THE PACK 2018

 

 
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jessica Provost- Prairie Village, kansas

IG: @jess_Provost

Rescue organization: Midwest Vizsla Rescue, serving MO, KS, AR, OK, TX, KY, LA

Before I had kids, I worked as a program manager in non-profit animal sheltering. Over the years, I was proud to work as the Adoption and Foster Coordinator for the La Plata County Humane Society (Durango, CO) including disaster relief foster/rescue during the Missionary Ridge Fire, and as the Adoption Manager at Animal Haven in KC (now re-named Great Plains SPCA). I fostered for awhile after leaving work to be a stay-at-home mom, but let that connection fade over time, thinking I was too busy, or our own senior dogs weren’t a good match, etc. 

But last year, I felt the pull to do something good in my community, saw a request for help, and started fostering for Midwest Vizsla Rescue. And you know what? Forget that “too busy” or “bad match” excuse! It seems we are bombarded with so many messages that we are not good enough, but when it comes to fostering, whatever we are... that’s good enough. I love that about fostering! And last month, we had our first “foster fail” - Fern the Vizsla is ours now (I am so smitten). We also have Irwin the 15-year-old border collie/heeler mix and Turbo the border collie pup. And 3 spoiled rescue cats for Turbo to herd ;)
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ashley hart- cornelius, nc

IG: @ashleyhtri

Rescue organization: North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue Charlotte, NC

I became involved in animal rescue when a frail, sickly one pound kitten was left on my doorstep on a cold December night a few years ago. Unsure of what to do, I called my local Humane Society and was told I could drop him off, but if the kitten wasn’t adopted in 3 days, he’d likely be put down. Being uneducated about rescue at the time, I was stunned. I ended up keeping this sweet kitten, nursing him back to health and watching him begin to flourish with confidence. Now known as “Rinny”, he remains my shadow to this day and just celebrated his 4th birthday.

I want to help other animals that didn’t have the same fortune of ‘choosing the right door.’ I have since started volunteering with Catering to Cats and Dogs, Lucky Cats of Lake Norman, Tucson Ruff Runners @ Pima County Animal Shelter, and North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue. I have helped organize and participate in dog running programs and enjoy getting these animals outdoors and socialized to assist in their adoption efforts. I have learned so much about animal rescue - and about myself - throughout my volunteer time.
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drew ceccato- san diego, ca

IG: @chet_steadman1

Rescue organization: Baja Animal Sanctuary, Rosarito MEX and San Diego Humane Society, San Diego CA

I’ve been an animal lover and rescuer my entire life. My pack currently consists of 2 amazing shepherd/lab/etc. mix mutts who were adopted on opposite sides of the country but look like they could be brother and sister. My oldest is Finn adopted from Baja Animal Rescue and the younger pup is Remmy and is a straight up trail dog! She was adopted from the Huron Valley Humane Society. Currently, we are thinking of adopting an older dog since they often have a harder time with placement. Our wedding is in July and we’ve made it BYOD (bring your own dog). We have little collar bow-ties and mini veils for our four legged guests!

I volunteer extensively in the cycling community, at pet adoption events in the area, and lobby extensively for the humane treatment of animals. I wish more people would consider a rescue before opting to bring home a mill dog/cat. It breaks my heart to go to the animal shelter and see so many incredible pets in cages. They all deserve a great home.
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rachel achor- little rock, ar

IG: @rachel_achor

Rescue organization: care - central arkansas rescue for animals

I’ve been a passionate animal lover since I was a child. I remember being 4 years old and going to pick out our family dog, Fred from the local humane society. He was adorable, wild, and the most loyal and loving companion our family could’ve ever asked for. Ever since then, I’ve been a fierce advocate for animal rescue.

