Rehoming orphans of the South

Adoption Information


Thank you for your interest in adopting a Southern ROOTS orphan!

All Southern ROOTS Rescue dogs are based in the Knoxville, Tennessee area and live in foster homes.

Many of our adopters are based in the Northeast so some of the information below obviously pertains to our long distance applicants.


 Southern ROOTS Rescue is located in Knoxville Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains! Our adopted orphans are delivered to their new families in the Northeast every weekend. We realize that some folks feel uncomfortable about adopting prior to meeting the dog.  We understand that it’s not for everyone, but we try very hard to put you at ease. We know it’s hard to see the personality of a dog in a still shot picture. We are happy to give you a better understanding of the temperament of the dog you are interested in by offering video footage. If you have children, cats, or other dogs and need us to “test” the orphan for you, we are happy to do so. Our orphans are not kept in a facility, but rather in private foster homes. This not only keeps them healthier, but also gets them used to a home environment and helps us to get to know them, making it a better experience for the adopting family. We rely on our foster homes to tell you everything about the dog, whether it is good or bad. … so if the dog is likely to eat your sofa, we will let you know! We do not want to mislead anyone into thinking that they are getting a perfect dog. Our foster homes are simply volunteers that care for and teach the orphan some basics while in their home.  Please understand that we are a rescue, not dog trainers, just good ole’ folks doing our part to help save lives. If the dog you are interested in is already trained, we will let you know, but it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to train your dog.

If you are unfamiliar with this process, we encourage you to watch the show Last Chance Highway on Animal Planet or YouTube. This is the same process and transporter that we use for placing our orphans.


 We offer a money back guarantee for the first 14 days (less the transport fee). Should the dog not work out for any reason within the first 14 days, you would simply contact us to let us know. We would then reserve a space for you to return the dog to the rescue via transport. We specify 14 days because some dogs need that long to adjust to a new home and environment. Should the dog become ill within the first 14 days, the rescue would reimburse those expenses with proof of receipt from your veterinarian. All of our orphans who are adopted to families in the Northeast are required to have a physical exam and receive a health certificate prior to departure. We take all appropriate measures to insure the health of our dogs and follow all USDA requirements, but vaccines are not 100% protection, and transport can sometimes be stressful on a dog, Though we rarely have health related problems, because these are living creatures there is always a possibility, and for that reason, we offer this guarantee as a comfort to our adopters.

Your contract obligates you to return the dog to us if you EVER decided you didn’t want the dog or could no longer care for the dog – even if it’s 5 years from now.  We are very careful to place our orphans in the right home and work very hard to ensure it’s the right fit for the adopting family, but most importantly, for the dog.  Should you ever need to surrender your dog back to the rescue, we would just ask that you email us so that we can place the dog back on availability and get it re-homed as quickly as we can. If it is not possible for you to keep the dog while we try to rehome it, you would simply let us know so that we could reserve a space on transport and have it returned to the rescue in Tennessee. This is not something that happens very often, but we understand that things happen. “Free to a good home” or surrendering to a shelter usually ends up in tragedy, and most of our rescues have already lived through near death experiences. If you can’t keep the dog, for whatever reason, we make it as easy as we can to return the dog.


 YES! This is a ridiculous process and some folks may think we have way too many questions and requirements. Adopting a dog should not be this hard!  To those folks we say… Please visit your local shelter and save a dog!

We often have the unfortunate duty of disappointing an applicant when we have a more suitable home for the dog. Please do not take offense, but realize that we are doing what we feel is best for the dog. We have a lot of wonderful dogs that need homes and will be happy to help you find a more appropriate match. Some folks get their feelings hurt when they fall in love with a picture of a dog and are heartbroken when we tell them that they are just not a good candidate. We understand, but as a rescue, we have to think with our heads and not our hearts when it comes to finding the best home for a dog. Though you may not agree with our decisions, we are choosing adopters based on more than a picture. We strongly suggest not telling young children that they are getting a specific dog before you know for sure. We do not like to disappoint anyone, but especially children. Please know that just because you applied for a certain dog, it does not mean that you are going to be the chosen adopter. One dog may have 10 applications.


