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Shelley is a “native Nashvillian” and always had dogs in her family while growing up. She found and adopted her minpin, Jake, in 2003. Jake has been an exceptional dog. He was picked up by animal control in Ohio during a brutal January winter. He was a “stray,” who was severely underweight. As he regained his health, he proved to be the most social, well-mannered dog she had known, posing the question “how did HE get there? And how many others are out there?”

The experience educated her about the needs of homeless animals and inspired her to get more involved. She started intermittently fostering dogs, but found it challenging without the support of a strong rescue. Rosie, soon joined her family in 2004 (sometimes also known as a “foster failure”), when rescued from a backyard breeder who no longer had a use for her. She realized the importance of fostering a dog to “buy time” for them until a loving family can be found. Rosie had a wonderful 14 years with Shelley before passing away in 2018.

Shelley met Agape’s founder, Tanya Willis, in 2008. After hearing Tanya share Mack’s story and her passion for rescue Shelley started volunteering with Agape as a foster parent. Over the years, Shelley’s passion for helping animals has grown. She also discovered a passion for learning about dog behavior. As time permits, she volunteers as a foster mom, adoption facilitator, and enjoys offering assistance with dog training.

Shelley graduated from Western Kentucky University and works full time as a nurse.

Karen Davidson may have said it best and I feel so blessed to have been a link in the chain for so many dogs who are now living their best life, “saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”

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