or office between the two collections. Dog art makes the perfect holiday gift for animal lovers and art lovers alike. Surprise that friend who appreciates both dogs and design, or brighten someone’s day throughout the year with these delightfully furry faces. Not only will your friends and family love the vivid use of color and whimsical portrayal of man’s best friend, a portion of all holiday proceeds goes to Agape Animal Rescue. So you’re really giving two gifts in one when you present the gift of life this holiday season.

Thank you, Lucie Rice and Jo Sanders, for sharing your passions for rescue pets with Agape!

Broken ChainOperation Broken Chain: 65 Dogs Rescued from Massive Dog Fighting Ring

Yet another case of large-scale animal cruelty was discovered last weekend (11/26/12) when firefighters in Ashland City, Tenn. stumbled upon a major dog fighting and breeding operation, thought to be the largest dog fighting bust in Tennessee history, say authorities.

A fire allegedly broke out on Thanksgiving night in the owners’ residence near Buckeye Road. When firefighters arrived, the dogs were found tethered to stakes in the ground and unable to escape the flames and smoke. At that time, Cheatham County Animal Control was called.

PHOTO: This American Pit Bull Terrier was found chained to the ground, hungry, thirsty and in need of medical care

“When we hear about these things, we just have to act,” said Tanya Willis, Executive Director of Agape Animal Rescue. Willis was there to help along with a team of 24-hour responders comprised of animal rescue partner organizations and volunteers. “Animal Rescue Corps let us know (about the bust), and by that afternoon we had feet on the ground,” said Willis.

“Unimaginable” is the only word to describe the conditions in which the dogs were found, say witnesses. Most dogs had either been locked inside cages and pens or tied to three and four-inch wide chains with no access to food and water. Many dogs were riddled with open sores and infected wounds that are now being treated by emergency animal rescue personnel.

Extensive injuries to the dogs’ faces and bodies were likely caused by the inhumane practice of dog fighting, one of many vehicles for illegal gambling in Tennessee.

By Monday, all 65 of the dogs found alive had been relocated and were receiving medical attention at a temporary shelter in Wilson County. Helpers who were on the scene said the dogs seemed responsive to human affection – a good sign that many of these dogs could be adoptable once they have recovered.

Broken ChainAnimal Rescue Corps performed the extraction in conjunction with Agape Animal Rescue, Cheatham County Animal Control, the Nashville Zoo, New Leash on Life and the Tennessee State Highway Patrol.

PHOTO: Tanya Willis with Scotlund Haisley using bolt cutters to remove chains from abused dogs in Cheatham County, Tenn.

“It was a life-changing moment for me when I used a bolt cutter to free one of the dogs,” said Willis, who was there all day cutting the huge chains which were used to strengthen the dogs’ neck muscles for fighting.

Many of the dogs, mostly American Pit Bull Terriers and Beagles, were found without teeth and near starvation. Bites on the dogs’ bodies were further indication that the dogs were being pitted against each other in dog fights.

A variety of dog fighting paraphernalia was recovered from the scene including fighting pens, a treadmill and spring poles. In conjunction with eye-witness accounts, photos and videos, the paraphernalia is likely to be used as evidence in the criminal case that is still unfolding.

According to Scotlund Haisley, ARC President who also assisted in the rescue, this was the worst dogfighting operation he had seen over a 22-year career in animal protection.

Dog fighting is a felony offense and has been the focus of an increasing amount of media attention in recent years.

“It is the mission of Agape, as well as our organizational partners, to save the lives of innocent animals such as these,” said Willis.

Broken ChainThe dogs were surrendered by the owners and are currently in the custody of the FBI. The fate of the owners is unknown as the investigation continues. Agape will provide more information on the status of the dogs as it becomes available.

PHOTO: Adult dogs and puppies were kept in tiny pens and denied proper care

“Hopefully, this will raise awareness about dog fighting and the fact that it’s a problem,” said Willis. “It takes a village – friends, neighbors, officers, and family – to say, ‘stop’ and to tell someone if you see this happening.”

Agape representatives urge anyone with knowledge of animal cruelty to contact their local animal rescue organization.

Animal cruelty is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “the infliction of physical pain, suffering or death upon an animal, when not necessary for purposes of training or discipline or (in the case of death) to procure food or to release the animal from incurable suffering, but done wantonly, for mere sport, for the indulgence of a cruel and vindictive temper or with reckless indifference to its pain.”

And as always, if you aren’t sure if you’ve seen animal cruelty but you feel that something isn’t right, report it anyway. You could be saving the life of an innocent animal.

By India Stone

Photos by Aimee Stubbs and courtesy of Animal Rescue Corps

ApplebeesApplebee's Hosts Fundraiser to Benefit Agape Animal Rescue

Agape Animal Rescue would like to say THANK YOU to the Applebee's locations on Thompson Lane and Harding Place and in Spring Hill for their amazing collaborative donation of over $4,500 to the dogs in our foster program.

The mentioned locations donated 15% of all curbside sales for two days per week for a total of 4 weeks. Customers were also invited to donate leashes, collars, food and toys or they could participate in donating $1 in exchange for a paper bone to honor or remember a pet or someone they love.

Applebee's "Paws For Carside" is just one event of many in which they have given back to the community. Agape is honored to have been chosen to receive such a wonderful donation. Please continue to support your local Applebee's in return for everything they do to contribute to animal rescue and many other important causes. Thanks to this generous donation we can continue our mission of saving lives and giving second chances to even more dogs.

DonationDonation from Pedigree and Kroger

We are proud and honored to announce that our friends at Pedigree and Kroger chose Agape Animal Rescue on September 12, 2012 to receive a donation in the amount of $4211.00.

"We are thrilled that we could partner with Pedigree to support animal rescue organizations like AGAPE," said Melissa Eads, community affairs manager for Kroger. "There are a lot of animals out there in need of food and loving care, and we know that AGAPE is one agency who is helping fill that need."

Kroger is one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains. The company operates close to 60 stores in Middle Tennessee. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations in the communities it serves. For more information please visit

THANK YOU Pedigree and Kroger! We will save more lives because of your support!

Download the press release here.

