Metro Animal Control ensures rescued pets are safe for your home

Thor (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — You’re ready to open your home and heart to a rescue friend, and News 2 wants to help.

From aggressive behavior to health concerns, how do you know the animal is safe for you and your family? Metro Animal Control takes steps to make sure that’s the case.

Tim and Marlene Blakeman adopted a pit bull mix named Thor from Animal Control three months ago. He was in bad shape.

Employees at the shelter told them he was about 40 pounds under weight and heartworm positive.

“Those are things we knew we could work on and get him back to good health,” said Marlene Blakeman.

“They explained every detail and minute of what we were going to have to go through, being a heartworm positive dog, having skin allergies,” said Tim Blakeman.

Tim and Marlene Blakeman (Photo: WKRN)

Marlene told News 2 she had no reservations about adopting Thor. He interacts well with their young grandchildren and their other, much smaller rescue dog.

“We’re taking every possible precaution that we can take to ensure that we are placing safe animals in adoption,” said Rebecca Morris with Animal Control.

She said Thor and every other animal goes through all of the processes at the shelter before they are deemed “adoptable.”

Morris said that includes a medical analysis and behavioral evaluation. It starts the minute the animal is brought to the shelter.

After a hold period of three working days, which is required by law, dogs brought in without tags or a microchip go through a more formal review, including the behavioral assessment, the final piece that helps determine if an animal will be up for adoption.

“We’re looking at the dog’s interaction with the person that’s testing them. We’re also looking at sensitivity to touch,” said Morris.

She said the assessment also tests a dog’s interaction with other dogs.

If there are signs of severe aggression, the dog could be deemed “unadoptable” and euthanized.

“It’s not a decision that we take lightly, but it is a decision that we do have to make when we are faced with an animal that is showing signs of severe aggression or has a medical condition that unfortunately we‘re not able to treat and our rescue partners are not able to treat,” explained Morris.

“When you see upwards of 40 to 60 animals coming into your shelter a day, resources are limited to the time that you have to dedicate to an animal that may have severe behavioral issues or any medical issues that we are not able to treat,” she continued.

Thor passed that test and now he’s 40 pounds heavier, healthy, and in a happy home.

“He’s been a very good fit for us,” said Marlene Blakeman.

If you are interested in adopting a pet visit Metro Animal Care and Control’s page at

Tuesday on News 2 at 6, Reporter Talia Kaplan looks into the three-working-day hold and finds out if anything can or should be done to change the law.

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