Meet Toni Fernandez

Meet Toni Fernandez

Q: How do you volunteer your time specifically with Save-a-Bull?
I enjoy volunteering at events. The Cabin Fever Reliever and Valentine’s Bake Sale are my favorite! I also like handling when the fosters are not able to be at an event.

Q: How long have you been with Save-a-Bull?
I have been with Save-a-Bull a bit over a year! My first event was the Valentine’s Bake Sale- I met Katie Rushlo and it was her first event too!

Q: How did you learn about Save-a-Bull and what made you decide to volunteer?
I heard about Save-a-Bull from various online postings about events, I had a pittie and wanted to get more involved. It has been so rewarding and I love sharing my experience with other animal lovers!

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer so far?
I absolutely love knowing that all of our hard work and money we raise goes to helping our Save-a-Bull pups. I love seeing our dogs find there forever homes and seeing updates on how they are doing.

Q: Do you have any dogs of your own?
I have two pitties. Tucker is 3 and Alice was my first foster who I failed with, she just turned 2. They are my furry children.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
I am a dental assistant, going back for dental hygiene. For fun I do a lot with my dogs and bring them everywhere! I love that so many places are dog friendly. That way people are able to get to know them and see that pitties are great and loving!

Meet Peggy Arveson

Meet Peggy Arveson

Q: How do you volunteer your time specifically with Save-a-Bull?
I am a foster.

Q: How long have you been with Save-a-Bull?
Since 2011

Q: How did you learn about Save-a-Bull and what made you decide to volunteer?
I did an on line search for rescues, and Save-a-Bull popped up. My dog was getting older, and I thought that instead if getting another dog, I could just foster. Then I foster failed.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer so far?
Fostering Jarvis. He was horribly abused and neglected and loved everyone anyway. (Read Jarvis’ Intake story, then find out where is Jarvis now)

Q: Do you have any dogs of your own?
Two dogs: Rusty, a 13 year old Dachshund mix, and Honey, 7 year old English Bulldog/ Dogue de Bordeaux. We also have an eight year old cat who was a stray that I took in, and 2 Guinea pigs.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
I am a nurse. I like biking and camping, and love to cook.

Meet Jill Helgemoe

Meet Jill Helgemoe

Q: How do you volunteer your time specifically with Save-a-Bull?
I volunteered to foster puppies and seniors. Currently I care for my foster elderbull, Syrtia, and attend meet and greets when I can. Syrtia has had a few medical issues so I have had to take her to the vet several times.

Q: How long have you been with Save-a-Bull?
I started volunteering August 2016.

Q: How did you learn about Save-a-Bull and what made you decide to volunteer?
My female elderbull, Maddie, passed away in April 2016 at the age of 14. I was pretty devastated after she passed. I started looking at other pitties online, and remember seeing both Stella and Ashoka (not sure I spelled that correctly) on Save-a-Bull’s website. I would periodically look on Save-a-Bull’s site as well as other rescue sites for dogs. I wasn’t ready to get another dog yet, but just wanted to look. I had two other dogs at home, Bruce my red elder Doberman, and Lil Pup a young chihuahua that I found and rescued. Bruce and Maddie were best buddies and her passing was hard on him too.

Fast forward a few months to July 2016. My best friend had the grand opening at her tattoo shop, Blackened Tattoo, in South Minneapolis. This is where I first saw Pippa who was also attending the grand opening with her foster parents, Lorelei and Ian. I remember seeing Pippa and went over to see if could pet her. I ended up chatting with Lorelei and Ian. In the course of our conversation they mentioned they needed fosters and that they were going to be getting some puppies in soon. After talking with them that evening I went home and filled out the Save-a-Bull foster application on-line. The rest is history.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer so far?
When I was asked to take in Syrtia I was grieving the loss of my Bruce, as I still am, and Syrtia has definitely been helpful for me in my grieving and healing process. She is such an amazing dog and I am so lucky to have her in my life. Syrtia had also had a loss as her owner had died and that’s why she was dropped off at St. Paul Animal Control. It’s ironic that the two of us found each other, and as I said I am lucky to have her in my life. It’s been really rewarding having her in my home, seeing her recover, and being the happy and loving dog that she is.

I have only had two fosters with Save-a-Bull since l started, and one was a fail. I really admire the commitment and dedication Save-a-Bull and all it’s volunteers have for pitties and dogs in general. It has truly been an honor becoming part of and working with such an amazing organization and group of people.

Q: Do you have any dogs of your own?
Yes I have two dogs as I mentioned. Unfortunately my Bruce passed away the day after Christmas so he is no longer with me. However, I have Lil Pup who is a chihuahua that I found across the street from my house, and Hazel (formerly know as Ally from Save-a-Bull Summer Olympics litter). I also have three cats: Pede, Tiny Toot and Kitty. I love animals and would have a farm if I could.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
I am currently a full-time student and I am finishing up my doctorate in psychology. I have one year left and am trying to get my dissertation done. Besides being a student, I work part-time doing psychological assessments at a community based mental health agency.

I also work part-time at the Domestic Abuse Project and I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. My schedule is so full I don’t have too much time for fun, but that’s where the dogs come in! I really don’t have much of a social life because school takes up most of my time. However, my dogs and I go on daily adventures which is always the highlight of my day. I love being outside and walking with all three dogs. When it’s too cold to walk we will walk on the treadmill, and/or play inside. I also enjoy taking classes with the dogs through Canine Coach. Hazel and I are taking the just tricks class right now. It’s a lot of fun and we go home and teach the other two dogs what we learned in class. We will also be taking a lure coursing class in June which we are looking forward to. In addition to hanging out with the dogs, I enjoy biking, gardening and going to various taprooms (with the dogs and my partner).