Operation FreedomAgape Volunteers Bolster the Ranks for Operation Freedom

Tennessee has recently seen not one, but two animal hoarding and cruelty busts inside its borders within the past two weeks. Codenamed Operation Freedom, these busts took place in White and Wilson Counties. Animal Rescue Corps has been the agency out on the front lines of these busts, taking the lead, and backed by animal rescue groups and supporters such as Agape Animal Rescue and New Leash on Life.

Agape's Executive Director, Tanya Willis, was on the scene of this last Monday's (7/9/12) phase of Operation Freedom as it unfolded in Wilson County. As the rescue team arrived, they found dogs of all shapes and sizes, several cats, ducks, turtles, fish, and even a donkey with his best friend billy-goat living in squalor. The dogs were exposed to the elements, including the recent 2 week long heat wave of over 100 degree temperatures with hardly any shade, no food found at the time, and a minimal amount of water filled with mud and mosquito embryos.

The next phase in these rescue's lives have now begun. Many of them need extraordinary veterinary care including sarcoptic mange treatments, heart worm treatments, behavioral rehabilitation, and more. If you would like to donate to help these special needs victims, please click here. We have been truly amazed by the compassion of the Middle Tennessee community and are grateful for the support. Please visit our Facebook and Twitter for more details on the daily progression of these special animals.

Stephanie WillisAgape Welcomes Stephanie Willis as Director of PR

Sometimes the rare opportunity comes along to work with a person who brings skills to the table that are, simply put, superstar quality. That would be Stephanie Willis! And in her newest role as Agape's PR Director, what Stephanie brings to the table is ... well ... beyond impressive. She is a superstar, for sure, and Agape is thrilled to have her on its team!

Stephanie's background is in broadcasting and radio, and the pursuit of a full-time music career brought her to Nashville in 2003, where she had the opportunity to write with some of the best songwriters in the country. She co-owns Willisoundz with her husband (who himself plays on records for country music elite such as Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and Shania Twain). At Willisoundz, she writes and records commercials/jingles, handles assorted admin duties and occasionally, artist development. She also sings background vocals (BVGs) on other artists' albums, which she says, “keeps me in the studio, in the comfort of my own home, and connected to my passion for music.”

A newer addition to Stephanie's resume is videographer. “I became a videographer by accident,” she says, having started the projects as anniversary gifts for her husband. Stephanie has produced very powerful Adopt Me videos for numerous Agape dogs, giving such insight into each dog's personality, he/she has gotten a forever family soon after the video appeared online! “I began making adoption videos for Agape Animal Rescue and I quickly found myself being hired to make videos,” says Stephanie. “My Agape videos have brought me outside clients and now I'm busy enough to need an intern! I was paid the ultimate compliment recently, with a client saying, ‘We want you to help give our organization a personality, as you have done for Agape.' I had no idea I'd done that. I just love dogs and fiddling around with editing software.”

Now Agape's PR Director, Stephanie is able to utilize her passion for dogs and her creative mind and talents. “My favorite part of my job(s) is having the opportunity to be creative. I have a strategic mind and I get bored if I'm working within a box of restrictions. Possibilities are endless. Why limit them?” she says. With three dog kids of her own – all Chihuahuas, Presley the oldest at 12, and Jazz and Rock two 8-month-old pups – Stephanie is a devoted doggie mom who spends every minute outside of work with her family, husband John and the dogs.

As Glitter and Glam, Agape's largest annual fundraiser approaches this summer, Stephanie is extremely busy and putting all her talents to great use. “I've always had a special place in my heart for animals, especially dogs. It is very rewarding to be able to use my strengths for a cause I believe in. Agape's staff and foster families have a passion that is infectious.” Welcome to the Agape team, Stephanie!

PHOTO: Stephanie Willis with Jazz, Rock and Presley

"Operation Sweethearts" Brings Hope to 96 Abused Dogs

On Valentine's Day 2012, 96 dogs were rescued by Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) from horrific conditions and abuse in Wingo, KY. Now safely away from an alleged abuser who had done the unimaginable – fronted as a rescuer herself – these animals have now been released to many organizations around Middle Tennessee. As an ARC preferred partner, Agape Animal Rescue has committed to 17 of these dogs whose lives ... now ... finally have hope.

According to Scotlund Haisley, President of ARC, what rescuers found on the property was “unimaginable: dogs so neglected and abused that they were barely clinging to life. For some the battle had already been lost.” Medical needs for the survivors are more extensive than anyone had predicted, with so many requiring treatment for broken limbs, bite wounds and more serious issues. There is an urgent need for additional funds to help treat these animals! PLEASE DONATE NOW! These dogs need your help!

Thank you to all of you who have made food, towel, blanket and other supply donations to the Operation Sweetheart dogs. And a big thank you to ARC for saving these animals, and giving them an unforgettable Valentines Day ... a day filled with hope.

One-Time Donation
Recurring Donation

Learn more about this bust

See the Agape team in action as we bring the dogs in to foster care:

Luv My DogLuv My Dog Day

It is time for Luv My Dog Day again! Harmony Designs Photography is hosting this fun-filled picture day to support the dogs from Agape Animal Rescue! We had a wonderful turn out last year, with over 40 dogs being photographed, and we hope to make it even bigger and better this year!

Feb. 3rd from 11:00AM – 1:00PM
Feb, 4th from 9:00AM – 2:00PM
(first come, first served)

Harmony Designs Photography
Cummins Station
209 10th Avenue South, Suite 146
Nashville, TN 37203 *

The $25 per dog sitting fee will benefit the Agape dogs 100%! And if you wish to be in the shoot with your dog, we have you covered! For an extra donation of only $10 per person, you can get your picture made with your favorite pooch! Children under the age of 2 will need another adult in the photo with him/her.

We are excited to announce that our top sponsor, Melo Financial Services, has agreed to donate $50 to Agape for every already discounted, 11x14 Showcase Frame Special purchased by our attendees, up to $2000! You get a fabulous frame with a precious photo of your pet ... and you help save a rescued dog at the same time!

With your help, Luv My Dog Day 2012 will be a smashing hit. We can't wait to see you there, and we appreciate all of your support!

For questions please contact April with Harmony Designs Photography at 615-500-0587 or

* Free 1-hour parking available on Lea Avenue beside Cummins Station. Paid meters are available directly in front of the building.

KristenWelcome Kirsten Floyd to the Agape Administrative Team!

We are very excited to announce that Kirsten Floyd has accepted the position of Office Manager for Agape Animal Rescue as well as a seat on the Board of Directors.

Kirsten has been interning with Agape for a few years now and her passion for the animals has been an inspiration ever since. She has been a tremendous asset to the team, both through her superior organizational skills as well as her dedication to doing whatever was needed for each and every event. She is now taking on the role of office manager and will be coordinating the foster parents along with the intake and adoptions of our dogs. Kirsten can be reached at the main Agape number: 615-406-7799 or

Please join us in officially welcoming Kirsten!

Nashville Paw AwardWe would like to thank the community for voting for Agape Animal Rescue in Nashville Paw Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards! Every year Nashville Paw Magazine holds a contest for various awards in the animal rescue community. Agape Animal Rescue was honored to receive two of these accolades this year.

Agape Animal Rescue was voted the Best Animal Rescue Organization for the third year in a row! Thank you to all of our supporters who recognized the work we do for the animals and voted for us in this contest. We appreciate all of your support throughout the year as well as your spreading the word about Agape in the community. At Agape, we have rescued, fostered, and adopted out over 450 animals in the past 7 years. We are committed to providing quality care to the animals while in foster care, and to adopting them out only to the highest quality forever homes to ensure their happiness. Our dedication to the animals is never wavering, and we truly appreciate those community members who make our work possible.

The second award Agape Animal Rescue received was in the category of Best Fundraiser for the Animals. Our annual fashion show and wine tasting event, Glitter and Glam, was voted as one of the top three best fundraisers for the animals! This year the event attracted over 300 attendees, with fashion designs by Sarah Mallory and doggie fashion designs by Linda Higgins. The event boasted over $15,000 worth of auction items and fabulous wine and hors d'oeuvres served throughout the night. Thanks to feedback from our supporters last year, Glitter and Glam 2011 was even better, and hopefully next year Glitter and Glam will be voted the #1 Best Fundraiser for the Animals.

Finally, thank you for nominating Agape's Director, Tanya Willis, as a local Humane Hero. Nashville Paw Magazine asks readers to nominate individuals in Middle Tennessee whose work for the animals stands out above the rest. There were over 200 nominations this year, and Tanya was chosen as one of the finalists. She will be featured in the October/November issue of Nashville Paw magazine and will attend the Special Awards Ceremony Luncheon on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. If you would like to purchase tickets to this event, go to The funds go directly to Nashville Paw Foundation to fund local spay/neuter efforts. We are so proud of Tanya for her accomplishments and know that she is completely deserving of this honor.

Thank you again to the community for your continued support. We appreciate everything you do for the animals and we will continue to serve the pets and people of Middle Tennessee as the Best Animal Rescue Organization. Look for Agape Animal Rescue and our director, Tanya Willis, in the October/November issue of Nashville Paw Magazine starting October 1st!

Elizabeth CraftonHigh School Senior Donates Graduation Money to Help Agape Dogs

High school graduation is a pivotal time in every young adult's life. The student has worked long and hard for that piece of paper and is already getting excited to experience the next chapter: college. Most students race to the after- graduation parties wondering what awesome presents they are going to get and how much money they will receive. One Harpeth Hall student, Elizabeth Crafton, had different things on her mind after graduation. Elizabeth asked all her friends and family to donate money to Agape Animal Rescue in honor of her graduating. What an amazing and selfless thing to do! She single-handedly raised $800 to help the animals in the Agape program.

Thank you Elizabeth! It is because of people like you that the dogs are taken care of. You have saved multiple lives and we appreciate you!

Photo: Elizabeth with puppy mill shih tzu George, now available for adoption at

Luv My Dog Portraits

Luv My DogLove your dog this Valentine's Day with Luv My Dog Day Pet Portraits! On February 5th, from 8am to 2pm, treat your pet to a professional, studio photography session by Harmony Designs Photography ... and help better the life of an Agape Animal Rescue dog! This year features a modern high-key backdrop to capture the expressions that show your dog's personality!

WHEN: February 5th, 8am-2pm.
WHERE: 209 10th Ave. South, Ste. 146, Nashville, TN 37203

  • $25 per dog sitting fee, 10-15 poses/session.
  • First come, first served.
  • First 20 guests receive a special gift.
  • Paid meters available directly in front of Cummins Station.
100% of every sitting fee benefits the many Agape Animal Rescue dogs in need.

Luv My Dog PortraitJust for this event, a Custom 10x30 Tri-Pose Floating Canvas featuring 3 personality shots of your pet will be available for purchase at a discounted price of $150!

Listen to our Luv My Dog Day radio spot!

Watch our Luv My Dog Day video!

April Hollingsworth, Harmony Designs Photography
615-500-0587 |

Tanya Willis, Agape Animal Rescue
615-406-7799 |
Harmony Designs

PEDIGREE$653.87 Grant Awarded to Agape Animal Rescue by The PEDIGREE Foundation!

Our friends at The PEDIGREE Foundation have chosen Agape to receive grant money to help the dogs in our care during the 2011 calendar year. This foundation has donated more than $350,000 to animal agencies all over the United States and we are proud to be one of the many who was chosen from the Middle Tennessee area.

The PEDIGREE Foundation has launched a marketing campaign to bring awareness to the public about why it is important to adopt a dog. Also, when you purchase any Pedigree brand dog or cat food, they donate money to the Foundation that will help organizations like us! To learn more about the campaign, please visit

THANK YOU, The PEDIGREE Foundation, for helping Agape continue to save the lives of dogs in need!

AwardAgape Voted Best Rescue Again in 2010!

At Agape, we strive to provide the best homes for the displaced dogs we rescue. We see that you noticed and we appreciate your votes in Nashville Paw Magazine's annual 2010 Readers Choice Awards! You voted to make Agape the #1 Best Rescue and #1 Best All-Breed Rescue in Middle Tennessee! Agape's director, Tanya Willis, was also named #1 Best Animal Advocate!

What an amazing honor it is to receive such awards. You encourage us to continue helping and finding fabulous forever homes for the dogs in need, and because of your support, we are able to do exactly that! From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! For a complete list of winners, please pick up the October 2010 issue of Nashville Paw Magazine!

