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Tanya Willis is the Executive Director of Agape Animal Rescue and has been tirelessly rescuing dogs since 2001. Tanya shares her passion with daughters McKenzie, Madelyn, and Marley who are currently Agape volunteers-in-training. Tanya’s passion for rescue was sparked one day by the discovery of a litter of Golden Labrador puppies abandoned in a ditch. The runt of the litter (Mack) touched Tanya’s heart so completely that he soon found his place in her home. All of his siblings found forever homes as well. Due to Mack’s influence, Tanya began working with various animal rescues in and around Nashville. In 2004, Agape was born after Tanya decided to forge ahead on her own with the knowledge she had gained as a volunteer.

As Tanya developed her leadership skills and gained valuable experience in the rescue world, Mack progressed as her loyal sidekick and spiritual inspiration for the program. The runt she had found discarded and broken in the ditch eventually grew into a healthy and vibrant 102 pound organizational mascot. Mack passed away from liver cancer in 2016 but his legacy thrives on through the lives being saved at Agape Animal Rescue.

Since the spark of her passion was ignited, Tanya has adopted many other furry children. Currently living in the household alongside Tanya and human daughters are Thor, Bruce and Bella. Sir Robert the Bruce Willis (Bruce) is a Newfoundland who was posted on Craigslist before the family reached out to Agape for support. After fostering Bruce for only a few short weeks the Willis family knew he was meant to be with them forever and they made the adoption official. Princess Isabella Willis (Bella) is the most recent rescue to join the Willis family. She found herself dumped at a veterinarian’s office just 3 days before Christmas. Bella is currently a certified therapy dog serving children as they push through different obstacles in their lives.

Tanya and her family are dedicated to making a difference for the animals in our community for many years to come.

Photo by: Mandy Whitley Photography 

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