Meet Our Volunteers

JORY GRAY

JORY GRAY

How did you find ARR?  I found ARR through my mom, Kelly. We began fostering to socialize my dog, Onyx. We only had one foster dog before we started fostering for ARR. As time went on, we became more involved in the rescue. My mom moved her way up the ladder of jobs for ARR. Fortunately, I was able to enjoy all the same experiences as her and I was offered unique opportunities that no other person my age has.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?  It’s hard to say what I enjoy most about volunteering for ARR. If I had to say, it would have to be the feeling I get when we get dogs out of the shelter or from a transport and into a foster home. Seeing the animals in a safe, loving environment is always great. I always enjoy bringing dogs into my home, but my family has not been able to foster lately because my own dog has had some medical problems.

How many pets do you have?  I have 5 dogs. I have two Dachshunds named Jersey and Onyx. I have a Chiweenie named Barney, and two Chihuahua Terrier mixes named Boomer and Diego.

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?  There are so many naughty deeds that my dogs have done. Onyx had a phase where he was CONSTANTLY sniffing till his nose was raw. One day he went sniffing underneath our deck. How he found his way under there, we don’t know, but he was stuck under there. We had to rip up our deck to get him out!

If you were an animal what would you be and why?  If I were to choose to be an animal, it would be an elephant. Elephants are my favorite animal because they are so smart and empathetic. They are majestic creatures and are most definitely one of a kind!

KRISTIN PARSONS

KRISTIN PARSONS

How did you find ARR?  I was introduced to ARR by a friend of mine, who was working in a different rescue with me.  She said I would love ARR, and she was right! I am so fortunate to be part of a large and amazing team! 

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR? I love that I can actually work directly with animals, through fostering and volunteering at Dr. Welsh’s clinic, as well as meeting some very amazing and inspirational people, who also are part of the ARR team. 

How many pets do you have?  We own two dogs (and just lost our third to old age and cancer recently), four cats, and a cockatiel.  At any given time, we have at least one litter of kittens, as well. 

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done? The naughtiest thing one of my animals has done is rip open a screen window on our second floor, climb out onto the roof, and jump off, waiting for my son to come home. 

If you were an animal what would you be and why? If I were an animal, I think I’d be a horse.  They are majestic and powerful, beautiful and gentle.

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SANDY STEVENS

SANDY STEVENS

How did you find ARR?  I found ARR one day, during lunch, when I was looking at Craigslist in their dog section.  They were pleading for volunteers to foster dogs that were going to be euthanized if no one stepped up to be a foster.  There was a long list of dogs shown, and it broke my heart to know they would be put down if I didn’t do something about it.  I ended up with two little dogs and they were really sweet!  I was then ‘hooked’ on being a foster!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?  Bringing these precious doggies into my home and loving and caring for them.  It has brought much joy and happiness to me and my husband – more than we could have ever imagined!!

How many pets do you have?  3.    A 14 year old male Poodle, an 8 year old male Yorkie, and an 8 year old male Chihuahua.  They were all rescues!

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?  My own dog knocked over the kitchen trash can and strewn the contents everywhere.  However, I did have a little Chi mix who chewed my chap stick, chewed my cell phone case, chewed computer cords, chewed the stuffing out of his toys, and many other things.  I guess we should have called him ‘Chewie’!!

If you were an animal what would you be and why?  I would be an Animal Rescue of the Rockies ‘rescued’ doggie!  They are treated with a lot of love and kindness – who wouldn’t want that!!

MEREDITH DELUCA

MEREDITH DELUCA

How did you find ARR?  I found ARR while I was browsing for opportunities to make me feel like a contribution to society other than being a mom full time. Although I have the amazing opportunity to stay home with my son, I felt I needed to help with animal rescue. I have been volunteering for animal rescues since I was 16.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?  I enjoy seeing the dogs we pull from the shelters get adopted out to loving homes. Everyone deserves a second chance at life, especially innocent animals.

How many pets do you have?  I have two dogs and one cat.  Blu ( American bulldog/pit mix), Robbie ( Maltese Beagle), and Daryl ( orange tabby).

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?Well, Robbie has a slight addiction to underwear. Embarrassing to say, but I know where to look if my undies go missing. Blu has a problem with eating random things. He doesn’t do it often, but when he does do it I’m usually shocked with what he eats.