MarathonFoster Parent Turns Marathon Into Fundraiser

Agape foster parent Jackie Stokes, also owner of Pooch Playhouse and Boarding in Spring Hill, TN, trained for the San Francisco half marathon with running partner Chris Logan for quite awhile. Then the two came up with a rockin' idea: why not raise money for Agape's rescue dogs for the miles they'd be running?

The Miles 4 Mutts campaign was born and on July 25th, both Jackie and Chris (pictured at right) hit the pavement in San Francisco with 20,000 other runners. They ran the 13.1 mile course in 2:18:10, Jackie's personal best time! In Jackie's age bracket (shhhhhh, we're not disclosing that), Jackie finished 104th and finished 1874th for her gender.

The Miles 4 Mutts campaign raised $1,580 that will help save dogs' lives, all thanks to the dedication and determination of two amazing runners and Agape supporters, Jackie and Chris. Thanks, you two, for caring and for running for the dogs.

Miles 4 MuttsAgape Featured in May Issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine!

Nashville Lifestyles magazine loves working with the dogs! They recently held auditions to find the best candidate for their May 2010 issue cover dog. The May issue was dedicated to animals and the people that love them, and we are fortunate enough to have been included!

We appreciate Nashville Lifestyles' supporting local rescued animals, and encourage you to pick up a copy of the May pet issue. If you haven't already, read the pet article that includes information about Agape, and quotes about animal rescue in general made by our director, Tanya Willis. For more information please visit:

Tour 4 LifeNorth Shore Animal League's Tour for Life Rolls into Nashville

Metro Animal Control hosted North Shore Animal League's 2010 Tour for Life Animal Adoption Event on Saturday, April 24, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Metro's facility at 5125 Harding Place in Nashville, TN.

Soggy was the word for the day, as morning thunderstorms rolled in along with Agape volunteers and dozens of other animal rescues from around the state. Though the heavy rain forced outdoor activities inside Metro's building, enthusiasm did not dampen for pet adoptions, as animals continued to find happy new owners inside among the gathered, soaked masses of rescue workers and Metro staffers.

Agape was happy to participate in this year's Tour for Life event, despite the stormy weather. Our wonderful volunteers kept their sunny, upbeat spirits throughout the day. We hope to be back next year, to help spread the Tour for Life's message of rescuing, nurturing and adopting orphaned animals and helping them find their forever homes.

Photo: Agape intern, Kirsten Ayers, and Zander seek shelter from the rain at Tour for Life

EnsworthAgape Participates in Ensworth’s Social Issues Day Service Fair

On Friday, April 23rd, 2010, Ensworth High School held its SOCIAL ISSUES DAY SERVICE FAIR, and again this year, Agape Animal Rescue was one of dozens of non-profit “service” organizations that participated in a student-driven, independent “Service Learning Project” the school promotes for its junior class. Each year by volunteering with a service organization, the students must complete 25 hours of service and create project goals and objectives for this process during their senior year. (Some projects are also given permission to be completed during the summer.) This event gives rising Ensworth seniors the opportunity to connect with a variety of organizations that use volunteers to create a “Service Learning Project” for the 2010-11 school year. Agape was proud to be part of such a progressive program that gets students involved in volunteerism in their community, and we are certainly thrilled to meet so many young people so eager to get involved with animal-related causes.

EnsworthThank you, Ensworth, for making such a great impact on the lives of our youth, and for including us in your line-up of service organizations for this event. And special thanks to Rachel O'Rear, our awesome 2009-2010 Ensworth volunteer!

Bottom photo: Agape's 2009-2010 Ensworth Volunteer Rachel O’Rear, left, with Gayle Kerr, Kirsten Ayers and Tanya Willis

Glitter and Glam 2010Eddie and Taj George Host 2010 Glitter and Glam

It truly was a night to remember! April 18, 2010, at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel marked the second annual red carpet event supporting Agape Animal Rescue, a wine tasting and fashion show where models walked the runway in Olia Zavozina designs toting furry, four-legged canines sporting their own doggie fashions from come.sit.stay. This year's event featured Eddie and Taj George, who attended with their darling son Eriq and two bulldogs, Brooklyn and Philly.

Over 250 guests attended the evening's festivities, and many enjoyed bidding on over $16,000 of extraordinary silent auction items, ranging from beautiful jewelry and custom art to hotel stays around the U.S., just to name a few. In the breathtakingly lush setting of Loews' ballroom, and outside in the lobby where vendors set up shop to display their goods in support of the rescue's efforts, the mood was upbeat and the energy high.

Glitter and Glam 2010While the main event of the night was certainly the fashion show, and the doggie models on the runway, a highlight of the evening was an 8-minute film that explained what Agape does, the critical role of foster parents and the amazing work they do, and the touching stories of some of Agape's actual forever parents. A very special treat was having one of the dogs shown in the film, Norman, come out on stage with his new forever mom after the movie was over. There was hardly a dry eye in the room.

Another celebrity surprised the audience during the fashion show when country music artist and fellow animal rescuer Holly Williams walked out on the runway in one of the designer gowns, then later spoke onstage about her passion for animal rescue.

This was a night for the dogs. The rescue dogs, that is! With all proceeds for the evening going directly to Agape's efforts to save more dogs' lives, the results were astounding. Agape made over $11,000, over five times more that last year's event! Wow! That is incredible and we are very grateful to all the sponsors, volunteers and behind the scenes people who made this event possible. Thank you to everyone who donated to this effort. Because of you, many, many lives will be saved. We are already looking forward to Glitter and Glam 2011!

Many thanks to the Angel level sponsors for this event, which include: Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, The EDGE GROUP, EGX Lifestyle, B.A.C.K., Olia Zavozina Designs, Lucie Rice Illustration and Design, Nashville Paw Magazine, Harmony Designs Photography, Dream Row, John Casablancas, MTM Model and Talent Management, Harlow Salon, Drapery Designs, Pet Super Market, Crows Nest of Green Hills, 102.5 The Party, The Bake Shoppe, Ronald G. Baldwin Art, Matchless Transportation, and Robin E Designs.

To purchase photos from Glitter and Glam 2010, visit and select “Order.”

Top: Eriq George with dogs Philly and Brooklyn. Bottom: Melanie Mathis with Lady LuLu. Photos by Harmony Designs Photography.

