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Our Founder


About Tom

My name is Tom Williamson and I am the Founder and President of German Shepherd Safe Haven. As a kid, I was raised with German Shepherd dogs so the breed was naturally my favorite and I love them. Being on my own, I have stayed true to the breed and adopted German Shepherds. Daisy was the first dog I adopted on my own many years ago though she has since passed away in December 2009. After she was gone, I realized what a big impact she made in my life and I wanted to start this rescue in her memory. I still have Bobby and he is an old boy but still loves life. I adopted Sophia over a year ago and then I adopted Rudolph early last year and that is how I got involved in the rescue world. I started volunteering with the local rescue group I had adopted Sophia from. I worked adoption events, transported and fostered dogs and really enjoyed it. Then I met Jen at one of the adoption events in LA and we became friends. A few months later, I was talking to my dog trainer friend, Wendy, on the phone and she said to me, “Tom, why don’t you start your own rescue?” And the very next day I spoke to Jen about it and we discussed it in great detail and she said to count her in. Jen and I had several meetings discussing ideas, costs and what was involved in the start-up of a rescue to see if it is something we can realistically move forward with. We decided it was what we wanted to do and are fully committed to the cause. Soon after, we had a few round table discussions with other people whose opinions we valued and we ultimately gained a lot of good information that will benefit our safe haven. After 22 years, I finally found my passion and it is to help unwanted German Shepherd dogs find a happier life and a loving home that they deserve.

Our Board Vice President

About Jen

My name is Jennifer Cheng and I am the Vice President and Volunteer of German Shepherd Safe Haven. I first learned about dog rescue when I went to an adoption event held at a local shelter. At that event, I met and fell in love with a beautiful black German Shepherd. Little did I know at that time that I would end up adopting her a couple months later and then one of her pups two months after that! Anyway, there were many rescue groups at the event and I learned more about their role in the community. Not only do they rescue dogs on their last days of life but they are also advocates and educators of adoption as well as the particular breed they focus on. One of the biggest needs of a dog rescue is finding foster homes for the rescued dogs. I’ve never had the opportunity to grow up with dogs though I’ve always been a dog lover so I thought what better way to start getting involved in a good cause than to foster a dog. I contacted a local rescue and was matched up with one of the sweetest, most gentle German Shepherd I’ve ever met. Her previous owner didn’t want her anymore because they did not want to treat her ear infections. Her infections had gotten so bad that medication was not able to clear it up. Despite being discarded like yesterday’s news and living with the painful infections, she still had the most wonderful disposition. She eventually had to have surgery to remove one of her ear canals because the infection caused irreparable damage. I took care of her before & after the surgery and helped her through the recovery process. Through it all, she remained such a loving, happy girl. She was eventually adopted by a wonderful family that loved her as much as I did. It was such a rewarding experience for me that I continued to foster for the rescue and eventually starting volunteering at their adoption events. I really enjoyed doing something positive over the weekends and meeting other people who had a mutual love of German Shepherds. Tom was one of those people – we quickly became friends, swapping dog stories and life stories and I knew he’d be a friend for life so when he brought up the idea of starting a dog rescue, I was excited. We got along well together and I had a feeling that would translate into a great business relationship because we were like-minded on many issues that a rescue would face. And honestly, up until that point, I wanted to leave my mark in the world but did not know how. It found me before I even knew where to start looking! I now know that I am on the right path and it will lead me on an amazing journey.