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!
LORI HAMES* •
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.”
JESS FLOREK* •
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.
KIM NALI •
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.
SAM COCHART •
Sam grew up with dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and fish and has always had a love for animals. She adopted her “Shepard mix,” Stanley, from a non-breed specific rescue in June 2014. After doing a DNA test, she realized that she had actually adopted an American Staffordshire Terrier mix. Sam truly became interested in the breed when she lived with her roommate’s American Staffordshire Terrier rescue who essentially squashed all negative breed stereotypes.
In May 2016, Sam and her husband decided to add to their family by adopting Nita from Save-a-Bull and eventually began fostering in September 2017. Since welcoming both puppy and adult fosters into their home, Sam, Dustin, Stanley, Nita, and Lily (the cat) have only had their love of the breed grow. Sam enjoys fostering, volunteering at events, and overall advocating for all Pitbulls and other misunderstood breeds.
LORELEI NOIRE •
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.
IAN NOIRE* •
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.
Ian and Lorelei prove that volunteering is a family affair as they spend countless hours together in the support and management of the rescue.
JEANETTE PORTZER •
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.
CAROL NELSON •
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.
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.
KRISTIN MILLER •
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 adoption manager where she works as a point of contact to ensure all of Save-a-Bull’s adopters have the support they need.
AYMI EGGERS •
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.
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.
MOLLY MADRINICH •
Sponsorship & 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.
CASSIE OSGOOD •
Cassie has been a huge dog lover ever since getting her first dog at the age of five. Her family rescued their first pitbull when she was only 7 years old, and ever since then she has had one (or more) in the family. Fast forward many years, Cassie and her husband, Brad, wanted to foster dogs and that is when they found Save-a-Bull. They wanted to help change people’s misconception about bully breeds (just like Cassie changed Brad’s mind about them) and they got their first foster dog in early 2013. They immediately fell in love with Axel and adopted him! But since then have had many dogs/puppies come into their home and have become active volunteers with the rescue. Cassie helps manage event and adopter update content on the website and Brad lends a hand at events and other tasks as needed. Brad, Cassie and Axel share their home with Jax, a shepherd mix, and their second foster fail, Harper, a Boston Terrier.
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 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.
BRIANNA TAHTI • Events 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.
Sara began her rescue journey with Save-a-Bull in January of 2018, but has been an animal and bully breed advocate all of her life. She grew up with many types of animals including cats, small animals and dogs including bully type dogs and shepherds. Sara began volunteering at the animal humane society at a young age and realized the discrimination pits endure and was determined to change people’s views on the breed group. Sara worked in vet clinics and went to school for a brief period of time as a pre-veterinary medicine student. She ended up changing career paths in college, but never wavered in her love and caring for animals.
Sara joined Save-a-Bull rescue as a volunteer for events and other tasks, temp-foster and started working on the board as secretary. Sara works full-time in software sales and also volunteers with the MN Wildlife Rehab Center, and is the board chair for an arts & community non-profit in Minneapolis.
In her free time, she works on her house and gardens and spends time with her 5 rescue pets – 3 cats – James Bond, Scooter, Kitten and 2 dogs – Lakota (shepherd/husky mix) and Winston (pittie mix).
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.
*Save-a-Bull Rescue Board of Directors
Lori Hames, Chair
Sara Boutros, Secretary
Deb Bye, Treasurer