Rocking Volunteers

This Could Be You!


Screen shot 2015-11-07 at 10.34.11 PMI started volunteering with Rocket Dog Rescue about 5 years ago when a friend needed help transporting things to an adoption event. I had not planned to stay for the event but what I found there was truly inspirational … I was hooked!

Over the years I have gained so much by volunteering for Rocket Dog (including a few dogs !). I have been involved in the rescue of many dogs from shelters, hoarding cases and owner surrenders. Every dog I have fostered, event I have organized and fund raiser I have attended, from wee little puppies to the very elderly dog, all have touched my life in many deep ways and the feeling of making a difference is priceless.  Although this work is sometimes heartbreaking it has always been worth it and the people I have met along the way will no doubt be lifelong friends.




I started volunteering with Rocket Dog 8 years ago when I found a pitbull puppy abandoned in a box outside of a grocery store. (pictured here). I didn’t know what to do with this puppy as I couldn’t keep her but knew enough to know I didn’t want to bring her to a shelter. I contacted Pali, and to my relief- within 3 days she had an amazing foster home for the puppy… I then wanted to help and repay them for helping me .. I decided to help by volunteering…

And, here I am. It is the most amazing thing to be apart of. The work we do sometimes is so hard, and so exhausting but it is probably the most rewarding thing I could ever do. I love the feeling of going and getting a dog out of the shelter, and those first few minutes of letting them know they are safe now and just walked out of a death sentence and to a beautiful new life ahead – and then being there when that dog finds a wonderful new home and knowing you not only changed that dog’s life but you changed the person’s life. The people I volunteer with are amazing people, & I have met so many great new people. . . Here at rocket dog, we don’t judge. We will take a 17 year old dog, or a 3 year old blind dog – but also a sweet little perfect puppy – we know everyone deserves a chance. That is why I continue to volunteer day after day.


It’s been over 4 years since I started volunteering with Rocket Dog. It all started when I was looking to foster a dog. Pali came over for my home check, and of course she was late. I didn’t mind at all, we sat in my living room and just reminisced about all the amazing dogs that were part of our lives. The dog I was interested in hadn’t even made it to RD yet, but after her visit, Pali and another volunteer went to merced to pick up a handful of dogs.

The girl I was interested in was “Lola”. They were calling her a “malamute” mix, All I saw was a goofy shepherd husky missing a bunch of hair and it was love at first sight. She was the best girl ever, she only last about 3 weeks as my foster, she was too perfect to let go.

Lola was the door that opened me up to the rescue world. If it wasn’t for my commitment to foster her she wouldn’t have made it to RD, and that is why fostering is so important to me. Through her I met the rocket dog gang, and I’ve loved everyone I’ve met. Many of the Rocket Dog volunteers are my best friends and guardian angels.

It’s amazing what fostering and volunteering does to help save dogs lives, but what’s more rewarding is how it enriches our own lives. I’m a proud volunteer, pit bull owner and foster home and am so thankful to be part of such an amazing community. Today I live with two dogs-Tommy-another Rocket Dog foster failure, and Nali a crazy rescue from Norsled. Thank you Rocket Dog for everything you are…


What has been your most incredible/influential experience with an animal?

Julia“Joey, aka Joseph Heller, is my dog. He is a pomeranian mix that I adopted from a pomeranian rescuer named Jan Yale. I absolutely adore him and he is one of the most important things in my life. Some people in Rocket Dog refer to him as a devil dog because he is snappy with strangers- but he is a gentle, loving and happy dog that brings me so much joy. Adopting him inspired me to rescue others; he was going to be euthanized because his eyelid had been split open and the shelter did not want to perform the surgery to sew it back together. It was easy to fix and now he is in a forever home. I want to help other dogs have the same experience!”

Who is your most memorable Rocket Dog?

A cute foster dog“I have had over 20 foster dogs and I have loved each of them so so much. I try to keep in touch with all of their adopters and my favorite thing in the world is to get pictures of them in their new homes. Of course Billy Beane, my boyfriend’s dog, has to be the most memorable (namely because he is still with us). My boyfriend and I were both in finals and were NOT supposed to be taking a dog in, but an emergency came up and we agreed to take a 30 lb. manchester terrier mix. My boyfriend took one look at him and said, “I am adopting him!” I said, “No you’re not, I still want to foster!” We struck a deal: We would adopt Billy Beane IF we could still foster, and so he stayed with us and became part of our pack.”

Why do you donate your time to this cause?

“I donate my time to Rocket Dog because I love it! It is incredibly fulfilling to know you have helped to save a life. I often get dogs straight from the shelter—depressed, sick, fearful. I get to watch them come out of their shell, learn to trust and start to feel better. Some come to me more broken than others, but all have within them that insatiable love and loyalty which is what makes dogs so wonderful. I also love helping at adoption days, communicating with the public, educating people about adoption and rescue, and helping to find dogs their forever homes. It’s important to me that I help to give rescue a good name so that people do not turn to breeders.”

What do you do when you’re not saving dogs?

“I am a law student and will soon be a lawyer. I am fortunate that my boss loves animals just as much as I do and is involved with Rocket Dog. I will be practicing employment law, but I hope to do some pro bono work that involves animal rights.”

What do you think is cool?

“I think San Francisco is cool! I also love the Rocket Dog community- which to me is such an integral part of the San Francisco experience. What could be better than seeing an adopted Rocket dog cruising down 24th Street or running along the beach at Fort Funston? Potrero Hill, my neighborhood, is also cool! Farleys coffeehouse on 18th street is amazing- I love to sit outside with a mocha and my dogs (the dogs get treats thrown to them from the Farleys’ people). Not to mention the Potrero Hill Pet Parade on Halloween—a must do for all dog lovers.”


What has been your most incredible/influential experience with an animal?

Paul“The most incredible and influential experience I have had is with my son (dog) Joey, to experience life with him in general.  Knowing that he is there for me and knowing that I am there for him for always.  Knowing and understanding that a true bond of love, understanding, and forgiving has been created.”

Who is your most memorable Rocket Dog?

“I hate to say it but of course, my dog Joey!”

Why do you donate your time to this cause?

“I donate my time because I want others to be able to share in the joy and love that Pali and Rocket Dog has given to me.”

What do you do when you’re not saving dogs?

Foster dogs are so awesome!“For the most part I work. Rocket Dog takes up a solid amount of my time being the treasurer, not to mention owning a mortgage business, two homes, and a loving relationship. I don’t have much time, but I will tell you I get a wake up call from my dog every Saturday and Sunday morning for a run at the dog park.”

What do you think is cool?

“Giving back in any capacity.”