Agape Animal Rescue

Nashville, TN   |


Agape Animal Rescue & Training Center is dedicated to finding forever families for abandoned and displaced dogs through our signature foster and adoption program while cultivating better communities through dog training, owner education and outreach programs.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Tanya Willis

Main address

P.O. Box 292766

Nashville, TN 37229 USA

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NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Foster and Adoption Program

Agape dogs are cared for by a network of foster homes, where dedicated foster parents care for and nurture the dog until he/she can be placed in permanent homes. While Agape is financially responsible for the dogs in the program, the foster parents provide a loving home. During their time in foster care, our goal is to teach them basic obedience skills. We offer group classes to our foster families to learn basic training skills and to better understand dog behaviors and needs.Agape hosts adoption events so the public can meet available dogs. All dogs have been fully vetted including vaccinations, spay/neuter, tested for heartworms, and are current on preventative medications. To adopt one of our dogs a family must fill out an application, pass a home inspection and vet reference, and sign a contract. Each adoptive family is supplied with materials to make sure the dogs transition is stress free and a positive experience. We are proud of our 99% retention rate for Agape adoptions!

Population(s) Served

In early 2015 Agape teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society, the Enderle Family, and The Community Foundation to create Agape’s Official Puppy Program. In 2016 our friends at the Pedigree Foundation joined the puppy team by making a generous donation to the program as well! Through this program, we’re dedicated to saving pregnant dogs and orphaned puppies ages 6 months and under. These puppies come to us from Middle Tennessee area and would have otherwise been euthanized.

Population(s) Served

Agape Animal Rescue microchips all of our rescue dogs thanks to a grant from the Barbara J. Mapp Foundation. Microchipping saves lives by helping reunite dogs with their pet parents if the need ever arises. We believe microchips are an important part of our overall mission to ensure the lifelong health and safety of our rescue animals.

Population(s) Served

While much of our work deals with fostering and assisting in the adoption process, we also work to support the community itself. Financial hardships can be devastating for a family. In order to assist people who are going through these and other difficulties, we’ve established a Community Kibble Program. Our goal is to help these families keep their pets by providing them with pet food for a short period of time. Sometimes, this food can be the difference between a person keep a pet or having to give him or her away. The goal of this program is to prevent anyone from ever having to make this difficult and heartbreaking decision, and to avoid an animal entering the overwhelmed shelter system, where they are subject to extremely stressful conditions, and are at-risk of being needlessly euthanized.

Population(s) Served

Through generous funding from The Community Foundation and Barbara J. Mapp Foundation, and in partnership with the Pet Community Center, Agape works to sterilize 200 dogs annually. This helps to minimize the stray population, and decrease the number of dogs that end up in precarious situations: fending for themselves on the streets or unsuitable homes, or in the over-burdened shelter system, which at best is stressful for a dog, and at worst puts them at risk of being needlessly euthanized.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We have long and short-term goals for the organization which include saving more lives and expanding our reach in Middle Tennessee to lower the number of dogs euthanized in our communities through our foster, adoption, and training programs.

In order to achieve our goals, we are actively networking and collaborating with individuals and other organizations to accomplish great things for our pet community!

We have been fortunate to receive so much support from the community. It is because of our supporters that we are fully capable of achieving our goals.

We continue to make progress toward our organizational goals thanks to our amazing supporters in Middle TN and beyond!

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    People/families adopting animals People/families surrendering animals People looking for solutions prior to surrendering animals Foster care volunteers Event volunteers Participants in our Community Canine Coaching Program - both in person and online Participants at community education events Customers who use our Community Kibble Program Other nonprofit animal welfare partners

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We heard from our customers that pandemic puppies needed more support with socialization and behavior issues. We have added many in person and online training classes. The steep increase in housing prices and rent is leaving many people homeless or in need of support for basic pet needs in order to keep their pets. We are doubling our efforts through our Community Kibble program and have started distributing supplies at community events such as our series of educational workshops at Mill Ridge Park. We frequently heard from people who were calling to surrender their pet because of behavior issues that they could not afford dog training. We now offer scholarships to 45% of people attending our training classes and even those who are paying do so at a much discounted price.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    One great example of asking for feedback that has resulted in a change and improvement in our relationships with the people we serve is asking how we could better serve those receiving scholarships to participate in our training programs. We now offer free food and training supplies to those participating in the program and offer low cost solutions to implement our training recommendations. We are also implementing training programs exclusively for scholarship classes and for have scholarships reserved for specific dog breeds. Throughout COVID we have also asked our supporters how we can better serve them with training classes made available online and through "zoomies". We now offer a wide variety of training courses and zoom classes monthly.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We are going to begin offering incentives to encourage all participants to fill out surveys,


Agape Animal Rescue

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Agape Animal Rescue

Board of directors
as of 07/26/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Kim Smith


Term: 2020 - 2024

Board co-chair

Jason Dobbs

Jason Dobbs

Kara Allen

Lauren Dougall

Kim Smith

Katlyn Merry

Stephanie Willis

Marisa Halchak

Tracy Diffenderfer

Angelique Riordan

Katelyn Baker

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/26/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/02/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.