We are a group of like-minded individuals that have one common goal, to come together and save German Shepherd Dogs’ lives. We are an 100% all volunteer organization. Each of our volunteers gives their time, drives the miles, volunteers their time and opens their home and their hearts freely. Thank you SWB Volunteers!
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – Susan Taylor
Susan Taylor and her husband are life-long Portlanders who recently moved to the Vancouver area. Together they have operated retail stores for more than forty years. These days, Susan tries to work as little as possible in order to provide herself more time with their two furry family members: “Sage”, a bearded collie, and “Kyoshi”, a GSD. They also count a large bird as a member of the household.
They did not become parents of a GSD until they were in their 40s, but were immediately hooked! Fast-forward in time and now they have had four GSDs, two of which were/are rescues. The vetting process of rescuing through SWB was much more detailed than what they experienced through other rescue organizations according to Susan. Although both of their rescues have been challenging, they completely adore Kyoshi. His talents to date include six years of herding as well as two years of agility. Kyoshi will soon benefit from additional professional training with Huffman K9!
Not only does Susan volunteer with SWB, but also volunteers at a raw food co-op as well. Her passionate involvement with the raw food co-op resulted from her initial experience with Kyoshi. She did a lot of research on his behalf as he only weighed 36 lbs. at an early age when he was taken/rescued from a “home” in Bend.
Besides all of her volunteer work, on her own time, Susan enjoys spending time in her (art) glass studio – her other passion. Susan states “of course, German Shepherds are my main love and I am honored to be able to volunteer with this great organization.” Varied are the many ways that Susan helps at SWB: she has conducted home visits, provided transports, processed adoption applications, executed home integrations, and even fostered puppies! She always steps up for pups in need!
Thank you Susan Taylor for your generous contributions to the dogs of Shepherds Without Borders! We appreciate you!
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – Bob
Bob Garcia has been a volunteer with SWB since 2017. He and wife Linda are the proud GSD parents of Kya and Zephyr, both rescues from another organization. Although Bob lives far away in the foothills outside of Reno, Nevada, he is able to remotely provide support to SWB in several different areas. His professional background in the information technology field (where he and Linda worked and retired from the same large telecommunications company after 30-plus years each) lends itself well across several of the SWB platforms. Application processing, website management, as well as assisting in the production of the SWB e-Newsletter fall into Bob’s areas of volunteering.
Bob’s deep affection for GSDs started as a pre-teen when his parents brought home a puppy who they named “Peaches”. Although there were already five other siblings in the home, Peaches acted like and was treated as a “sister”. “We were fortunate to have Peaches in our lives until I was nearly graduated from high school”. Jump ahead many decades when Bob and Linda felt the time was right to bring home their own GSD. Without knowledge about rescue organizations, puppy “Kayla” was obtained via a reputable GSD breeder. Kayla and Bob were literally attached at the hip, although she was also very connected and protective of Linda. After more than 12 wonderful years, “Kayla’s health took a turn and before long, she was gone from our lives; we were so heart-broken”.
By that point in time, Bob and Linda’s understanding about rescue dogs and organizations was clear. It was not long before they rescued puppy “Kya”. Not too long after rescuing Kya, a request was made to temporarily foster a male GSD puppy by the name of “Zephyr”. It took less than a couple of weeks fostering Zephyr that Bob and Linda realized that Zephyr was “home”. Adoption soon followed.
Bob, Linda, Kya, and Zephyr spend a good amount of time traveling in their 5th wheel trailer. Each day with Kya and Zephyr also includes multiple-mile walks and usually some thinking games (for the dogs). Other than that, Bob spends his free time bowling in two different leagues with Linda and other friends, playing water volleyball, and of course doing volunteer work for SWB.
Thank you, Bob, for volunteering with SWB!
MARCH/APRIL VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – Leah
Leah is married, has two dogs, Fenrir (Fen), a shepherd, and Loki, a shepherd mix. Since she was young, she has had a passion and excitement for dogs. Shepherds Without Borders Rescue has been blessed with having her on our team since the fall of 2017. She follows her dreams by working for two veterinary offices and dedicates an incredible amount of time to volunteering.
