By Adam Vaughn
“We decided that he needed to be cared for,” said Bailey Basham, a sophomore at TNU and one of the girls who found and cared for the dog.
Basham and Morgan McCranie, an RA in Tennessee Hall, found the Labrador mix on Sept. 14. They gave him a bath and fed him peanut butter sandwiches. The following day the girls took Nelson to the vet to see if he had a GPS chip. He had none.
With no way to find the original owners of the dog, and having nowhere to keep him, Basham and McCranie began looking for a home for him. After contacting several local shelters they were told it would be weeks before they had space for another dog. A friend of a TNU volleyball player is now the proud owner of Nelson.
Nelson first showed up at the volleyball court while they were playing, McCranie said. He followed them to Tennessee Hall after the game.
“This is also the third dog this weekend,” said McCranie, noting the frequency of strays wandering on campus.
Nelson inspired the girls to begin to dream of ways that maybe Trevecca students could help temporarily care for stray dogs in the neighborhood. Their plan, “Project Nelson” involves researching possibilities of partnering with the urban farm on campus to provide what they’re calling a half-way home.
“This has become a problem,” McCranie said concerning the absence of temporary housing for the homeless dogs.
According to the TNU Residence Life Policies, fish are the only pets that can be kept on campus.
The girls say they would be willing to raise money to finance a place for strays to temporarily stay until a home can be found for them.
Basham said a lot of good could be done by students volunteering at local animal shelters.
“And that’s what we want to do: good.”