I have always loved animals. It’s tough to find a photo of me as a child without a cat, dog or bunny in the frame. In college, I proudly donned the designation of “crazy cat lady.” I adopted two tabby cats from AHS (Che and Fausto), and took in a stray cat, Madison, during law school.
In September of 2016, I adopted my first dog, Teddy, from CHDR. I met Teddy while volunteering at an adoption event and completely fell in love—both with him and with rescue! I started fostering in February 2017, and I’ve had the privilege of fostering nearly thirty dogs through CHDR since that time. I “foster failed” on my very first foster dog, Louie, officially making him a part of my pack in March 2017. (With those baby blues how could I not?!) Fostering with CHDR has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so I jumped at the chance at becoming a foster mentor and having the opportunity to help the organization in a different way.
I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and work as an attorney, primarily representing police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty. I love spending time gardening, going to the dog park with my pack, reading true crime novels and trying new restaurants.
An animal lover all her life, Brenda has been a CHDR foster since 2014 and also serves as Volunteer Coordinator and Foster Mentor. In addition to her full-time position at the Minnesota Dept. of Employment & Economic Development, she operates a horse boarding facility at her home in Hudson, co-chairs the annual Arctic Blast Terrier Trials (sanctioned by the Jack Russell Terrier Association) and is a strong advocate for Rottweilers and Pit Bulls.
I became involved with Coco's Heart Dog Rescue a couple years ago when my mother asked me to help with a transport from a reservation bringing two dogs to Coco's Heart. Upon arriving at the shelter I wasn't sure what to expect; my dog is a rescue but I had never been part of the behind the scenes. We arrived to pick up Jewels and Dax, my heart broke for them. It was in that moment I realized the true importance of rescue organizations. After that day, I followed Dax and Jewels stories. Dax needed orthopedic surgery and specialized training and went on to find a loving forever family. Jewels found an amazing foster family who planned to adopt her and gave her infinite love. Unfortunately Jewels was diagnosed with terrible disease and I realized the devastating reality that not every dog gets a happy ending but because of Coco's Heart Dog Rescue and her incredible foster family Jewels knew unconditional love, comfort and peace.
My husband and I reside in Hudson, WI and love our amazing community. You can often find us out and about with our three dogs, Blue, Nova, and Meeka!
I became involved with Coco's Heart in the beginning of 2014 fostering several dogs since. I started volunteering for office hours then worked on the administration team. I am now the Daily Operations Manager overseeing daily operations for our teams of fosters led by foster mentors and the adoptions. I process adoption applications and work with each applicant in helping them find their perfect match. I also manage and run the Coco's Heart website. In my free time, I enjoy riding my beautiful mare, Gibby, spending time with my fiance and our two CHDR alumni's, Cane (pictured here) and our spunky chihuahua puppy, Macy.
Helping dogs and having a playmate for our new puppy, Fitz, seemed like a win-win to me, so after months of begging my family for permission I became a foster for Coco's Heart in 2016. Our first foster, Quinn, was an injured young dog from a reservation that we fell in love with right away. We applied to adopt him within minutes of getting him home even though my foster mentor warned me about foster failing right away. A few months later we added another foster fail, Tony, to our family as well for a total of 3 happy little terrier mixes. I became a foster mentor in 2017 and our son welcomed his own foster fail to the family when he adopted a puppy, Jax, from a litter we fostered. My family is totally on board with fostering now and we really enjoy seeing scared dogs and puppies blossom in rescue. Now that my two sons are grown, I have time to cook treats for my foster dogs and spoil them any way possible. In return, they agree to let me dress them in sweaters and pose for a lot of photos. Seems fair to me!
Being a foster mentor has been the most enriching volunteer opportunity I have ever had. It allows me to help many more dogs that I could through fostering alone, and I have met the most amazing people through welcoming new fosters to my team. I truly enjoy helping fosters navigate the challenges and successes that come with dog rescue.
I work in local city government and live in Somerset, Wisconsin with my husband, Dan. We have ten acres and I have big plans for remodeling our home to accommodate more foster dogs someday. I love to garden, cook, read and play matchmaker with fosters on my team and dogs in need.
I joined Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue as a foster parent in February of 2011. I had “puppy fever” and was excited to welcome cute little puppies to my home. I quickly realized that fostering was so much more than puppy kisses. Fostering is exhausting and emotional yet so worth it! It’s amazing to see the transformation of each dog as they settle into a loving foster home. Over the years, I have fostered a wide variety of dogs both young and old. I must say, senior dogs are my favorite now!