I have volunteered with local organizations since I was young, primarily as a foster and events volunteer. Our little family currently consists of 2 rescue pups- Olive, an incredible, funny, playful hound dog mix from C.A.R.E.; and Isaiah, a big-hearted, mild-mannered, squirrel-chasing shepherd mix from the Paws in Prison program, an organization that matches rescue dogs with prisoners in Arkansas to be trained and loved until they find their forever homes. My life has largely been shaped by the rescue dogs that I’ve been lucky enough to make part of my family, as well as those who I’ve helped find families of their own.
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jaime morgan- east coventry, pa

IG: @jaimemorgue AND @misfit.manor

Rescue organization: Misfit Manor, PA

I’ve been involved in animal rescue for over 12 years. I started as a foster parent for local rescues and was an intern at PSPCA for two years where I assisted with behavioral evaluations for dogs and cats entering the shelter system. I recently purchased a 3 acre ranch outside of Philadelphia (where I had lived for over 10 years) with the sole purpose of being able to help more animals.

I established a 501c3 known as Misfit Manor. We rescue, rehabilitate and rehome at-risk animals. Animals that are very special needs and considered “unadoptable” live out their lives at my ranch. In addition, my rescue also assists pet owners who are facing hardship such as homelessness, major illness or drug rehabilitation. We provide pet food, veterinary care and occasionally foster care until the families are able to get back on their feet. We also established a pet food pantry in Philadelphia specifically for pet owners facing homelessness. Animals have played a major role in my life since childhood and animal rescue is just something that feels natural to me.
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sam crawford- athens, ga

IG: @sam_m_crawford

Rescue organization:Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter Gainesville, GA

Growing up wanting to be a veterinarian, I somehow persuaded my family into letting me rescue and rehabilitate many different animals. I have helped in the rehab of many deer, squirrels, and turtles who have since been let back out into the wild. One of my favorite rescue stories is of my horse, Chica, a 20 year old quarter horse mare. She was the first horse I trained by myself and was the beginning of my love for large animal medicine.

During my time as an undergrad, I volunteered at a local shelter in Tifton, GA walking dogs. Once I was accepted into veterinary school, my volunteer hours declined but I’ve been able to spay and neuter at the Northeast GA Animal Shelter.
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lauren hirata - Brooklyn, ny

IG: @laurenhirata

Rescue organization:Foster Dogs Inc.

I was born into a dog-loving household. There has never not been a dog in the house, and I was lucky enough to have found a special dog of my own. Because of her, I have become passionate about finding forever homes for other rescue dogs, and giving as many animals as possible the life and love they deserve. As Lily Bean grew older and her health worsened, I am so grateful for the support and love my foster / rescue community has provided. In turn, I want to continue helping dogs find their forever humans, supporting those who have rescue pets, and spreading the message about animal adoption.

I’m on the steering committee of an organization called Foster Dogs, Inc. I help dogs in need find foster and forever homes through our website, events, and social media.
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ryan khavari - los angeles, ca

IG: @rye2k

Rescue organization: Los Angeles Animal Services

There are two things that I devote my spare time to: cycling and advocating for the wellness and rescue of dogs. 

Stella was a 1 year old street puppy from Stockton CA. Rescued with a group of six other dogs, she sealed her fate in lore as part of the “Stockton 7”. She found her forever-home with us 8 years ago, where I gave all my attention to training and exercise with positive reinforcement and patience. She changed my life. I became a dog walker/trainer, briefly ran an organic dog biscuit company, and now, Stella is a beautiful senior dog, (sleeping right now at my feet as I write this!)

When I was in SF I was an advocate for Family Dog Rescue, and a lead member of my neighborhood organization Dolores Park Dogs.
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tracey schrader - mckinney, tx

IG: @pointer_girl

Rescue organization:Texas GSP Rescue

Oliver is our first rescue & I cannot imagine life without him. He has a brightness, spirit, happiness and love that is infectiously contagious! He’s always happy and ready to go for anything. Adopting him led me to begin volunteering for a rescue, then in May I became the DFW Area Coordinator for Texas GSP Rescue. I love it and cherish the dogs and people I meet along the way. I now get to see, help and heal these dogs..and help pair them with their most perfect families.
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jean-brice duhamel - tampa, fl

IG: @jeanbriceduhamel

Rescue organization:Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Since I was young my father, a veterinarian sciences professor, always taught me about animals, their place in the world and the respect that they deserve. I had all sorts of animals coming and going in my life as a result of this as fosters for and rescuers of cats and kittens, rodents (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters), fish and reptiles but more recently I found myself love struck when I met my girlfriend and her puppy, Norman. He has become one of the most important beings in my life, having shown me just how much an animal can be and how much all animals matter.