At first, Leah devoted herself to our applications team, which involves processing the numerous adoption and foster applications we receive through their many stages. She also completed (and still does!) many home visits for prospective applicants. With her cup not quite full yet, she asked what else she could do. Leah has transported dogs throughout Oregon and Washington, processed volunteer applications, owner surrender applications, writes adoptaversary posts for our Friends of SWB Facebook page, and has most recently taken on the HUGE task of being the Foster Area Coordinator for the greater Portland Area.
In addition to all of that, Leah also opens her loving home to foster many dogs for us. She has provided her home to a number of beloved rescues like Lilly, Rowan, and most recently Jasmine. She works hard to integrate these dogs into a home environment, many times for the first time in the dog’s life. She works to train them, provides them structure, and teaches them good manners. From Leah, “fostering is one of the hardest, most heartbreaking things I’ve ever done, but seeing these dogs exactly where they belong makes it all worth it.” It’s absolutely difficult to say goodbye to any foster pup, no matter how long they’ve been in your home; the reward of knowing they are in a loving home, and the “pupdates” SWB gets from adoptive families is so rewarding.
Leah exhibits patience, a great deal of understanding of GSDs, and so much generosity as a volunteer. Her responsibilities are all incredibly serious and time-consuming roles; we wouldn’t be able to function as well without her.
Thank you, Leah!
FEBRUARY VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – Angela
A little over two years ago, although she was working, newly married, and attending nursing school, Angela answered a 9-1-1 plea to foster a rescued GSD. Angela and her husband took in a half-starved GSD boy and nursed him back to health. All the while, Hunter was working his way into their hearts with his crazy long pointed ears and goofy grin and soon after they adopted him. Fast-forward another year to September 2017; now, freshly finished with nursing school, Angela became an SWB Volunteer.
Angela has been a part of the rescue in many facets: public events, processing applications, home visits, public relations and serves on many, many committees (calendar, volunteer appreciation, e-newsletter, etc.). Additionally, she monitors and maintains our main rescue email; don’t let the job description fool you, this is no easy job as SWB receives a huge amount of email correspondence. It takes time, patience, a commitment to excellence, heart and professionalism, as well as knowledge of our rescue practices to accurately respond to the wide-variety of emails SWB receives daily.
Thank you, Angela, for being a part of SWB and representing the rescue so well! We appreciate you and everything you do!
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – Sam
Sam has been with Shepherds Without Borders since December of 2016 and has worn many hats during this time. He loves all things photography! He has beautifully captured the hearts and personalities of many of our rescued GSDs, completing photoshoots for approximately 40 of our rescues! Sam has mentored many new photographers, empowering each volunteer to capture the true vision of Shepherds Without Borders. In addition to photography, Sam has completed home visits as well as played a major role in creating our beautiful calendar, decal, and volunteer attire.
In his free time, he enjoys astrophotography, attending and photographing air shows as well as the various obstacle course races his wife Brandy (also a supporter/volunteer of the rescue) participates in. He loves strawberry lemonade and spending time with his family and two dogs.
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – Jessica
Jessica is also a long-time volunteer of SWB. Wearing a variety of hats during her tenure with SWB, she has worked on the applications team, home visit team, assessment team, transport team, event coordinator, fundraiser, is/has operated as a short/long term foster home and is now SWB’s Washington Area Foster Coordinator. Jessica’s “let’s do it” attitude and flexibility has been instrumental in placing several of SWB’s dogs in the Washington area creating Happy Furever connections! Jessica spends her free time running a pet business of her own, participating in the Reading with Rover program, participating in lots of dog activities while also taking care of her own family – both furry and with skin! Thank you Jessica for being a go-getter!
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – Nick
Nick is a long-time volunteer of Shepherds Without Borders Rescue and has been instrumental in the development and growth of the rescue’s technology needs, as well as volunteering in a variety of other rescue capacities. Nick and Ruthie, his wife, (also a supporter/volunteer of the rescue), live in Washington state. Nick and Ruthie pass their free time away vacationing and participating in many dog related activities and competitions. Thank you Nick for your hours of work that help keep us running smoothly.