FAQs

We receive hundreds of emails a week and almost all consist of the same general questions. This page will be updated regularly, so if your question is not addressed here, you will be doing us a great service by asking!




Frequently Asked Questions


Is -insert pet name- available?

We have gotten this question in regards to animals listed as “adoptable,” animals listed as “adopted,” and animals that we have never heard of (likely another animal on Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet that was mistaken as being one of ours). If the animal is listed as adoptable on our website, he or she is indeed available. We keep the website up to date.

However, by asking this question, many people miss their opportunity to even apply for the pet. While you await the answer, someone who followed the correct steps and applied will be reviewed, approved, and offered an opportunity to meet him/her. The common concern with this is people do not want to “waste their time” applying for a pet only to not adopt him/her—unfortunately, that is simply a risk of this process that one must be willing to take. Especially in the case of puppies, so many applications are received that rejections are inevitable. Anyone who sends in an application for a pet will be notified of his/her application status as soon as possible.

What is your phone number?

We do not communicate by phone with potential adopters until the application process has begun. This rescue has no staff. You are only working with volunteers who have day jobs, families, personal lives, and animals (their own as well as fosters) to take care of every single day. Email is a wonderful invention because it allows us to communicate with people at any odd hour we might have available…typically, that is at night after we have exhausted ourselves with other duties. Post adoption, we welcome phone inquiries, but please be aware that responses by phone will be extremely lagging in comparison to email.

Do you adopt out of state?

Yes. Please submit an application for the animal and include any supplementary information you would like about yourself and the home you would provide in the same initial email. The more you are able to paint a picture for us, the better, as it is always difficult to send our beloved family members a great distance away.

Why is your adoption fee so high? This is ridiculous; I’d rather give my money to a breeder!

It is odd that people are more pained in giving their money to shelters and rescues, who use the money to help animals in need, than they are to breeders, who use the money for whatever they would like; maybe the dogs, maybe a trip to Disneyworld. The assumption that rescue is a profitable business could not be further from the truth.

If a rescue group takes in a healthy pet that costs a minimal amount to make ready for adoption (neutering/spaying, grooming, vaccinations, microchip, monthly preventatives), the “profit” from that animal is applied to the vetting costs of the many others who are not as fortunate.

We work with traumatized animals, treat illnesses and injuries—providing care that the original owners either refused to provide or could not afford. Rescuers do whatever is necessary and it can often take several months to return the animal to good health, physically and/or mentally. It is not unusual for the costs of this care to run from $450-$1000 per dog. For every puppy that 10 people are clamoring for, there is an old or fearful dog that no one has applied for as months or even years pass; he is welcome and loved, but costs money in food, vetting, and supplies that far exceed any reasonable adoption fee.

We foster these animals in our homes, making them part of the family while providing the aforementioned care and training. We spend hours on the computer each day–communicating with shelter workers, coordinating transports, guiding new foster parents or volunteers, responding to adoption inquiries, arranging help for animals in distress.

If you have a problem with the cost to adopt from us, please go to your local shelter. The pets at the shelter likely need your help much more than our pets do and are at risk of euthanasia. They have a lower adoption fee because the facilities are funded by the government and they often, at least in Tennessee, provide no veterinary care to the animals.

We are also not against certified, respectable breeders. There are some out there who treat their breeding dogs like pets, keep them in the home environment, breed them only the appropriate number of times throughout their life, and do not abandon them when they are old and unable to earn cash. Further, they make some attempt to send their animals to responsible purchasers only.

The choice is yours—all we ask is that you make your choice an educated one.

Can I have a discount?

No

I would like to adopt -insert pet's name- and -insert pet’s name-. Will you cut me a deal since I am taking two animals?

No. We are not against people adopting two pets at once from us (and sometimes they wish to do this because the animals are bonded), but their adoption fees are what they are.

I have sent in my application. How long will it take you to get back to me? I need to know because I applied with other rescues as well!

We have been told by many that we are the fastest responders they have ever worked with in pet adoption. If a completed application is received, it is usually acknowledged within 48 hours. Depending on the number of applications for the pet in question, it can take up to a week to receive a letter of approval or rejection.

We only have one volunteer that maintains the email account on a regular basis and said individual also has a full time job, personal life, and other duties in the rescue to keep up with. If you do not hear back within the aforementioned time frames, it is likely that 1) you did not fill out the application completely, 2) your application was not received, 3) your email address does not accept emails from us (you should check your junk folder and put “info@freetownsanctuary.com” on your contacts list), or 4) it is an unusually hectic time and we need further prompting in order to get back to you. If you think any of those possibilities apply to you after a business week has passed, please feel free to write again and express your concerns.

Was your letter of approval for -insert pet name- exclusively sent to me?

No, the letter of approval can be sent to any number of people for a particular pet. We are not in this line of work to cause more suffering, I assure you, but disappointment does happen. There are often multiple excellent potential homes for an animal and there is no need to choose only one to approve. Often this means that the animal goes to his/her new home faster and space is made available for those in need sooner.

If approved, you will be written and given the opportunity to make an appointment to meet your potential new family member. Sometimes appointments are cancelled, the appointment does not turn out to be a successful adoption, etc. The first ones to follow through with the visit and appear to be a good match will take the pet home.

Why was I rejected?

It could be any number of reasons or no reason at all other than there was a better fit for the animal available. If you know in your heart that you are an honest, good potential home for a pet and were not chosen, just know that we likely agree and meant the rejection as no slight against you. There are often too many good homes after one particular pet.

Can I return my new pet if it is not working out?

Yes—we require that you return the animal to us rather than giving him/her away, dropping him/her off at a shelter, etc.

We take pets back for any reason and there is no animosity or judgment on our part if it comes to this. We would much rather someone return the pet to us than continue letting the animal develop poor behavior. We just hope that most families that we choose to adopt a pet to will have the experience and dedication to put in a sincere effort to make the adoption work before they throw in the towel.

Can I get a refund or a different pet in exchange for my returned pet?

Our refund policy is covered in our contract.

No, you cannot get a different pet from us in exchange for your returned pet.

Is there anything I can do to help?

Yes!

Collect tax-deductible donations at your school, your children’s school, your work, your church. Examples: Used or new blankets/towels/linens, canned dog or cat food, dog or cat toys, paper towels, puppy pads, dog treats, chew bones, cat litter, straw, hay

Transport dogs/cats to/from the vet

For the saintly and almost non-existent category of volunteers, ALL of these animals need to be cleaned up after.

Off Site:

Opportunities to help us off-site are only limited by one’s own creativity, not by the ideas listed here or on our application. Our Facebook, Petfinder, and AdoptaPet pages need to be shared with as many people all over the country as possible. Fundraisers must be conceptualized and organized. Adoption days at various businesses in the greater Nashville area must be arranged, organized, and worked (the more hands to hold leashes and/or hand out flyers, the better.) We also need help checking references (AKA making phone calls to veterinarians and character references) and doing home visits (which would be limited to an area convenient for you). You might be out of state, but willing to do pet transportation: people often are willing to bring an animal part of the way from a kill shelter to another volunteer, to us, or directly to the new home. The distance you travel will be designated by you (usually at least an hour to be of significant assistance). Also, last but not least, foster homes are always needed.