Dogs RockDogs Rock Concert is a Huge Hit!

Dreamrow Entertainment Group and 12th and Porter hosted a benefit concert for Agape Animal Rescue on March 24th. Many people came out to enjoy a relaxing night full of good music and friendly fun. Artists Stephanie Hargrove, Megan Conner, and Hannah Bethel donated their time and talents to help raise money for the dogs in need. This even raised over $200 in just a few hours! Thank you to everyone who made this night such a huge success!

LMDLuv My Dog Pet Portraits 2010 Another Huge Hit

April Hollingsworth of Harmony Designs Photography had a great fundraising idea last year that proved to be a dynamite idea for dog lovers and Agape Animal Rescue: pet portraits for a reasonable sitting fee, with all proceeds donated to Agape.

Because of its enormous popularity, this year's Valentines-themed Luv My Dog Day was extended to a two-day period, February 12th and 13th. Friday the 12th was added to allow for all the working folks at Cummins Station, a dog-friendly office building and location of April's dreamy studio, to get their dog's portraits made during the workday. Saturday the 13th proved to be the wild and crazy day where dozens of supporters came out to have their favorite pooch's photo made, some sporting bows, bandanas, sweaters, dresses, hearts, and Titans gear, some with their favorite canine companion and some with their favorite toy.

LMDNine hours of photographing over a two-day span and 45 dogs later, the Luv My Dog event brought in $1630! That is an incredible amount of money and we are very grateful to April Hollingsworth for donating her time and her amazing photographic talent to make this awesome event possible. Thanks also to the dozens of volunteers who came out to work at the Luv My Dog venue. It took all of you to make this event happen—we could not have done it without you! And finally, thanks to all of our supporters who came out with their beagles, bassets, yorkies, great danes, cocker spaniels, shih tzus, dachshunds, poodles, Irish wolfhounds and good ol' American mutts. We hope you enjoy your Luv My Dog pet portraits for years to come!

Holiday FundraisersHoliday Fundraisers A Huge Success

Agape was very blessed during the 2009 holiday season with several successful fundraisers. We hosted Santa pictures at The Frothy Monkey, Pooch Playhouse and Petsmart. We participated in the Gaylord Hall of Trees event and implemented a supply drive for the dogs where The Crag, See Spot Eat, The Lexington Apartments and Pooch Playhouse all participated with drop-off sites and donation boxes.

Holiday FundraisersCollectively, these fundraisers raised more than $3,000 in monetary and in-kind donations! Wow, that makes for an awesome holiday season, and better yet, for many good things to come for our rescued animals. Thank you to Steve Lowry, Amber Lynn, and Tricha Christy for taking photos during the Santa Day photo shoots, to Tim Causey of ReCreations Fine Furnishings & Exquisite Interiors for decorating our Hall of Trees Christmas tree, to our awesome supply drive supporters and to all of the volunteers who made these events possible! If you would like to see pictures from any or all of the holiday fundraisers, please visit our web albums under Event Photo Gallery.

Community Foundation$1,000 Grant Awarded to Agape Animal Rescue by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has distributed more than $900,000 in grants to 198 non-profit organizations in 30 Middle Tennessee counties as part of The Foundation's annual grant-making process. Agape is happy to announce that it applied for, and received, a $1000 grant to help with our 2010 Foster Parent Campaign, scheduled to kick off in February 2010.

Agape's Foster Parent Campaign will offer a series of open house meetings with the public, which is invited to learn more about what it means to be a foster parent for Agape Animal Rescue. The goal of this program is to increase Agape's number of foster families to twenty by the end of 2010. Watch for future notices about these open houses if you or anyone you know is interested in joining our foster parent team.

“As needs in Middle Tennessee grow, the work of our non-profit partners to provide vital services and innovative programs has never been more important,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “The Foundation is honored to connect generosity with need through our annual grant-making, and congratulates non-profits on their efforts to improve quality of life for our community.”

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee oversees more than 700 charitable funds. In the past 18 years, The Community Foundation has distributed $440 million to its non-profit partners. It is located at 3833 Cleghorn Avenue, #400, Nashville, Tennessee 37215. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit

THANK YOU, The Community Foundation, for helping Agape continue to save the lives of dogs in need!

Agape MovieLocal Film Crew Donates Movie to Agape

Read Ridley, known as "Bear" to his students, friends and colleagues, is the Director of Film Crew Technology at Columbia State Community College in Franklin, TN. Every year, Bear picks a new non-profit for his students as a class project, and this year Agape was the Bear's choice. Having seen one of our flyers at the Frothy Monkey on 12th Avenue South, he took a look at our website, talked to Nashville Paw owner/editor Heather Davis about us, and decided Agape was the ONE!

The result is an incredible "about Agape" video featuring footage of Agape volunteers and patrons attending the 2009 Dog Day Festival at Centennial Park, as well as shots of several previously adopted Agape dogs and their owners. And through Bear's professional connections, the narrator is a local Nashville celebrity! We won't spoil the surprise, but you'll be astonished at our honorary, voice over country and western spokesperson, all thanks to the great work of the Columbia State film crew and their rockin' director, Bear.

Agape MovieThis was no small undertaking. Besides the director, nine students worked on the project for nearly four weeks, putting in between 180-200 man hours. The finished video, 1:41 long and valued at $6,000, is an incredible piece of artistry, and illustrates wonderfully what Agape is and what it stands for. Thanks to the professional leadership of Bear and the talent and dedication of his students, we now have an incredible video about our organization.

Saying thank you for this donated video hardly seems adequate. We are humbled by the gesture of one, until now, complete stranger and his film crew. We appreciate you, Bear, and the work of your video production students. You've most definitely made a difference in our animals' lives.

Top: Director "Bear" Ridley poses with Gator; Above: Shamus relaxes on the deck while being filmed

Mutt Strutt 2009Mutts Strutt by for Dog Day Festival 2009

They came in all colors, shapes and sizes — mutts and their mutt-meisters — for the 2009 Nashville Humane Association Dog Day Festival and Music City Mutt Strutt at Centennial Park. And this year's Dog Day Festival, held October 10, 2009, offered a new sizzle at the Agape booth: a real-life movie crew filming some reality shots of our rescue.

