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Our Team

Volunteers

 

Karlie and Seth

Karlie DeVine

I am without a doubt, 100% a dog person. Slobber and dog fur are an important part of my everyday attire. Some of my first memories are of my family dog, Jett, a beautiful mutt my family rescued from a local shelter. From a very young age I was taught that rescuing and giving love to an animal can be one of the most rewarding and important experiences of your life. So I really don’t know why my mother was surprised when I conned her into going into that same shelter years later just to “look,” and ended up coming home with my Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix, Kona. If I’ve ever seen a princess in dog form, it’s her. Rescuing dogs has been my passion ever since, from school projects to volunteering to adopting my own dogs out of shelters… in fact I had no idea there was any other way to adopt a dog until about middle school. And really no clue mutt wasn’t a specific breed. Pure bred? What’s that?

Well, once I started to learn about breeds of dogs and their different characteristics it wasn’t long until I stumbled upon, and fell head over heels for the German Shepherd breed. Home never quite feels like home without a dog around, and so it was about 6 years ago I adopted my first German Shepherd mix Kahlua (Lulu) from a local shelter. It was all downhill (in the best way) from there. In my opinion you will be hard-pressed to find a more loyal, loving, and intelligent companion in the world, let alone breed of dog. I just wouldn’t dare say that to Princess Kona. German Shepherds hold a very special place in my heart. So when I saw a group of them at a GSSH showcase event one day, I immediately ditched my human friends for ones with more fur and tails. As soon as I looked into the organization I knew I just had to do what I could to help. I absolutely love that GSSH makes their focus all about the dogs. Everything this organization does sends the message that their dogs are the most important thing, and they will do whatever necessary to help them find loving forever homes. Once I started to volunteer I realized that GSSH isn’t just a German Shepherd rescue. German Shepherd Safe Haven is a family, mixed up with dogs and people and lots of love and support. And it’s one I am abundantly proud to be a part of.

 

Jami and Emily

Jami Foster

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a dog. As a child, our dogs slept, or were supposed to sleep, in a pretty plush doggie condo in our backyard. Although they had a nice set-up, I would sneak out and bring them into my room at night. I think that was a clear sign of my future with dogs.

Our pack currently consists of two German Shepherds and a mini pin mix. My first connection with a German Shepherd came with my sister’s dog, Sierra. You know how you can love all dogs but occasionally you encounter a dog that you just connect with on a deeper level? That was my connection with Sierra and that started my love for German Shepherds…it’s all in the eyes.

I had been looking to volunteer with animals for some time but just couldn’t find the right organization. I am so thankful I was introduced to German Shepherd Safe Haven. I respect and admire the care that goes into placing each of our dogs. I’ve found my forever home with German Shepherd Safe Haven.

 

Taryn

Taryn Johnson

From the day I was born until now, my family has always been fortunate enough to have a dog. Our dogs were never considered pets, just another family member that was a little furrier than the rest of us. Looking at dogs in this light, I developed not just an affection for them, but a connection with them. That connection is what helped me find my way towards German Shepherd Safe Haven. I started out with the belief that I could help rescue a few dogs and give them what they needed. Little did I know, they would do the same for me. I have personally witnessed German Shepherd Safe Haven build from the ground up. I am proud to be associated with an organization such as German Shepherd Safe Haven that does good not only for animals but for people by uniting families with our rescued dogs. In doing so, we not only rescue dogs but make families whole. It is amazing to see the transformation of a scared rescue dog that has been just saved from a high kill shelter, come into the rescue and evolve into a loving and trusting companion. It’s great to see the lasting relationships between the dogs and their families, as well as the families and GSSH.

 

Mo&Wrangler3 

Mo Roberts

Following an introductory phone call to Tom explaining that I’d done Collie Rescue for more years of my adult life than I cared to remember and expressing our willingness to do “emergency, short-term fostering”, Vaughan and I soon found ourselves very involved with the rescue and fostering efforts of GSSH. Yelissa was our first GSSH foster dog and we quickly discovered she had a dog aggression problem, which became totally obvious when she tried to attack a life-size dog statue in the neighbor’s yard. Fortunately, Tom was walking her when she chose to display this little idiosyncrasy, and it was quickly corrected. She went on to happily share a new forever home with another dog. From that first GSSH foster experience, Vaughan and I have gone on to several others, not all of which proved to be “emergency, short-term”, but all rewarding nevertheless. As I’d learned years ago with the Collies, fate at times decides that not all fosters are meant to move on to another loving home and we and they are what each other needed all along. Such was the case with Wrangler in which case we “flunked” fostering and he found his forever home right here with us. From years of rescue, I realize some things are simply meant to be, but Vaughan and I are happy and thankful that we can be a part of saving these precious lives and watching them go on to become permanent family members in safe and loving homes. The rewards of being such a large step along the way in their journey never fails to put smiles on our faces. We highly recommend it.

 

Bernie with Dante

Bernie Babtkis

Growing up, we lived in a very small apartment that did not permit dogs. It wasn’t until right before marriage, that some awesome dogs entered our home and my life. My first daughter took her first steps holding onto the back of Takai! Takai was the Dog! Of course, he was rewarded with Geisha! For not quite the next decade, Takai and Geisha could always be found on one of my daughters beds. When it came time to put Geisha down, my second daughter cried for almost 2 weeks. While this was a difficult and sad time period, we enjoyed reminiscing about all the wonderful times we had with our dogs, especially the times we were out hiking or camping, of course only in those areas where bears were not permitted! After being educated on the millions of dogs that are euthanized by kill shelters in the U.S. each year, we adopted our first German Shepherd, Shasta! Shasta quickly became part of our pack and took it upon himself to become the best family protector any family could ever dream of!

I am very thankful for the opportunity provided by GSSH to become one of their volunteers and to be part of the solution to the horrible problem of the Shasta’s that are put down each year. GSSH is all about serving these dogs, that have had a such a rough start in life, and matching them with the best healthy forever home family that they can. In my role at GSSH, I enjoy very much meeting new people and educating them about this serious problem, the work of GSSH and the awesome dogs the rescue has available for adoption. GSSH allows me to be myself in the process which makes this a very Fun place to volunteer! That, and meeting and working with other great GSSH volunteers, has made this a very rewarding personal experience!

 

Wilu Nassios

Photo and bio coming soon!
 

Meaghan Doering

Photo and bio coming soon!
 

Sara Miller

Photo and bio coming soon!
 

Derrek Drass

Photo and bio coming soon!