The Volunteers Behind Wags & Walks

This week is National Volunteer week, and Wags and Walks wouldn’t be the same without all of our volunteers. They are what help us save more dogs, take care of the ones we rescue, and help them get adopted. These are just a few of the ways we would be lost without our volunteers, and believe us, those examples only scratch the surface. Don’t take our word for it though, see what the Wags and Walks team has to say about just a few volunteers and fosters:

Christian Shenouda

If you’ve seen any of the amazing photos of our dogs, then you know why Christian is one of our most valuable volunteers. Through his great energy and amazing photography skills, he has helped so many Wags & Walks dogs find their forever homes. A picture is worth a thousand words and Christian's pictures definitely speak to adopters. They capture the heart and soul of our dogs.  Thank you, Christian, for your passion and vision.

Karen Benko

Our mission is to find the perfect home for our dogs. No one is more passionate or experienced at ensuring Wags & Walks dogs find the best adoptive homes than Karen. Karen does not stop at her interview with potential adopters. She goes above and beyond to ensure each adoptive family feels prepared to take their new dog home. From collars, harnesses, crating and even home insurance, Karen answers every question and then some. We are so grateful to Karen for her hard work and dedication.  

Erica Gatley

Erica Gately holds an extra special place in our hearts -- she is our very first volunteer! Since 2012, Erica has been a major part of our efforts to save and adopt Wags & Walks dogs. When she's not working and traveling for her “real job”, she can be found caring for her own three Wags & Walks dogs, fostering at least one at any time, leading our weekend adoption events, helping with meet and greets, and helping keep our website updated. She first came to Wags & Walks to foster an American bulldog and found herself as one of the biggest parts of our volunteer team. She is loyal, kind, dedicated, and of course is so passionate about our mission to save as many dogs in need as we can. Thank you for being the one who helped get our mission off the ground.

Kadie Bogart

We met Kadie Bogart at an event she attended to recruit more fosters for Wags & Walks. The day after July 4th, she saw a pitbull was being dumped at the shelter. The dog’s eyes were nearly swollen shut -- likely due to being near fireworks. Without hesitation, Kadie took "Pearl" in and became infamous for her “foster fail” ever since!!!  In all sincerity, Kadie has saved hundreds of pitbulls through fostering and all have found homes except Pearl and Millie. In addition to being a stellar foster, Kadie is also a psychologist. which If anyone has been involved with a rescue, this asset has helped not only our team, but many adopters and fosters struggling with the issues that arise when caring for our dogs. Kadie has never complains, is a great listener and sounding board, and of course we so appreciate her loyalty to the Wags & Walks team. Thank you, Kadie, for being the best “foster fail” and listener-in-chief!

Kelly Vaughn

Kelly Vaughn came to Wags & Walks by adopting her beautiful dog Clyne. She was so thankful for him that she asked if she could help Wags in any way. Just like that, she became our Facebook social media lead and our amazing coordinator and facilitator of litter reunions. No matter what kind of day Kelly has, including long days at the office with a toddler and a dog to care for, Kelly amazes us with her positive attitude. She always has a smile on her face and impresses us with her hip hop Karaoke skills. We are so lucky to have Kelly on our team.

Rachel Rosenbloom

The minute Rachel Rosenbloom fell head over heels for her Wags dog Winnie, she became part of the Wags & Walks team. With her strong background in social media and marketing, Rachel took over our Twitter feed and helps out with our newsletters. We love Rachel because she is so easygoing and likeable. She's a true team player, always willing to pitch in for the love of the dogs,

Wags and of course her first love Winnie!  

Lynne Heslov

Lynne brings fun and laughter to even our hardest days at the rescue.  She is one of the most beautiful women (inside and out) and she’s  not afraid to get her hands dirty.  She is dependable, trustworthy and someone we can count on for whatever we need. From countless shelter trips and saves, doggie vet trips, intake and tlc days to mentoring fosters and donating toys and blankets to all our fur babies, Lynne is an all around, one of a kind special volunteer and friend.  Her generosity is endless and her huge heart knows no limits.  Everyone at Wags and Walks adores and loves to be around her infectious passion and lightheartedness.  Like most of us, Lynne is a foster fail to our sweet senior Ralph and could not be a better mommy or Wags & Walks alumni. Thank you for everything you do, Lynne! We are lucky to have you.

Casey Boshae

There is so much to say about Casey.  After adopting her adorable pitbull Olive from us, she has been a wonderful, consistent, reliable and strategic volunteer.  Casey is a huge advocate for pitbulls as shown in her new business the Gentle Pit, and she is always there to lend a helping hand. From supporting a fundraiser, fostering dogs, helping plan volunteer appreciation events to using her creativity to build ideas to save more dogs and even visiting our dogs at the vet, we can always count on Casey. She always has a great, can do attitude and her positivity is contagious. We owe so many lives saved to Casey… and Olive!

Eric Weiss

Eric Weiss is someone to easily love!  Eric and his wife Shannon fostered a deaf pitbull named Donut for us and from there the relationship blossomed.  Eric and Shannon always go the extra mile to help Wags & Walks. They loved Donut so much they wanted to make sure she was comfortable in her forever home so they  sent her favorite toys to her! They were so committed to Wags & Walks that Eric joined the Board of Directors as our Treasurer and Shannon helps out on the grant team.  Despite their busy lives as two working parents with one human child and one fur baby, they are always there when we need them to provide sound advice to help grow the rescue and save more dogs in need. We love you, Eric and Shannon!

Leann and Scott Gibson

Leann and Scott Gibson are the “first family” of  Wags & Walks.  After adopting their stunning pitbull Cooper during the first year of Wags & Walks’ existence, they reached out for other ways to help.  Immediately, they became an integral part of Wags & Walks’ growth.  Generous with both their time and finances, they have never failed to give or help when needed.  In fact, even their company provides matching donations and opportunities to donate to Wags when Leann and Scott donate their time to volunteer.  As a recipient of our Wag-a-tarian award, they have since become a two-time Wags & Walks alumni with their newest family member. We are so lucky to have the Gibsons as part of the Wags & Walks family.

Betsy Rosenfield

Betsy Rosenfeld has been with Wags and Walks from the very first day.  Betsy has played a very special role in the rescue wearing so many lifesaving hats!  She has given so many life saving rides to so many dogs in need as well as creating as creative a task force to catch dogs in danger on the street.  She has been generous with giving of both her time and her community outreach to assist Wags and Walks connect with more animal welfare groups and individuals. Her skill sets of coaching and writing have certainly come in handy throughout the years!  

Marian Mallari

I volunteer because it gives me a sense of purpose. And I volunteer specifically with Wags because I love animals especially dogs. The great thing with working with dogs is that they truly show how appreciative they are when you just give them a little of your time and care. Their mood changes dramatically once they feel like they can trust you and I absolutely love that feeling. Some of the Wags dogs come from rough beginnings so it feels great when you see them come out of their shell and just generally want to be around people who they can trust. I've volunteered with other rescues but I feel like Wags and Walks are more organized in terms of reaching out to their volunteers and training them. It also feels like a small community, seeing everyone at adoption events or at Wags club.

A thank you from our Chief Animal Lover, Lesley Brog: