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 have always loved animals and grew up with dogs and now have cats and dogs. In 2017 after my husband and I got married we started looking at puppies and CoCo’s Heart had many things that I liked for how they do rescue. In 2016 we lost the puppy we adopted, Niko, to distemper and I was ever so cautious, even though it can be rare, when adopting as that was a very hard thing to go through. He was only 6 months old when we had to say goodbye. With the vetting that CoCo’s does and the care they put in for all dogs that come to rescue, I felt comfortable with us adopting our pup through them.
After we adopted Kyla we talked about fostering and almost a year later we finally took that step and became fosters. Wanting to help out more I decided to become a foster mentor to welcome in many more fosters so we can bring even more dogs into rescue. I guess in a way you can say we are doing this for Niko, in memory of him!
My husband and I reside in Ramsey, MN with our fur-kids. We love to spend time outside when we can. Take the pups out on walks/hikes or just take it easy.
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.
Biography to come!
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.
I started just transporting pups for Cocos 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. I also started working at one of the partnered vet clinics, another extended family - so you may see me more than you thought! :)
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, a Uromastyx (an African lizard) and a Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink (who looks like a mini dinosaur)! We have our own zoo without the foster pups! LOL
For the longest time I had wanted to join a group of people that held the same beliefs as I do. I wanted to be part of an organization that believes that every effort should be made to help as many dogs in need as possible. I searched the area and kept coming back to Coco's. After lots of family discussion and planning we decided to join as a foster in 2016. I have spent the time since joining giving love, guidance and amazing care to so many dogs in need.
I live with my husband and 3 girls and we love fostering. There is this moment when these scared, hungry, lonely dogs decide to give you their trust. You can see it in their eyes that you have changed their perspective on life. For many it may be the first time in their lives that they have felt safe and loved. That moment is the moment that makes everything worth it.
I have a weak spot for the scared ones. The ones who hide for days before even looking at you. The ones who I spend countless hours sitting on the cold, hard floor showing them that people aren't mean and scary. That first pet, first treat they take from my hand, is something I cherish. It makes it all worth it!
When I'm not fostering I enjoy spending time with family and friends doing just about anything. We have an active life with a 2nd, 5th and 6th grader. They keep us busy almost every day!
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