We are more than happy to provide personal references. We have hundreds of adopters in the Northeast that would be glad to tell you about their experience.  We also work with several rescue groups and veterinarians that are happy to speak to you.

We are also a proud network partner of the Best Friends “no more homeless pets” Network.


All of our dogs receive age appropriate vetting. They are neutered/spayed, dewormed, micro chipped, and current on heartworm and flea prevention.  All of our dogs are delivered to their adopters with medical records.  Their tax deductible adoption fee of $450 covers their basic vetting as well as a health certificate and transportation to your area. Adult dogs will receive rabies, distemper combo, and bordatella (kennel cough) vaccines. Puppies will receive a minimum of 2 distemper combo boosters, deworming, and a bordatella vaccine and will be at least 8 weeks old. These are required by the USDA certified transports for the dogs to cross state lines, however there are additional (optional) vaccines that your veterinarian may suggest such as Lyme, and canine influenza after you have received your new pet. Beyond the basics, we provide “necessary” vetting for special needs dogs such as heartworm treatment and emergency care for the ill.


$250 covers the above mentioned vetting and a rescue issued martingale collar

$200 covers health certificate (required) and USDA certified transport


Because we are not able to do a home visit in person, we ask our applicants to email us pictures or video of the home and yard.  This should give us a good idea of where the adopted dog would be spending most of its time – therefore, a picture of every room is NOT necessary, just the logical places. If you have a fenced yard, show us. If you live in a city setting with no yard, but use a park, show us. We also love to see pictures of our adopters and/or their families and pets.


 And finally, if we feel like you are the best match, we will have the foster home contact you to answer any questions you might have about the dog you are interested in adopting.  If after learning more about the pup you are interested in, you still want to move forward – the last step is a phone interview to clear up any questions we might have on your application as well as answer any questions you might still have for us.  At that point you will receive a contract and a request for payment. We ask that you return both to us as soon as possible in order for us to book your new pup’s transport and remove them from our website.


We offer PayPal as an option for those who need to use a credit card if you do not already have a PayPal account, we will gladly accept a personal check or cashier’s check. Your adoption fee is tax deductible because we are a federal 501c3 nonprofit organization. Please keep a copy of your check or PayPal transaction as your receipt for tax records.

Checks should be mailed to:

Southern ROOTS Rescue, Inc.

PO Box 24206

Knoxville, TN 37933

Fax or email signed contract:

1-866-50ROOTS (507-6687)


Senior dogs will be offered at a discounted rate to be determined based on age and health needs.

We offer a $100 discount to pairs adopted together.

We also offer a 25% discount to college students, senior citizens, and US military. (Discount does not apply to the transport portion of the fee).

We will offer special promotions through the Best Friends partnership on a regular basis.

othello arrives charlotte transport


Our dogs are brought up to their new owners weekly and our transport services are certified through the USDA.  The rescue will make your transport reservations once you are approved and the fee is included.


Pooches on the Move

Delivery locations and times vary.

Options can be discussed during the phone interview.


Depending on where you live, your state may ask that animals entering their state be quarantined prior to pick up. We are registered with the Department of Agriculture in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island and have quarantine facilities in RI, NH, and MA. If you have questions concerning quarantine we will be glad to discuss them during your phone interview.

Should you opt to have your pet sent to quarantine, we would make the reservation for you.

Massachusetts Quarantine:
Great Dog Rescue New England
34 D Holton St.
Woburn MA 01801
$100 fee.  Pick up between 12noon and 2pm on Saturdays only.

New Hampshire Quarantine:

AVC Manchester

55 Carl Drive

Manchester NH

$82.50 fee.  Dogs arrive on Saturday and must be picked up on Monday.


Rhode Island Quarantine:

Little Rhody Rescue and Quarantine Inc.

Gloucester, RI

$25 fee for Rhode Island residents.  Dogs must be picked upon Saturday.

$100 fee for Massachusetts residents.  Dogs must be picked up on Wednesday.