In addition to having dogs and cats, I have three kids. I guess good things come in threes.

Meet Emily Larson

Meet Emily Larson

Q: How do you volunteer your time specifically with Save-a- Bull?
I am Save-a-Bull’s content coordinator, so I spend my time looking through cute pictures of our foster dogs, and uploading them to their profiles.  I also take fosters information and form bios for the dogs.  I have also fostered dogs in the past, which resulted in adopting my Tommy boy.

Q: How long have you been with Save-a- Bull?
I have been with Save-a-Bull for about 3 years now.

Q: How did you learn about Save-a- Bull and what made you decide to volunteer?
My husband and I adopted our first pittie Belle from a different organization which lead to our love of the breed.  We happened to see Save-a-Bull had a garage sale near us, and we wanted to support a bully breed rescue.  We immediately knew it was an organization for us and began volunteering.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer so far?
Because I deal with the dog’s profiles, the most rewarding experience has been hearing potential adopters say they felt a connection to a dog through their images and bio.  It makes me feel like I have an integral part in finding them their forever homes.

Q: Do you have any dogs of your own?
Yes Belle is my grumpy princess.  She is a 7 year old pit mix that we love to death.   Tommy was a foster of ours that we ended up adopting.  He is a 4 year old pit mix as well.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
For work I am an independent contractor for chemistry labs, specializing in nano materials.  I am also the marketing and events manager at LynLake Brewery.
For fun, I like to hang with my pups and my family.  I also enjoy golfing, skiing, and working on house projects with my husband.

Meet Hilary Simonson

Meet Hilary Simonson

Q: How do you volunteer your time specifically with Save-a-Bull?
I am a part of the adoption event committee; we each run 2-3 adoption events per month over the winter and 2-3 per month during the summer months. It’s a great way to get to know both the adoptable dogs and the fosters who share their homes with them. I also volunteer to run or help out at events whenever I can. Sometimes I’m bribing people to buy raffle tickets, sometimes working the merch table – wherever help is needed. I also love to handle and transport pups. Often there are fosters who want to get their pup to an event but they have a timing conflict so volunteers like me step in to pick up the dog and show them off and then drive them back home. It’s like a doggie date!

Q: How long have you been with Save-a-Bull?
I started volunteering with Save-a-Bull back in December of 2014.

Q: How did you learn about Save-a-Bull and what made you decide to volunteer?
I have adored pit bull type dogs for years and finally decided that my older dog, Melba was just going to have to accept a brother into the family. I found Save-a-Bull online and when I mentioned them in a neighborhood Facebook group, another volunteer happened to live nearby and mentioned what a great organization it was to work with. As I went through the adoption process, I was so impressed by the thoroughness and education resources that they provided, I knew it was a group that I had to be a part of. And it is!

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer so far?
Gosh, there have been so many… Once, I had the opportunity to transport a mama and her pups from Southern Minnesota to Anoka. The mama was so thin and terrified and so instinctively protective of her babies it was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. As she grew into her foster family, she flowered into this fun, happy girl who loves life. When she was adopted, I was moved to tears having seen her incredible transformation. Changes like hers are an almost daily occurrence with Save-a-Bull. To see and know people who care about dogs and value education about these dogs in the way this group does, is endlessly rewarding.

Q: Do you have any dogs of your own?
I have two: Irving, my Save-a-Bull baby. He’s a lab/Weimaraner/pittie mix. Although no one believes me when I tell them he has pittie in him. He’s definitely got a pibble personality and tummy (his toots have destructive capabilities) and he has frog legs, but not laying down. He has a frog leg lean. And also, Melba, my 11 year old puppy. She was the strangest looking puppy at the Humane Society, I thought no one would want her. As it happens, she grew into the most gorgeous girl. People stop us on the street to ask what breed she is. I tell them she’s an Immortal Banana Mutt.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
I am in healthcare marketing and I do a lot of freelance copy writing. For fun, I’m usually playing with my dogs and cats (Leroy and Carl), going to concerts, embarrassing my boyfriend or cocktailing with my friends. And always looking for animals to rescue. Animals are the most fun!

Meet Stuart and Kristina Morrow

Meet Stuart and Kristina Morrow

Q: How do you volunteer your time specifically with Save-a-Bull?
We volunteer our time by fostering dogs and assisting with events such as the brewery tours and other functions.

Q: How long have you been with Save-a-Bull?
We have fostered 9 dogs since September 2014.

Q: How did you learn about Save-a-Bull and what made you decide to volunteer?
We learned about Save-a-Bull through google searches when we were looking to adopt our own pitbull. We adopted our dog Rigby from Save-a-Bull when he was about 12 weeks old. We loved that he came from a foster family instead of a pet store, because he was already so well behaved and already socialized and potty-trained. We then started seeing Save-a-Bull around at different events and started talking to volunteers, which sparked our interest.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer so far?
We’ve been able to foster two dogs from MACC (Minneapolis Animal Care and Control) and those are the dogs who had been completely abandoned or forgotten. For us to be able to take them out of the shelter and into our house and then find them a family is the most rewarding process.

Q: Do you have any dogs of your own?
We have our pitbull Rigby who we adopted through Save-a-Bull as a puppy in 2013. He’s almost four years old and we love him more then we possibly could have imagined. He has been the greatest big brother and role model for all of the fosters we’ve had.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
Stuart is in sales for the Minnesota Vikings and Kristina is a wellness coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. We are pretty laid back but we enjoy going to concerts, camping, and sitting on the patio outside listening to music and soaking in the sun. We are expecting our first human child in May and are looking forward to a whole new adventure with him.