I am currently a student at the university of south Florida and am pursuing a career in dentistry, my girlfriend and I spend as much off time as we can to attend dog related events and checking rescues for donation items or ways we can help our local animal rescue communities.

chris villasenor - charlotte, nc

IG: @signal_orange and @goose_the_vizsla

Rescue organization:North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue Charlotte, NC

Since moving to Charlotte and making more friends in both cycling and non-cycling communities, the presence of adopted dogs and the happy relationships they bring came so apparent. My fiance and I have three dogs: Goose the viszla, Copper a 105lb mutt, and Duncan the staffy/pit mix. My kids are grown so our three pups are our kids and do everything with us. We are vocal proponents of adoption in our social circles and want to do more.
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seth ustaitis - dracut, ma

IG: @Samuraiseth

Rescue organization: Pittie Love Rescue

My life is family (the four legged ones included) and bicycles. That is really it...simple but that is what I want. Adopting our first dogs as a couple is the reason my wife and I moved in together 17 years ago. We couldn’t have dogs in our apartments, so we found a place together that would allow them. When our dogs were young we took them mountain biking at least once a week. We have fostered more dogs over the years and we took them riding too. Being in the woods on a bike is better with a dog! Bikes bring people together and animals bring people together. My goal is to bring more cycling/animal advocates to Rescue Project in New England and, most importantly, to get some dogs out of shelters and take them to the races...they may just find a forever family.
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luke o'shea - sydney, australia

IG: @theother12hours

Rescue organization: PetRescue Australia

Luigi came into my life just over two years ago. He was only 8 weeks old and we didn’t even plan on adopting on the day. He was the smallest of the litter, but had this mischievous bounce. He eventually settled in my lap and went to sleep, that was that. Two years later and he has only had a positive impact in my life, teaching how to have unconditional love, start each day as a new day and just be happy and content. I love him and will be looking for a rescue sister for him very soon.
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dylan baas - ridgeland, ms

IG: @dbaas91

Rescue organization: Oktibbeha County Humane Society, Starkville, MS

When I was a student living alone, one of my friends suggested a trip to the local animal shelter. I was not expecting to fall in love that day, but when I saw that shaggy brown dog sitting alone in the kennel, it was love at first sight. We took her out to play and the workers told us she came in with her brother, who was adopted the day before. She wasn’t the cutest dog in the shelter, according to others. I adopted her on my birthday five years ago and she has been my constant companion ever since. She is the perfect trail dog and loves racing me on the mountain bike trails. She has made my life so much happier, and I believe I have done the same for her. I am a HUGE advocate for adopting rather than buying dogs from a breeder.
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cody stadler - charlotte, nc

IG: @codystadler

Rescue organization: Charlotte SPCA

We rescued our first dog (Rembrandt) in the fall of 2014 and saved him from being euthanized by an hour. It was an incredibly emotional experience that solidified our belief in rescuing animals. Since then we have rescued two other loving dogs and have worked with the Charlotte SPCA to help place other dogs. Team Rescue Project has been a great starting point for conversation with other like-minded individuals. Raising visibility and having a voice for those who cannot has been and will continue to be a huge part of my life.
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adrienne o'day - ypsilanti, mi

IG: @odayyodagirl

Rescue organization: Humane Society of Huron Valley ann arbor, mi

I love dogs, I had plans to become a vet until a severe cat allergy was found as a child. ha ha. I chose a career in helping people, and I always wish I could do more to help animals that need homes. I always encourage people to adopt pets - I feel quite strongly about adoption vs. any other method of obtaining a pet.
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garrett george - seattle, wa

IG: @garrett.george1

Rescue organization: People United for Pets Issaquah, WA

Growing up our family dogs were rescues. My parents instilled the importance of adopting animals that previously had not been taken care of, and giving them the love and affection they deserve. My wife and I searched for the right dog to adopt and came home with Redford, our beloved Portuguese Podengo Pequeno who has brought so much join to our hearts and souls.
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barret richardson - little rock, ar

IG: @barret_claude

Rescue organization: mak gsp rescue (mo, ar, ks)

I’ve always felt an instant connection with Pointers and other breeds of hunting dogs. The more researched into buying a GSP from a breeder, the more I discovered the need for “rejects” to be adopted. It broke my heart to see these awesome purpose bred dogs being treated like a malfunctioning hunting tool and abandoned when standards were not met. Now I’m up to dog #3, Roscoe the big ole’ hunting dog who didn’t make the cut, and he continually teaches me what it means to be confident. I like to think of him as my “sprinter spirit animal” when on the bike!
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william watts - little rock, ar

IG: @iamwilliamwatts

Rescue organization: humane society of pulaski county little rock, ar

I started riding seriously and rescued my dogs around the same time in summer 2011. Both were significant in my life to help me grow, live a healthier lifestyle and find a community. My dogs have helped me to be responsible and to care more about others in need.
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gabby gomez - san antonio, tx

IG: @Gab_ay

Rescue organization: Katie's Roadside Rescue, San Antonio Tx

As a child I loved every animal I met. Whenever I’d see a lost dog I’d bring them home and feed and water them until they were picked up. I love being a part of an organization full of people who help sweet babies who have no one else.
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bill brazier - north kingstown, ri

IG: @ainakai

Rescue organization: Leonberger Rescue Pals

My wife and I have a deep love for animals. We became especially attached to a dog breed called Leonberger (Leo for short). My wife is now a representative for Leo Rescue Pals, a nation-wide organization. We have also adopted a total of 5 cats throughout the years.
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melanie oviedo - dallas, tx

IG: @Mydoodlesluv2run

Rescue organization: Cane Rosso Rescue, Dallas TX

My doodles are my kids. Everyone knows my love for my animals and running.
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andrew scott - indianapolis, in

IG: @andrewinindy

Rescue organization: every dog counts indianapolis, in

I believe we have a responsibility to give animals the best lives we can, which includes loving homes. My girlfriend was fostering a hospice dog named Levi. Levi had a rough life and was abandoned after he became a senior dog. We took care of Levi as if he was our own and we were there when it was time for Levi to cross the Rainbow Bridge. While we didn’t know Levi for very long, he quickly found his way into our hearts. We currently have six dogs that are a mix of rescues and fosters, and want to give them the good lives they deserve.

Misael Briones  - el paso, tx

IG:@mesac09 and @daisyandrogue

Rescue organization: From the heart el paso, tx

A few years ago, there was an adoption event at Pet Smart with a local organization (From the Heart). They had a blue nose pit-bull who had been homed in a small apartment and was abandoned because she was too hyper. I took her for a walk and it was love at first sight. I knew she had a lot of energy and I love trail running. We adopted Daisy that day.

A few months later, we found out there was another pittie for adoption through From the Heart. He had been abused and was so stressed and nervous. They told me he might not be good with other dogs but we took our time to separate both and socialize them. They have grown so close that they are always cuddling and together.

I like to encourage people to rescue dogs; and, to rescue dogs based on their personality and not their breed.
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holly popenuk  - portland, or

IG:@hpopenuk

Rescue organization: the pixie project

I’ve had Giggs, my 8 yr old pitbull since she was 6 weeks old. I’ve only had one dog my adulthood and she’s it. I’ve fostered a dog once through “lovers not fighters” a pitbull rescue in Portland as well, until he got adopted. Giggs is my buddy, my little best friend and because of her I’ll never own another breed again besides a pitbull. I love their demeanor, love that they are always fighting the stereotype and just ultimately love their personalities.

In the industry that I work in, I get to work along side with other shelters often. I get to see animals in their worst state and their best state. I love seeing victory stories and so to me, that’s something I want to continue to be a part of.