Mutt Strutt 2009The Festival patrons could not be stopped by overnight rains and chilly temps! They got creative and loaded up their furry friends in wagons and strollers, and bundled the little ones up in warm coats and winter scarves to keep warm. People and dogs paraded through the masses at this annual event to check out the fabulous vendor booths, food, music and dog treats. There was no shortage of doggie costumes, as Halloween was certainly on display a few weeks early!

Mutt Strutt 2009A special part of the day was a visit from Rex, former Agape foster dog, now happily adopted. He stopped by our booth with his mom, little brother, and doggie friend, Lucky. Rex, pictured below with former foster mom Nancy and new mom Debi, was adopted exactly one year ago, after we met his family at the Dog Day Festival 2008.
The Dog Day Festival at Centennial Park is an event that most every dog lover in Nashville looks forward to attending! All proceeds go to support Nashville Humane Association.

CommodoresAgape Attends Commodores in the Community Service Fair

Agape took part in Vanderbilt's Commodores in the Community Service Fair on August 25, 2009, where nearly 1500 freshmen visited booths to learn about volunteer opportunities in the community.

CommodoresStudents visited some 114 “Community Partner” tables, where Agape and the other non-profit groups (like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Mid-TN, The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Saddle Up!, Sexual Assault Center, to name just a few) spoke about their organizations and ways to give back to the community. The freshmen had only been on campus a few short days, having just moved into their dorms and gone through freshmen orientation a couple of days before. They were tired, some homesick, and many missed their dogs back home! Several hundred students came by our table to check out Agape volunteer opportunities.

CommodoresEach student had three tickets to drop into their favorite “Community Partner” VOTE FOR ME box provided by the event organizers, and judging by the crowd at our table and the weight of our box, Agape was a popular volunteer option for the students that day!

A big salute to Vanderbilt for putting on such an organized, well-planned event. And what an inspirational message to send to the students about giving back to the community! Agape was honored to be a “Community Partner” at this year's Commodores in the Community Service Fair.

Summer Series 2009Summer Series of Dog and Car Washes Fun, Successful

The dog days of summer were much more fun ... and cleaner ... on three Saturdays this year at the Hermitage McDonald's parking lot where dozens of Agape volunteers sweated away the hours to raise money for their favorite charity. On June 13th, July 25th and August 15th, literally hundreds of dogs and cars were the benefactors of the $5 washes we offered to raise money for Agape's rescue dogs.

Summer Series 2009We are proud to announce that our Summer Series of dog/car washes brought in a whopping $1274! That amount will go directly to saving more animals' lives and we want to thank all the volunteers who helped make this possible. Whether you scrubbed dogs in the tub or washed car tires, YOU made a difference in an animal's life! Thank you.

We look forward to another great set of car washes next year. Join the fun and consider volunteering for an Agape dog/car wash. It's a cool way to help an animal and support your favorite rescue!

Nashville PawAgape Wins Best Animal Rescue for 2009!

Thank you to everyone who voted for us in the 2009 Nashville Paw Magazine readers' choice poll. We are committed to serving our community through helping misplaced dogs find forever homes. We are able to do exactly that because of your support and encouragement.

We will continue to help the many animals in need for years to come! We appreciate your vote and support, and hope to see you at an event soon!

Music City MuttfestMusic City Muttfest a Huge Hit at Loews Vanderbilt

When Music City Muttfest planners were contemplating their fundraiser for June 28th, 2009, they must've been wondering some things like: will people come to a Sunday afternoon event, indoors, for $20 a person?

Well, the answer was a resounding YES as Nashville's first indoor festival for dogs and their humans was held at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel's Symphony Ballroom from 2-5pm. The crowd just kept on growing as people and their dogs came out in droves to support the Muttfest and take advantage of Lowes indoor event and all it had to offer.

Music City MuttfestThe $20 admission included ice cream for two- and four-legged friends, innovative libations including Jack Daniels, Jack's Sweet Tea, Muttfest Mojitos, soft drinks and water, and drool-worthy food for attendees at both ends of the leash, with kids and dogs allowed in free. All proceeds benefited The Brown Dog Foundation.

Music City MuttfestThe crowd was treated by performances from K-9's In Flight "From Homeless to High Flying" Ultimate K-9 Sports Show, as seen on Animal Planet and the Discover Channel. Attendees were able to see, shop, and play with the best Nashville had to offer in EVERYTHING DOG, from boutiques and bakeries to retail and rescue. Agape was there as a Muttfest rescue vendor, and we look forward to many other indoor events at Loews! A true delight for the entire family, Music City Muttfest was a brilliant success and oh so much fun!

DroopyDroopy Takes Third Place in Top Dog Competition

Agape's Droopy, our handsome Lemon Beagle, raised $1,365 and placed third in the 2009 Brown Dog Foundation Top Dog Competition! Droopy received his trophy along with the first and second place winners on Saturday, June 6th, at a Top Dog party where all the candidates, committee members, volunteers, sponsors and donors came out to cheer on this year's dog and cat competitors.

Top Dog LogoWith the winners crowned at The Farm at Natchez Trace, an 18-acre pet boarding facility in Franklin, TN, Finnbar, from the Music City Pug Rescue, was named TOP DOG, bringing in a whopping $5,547! Runner up was Katy Malham, who raised $3,615.

The 2009 campaign raised $22,506 for Brown Dog Foundation, an amazing feat in our struggling economy. Congratulations to Droopy and all his fellow contestants for making it possible, through Brown Dog, to help families whose dogs have life-threatening illnesses. (Photo compliments of Adrian Hitt Photography)

Dog Day in MayGoodlettsville's Dog Day in May a Hit

Originally scheduled for earlier in May but cancelled due to weather, Goodlettsville's inaugural Dog Day in May was held inside Moss-Wright Park on its rescheduled day of May 30th. For a first time event, the attendance was outstanding and Agape was there along with 9-10 other organizations that set up booths alongside the Fenway's Dog Park as patrons strolled by with their families and their pets. The city mayor was on hand all day to greet guests and to judge competitions, including the pet owner look-alike contest, the best-dressed dog contest, and the best trick contest. The contest winners even got real trophies! How awesome is that? It was a fun time for all, and kudos to the Goodlettsville Parks and Recreation organizers for putting on a well-organized event.

