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DSC_0048(Adriana and Melissa)

Mason and pups(Mason and some of the Magic 8)

My husband and I moved to Cedar Hill, TN in 2003. Coming from metropolitan areas, Mason and I had no idea about the animal overpopulation problem in agrarian communities, particularly the one we joined. It didn’t take more than a few weeks to notice how many dogs roamed without leashes or fences. Most looked well fed, wore collars, wagged their tails, and appeared perfectly happy to be sunbathing, chasing cars, or tearing up a McDonald’s bag tossed out the window. Their biggest crime was unrestricted breeding, straight up doggie-style orgies any night of the week.

But, more and more, we noticed other dogs, scavenging alongside secluded roads, that didn’t look so happy. In fact, they were scrawny and scared and wore that unmistakable WTF expression. It was easy to conclude that these less fortunate creatures were the result of all that unfettered screwing.

Being animal lovers made witnessing the situation hard to understand, so much so that it forced my husband and I into action. For nine years we independently rescued animals, bankrolling their rehabilitation on our own dime. It finally got to the point where we realized if we kept doing it on our own, we’d go broke. In September 2013 we discovered the recently established rescue agency I Could Have Been Adopted (ICHBA). Now, we foster full-time, taking in two dogs at a time.

When these abandoned and abused animals arrive at the Farnival, our home, they are almost always skittish, confused, and hungry. Our goal is to restore their spirit and health. We aren’t experts, but we believe that love, structure, and exercise can cure all ills. And we provide an endless supply of all three here at the Farnival.

My goal is to raise awareness for the animal overpopulation epidemic in the rural south. Maybe, just maybe, next time your family decides to welcome an animal into the home, you’ll consider adopting.

I will gladly accept any advice on how to help these animals! Feel free to email me your animal stories. I can never get enough 🙂

Thanks for reading,
Melissa Armstrong

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