Our Team

Save-a-Bull Rescue is managed and operated by a team of dedicated, unpaid volunteers who care deeply about helping dogs.  Every individual brings a unique and invaluable contribution of the operation of the rescue and we would be nowhere without them!

Meet some of our exceptional volunteers now!

Executive Director

Intake Team

LORI HAMES* Executive Direcor

Lori started her rescue journey in 2010 by donating her time and talents with an all breed rescue organization. There she found her passion for the bully breeds and to focus her efforts on them she came to Save-a-Bull in 2012.After years of dedicated service as a Save-a-Bull foster home and with the adoption team, processing adoption applications to make sure that dogs and puppies were matched with great homes, Lori joined the Board of Directors to enhance the Save-a-Bull leadership structure with her experience and background.

When the leadership structure changed in late 2017, Lori stepped into her new position with the organization.    She is taking on the director role for the rescue to lead the organization with passion and commitment to our mission statement.  Lori will continue to foster hardship and medical cases and assist with transports.

Lori and her husband own a small business.  They have 5 resident dogs in their home, all rescues – 3 foster “fails.”

Email Lori

JESS FLOREK*Intake Manager

Jess was introduced to Save-a-bull rescue when adopting in 2013. After adding Georgia to her family and seeing the misconceptions she discovered the importance of advocating for the breed. She began volunteering at events and became a foster in spring of 2015. Since then she has began assisting with intake and continues to welcome fosters to her home.

Email Jess

MACKENZIE MILLER*Intake Coordinator

Mackenzie began her rescue journey in 2010 when she and her husband, Jason were wanting to add another pup into their family. Through working with an all-breed rescue, they quickly developed a love for pit bulls and wanted to do more for this wonderful and misunderstood breed.  In 2012, she joined the Save-a-Bull intake team where she helps manage owner surrenders, “match make” local shelter animals with open fosters and coordinate transports with out of state rescue partners.  As of late, she focuses more on the transport side of rescue.  Mackenzie and Jason’s family consists of 4 resident dogs and an elementary age daughter.

Email Mackenzie


Foster Team

Ian and Lorelei prove that volunteering is a family affair as they spend countless hours together in the support and management of the rescue.

LORELEI NOIRE • Foster Manager

Lorelei grew up in rural Wisconsin on a hobby farm that included many hunting dogs. These dogs were her best friends and she spent many hours playing with them. Her exposure to pit bulls was limited until she moved to the Twin Cities and met her first friendly pit bull, Peach. In 2012 her and her husband, Ian, started fostering with a Great Dane rescue and soon moved over to Save-a-Bull. Now their home is a revolving door of pit bull fosters. Lorelei especially appreciates fostering medical dogs and in her role as Foster Manager loves following fosters on the journey from intake to adoption. Together Lorelei and her husband Ian have a Great Dane/American Bulldog mix, Harley, a hairless Chinese Crested, Dragon, a bullet proof cat named Oppie and foster fail Boston Terrier, Oscar.

Email Lorelei

IAN NOIRE* • Vetting Manager

Ian is a case manager/nurse who works with homeless addicts and alcoholics. In 2012 his compassion spread to dogs when he and his wife, Lorelei, started to foster with a Great Dane rescue. Ian grew up in a Minneapolis neighborhood where he saw first-hand the abuse and injustices towards bully breeds and this caused him to become an early advocate for the breed. Ian started as a foster with Save-a-Bull and then joined the board and manages vetting.

Email Ian

JEANETTE PORTZER Foster Mentor

When Jeanette’s lab-doberman rescue passed from old age in 2015, she debated adopting again to have a companion for her pit bull/boxer rescue Rummy. After a coworker told her about Save-a-Bull, she decided she could love and help many dogs by fostering instead and took in her first pit bull foster in Jan 2016. She particularly enjoys fostering puppies, working on potty training, manners, and getting them ready to be the best dog ever in their forever home. She started mentoring new Save-a-Bull fosters in 2017 and enjoys helping others start their fostering journey with the amazing pit bull breed. After having a number of fosters, Jeanette “foster failed” and adopted Nyx, rounding out her brindle pittie pack.

Email Jeanette

CAROL NELSON Foster Mentor

Carol has been an avid dog lover for her whole life. In 2013 she toured the Animal Humane Society as part of a volunteer event for the Bow Wows network at Target Corporation. Through the tour and discussion she realized the overwhelming need places like the Animal Humane Society and Minneapolis Animal Care and Control were facing and if she wanted to do something, she had to volunteer to foster through a rescue. She promptly filled out an application to foster with Save-a-Bull and began fostering pit bulls. She has a Black Lab/Springer Spaniel mix as her resident dog and he serves as an amazing, patient foster brother. Carol is a foster mentor with Save-a-Bull who does home visits for potential fosters and guides new fosters through whatever comes up.

Email Carol

CASSANDRA RIDDLE Foster Mentor

Cassandra works with humans in her career but growing up she wanted to be a veterinarian. She has a passion for animals. She met her first pittie in 2008. When she discovered they are some of the most trainable, lovable and goofy dogs anywhere, there was no going back. She has been involved as a foster with Save A Bull since June 2014. In 2017, she became a foster mentor. This means that she helps new fosters when they come into the rescue. Whether it is answering questions, going to home visits, or just being a sounding board, she is there for our other volunteers.

