Rescue Mission 'Cold Patrols' Allow for Pets

Posted at 10:12 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 23:33:30-05

A new effort to provide shelter for animals that belong to the homeless population in Nashville has begun making the rounds in the music city.

The Humane Society is teaming up with the Nashville Rescue Mission to make sure animals are safe during cold weather.  Whenever a person is picked up by the shelter’s cold patrols, their animals will be able to say on the Rover Truck, a climate controlled bus that comes stocked with food, cages and other supplies.

“The Rescue Mission takes care of the people; we're going to take care of the animals,” Humane Society Executive Director Joy Beach said.

The idea for the Humane Society’s cooperation with the Nashville Rescue Mission came from the Homeless Commission.  The program started Sunday night and will be available any night the shelter goes on cold patrols.

“Whether its profits or non-profits, everybody has to care about people,” Beach said.  “We of course care about pets.  A community is only as strong as it is to take care of its people.”

The Rover Truck has room for 30 cats and dogs.  The organization said they have an additional bus they can bring in that will double their capacity. 

Crews with the Rescue Mission said often times, the people they tried to bring into the shelter refused help because they couldn't part with their pet. They would either have to stay out in the cold or find another shelter that allowed pets. 

"About the only friend they can count on is that cat or dog that's with them, and we don't want to separate them," Eric Griendeland, Senior Director with the Rescue Mission said. 

The organization said they allow all pets of those who are brought to the Rescue Mission.  Owners do not have to provide updated immunizations for their pets.