Author Archive

August Foster of the Month: Donna Tunis

DonnaTunisAlthough she has had a variety of animals throughout her life, Donna says “my heart and soul is with cats.”

“I love dogs, but I am just am not a dog owner. I have 4 cats of my own: Hazel Grace, Darin, Tessa and Oliver. Tessa is special needs and Oliver is semi-feral, Hazel Grace is a PawsCo alumni who has several congenital heart defects and Darin is as normal as a cat gets.”

Donna knew for a long time that she wanted to work with animals, but always had a job that prevented her from going back to school. However, after getting hurt at work she was let go. “That is when I went back to school and received my Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology in June 2014.”

“I have volunteered with a cat shelter, Angels with Paws, in Lakewood since 2006,” she says. “This is where I learned that I was capable of doing vet tech work. Now I love what I do and where I work, Spay Today, Neuter Now!”

“I am so honored to be selected for Foster of the month. I have only been a foster with PawsCo just over a year and have helped with 10 plus kitties already. I am all about rescuing and helping as many animals as possible. I look forward to keep helping such an awesome organization. “

August Volunteers of the Month: The Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is a group of extremely dedicated volunteers who allow PawsCo to help as many animals in need as possible through spay/neuter outreach, pet food drives, and adoptions.

An enormous thank you to this incredible team!


Adrienne Lanz, Associate Foster Director

Aida Aguado, Associate Marketing/Communications Director

Amanda Crocker, Associate Events Director

Amanda Dittmer, Events Director

Amanda Halliday, Associate Technology Director

Andrea Fogel, Pet Food Drive Director

Andy Frohardt, Legal Director

Ashleigh Sealing, HR Director

Brooke Bronson, Associate Events Director

Carrie Odberg, Associate Events Director

Cliff Olin, Associate Bio Director

Deanna Hurt, Photography Director

Jacquelyn Pyun, Development Director

Kaela Basse, Associate Volunteer Director

Kate Goldberg, Associate Adoption Director

Katelyn Massey, Foster Director

Katie Marshall, Partnerships Director

Katie Meyer, Volunteer Director

Kelly Reid, Associate Pet Food Drive Director

Kim Warda, Marketing/Communications Director

Lisa Frazer, Vet Care Director

Liz Fagen, Shelter Relations Director

Malissa Spero, TNR Director

Megan Davan, Associate Transport Director

Melissa Stolt, Training Director

Nick Creadon, Associate Development Director

Rachel Dembrun, Technology Director

Sarah Kubacki, Associate Vet Care Director

Sarah Rumple, Bio Director

Stephanie Davis, Associate Technology Director

Taylor Johnson, Adoption Director

Victoria Francis, Intake Director

July Volunteer of the Month: Kristina Schomer

VOMKristinaSchomer“Kristina has been a huge asset to the Vet Care Team for over a year now,” says Sarah Kubacki, PawsCo Associate Vet Care Director. “Not only does Kristina help our team communicate vetting needs to our fosters and completes a ton of data entry in a timely fashion, but she also volunteers her time at intake on a regular basis. Kristina goes over and beyond and is always willing to help other team members and take on new tasks, always with a smile. We are very fortunate to have her on our team.”

Kristina says she first got involved with PawsCo because she “wanted to find an organization to volunteer with that had a clear process and structure for how they help animals.” And she found that with PawsCo by volunteering with the Vet Team.

She enjoys getting to meet the animals and all the amazing fosters during intake, and helping guide them through the pre-adoption process.

“I’ve gotten to learn so much about animal clinical care, in addition to working with and learning about the veterinary partners across the Denver Metro area,” she says. “It has been very personally fulfilling to see the care and attention that each animal receives … and getting puppy kisses occasionally is just icing on the cake!”

July Foster of the Month: Amanda Halliday

FOMAmandaHallidayAmanda totally stepped up when Robin, a heartworm positive pup who also had to have eye surgery, needed a foster who could provide him with some extra TLC.

“She has provided everything he needs without hesitation,” says Kate Wessels, PawsCo Foster Director. “Simply put, she’s amazing and Robin wouldn’t have his second chance without her.”

Amanda, who has fostered and volunteered off and on for 10 years with various groups, says she loves fostering because “it is so rewarding to be a part of these dogs’ lives while they are transitioning into their forever homes.”