Cassandra has a polydactyl cat named Sam. She is also blessed to be a foster fail. Her 10th foster was Jezebel. They bonded so well she just couldn’t let her go. Cassandra says she will always be weird, happy and a work in progress; just like her. Together, they are advocates and help people see the beauty and amount of love in these misunderstood dogs.

Email Cassie


Adoption Team

GINA BERTHUIAMEAdoption Manager

Gina’s love for animals started when she was just a little girl having grown up with dogs her entire life. Her family first adopted Sven in December 2009 and fell in love with the bully breed. They began fostering in 2010 for Save-a-Bull and Gina started working with the rescue as the Adoption Manager early 2012. They finally foster failed with their last foster Nancy in June 2012.

Email Gina

AYMI EGGERS Adoption Coordinator

Aymi started her rescue journey many years ago by donating her time and talents with both the Animal Humane Society and an all breed rescue organization. Upon adopting an overlooked pittie mix, she found her passion to advocate and educate for the bully breeds and started fostering puppies for Save-a-Bull. As a member of the Adoption team, Aymi processes adoption applications for the rescue. She additionally fosters medical cases for the rescue. Aymi has 2 resident dogs, including a foster failure; Lana and Charlie, and they enjoy spending their time attending dog friendly outings and patios around Minneapolis.

Email Aymi

KRISTIN MILLER Post-Adoption Coordinator

Kristin’s start in the rescue world began in 2012 when she began volunteering with a few of the all-breed rescues in the Twin Cities. During this time, she saw firsthand the struggles pit bull type dogs were facing in her community as well as a need for more adoption awareness and responsible dog ownership education. She joined the Save-a-Bull team in early 2013. Together with her husband and resident non-pittie, she fostered a handful of puppies for the organization over the following years. Today Kristin donates her time as the rescue’s post-adoption coordinator where she works as a point of contact to ensure all of Save-a-Bull’s adopters have the support they need even after the dogs have left our care.

Email Kristin


Marketing Team

NAN HILDEBRANDT*Marketing/Communications Manager

Nan has been working in rescue since 2009 when she and her husband, Todd, adopted their first pit bull, Stella. She quickly experienced the unfair prejudice these dogs faced and began volunteering and working to change minds about the breed. She joined Save-a-Bull in 2012. A graphic design and marketing professional, Nan manages the website, fundraisers and partnerships, and overall brand and communications for the rescue.  She and Todd also foster, and unwittingly fell in love with a chubby puppy named Winnie, who joined the family in 2013.

Email Nan

MOLLY MADRINICHSponsorship & Content Coordinator

Molly grew up on a hobby farm in Lake Elmo, MN, where there were always animals of some kind around, including dogs and cats. This led to her being a lover of all dog breeds. She met her first “pit bull” type dog while working in the office of a dog training center in Denver, CO. Fascinated with her co-worker’s dog, she learned of the misconceptions and discrimination the breed faces. After moving back to MN, she signed up to volunteer with Save-a-Bull in 2012, helping with events and dog handling. Later, she added managing Dog of the Week and the Sponsorship Program to her role. Molly has two rescue dogs: a 65 pound lap dog teddy bear Lab mix named Tucker, and a “terrified of all the things” and almost toothless Pug named Wicket, who are pretty much inseparable.

Email Molly

BETH DWALLIBEEContent Coordinator

Beth had dogs growing up and has always had a passion for animals. She started volunteering in rescue in 2010, after adopting a boxer/pit bull mix. Since she couldn’t adopt all the dogs, she wanted to find a way to help more dogs in need. After many conversations with people about her dog, she realized she wanted to dedicate her rescue efforts to pit bulls. Starting in 2013, Beth joined Save-a-Bull as an event volunteer. Beth manages adopter updates to our website in our Where Are They Now? blog feature.

Email Beth

ALLIE BAER Content Coordinator

After growing up with Doberman Pinchers, Allie recognizes how important it is to be a strong advocate and voice for misunderstood breeds. In 2016, she was introduced to the world of rescue through a friend/co-worker. Allie became involved with Save-a-Bull after getting an opportunity to help with in-take and it wasn’t long before she welcomed her first foster pup into her home. Wanting to be more involved, Allie jumped at the opportunity to help with content. She is responsible for the ‘New to Rescue’ Facebook posts and works with fosters to get bios and pictures of available dogs on our website! After having several fosters, Allie finally “foster failed” and adopted her first pittie puppy, Winnie, in November 2017.

Email Allie

AUBREY THORBURN Social Media Coordinator

Aubrey grew up loving the bully breed and dogs of all kind from day one. Through a high school project in 2015, Aubrey was introduced to Save-a-Bull and fell in love with the rescue and advocating for misrepresented pups. In 2016 Aubrey picked up the responsibility of running the Instagram and soon after the Twitter for Save-a-Bull. Now a student at the U of M, Aubrey’s love for the organization and the adorable pups has grown. She can’t wait until she can adopt a dog of her own from Save-a-Bull but until then, trips home to see her parent’s two adorable french bulldogs will have to suffice!

