Lifesaving Grants Save Nashville's Homeless Animals


Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC), the city shelter for Nashville-Davidson County, has been experiencing historical lifesaving highs over the past year and more specifically over the past Summer months, which are traditionally the hardest months of the year for shelters.

While in past years, Summer lifesaving percentages have fluctuated between the high 70% to high 80%, MACC maintained a minimum of 88.6% over the season, all the way up to 96.6%.

“It is because of the incredible collaborative support facilitated by the SAFE Coalition that enables the life saving to increase across Davidson County,” said Lauren Bluestone, director of Metro Animal Care and Control. “The save rate really brings to light a community working together towards an important common goal.”

The animals and people in need didn’t slow down in these months - call volume actually increased - but lifesaving went up by having coordinated community lifesaving efforts and projects in place to provide direct support by SAFE Coalition partners to help MACC with resources to save the most at-risk animals in the community.

In the Summer months, the most at-risk pets in a shelter are kittens two months and under, simply due to lack of bandwidth for the round-the-clock care kittens need to grow, including bottle feeding. Once they are old enough to be spayed/neutered, they are highly adoptable and often the first to leave shelters.

Because this was the case at MACC, SAFE provided funding to coalition members Nashville Cat Rescue and Pet Community Center to be dedicated transfer out partners for these kittens. These partners had the capabilities to support them through this stage and then adopt them out once of age.

This, in conjunction with benefits of targeted spay/neuter efforts over the years, MACC running regular adoption promotions, and other community organizations continuing to focus on MACC to provide rescue of in need animals, allowed MACC to have a summer that was no less busy, but tremendously more successful in terms of lifesaving.

MACC monthly save rate shelter data for cats and dogs only:


SAFE Coalition is made up of 17 partner organizations that bring together animal experts who can lead in local lifesaving work, including spay and neuter, cat and dog rescue and safety net programming, among other things. The coalition funding is supported by MACC’s PIP fund (city funding) and Best Friends.

Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization focused on ending the killing of animals in America’s shelters by 2025, was asked to guide the coalition formation due to its intensive efforts and hands on experience implementing no-kill initiatives in shelters and communities across the country.

About SAFE coalition

SAFE coalition is comprised of Metro Animal Care and Control, Nashville Humane Association, Pet Community Center, Crossroads Campus, Agape Animal Rescue, Compassion in Action of Tennessee, Crossroads Campus, Dogingham Palace Rescue, Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse & Cat Sanctuary, F.L.U.F.F, Habitat for Paws, Middle Tennessee German Shepherd Rescue, Nashville PITTIE, Noah's Ark Society, Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue, Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue, and Old Friends Dog Sanctuary.

The Nashville Safe Coalition is a voluntary organization open to all animal welfare organizations providing services in Nashville and Davidson County, TN that are either a 501(c)3 nonprofit or a government-run shelter. For more information, visit


Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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