“I love being able to experience so many different personalities and it’s great for our dog too,” she says.

Amanda and her family would eventually like to adopt a 2nd dog, so fostering is also a great way to make sure they pick the perfect dog while helping to save a bunch of other dogs in the process!

“It is definitely hard to see each one leave, but I know I can save so many more by fostering than trying to keep them all,” she says.

Amanda, who is also on the photography team and about to start helping with Salesforce, says she couldn’t be happier to be a part of PawsCo. “I’ve volunteered with a lot of groups and this is by far the most supportive group I’ve ever been a part of,” she says.

June Foster of the Month: Katie Dahm

KatieDahmAfter moving to Denver from Chicago (where she was also involved with dog rescues and fostering), Katie wanted to continue her work with animals. “PawsCo was recommended to me as a great organization so I knew I had to get involved,” she says.

Katie has been an awesome foster mom to Monty since early May and says “he has brought so much joy to our lives.”

“I started fostering after losing my 13-year-old rescue dog to cancer last year,” Katie says. “It is such a rewarding process to take these pups into our home who have been rescued from all sorts of situations and provide them with unconditional love and support. I am fortunate to have found PawsCo and look forward to having many more future fosters.”

Thanks for all of your hard work and love, Katie!

May Foster of the Month: Marsha Marrier

Marsha Marrier FOM May“The love and dedication that Marsha shows her fosters is above and beyond what we expect and hope for in a foster parent,” said PawsCo Foster Team Lead Adrienne Lanz.

Even though her first fostering experience ended with adopting a puppy, Marsha knew she still had plenty of room in her home and heart to continue to foster. “Many fosters will take a break from fostering after they adopt, but not Marsha! She jumped right back in and welcomed an entire family of kittens in need (and mom, too!) into her home,” said Lanz.

Marsha, who has been fostering dogs and cats for the past few years, says animals are her passion. “I found I have plenty of room and time to help give a life a second chance,” she says.

Fostering and volunteering with PawsCo even helped Marsha make an exciting career change! “I have received so much personal fulfillment and growth from my foster and general volunteer experiences, that when I left my corporate job last winter, I decided to completely change my career path,” she says.

Marsha is now in school to receive her canine behavioral training certification and hopes her new skills will allow her to help PawsCo even further!

PawsCo is so lucky to have such a dedicated foster and volunteer, thanks Marsha!

May Volunteer of the Month: Jacque Eischens

Jacque VOM MayJacque is one of PawsCo’s awesome remote volunteers, and she helps with the important and loving task of handwriting thank-you letters.

“I love being a part of PawsCo as a long-distance volunteer,” she says. “Volunteering with PawsCo means I can help save animals’ lives despite having few free daytime hours.”

Thanks so much for helping PawsCo, Jacque!

April Volunteer of the Month: Kathryn Whartenby

KathrynPawsCo can always count on Kathryn to offer help ­– and she even does it with a smile on her face!

“She is always one of the first to raise her hand and say ‘I can do it’,” says PawsCo Events Director Jessica Missun. “Her spirit is contagious and her passion for saving animals is infectious.”

Thanks for all you do Kathryn!

April Foster of the Month: Megan Davan

MeganMegan, PawsCo’s associate transport director, is an amazing and dedicated foster that remains calm and understanding even in the most challenging situations. She is committed to getting each and every animal the help they need to be happy and healthy in their future forever home.

“We’re in awe of all she does for the animals in her care,” says PawsCo Foster Director Kate Wessels.

For Megan, fostering means falling in love with every animal. And although she eventually has to let each one go, every foster has a special place in her heart.

“I hear people say how lucky each pup was to have me, and I feel it is the other way around,” she says. “Each animal I have fostered has impacted me in a profound and amazing way.”

Some of Megan’s happiest moments are getting updates on how well her fosters are doing and seeing them again with their forever families. “Fostering is the most rewarding thing I think I have ever done,” she says.

And Megan hasn’t just made four-legged friends through PawsCo, she says being a volunteer has helped her meet life-long human friends too.  “I love working side-by-side with amazing people who share similar interests,” she says.

For Megan, being a PawsCo volunteer is a fun and fulfilling way “to impact the lives of dogs, cats and those adopting them.”