If you were an animal what would you be and why?  If I were an animal I would most likely be a Bengal tiger. I love how majestic they are, along with their predatory nature. I tend to stay calm and sit back and watch until something sparks my attention. Working as a bounty hunter was perfect for me because it’s like a game of cat and mouse 🙂

LEAH HOCHSTETLER

LEAH HOCHSTETLER

How did you find ARR?  I met Caroline Davis, ARR’s Northern Colorado coordinator, at a dog park in 2011.  She had two foster dogs with her, Morgan and Jasper, who were running around with “Adopt Me” bandanas.  I had recently lost my own dog of 13 years and missed having my best friend around all the time.  After talking to her for a while I decided to foster Morgan, and my mom fostered Jasper. The rest is history 🙂

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?  I love seeing the transformation of an “unadoptable” dog into a happy, healthy companion that gets to go to a new loving forever home.  I love the relationships that I’ve formed, not just with my foster dogs, but with all the other volunteers and adopters.

How many pets do you have? I have two dogs of my own, Buddy and Bunny, a rabbit and a guinea pig.

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?  Where to begin…I have had dogs eat my bed, chew shoes, pee on the floor and then try to wipe it up by shredding a toilet paper roll – I can laugh about it now.  One day I went shopping to replace some of my destroyed shoes and left my dog in the car.  I came back to find my hazard lights on.  She had pooped in the car, steamed up the windows and turned the hazards on to warn me 🙂  It was quite a sight.

There have been many learning opportunities.   My ongoing “naughty deed” is with Bunny.  She doesn’t feel screen doors are appropriate boundaries.  She has casually walked through the screen multiple times.  After 2 years of trying different barriers she has now figured out how to open the sliding doors on her own if they aren’t locked.  She happily lets herself out to go dig in the yard and then lets herself back in to bring her muddy paws all over my carpet and furniture.  It’s totally worth it though – I love her dearly.

If you were an animal what would you be and why?  Other than being one of my spoiled dogs, I’d be an elephant.  They are extremely intelligent and amazing animals.

SANDRA GESSERT

SANDRA GESSERT

How did you find ARR?  I work at the Loveland PetSmart as a pet food representative, so I am fortunate to be able to view the dogs available for adoption.  In September of 2010, I was working my normal four hour shift when I went outside to take a look.  Animal Rescue of the Rockies had several adult dogs and some little ones as well.  In one of the pens was the cutest Cairn Terrier-mix puppy.  I fell in love with him, but couldn’t make a commitment until I was able to call my husband to make sure he was on board with adoption.  I picked him up and spent the better part of my shift carrying him in my arms.  After a couple of hours, even though he was just a little guy, my arms got tired and I put him back in the pen.  A few minutes later I saw another lady carrying him.  I was heartbroken.  After discussion with her family they decided that he didn’t have enough energy to keep up with a Chihuahua they had at home and they left him to look at other dogs.  My shift was over and I grabbed the puppy, called my husband and began filling out the adoption form.  Once we adopted “Willie,” Caroline Davis kept asking me if I would like to volunteer to help, but I just wasn’t ready to make that kind of commitment.

Nearly a year later, I received a phone call from Caroline.  She asked me if I could go to Cheyenne, WY and pick up a dog that was on the euthanasia list at the shelter and possibly keep her for a little while.  Caroline is very hard to say “no” to, so off I went to pick up Sophie.  She was the sweetest dog, and once she was in my arms, I was hooked.  Jim, my husband, (yes, he enjoys this, too) and I have had close to 30 dogs pass through our doors.  This is the most rewarding experience we have ever done, and hope to keep on saving these wonderful creatures for many years to come.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?  There so many things I enjoy, but if I were to pick just one, it would be seeing a dog that was left behind by someone that they loved, come in to our home and within such a short time form a very close bond with us.  They clearly live in the moment and whatever happened in the past is gone and they are ready for a new adventure.  I truly love seeing this miracle take place.  When I get those first kisses, it just melts my heart!

How many pets do you have?  We have two dogs and a cat.  Willie is our ARR dog, and Kizzy is a Standard Poodle that was rescued from Animal Rescue Foundation in Tulsa, OK.  Karma, our cat was left at the PetSmart store in Loveland.  Instead of letting them have the Humane Society pick her up, we decided to take her.

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?  Ahhh! Willie, he is a terrier, after all, and they do get into all kinds of trouble.  I think his crowning moment, though, was the time he ate the pockets out of my favorite robe.  For some reason he loves to tear apart facial tissues and I usually keep one in the pocket of my robe.  I left it on the bed when I went to get dressed and when I picked it up to put away, the robe looked like Swiss cheese.  He had chewed through both pockets looking for tissues.

If you were an animal what would you be and why?  I think I would like to be a whale.  Last year we went on a cruise to Alaska and had the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures.  They are never in a rush, they can eat all day long and never have to worry about dieting and they are out in the ocean enjoying the water and the sun.  I think that could be a wonderful life.