 


Event Team

BRIANNA TAHTIEvents Manager

Brianna first came to love pit bulls in college when she met her first one – a blue-nose who loved to wash her face with kisses. She knew she wanted to have one of her own and in 2015, Quincy, a blind pit bull puppy, joined her and boyfriend Jesse’s family.

Since adopting Quincy, Brianna had been searching for a way to promote and advocate for pit bulls in the community. In 2016, with a background in event management and planning, she was honored to join the Save-a-Bull team as the Event Manager. Brianna is excited to utilize events to further a positive, pit bull perception in our community.

Email Brianna

JOLENE COLEMAN • Adoption Event Coordinator

Jolene Coleman was introduced to Save-a-Bull by her daughter and son-in-law back in 2014 when the rescue was looking for a temp foster for 5 puppies over the Christmas holiday. Seeing the puppies and hearing more about the rescue’s mission was all it took to get involved. Jolene was introduced to her first American Pitbull Terriers (APBT’s) back in 1994 when they rescued their dog, Bud, from a breeder and his guaranteed fate of entering the ring of fighting. Like most people back then, she was hesitant of having a pitbull as a family pet with a young daughter. Those views changed immediately as she witnessed the bond Bud and her daughter Cassie formed. She officially began fostering in the summer of 2015 and shortly after that joined the Event Team where she hosts adoption events and has the opportunity to discuss the breed with potential adopters. Jolene and her boyfriend have four fur-kids, Jake (JRT), Maximus (APBT), Cali (OEB) and of course Alex their wonderful (special) foster fail.

ELYSE KRAUTKRAMER • Adoption Event Coordinator

Elyse grew up on a farm in central Wisconsin.  Her first dogs were German Shepherds, so she never really understood “dangerous dog” stereotypes. She first learned about Save-A-Bull in 2013, when she found a Save-A-Bull booth at a community event and instantly fell in love with some “dangerously” sweet block-head dogs.  Unable to have a dog of her own, she decided to sign up as a non-foster volunteer to get some dog-time and to take a break from her work as a graduate student at UMN.   A year later, the stars aligned, and she and her partner Will moved to a dog-friendly apartment and were finally able to bring home a fur-baby of their very own, Save-A-Bull alumni, Franklin.  After adopting, she decided to take her volunteering a step further, by joining the adoption event manager team. She loves getting to know fellow dog-lovers in the community and helping prospective adopters make their love-connections with the dogs.  She also appreciates the chance to spread the word about what it means to be a responsible dog parent, regardless of the breed.  When she’s not at adoption events, she can be found pursuing her other passions- teaching chemistry, snuggling Franklin, reading, running, and drinking wine.

HILARY SIMONSON • Adoption Event Coordinator

Hilary has been devoted to animals since she was a little girl; from raising abandoned raccoons and birds to finding and subsequently keeping stray cats. She lost her heart to the bully breed as she learned about their mistreatment and discovered how big-hearted and cuddly they are. She adopted Irving from Save-a-Bull in 2012 and was so impressed with the education and advocacy work of the organization that she signed on as a volunteer right away.

Hilary’s pack includes Melba, a 12 year old rescue pup, Irving and three rescue cats: Leroy, Carl and Georgia. If she’s not at an adoption event, you can probably find her napping with her five besties.

KIM NALI • Adoption Event Coordinator

Kim began her rescue journey in May of 2016 when she rescued her first pit bull from Save-a-Bull. Before adopting a pit bull, she spent a lot of time researching and falling in love with the breed. After adding Griffin to the family, Kim and her husband, Matt, had their love of the breed affirmed by his sweet temperament and goofy nature. They quickly decided to add another pit bull and adopted Murdock.

Kim decided to start fostering and volunteering with Save-a-Bull in February of 2017. She fostered a number of pups, but in August, her and her husband fell in love with a sweet, little lady from the South. It only took them 24 hours before deciding they couldn’t live without Storm and they dopted her.

Now with three pitties of her own, Kim wanted to do more to advocate for the breed and began coordinating and leading adoption events. She loves representing such a great rescue and helping people understand the amazing breed that is pit bulls.


Administrative Team

ALEX LARSONTreasurer

Alex began volunteering at Save-a-Bull Rescue in 2013, and joined the Board of Directors in 2016.  Alex’s passion for pit bulls began when he adopted his first dog Belle, a pit mix, in 2011.  His love for the breed continued to grow as he and his wife fostered and ended up adopting a foster named Tommy. Currently, Alex is an active Board Member and is the Treasurer of Save-a-Bull.

Email Alex

Jak-Lacy

JAKE & LACY SCHRAMM • Advisory Consultants

After leading the growth of the rescue for eight years, Jake and Lacy stepped down to pass the baton to our current team. Their extensive knowledge and expertise continues to help develop the direction of the rescue as they stay involved on a consulting basis.

*BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lori Hames, Chair
Nan Hildebrandt, Secretary
Alex Larson, Treasurer
Mackenzie Miller
Ian Noire
Jessica Florek