This is really Anne's story. Or Tiger's story.
And their story is Red Fern's story.
Once in a lifetime, a dog comes along and changes your life forever.
The truth is that every animal who touches your life changes you.
If you are lucky, there is one who not only changes your life,
but touches your soul so deeply that something in you awakens
and makes you a better person--
a stronger person.
You realize that animals are such a part of your joy in living
that you are compelled to give in return for all that animals have given you.
And not only to give back,
but to give all that you can for as long as you can,
never looking back and never regretting it.
In his all too short life, Tiger did this for Anne.
His leaving left a hole in her that would take hundreds of animals to fill,
a hole she could have fallen into and never have returned.
Instead, the story will have a different ending.
Every animal who has been helped by Red Fern
owes thanks to a little black and tan dog
whose name was Tiger.
He's waiting for us at the bridge.
On those days when it seems as though we've been separated too long to bear,
we think of all the other animals who need help.
And we keep going.
When we buried Tiger, we wanted to mark his grave with a red fern,
from the Wilson Rawls book, WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS.
We searched for such a plant for months,
finally learning that there is no such thing.
We stopped looking and,
in Tiger's memory,
became "Red Fern."
More About Red Fern
Red Fern Animal Shelter is a primitive, outdoor, nonprofit,
no-kill shelter located in Weakley County, Tennessee.
We began as fosters for another group in 2005
and soon afterward decided to open our own shelter.
We registered our name in 2006 and incorporated in 2007.
We received our 501(c)(3) from the IRS in January of 2009.
As a limited intake shelter,
we accept only those animals for whom we can provide
adequate space, time, and financial resources.
We do not discriminate against
bully breeds or "Tennessee yard dogs."
If we have the resources available,
any dog or cat is welcome to make a home with us at Red Fern.
Red Fern is home to more than 200 dogs and cats.
Our animals receive the best care that we can afford to give them.
Our dogs and cats are vaccinated, tested, dewormed, spayed/neutered, and microchipped. They are on flea/tick/heartworm preventives.
We treat for Parvo and heartworms when needed. We have tumors removed, breaks repaired, and anything else that we can do to improve the health of our animals.
With so many animals, it is extremely rare for us to have vacancies.
When we do, those vacancies are filled first with dogs or cats
who are already on our waiting list.
We have no paid staff, and we have no full-time staff.
Every person who provides care for Red Fern's cats and dogs
does so on a voluntary basis simply because they love helping animals.
Volunteering at Red Fern is a "second job" for most of us,
but it's certainly not second place in our hearts!
Please do not ask us to do more.
If we could do more, we would do more.
Here at Red Fern, our mission is simple:
NO MORE HOMELESS ANIMALS!
Our mission is simple, but it is far from easy.
Spaying and neutering now to reduce next season's homelessness.
Sheltering homeless animals until they no longer need us.
Adopting our shelter animals to loving, committed guardians.
Educating for responsible pet guardianship
so that animals who currently have homes
never become homeless.