On behalf of PawsCo and all of the animals you have helped, thank you Megan for all of your hard work and commitment! We are so lucky to have you on our team.

March Volunteer of the Month: Amy Crawford

AmyCrawfordBy: Victoria Francis

A freedom ride is a life changing event in the life of a rescue animal, and Amy Crawford is always there to greet the newest PawsCo member with love and the reassuring words: “You are free, nobody will ever hurt you again, and you are going to be loved the rest of your life.” During her time as a PawsCo volunteer Amy has been part of the Transport Team helping with everything from shelter pickups to vet appointments, “Amy is such an outstanding member of the Transport Team and always willing to help an animal in need,” said Katelyn Massey, transport director.

For Amy, rescuing animals is an opportunity to fall in love, “I can’t help but fall in love with every single dog I have spent time with, even if it’s just for a few short hours,” Amy said. When she’s not loving newly rescued pups, Amy is giving love to her children—canine and human alike—at home, “I’m so grateful for my two boys who have always had a deep compassion for animals,” Amy said. “I hope that my passion to help dogs is surpassed only by my ability to help shut down puppy mills, give as many dogs as possible their freedom rides, and to help out the amazing fosters that are the true heroes along with the rest of the PawsCo staff.”

PawsCo is proud to have such amazing volunteers like Amy who are dedicated to saving lives, “[Amy] often volunteers multiple times per month—at least once per week—which makes her a truly invaluable part of the team!” said Katelyn. “We are so lucky to have a volunteer like Amy.”

March Foster of the Month: Kristen Hensel

KristenHenselBy: Victoria Francis

For PawsCo Foster of the Month, Kristen Hensel, fostering is an opportunity to give love and get love, “Dogs are the most amazing things on the planet and they so often deserve so much more than what they get from people,” Kristen said. “I am so grateful to have found PawsCo and to be a part of something wonderful and to do whatever I can to make dogs as happy as they make me.”

The PawsCo Foster Team has been blown away by Kristen’s dedication, especially when it came to ensuring the safety and comfort of her first foster dog, Pepper, a 3-year-old Border Collie Mix. “Knowing that Pepper has a happy life now is the best part of all,” Kristen said.

For many volunteers like Kristen, fostering is the perfect way to help save lives and make a difference, “I wanted to foster because even though I’m not in a position to get another dog full time right now, I can at least hopefully make a difference for dogs while we try to find them their forever homes,” Kristin said. “I wish that I could save all the dogs, but it makes me happy to know that I might even make one dog’s life happier for one day.”

February Volunteer of the Month: Donna Tunis

DonnaTunisDonna is an amazing, always helpful member of the vet team, plus she assists with TNR and is a rock-star kitty foster! This lady truly does it all, and she does it with love.

The vet team says Donna’s calm and relaxed demeanor helps intake (which can be fairly chaotic) go more smoothly. And she’ll often give fosters a loving smooch after their vaccinations – what a sweetheart!

Donna loves all animals, but she says her “heart and soul is with cats.” In less than a year, Donna has already fostered 10 kitties through PawsCo! Plus, she volunteers at a cat shelter in Lakewood and she has four cats at home, including one with special needs.

Donna knew for a long time that she wanted to work with animals, but it wasn’t until getting let go from work after an injury that she decided to go back to school for an associate degree in veterinary technology. Now as a vet tech she loves what she does and where she works!

“I am all about rescuing and helping as many animals as possible,” Donna says. “I look forward to continue helping such an awesome organization.”

February Foster of the Month: Odie Anaya

Feb16-FOM-OdieAnayaFebruary’s Foster of the Month is dedicated to PawsCo’s feline friends, fostering some of the rescue’s more challenging cat cases.

Odie Anaya started fostering cats and kittens for PawsCo in March 2015, according to Kate Wessels, PawsCo volunteer coordinator.

“We’re pretty proud to have her as a dedicated foster for some of our tougher kitty cases,” Wessels said.

Anaya is currently fostering Fetch, one of PawsCo’s long-timers. “Fetch is pretty shy and has come a long way due to Odie’s patient cuddle sessions,” Wessels said.

Calling Anaya a “go-to foster,” PawsCo TNR Director Malissa MurphSpero said that Anaya is so dedicated to felines that she has two cat tattoos. “She is a cat lady through and through,” she said.