Photo: This Golden Retriever danced for his owner and took first place in the best trick contest

CVSAgape Helps Kick Off “A Million Ways We Care” Campaign

Agape participated in the kick-off of CVS/Caremark's "A Million Ways We Care" campaign which officially started on May 5th at the Nashville Metro Center location. The overall goal for the seven call centers within the company is to raise $1 million in time and/or donations for the communities it serves nationwide, with Nashville's portion of that goal being $150,000.

Agape was honored to spend the day speaking to CVS/Caremark employees about our volunteer opportunities, along with several other great organizations represented that day: Easter Seals, Toys for Tots, Hands On Nashville, MS Society, American Heart Association, United Way, Project Pencil, Second Harvest Food Bank and VSA Arts Tennessee.

CVSThank you, CVS/Caremark, for including us in your “A Million Ways We Care” kick-off. We met many of your fantastic employees and were fortunate to have several of them inquire about volunteering with our rescue. What a great way to give back to the communities you represent! Good luck on reaching your goals!.

Above: Nancy Hopwood (right) discusses volunteer opportunities with an employee; Below: A CVS/Caremark employee stops by the Agape booth.

Play DayPuppy Playday at Vanderbilt a Great Event ... Again

Agape was invited to the Vanderbilt Loves Animals Puppy Playday on Saturday, April 26th and we were happy to attend along with three other local rescues. This event, typically held in the winter months, is solely intended to be a study break for the freshmen, and the dogs are there to provide the "break" for the students. What better way to get away from your final exams than to mingle with a bunch of friendly, tail wagging dogs? The warm weather for this Puppy Playday was a welcome change from past events and everyone certainly enjoyed lounging in the grass and playing with the many dogs that came to visit. Agape volunteer Gayle Kerr and her lab Simon attended on Agape's behalf and were met by dozens of doting, eager students who also enjoyed the free pizza! Nearly $200 was donated by the students who attended, which will be split between the four rescues who brought dogs to this event.

Play DayTop-Right: Simon enjoys the students' attention as he rests in the grass.

Congratulations to Vanderbilt Loves Animals for the awesome work you do, and for your support for the animals. You are making a difference.

EnsworthAgape Attends Ensworth High School Social Issues Day

For the third straight year, Agape attended Ensworth High School's Social Issues Day Service Fair, held this year on Monday April 20, 2009. At this event, juniors walk around two gymnasiums of exhibitors to learn about volunteer opportunities with organizations from across the state. As seniors, these students must complete a minimum of 25 service hours with an organization of their choice, so they ask questions about each organization's mission and also how their time would be used should they volunteer.

EnsworthMany of the Ensworth students were interested in animal-related causes, and our volunteers had a great time meeting them and talking about Agape Animal Rescue.

Above-Right: Gayle Kerr, Tina Weisiger and Nancy Hopwood greet students at the Agape booth. Bottom-Left: Two students stop by to learn about volunteer opportunities with Agape.

Luv My Dog PortraitsLuv My Dog Pet Portraits a Huge Hit

When local photographer April Hollingsworth offered to shoot professional pet portraits and donate the $25 sitting fee to Agape Animal Rescue, a fundraising idea was born.

Luv My Dog PortraitsOn Saturday, February 21st, the idea became reality and—wow—it was a turnout that far exceeded our expectations! For our inaugural Luv My Dog Pet Portraits event, nearly 40 dogs (and their owners) came for their professional doggy portraits. The pet photo sittings were to begin at 9 am, but patrons were lined up with their pooches on the studio lawn at 8:30 in the morning.

And they just kept coming! Dogs with costume changes. Dogs with their families in tow. Dogs passing by on the street. Formerly adopted Agape dogs. One dog in failing health whose owners wanted a great photo of their lifetime companion.

Luv My Dog PortraitsIt was an incredible day for everyone. Hard work, yes, but lots of fun and a worthwhile effort that raised over $1, 040 for Agape! Special thanks to the volunteers from Crichton Brandon Jackson & Ward and Hands On Nashville who helped us put on this event. It was a big undertaking, and a huge hit! We could not have done this without all of your help.

Luv My Dog PortraitsMost of all, our greatest thanks goes to April Hollingworth, of Harmony Designs Photography, whose talent and time made this event possible. Thank you, April. Thanks for supporting our rescue and helping us save the animals ... one life at a time.

(please click here to view all the photos from this event)

Santa PicturesLove Abounds at the Black and White Tie Adoption Day Event

BW Adoption DayThere was lots of love in the air this Valentine's Day, and for three special Agape foster dogs—Levi, Cotton and JD—that meant extra attention and lots of goodies! At our annual Black and White Tie Adoption Day, held this year at the Murfreesboro Petsmart on February 14th, Levi, Cotton and JD drew quite a crowd, as people came in droves to see the darling adoptable dogs in their black and white bow ties. Everything about the Agape booth was Valentine-themed for all our guests and their pets: cupcakes, candy, punch, cookies and giant balloons. This once-a-year Valentine's event was particularly busy because Agape and some of its dogs had been featured in February's NashvillePAW magazine. Many thanks to the volunteers who helped make this Black and White Tie event so fun for the patrons and for the dogs!

BW Adoption DayPHOTOS: (top-right) JD shows off his bow tie; (top-left) Young Levi snuggles down for a nap after greeting potential adopters; (bottom-left) Cotton meets a family with foster mom Pam Carroll

(please click here to view all the photos from this event)

Frothy MonkeyBelmont Freshmen Raise Money for Agape

BelmontA little rain did not stop 21 Belmont freshmen from coming out with lots of enthusiasm and high spirits to help raise money for Agape on the morning of August 25th. As part of their community service credit, these students gave it their all, headquartering at the Frothy Monkey on 12th Ave. South in Nashville, to help sell our 2009 Calendars, then spread out down the street to gather donations wherever they could. At the end of a fast two hours, these go-getter frosh raised over $281 for our amazing effort by an amazing group of fine young people. Thank you, Belmont, for caring enough to donate your time to help save animals' lives. You definitely made a difference, and we could not be more grateful.

