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 in 2015 when I assisted with a transport from a reservation bringing two dogs to Coco's Heart. I continued to volunteer for Coco's Heart and followed Dax and Jewels stories closely. Dax needed orthopedic surgery and specialized training, he went on to find a loving forever family. It amazed me how much Coco's Heart did to make sure Dax received the medical care he needed, and very much deserved. Now working for CHDR, I know how much time and care goes into each dog Coco's Heart welcomes, I continue to be amazed at the dedication to quality vet care and the lengths Coco's Heart will go to give the dogs everything they need and more.
My husband and I have fostered many dogs over the last few years, having a true soft spot for the extra scared, feral and shy dogs who need a little more help socializing and trusting. We have fostered numerous litters and even adopted one of the pups, Nova who just made her self at home from the very beginning. I can say with an honest heart, fostering is not easy, but it is always worth it. Each one of our fosters we have loved as our own and watching them grow and blossom in their forever families makes it all worth it.
My husband and I reside in Hudson, WI and love our amazing community and three fur-babies; Meeka, Blue and Nova. We are excited to be welcoming our first human baby in 2019 and continue to be excited for what the future holds for us and Coco's Heart!
I adopted my little Lucy (pictured) in November of 2017 through Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue. Lucy showed me how much love rescue dogs have to give, and how important it is for rescue dogs to find their perfect forever home. After having Lucy for a couple of months, her foster mom reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in becoming a foster for Coco’s Heart myself.
I joined CHDR’s foster team in May of 2018 and I dove head first into rescue. Fostering turned into not just my passion, but almost my obsession. I’ve found that volunteering for CHDR has gotten me to challenge myself; with each dog comes a new experience, and each makes for a rewarding and happy ending when they find their forever home.
The CHDR family is one of a kind, and I’m glad to have landed in an organization so loving and supportive of one another. In addition to fostering and overseeing my foster team, I also assist with planning and coordinating events for CHDR which allows me to meet and interact with lots of different rescue dogs, their fosters, other CHDR volunteers, and our amazing supporters.
My incredibly supportive boyfriend and I live in Somerset, WI with our two rescued, fur-kids – Lucy and Mowgli.
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) , our spunky chihuahua, Macy and our boxer, Jordy.
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 first heard about Coco's Heart Dog Rescue via Facebook and starting following intently (ok, obsessively)! I was drawn in by the immense need wanted to help and give back but was just sure I could not do it at the time with working full time and being without a yard! In 2015, CHDR posted that they were opening an office they wanted to staff with volunteers, I applied immediately and began to volunteer weekly at the office helping fosters get supplies, cleaning kennels, and keeping things organized. I followed to the new office two years later! In 2016 I fell in love with a Pit Bull named Nancy that needed a new foster and I had to help, and became a foster! Turns out, I COULD foster and still work full time, I didn't need a yard, and still could provide a happy loving home! I have been fostering since! My second foster I had for a year and a half and I know she was with me that long for a reason. In a very tumultuous time in my life she brought me immeasurable joy. I think about her daily and it makes me smile! In 2019, additionally, I became a Foster Mentor Assistant, Office Filing Volunteer, Supply Volunteer, and then now a Foster Mentor! It is incredibly fulfilling to be involved in many different aspects of rescue, it also helps me understand the magnitude of the work CHDR does and the amount of loving and giving volunteers it takes to make everything run smoothly! Rescue does not happen without our dedicated and determined volunteer/foster base! I work full time as a Data Analyst for a large healthcare company. My husband and I live in Woodbury, MN with our three feline furkids (Hennessy, Bacardi, and Doodle). We don't have a resident dog of our own (maybe one day), but enjoying helping puppers on their journey to a happy furever home! Outside of working or helping with CHDR I enjoy reading, puzzles, boxing, sushi, true crime podcasts, naps, helping my husband with his classroom and getting kitty cuddles!
Bio to come!
I’ve been involved with CHDR since 2015 when my husband Matt and I adopted our dog Ramona after meeting her at an adoption event. In 2017 I finally convinced my husband to let us start fostering, and we both fell in love with the idea of helping dogs find their forever homes. After the positive experience we had fostering with CHDR, I decided that I wanted to get more involved with the rescue by volunteering to help organize fundraising and adoption events while serving on the event committee. Then in 2019 I became a foster mentor and have been working hard to be a welcoming and supportive mentor for my team. I am so happy to be a part of such a wonderful organization who truly cares about the dogs we bring in and works so tirelessly to find forever homes for them.
Matt and I live in Minnesota with Ramona and our two cats, Dexter and Lola. In my spare time, I love spending time outdoors and working on new projects around the house. I also love training with my dog - Ramona has her Advanced Trick Title though AKC Canine Partners and is currently learning Scent Work. In the summer, you will likely find us at dog-friendly breweries around the twin cities!
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 have always loved animals, especially dogs! I first became involved in Cocos Heart Dog Rescue in 2017. I already had 3 dogs and felt like my dogs were perfect to welcome in other dogs and teach them what the good life is all about!
After our first foster dog, we fell in love with fostering and loved watching how much of a difference we made in one dog’s life. We also saw the joy of the new family adding a new family member to their home. We quickly got another foster and foster failed! Fostering is an amazing experience. Every time I foster, I learn something new about myself, my resident dogs, and my family. I learn that every dog comes from something different and they all are looking for someone to love them, just as much as they love humans. I love that Cocos Heart rescues dogs of all backgrounds and is so supportive to their fosters.
My husband and I currently live in Maple Grove with our 4 dogs. We love to be outside, no matter what the temperature. Our favorite thing to do is be at the lake with all 4 of the dogs! I am so happy to be apart of Cocos Hearts foster mentor team and help others become foster parents.
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.
In 2014, I adopted my first pup from a local humane society. Not only did I change his life, but he changed mine. If this dog could help me battle depression and anxiety, I knew that other dogs could help others who also battle personal struggles. 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. My boyfriend (now husband) was not onboard at the time I wanted to start fostering, but I signed us up anyhow and needless to say, our first foster was one of his favorites. After a few short months of welcoming the dogs into my home, Cocos Heart asked if I would like to be a Mentor for the Central Wisconsin area. I have welcomed easy dogs, hyper dogs, quiet dogs and challenging dogs. Each dog is perfect in their own special way. Each foster has not only changed my life but their new family’s life. I am a firm believer that there is a family for every dog.
After fostering for a few years, I decided it was time to add to my “wolf pack”. Cocos works with a rescue in Louisiana and I saw this scruffy little pup who had been hit by a car that Save-An-Angel rescued from a local pound. She was the “dogter” I never knew I needed. She is the happiest, sweetest, most social dog you could possibly meet. She loves everyone and everything.
I am so fortunate that Cocos Heart welcomed me into their family to help save more of our best friends. Its amazing the bond you form with the foster team and the families that adopt. I urge anyone and everyone who can foster to give it a try. So many dogs need us. If you can’t foster, there is always a need for volunteers at events, transportation and much, much more.