PAT WILSON

PAT WILSON

How did you find ARR?
December 2011 – I read an article in the Reporter Herald and told my husband, Bob, that I wanted to go and donate money as my Christmas gift. I ended up talking to Paula Montana and before the blink of an eye, I became a dog handler! Since then, I volunteered to help type the bios for the NoCo pets and do the pictures for the Save-A-Life Board. Bob helps me get the binders and board ready for each event, which saves me some valuable time!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?

The other volunteers! I haven’t met one I didn’t like immediately. Their dedication to ARR and that they all go above and beyond leaves me in total awe of them. I have made some new and great friends since joining ARR.  I, of course, also adore the animals, especially the dogs (dogs are my favorite people!). Volunteering for ARR has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience and I’m so happy I “found” this awesome organization in the local paper!

How many pets do you have?

Two – Shih Tzu’s – Harley (‘cuz my husband always wanted one) and his sister, Piper. They are from the same litter but he is twice her size. They never fail to bring a smile to my face and a feeling of warmth to my heart each and every single day!

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?

Oh my, Bob will probably make hamburger out of me for telling this one, but when we first got Harley and Piper, Bob had chosen Harley from the litter and I picked Piper for my mother, Irene, whom I was taking care of at the time.  Bob was as proud as any guy can be with his male dog, but for some unknown reason, Harley decided one day to jump up on our bed and wet Bob’s side!  Everyone’s a critic these days!

If you were an animal what would you be and why?

A dog – no doubt! Probably one of the ARR fostered dogs or one of my own, as they are loved and cared for so much!

GINA LORDO

GINA LORDO

How did you find ARR?

My co-worker Betsy Doucette was a volunteer for ARR and told me about you guys. She knew of my love for dogs and animals, and thought I might be interested in helping out and volunteering. She also thought because of my experience in Customer Service, I could help in certain areas with admin volunteer work.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?

Helping save innocent dogs’ lives, and fostering. It is very rewarding. I also love to see the dogs find their forever homes and loving families after some of the hardships they have been through.

How many pets do you have?

3 dogs of my own (one is an ARR foster failure- Coda- she was a La Junta dog), 1 foster pup (Axel) (who we treat and love as our own), a ferret, a Beta fighter fish and my daughter has a leopard gecko.

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?

There are quite a few. lol. One male foster dog peed on my Comcast modem on the floor while I was at work and fried the circuits inside. Another foster dog pulled my dvd’s off the shelf and chewed up several of the cases up (luckily the dvd’s were intact) while I was out. Needless to say, all my foster dogs learn how to be crate trained now.  I was naive at first, but have since learned my lesson. One of my own dogs pulled a bag of bread rolls off the counter and ate them all, and left the evidence of the empty bag on the floor.

If you were an animal what would you be and why?

Not really sure. My favorite wild animal is wolves. My favorite domesticated animal, dogs (never would have guessed right?)  Dogs have it made for the most part. Sleeping, eating, love, and playtime all sound good. I could be one of my spoiled dogs.

TANYA IKEDA

TANYA IKEDA

How did you find ARR?

My husband, Doug, and I had just moved to Colorado and were shopping at the Target next to the Loveland PetSmart.  ARR was having an adoption event that day.  Doug cannot walk by a dog without stopping and so we went over and met some of the dogs.  Caroline Davis came over, introduced herself and talked to us about fostering.  With three senior dogs, that wasn’t something we were ready for.  Doug said, “My wife’s not working and is looking for a volunteer job.”  Caroline said,  We need administrative and paperwork help,” and the rest is history.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for ARR?

Seeing an adopter’s joy at finding the right dog.  Recently we adopted out a pit mix named Nola.  When the adopter finished the paperwork and we told her she could take Nola home, she started crying.

How many pets do you have?

Three rescued dogs.  Chelsea, our black lab mix that friends in North Carolina rescued from a high kill shelter, will be 12 in April.  Ranger, our blind yellow lab mix, is 10.  We found him on PetFinders with American Lab Rescue and he came from Tennessee.  Petey, our 8 year old Border Collie mix, is an ARR dog!  He was heartworm positive when he came up from Texas a year ago this April.

What’s the naughtiest deed your pet has ever done?

Carli, our black lab who passed away last March, ate half a baked macaroni and cheese casserole!  I left it on the counter when I went to answer our front door.  I cleaned around the edges and put it in the oven anyway.

If you were an animal what would you be and why?

Would have to be a dog belonging to any ARR volunteer.  Imagine the wonderful life I would live.  Plenty of food, exercise, play time and love.  What more could you want.