One of the things I enjoy most about volunteering with the rescue is meeting other people who share my passion and love for rescue dogs. If it weren’t for Coco’s Heart, I never would have crossed paths with so many amazing, caring and compassionate people. I am grateful for the lifelong friends I’ve made through Coco’s Heart.
In 2013 I became a Foster Mentor for Coco’s Heart. Through this role, I get to help welcome new foster families to Coco’s Heart. I always look forward to sharing my experiences and supporting new families on their fostering journey.
I also hold a position as a Promotional Event Coordinator. This role gives me the opportunity to advocate for our rescue mission in a variety of ways. Anyone who knows me well knows I could talk about rescue dogs for hours on end so this role is the perfect fit!
When I’m not busy volunteering with the rescue, I enjoy spending time with my dog, Olaf, and my husband, Adam.
Melissa is currently both a foster and foster mentor for CoCo's Heart. She got started fostering after the unexpected loss of her beloved dog, Briggs, in 2014. Since fostering for CoCo's she has foster failed on 3 wonderful dogs which brings her own personal dog count to 4 and she wouldn't have it any other way. Her pack is great with the foster dogs and they play a huge role in socialization for the many puppy fosters welcomed into her home. Outside of rescue her hobbies include watching her son play hockey, spending time with her two grandkids, running and going to music concerts.
To regain my mental health, I went from full to part time at my job of 12 years and thought this would be the perfect time to start volunteering. Coco's was the best rescue to be a part of in our area and I started just transporting pooches in June 2017, but within a few days I applied to be a foster momma. With the huge support of my hubby and 8yr old son, we have had 12 fosters within 6 months. Let's just say we jumped in head first and we never looked back. Coco's is our extended family, there is always someone you can talk to and never feel lost when helping these innocent souls. At times, our son helps to choose which dog to foster and he truly is a dog whisperer - he has a way to relax the most frightened dogs.
When the time permits, I love traveling, watching scary movies, catching up with friends over happy hour and spending time with my amazing family, which also includes our 2 rescued English Bulldogs and our Uromastyx (an African lizard).
Hi I'm Rachel and I originally started fostering for CHDR to see if we were ready to take on a dog full time but I quickly fell in love with providing the stability to these dogs who have never had a home to call their own before. I became a foster mentor only 6 months after I started fostering myself. I am starting to grow an amazing team of fosters and it makes me so happy to know I have helped changed the lives of so many dogs. I love being able to give back to my community and I also think this helps to teach my kids the importance of volunteer work. I currently don't have a resident dog, but an ever revolving door of foster dogs as well as 3 cats (Luna, Prince, & Ally), 2 kids (Lyla & Klay) and my husband, Kyle. When we aren't fostering you can find us camping, at tball or karate, or out on the lake somewhere enjoying the outdoors!
Susan and Dennis
We are Susan and Dennis and have been fostering for CHDR for since late 2014. We live in Hudson with our two teenage boys, two foster failure dogs named Dean and Otis and one spoiled elder beagle named Copper. Dennis became my foster mentor assistant about a year ago and he has been a huge boon to those I mentor.
We love spending time with our boys (those with 2 and 4 legs) and getting to know our foster dogs. To us the best part of fostering is teaching a dog that someone cares for him/her, that he/she is now loved and sending her/him off to his/her new home. Dennis and I couldn't foster without the huge amount of support we get from our teenage boys. These two help with all dog related activities everyday.
A few years ago, I adopted my amazing dog and I knew I had to help change the lives of many other dogs. I started doing research where I reached out to many rescues, but Cocos Heart Dog Rescue was the only rescue I reached out to that was excited to get me on their team fast to be able to welcome more dogs into their rescue. After a few short months of welcoming the most amazing foster dogs into my home, Cocos Heart asked if I would like to be a Mentor for the Central Wisconsin area. Obviously, it was a no brainer, so here I am, Tina- Foster Mentor. I have welcomed the BEST dogs into my home, have the best people on my team, and honestly, each one of my team members and each foster dog in our care will forever hold a special place in my heart. I am so fortunate that Cocos Heart welcomed me into their family to help save more of our best friends and I would love to welcome you to my team as well! Being that I do live a little further away, I love to put on benefits in my local area to help support our rescue efforts and familiarize more people in Central Wisconsin of Cocos Heart Dog Rescue.
Fun Fact- I am a State Horseshoe Champion and one of the Best Horseshoe Pitchers in the World