Veggie CafeAgape Attends First Annual Music City Harmony Howling For Hounds Event

Veggie CafeWhew! Now that's a mouth full! But then again, at this August 23rd Howling for Hounds event, held at the Veggie Café in east Nashville, you and your dog had to come ready to howl and meet some really friendly dogs and lots of great vendors and visitors. Presented by local animal advocate Stephanie Hargrove (pictured at right), with all proceeds benefiting the Nashville Humane Association, this great day featured periodic howl and bark contests, raffles, comedy, caricatures, prizes, free nail trims, and much, much more! Agape was proud to participate at the August Howling for Hounds event, and we look forward to many more HOWLING venues in the future. Congratulations to Stephanie for putting on an awesome "Stephanie Hargrove Presents..." event!

Veggie CafePICTURED: (above-left) Agape founder Tanya Willis and foster mom Pam Carroll watch the festivities, while (below-left) howling contestant Teddie enjoys a dog biscuit.

Music, Mutts, and MargaritasMusic, Mutts and Margaritas!

A little heat did not stop the crowd from coming out to the Music City Bar & Grill on July 19, 2008, to support their favorite animal rescue, Agape! Dozens of supporters, along with their furry friends, braved the hot afternoon for a cool time on the Bar & Grill patio where live music entertained the crowd, and margaritas were aplenty.

Music, Mutts, and MargaritasThis happy/yappy hour is held each weekend from 4-8 p.m. in support of local animal rescue and shelter groups. Not only was Agape able to raise money for our animals, we enjoyed some awesome food and drink and made some new friends. Thanks to everyone who came out to support this event!

FaithFaith is Home
By Nancy Hopwood, Faith's former foster mom

Once in awhile we have a success story that goes beyond our wildest expectation and Faith is one of those stories.

When Faith first came to us she had the worst case of Demodex mange our vet had ever seen. In fact, the doctor thought we should seriously consider letting her go. She had almost no hair and every part of her body was red, swollen and sore. There was no place to touch her that didn't hurt. But when Tanya Stephenson picked her up from the vet's office she was wagging her tail.

That's when Tanya took her home and began the process of getting her well. Faith's treatment was extensive and painful. There were weeks of dips, baths, medicine, special food, and vitamins. Tanya said, "I remember holding her in my arms till she fell asleep and telling her it was all going to be okay even when I wasn't sure I was telling the truth.” There were set backs but gradually she began to improve. Pretty soon her personality started to show through and what a personality it turned out to be.

Faith had not been able to enjoy much of her puppy hood but she quickly made up for lost time. She made fast friend with the other dogs. She learned about toys, swimming pools, hiking in the woods and riding in the car. It didn't matter where you were going as long as she was going with you. It was about this time that she came to my house for a little fine tuning of her manners and social skills.

Faith stole the hearts of everyone who met her. That's the thing about Faith, to know her is to love her. We have never known a happier dog. Every day is the best day ever and anything you are doing is wonderful as long as she can help. There is always a smile on her face and she made us laugh out loud at least once a day. Everything she does, whether it's playing with toys or running though the woods, she does with such enthusiasm, such joy, you just can't help but get caught up in it. There is no time for feeling blue. Life must be lived every second to the fullest. She always seems to be saying, "What's next?”

Now, I am very happy to report that Faith has found her forever family and is living happily in her new home. I actually think it was love at first sight for all of them. The first time they met, Faith watched them leave until their car was completely out of sight. On her home visit it was obvious she would have little trouble adjusting as she explored every inch of the place in typical Faith fashion. The day we took her home she ran to the door, slid across the entry rug, said hi to her new mom and then on upstairs to see who else was home.

FaithWe congratulate the Hersh family on their new addition and wish them many years of happiness with this most remarkable dog. The Hersh's have already fallen in love with Faith's spirit, personality and her happy-go-lucky nature. "It is quite clear that we undoubtedly have the sweetest dog in the world! She has been so good and is so loveable," says new mom Malinda Hersh (left, with Faith).

To all of you who have helped Faith reach this new beginning, thank you just doesn't seem nearly enough. We could not have done it without you.

Thank you Faith, you taught us more than we could have ever taught you and we are blessed to have been part of your journey.

PetMedsAgape Animal Rescue has joined forces with 1-800-PetMeds! 1-800-PetMeds has agreed to donate 10% of your purchases to Agape! The next time you need animal supplies and medications, please consider buying them from 1-800-PetMeds.

It's simple! Either click the link at left, visit or call 1-800-738-6337 to order. When checking out, just enter the code "agape" and 10% of your sales will automatically be donated to us!

Also, for an extra $5.00 off your next purchase, enter the code "INQ906."

Thank you for purchasing your supplies from 1-800-PetMeds and supporting Agape at the same time!!

Beau's Owner Honors Dog With Tribute to His Life, Vet and Agape

BeauJennifer Gies, a recent Nashville resident, faced one of the hardest decisions any animal owner has to make when her beloved dog Beauregard was losing his battle to lymphoma. Through the anguish and grief of ending Beau's suffering, Jennifer realized her dog deserved more than just a peaceful death in her loving arms. She wrote and printed a eulogy to Beau, entitled, "The Light of My Life Has Gone Out" (click here to read eulogy under SAD GOODBYES). Included in Beau's eulogy was Jennifer's request that friends could honor Beau's life by making a donation to Agape Animal Rescue.

Though Jennifer lost her best friend and constant companion, her tribute to Beau honors not only his life, but the extraordinary care he received from his Nashville vet, Dr. Summerfield Mobley. Her request that Beau's memory be honored by making donations to Agape means that other animals will have a chance to live the loving, joyful life that Beauregard shared with her.

Thank you, Jennifer, for thinking of Agape during your time of grief. You are a special woman, and Beau was a special friend.

(read Jennifer and Beau's entire story)

Agape Featured in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

The May 2006 issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine featured an article about Agape Animal Rescue! Please click here for a sneak peak or get a copy today for the full story!

Checks Your Way Fundraiser

Black Tie Event 2007We are now affiliated with Checks Your Way and yes, you should check this out! Checks Your Way offers great products (checks, labels, notecards) and now, with any purchase on its website, the company will contribute 10% of your purchase back to Agape Animal Rescue. It's simple! Just enter Agape's affiliate number (270169534) when you purchase any Checks Your Way product online. Help the animals and receive customized checks, labels, or notecards with your own photos ... or choose from an extensive photo gallery. How fun and how great a cause!