Inza Adams/Leadership Team Member
Development and Donor Engagement Manager
I joined the DVGRR staff in 2008 after working part-time in the accounting department of a printing company for six years. Prior to having kids, I spent 13 years as a flight attendant for US Airways.
At DVGRR, I began assisting with bookkeeping functions but was soon given added responsibilities, including building our retail store and expanding the webstore to include more items for all dog lovers. Over the years, I also became our Volunteer and Events Manager. Managing the Golden Gala event each year is my favorite responsibility. Seeing all the guests having a great time and hearing all the updates on their adopted DVGRR dogs makes it all worthwhile. I am now a member of the DVGRR Leadership Team as our Development and Donor Engagement Manager. Anytime I can communicate with our adopters, donors, and volunteers to listen to their stories and ideas for DVGRR means so much to me as those interactions are the foundation of DVGRR success.
My assorted responsibilities are all very rewarding, but my greatest sense of satisfaction comes from seeing the happy faces of both the dogs and adopters when one of our dogs leaves to go home. I love interacting with all the dogs!
My family includes my husband, Bill, and my children, Kurt and Paige, and our DVGRR Golden, Sammy. When I’m not working at DVGRR, I love to volunteer as a Girl Scout troop leader and spend time with my kids just being their mom.
Heather Hatt/Leadership Team Member
Manager, Lynne Glennon Sanctuary for Senior Goldens & Puppy Mill Survivors;
Director, Project Home Life; Golden Groomer
Before coming to work for DVGRR in August 2006, I was very involved in the music world. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Music from Lebanon Valley College, worked in a music store, played in several rock bands, and was a live sound engineer.
At DVGRR, I work directly with the dogs in The Lynne Glennon Sanctuary for Senior Goldens and Puppy Mill Survivors and also live on the premises. I am responsible for ensuring that any dogs who need assistance overnight will receive it; this usually happens during thunderstorms if there are thunder reactive dogs in the kennel.
I truly enjoy seeing and helping the dogs in our program improve while they are with us. I love seeing shy dogs becoming more playful, the fearful dogs learning to trust, the anxious dogs getting more relaxed, the jumpy dogs redirecting their energy more appropriately, etc.
I have a special interest in puppy mill breeder dogs and am proud of my role in helping to develop and manage our Project Home Life program, a transitional step between kennel life and life in an adoptive home. This program gives me the opportunity to help our volunteers and adopters learn how to live with and provide the necessary support and guidance to puppy mill breeder dogs. Through a blog that I maintain on the breeder dogs, I am also able to help educate the public about the special needs and challenges of these amazingly resilient dogs.
My responsibilities at DVGRR also include helping to bathe and groom all of the dogs the week before our Meet and Greet the Goldens Day!
I share my home with three wonderfully energetic Goldens and one Husky Mix from DVGRR: Satchel, Jilly, Sami, and Lance. Together, we love playing and listening to music, hiking and spending time outdoors.
John Plummer/Leadership Team Member
Facility Operations and Staff Support Manager
Prior to joining the staff at DVGRR, I spent 16 years as a partner/operator with my father and brother in the family soft pretzel and Italian ice franchise businesses. Before that I spent eight years as a computer programmer analyst for Meridian Bancorp. I graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1988 with a BS in Computer Information systems and a minor in Business Management.
I am what would be considered one of the old-timers, as my involvement with DVGRR began in 1993 when my wife, Mary, answered a small four-line want ad in the paper for a good home for Golden Retrievers. We met Robin and adopted our first Golden, Toby, and as they say, “The rest is history.” From 1994 through 2004, I kept busy as a volunteer while Mary served on the Board of Directors, first as Treasurer and then as Board President through the organization’s acquisition of Golden Gateway in 2000. In 2006, I was asked to join the Board, on which I served until November 2013, the last four years as Board Chair. I can honestly say that I am continually amazed at the growth the organization has seen over the past 20 years. Growing from a “one-woman” rescue to the utilization of foster homes to a campus with six facility buildings covering over five acres is a true testament to the unbelievable generosity of DVGRR’s donors and volunteers.
As Facility Operations and Staff Support Manager, I am responsible for the human resources aspect of the organization as well as maintenance of the facility buildings and managing current and future campus building expansions. My crazy days, like everyone else’s at Golden Gateway, are filled with multi-tasking, decision making, and the “other duties as required” portion of the job description. But I look forward to teaming with the incredible staff to continue to provide the best possible care and rehabilitation for the Goldens and dogs with “hearts of gold” in our program and enable them to find their “fur-ever” homes.
My family includes my wife, Mary, and our sons, Tony and Adam. We have been blessed to have shared our lives with nine Golden Retrievers, five of which were DVGRR dogs and include our current three, Vinny, Lambeau (2007-234), and Nittany (2011-148). Our other critters include a cat, rabbit, two cockatiels, two guinea pigs and three African dwarf frogs. Next to my family and dogs, my greatest love in life is the game of football, and I am an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, Penn State (hence the dogs’ names), and my alma mater Lebanon Valley College.
Dennis Stauffer, ABCT, APDT/Leadership Team Member
I was hired by DVGRR as Kennel Manager in July 2006 after previously working at a large printing company for eighteen years. At the printing company, I held several different positions: Customer Service Representative, Sales Support, and finally Customer Service Manager. Along the way, however, I kept thinking that this is not the path I wanted to take with my life. I wanted to do something with animals – particularly dogs.
In order to pursue that goal, I joined what was then known as the American Boarding Kennel Association or ABKA (now known as the Pet Care Services Association, or PCSA). I spent my vacations traveling to different locations to take courses in kennel management and operations. My intent was to buy my own boarding kennel or become a manager of a boarding kennel. Rescue never entered my mind.
I earned my credentials on paper but still had absolutely no hands-on experience. I noticed an ad for DVGRR and applied for a part-time caretaker job in the hopes that I could work a few evenings a week to continue my learning and get some hands-on experience to put on a resume. Then DVGRR called to inform me that the existing Kennel Manager wanted to retire in a few months and they were interested in bringing me on as manager in training; when the existing Manager left, I would step into the role. It all worked out perfectly.
I will be the first to say that I was still totally unprepared for the job! Running a rescue kennel is absolutely nothing like running a boarding kennel. We’re not just housing dogs for a week or a weekend, or keeping good relations with the owners, so they keep coming back. We often deal with many health and/or behavioral challenges which means jumping from task to task every day to meet the needs of the dogs in our program, but I know we are the best place for these dogs to get what they need and ultimately to be matched with the right families. It is hard work, but after all these years, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
My family includes my wife Heidi, daughter Sophie, three dogs and one cat. Our Goldens, Bently and Miley, are both adopted from DVGRR and our Boxer, Schnitzel, was adopted from a Boxer rescue.
I have an extensive background in accounting and have been DVGRR’s accountant since May 2010. I handle all of the accounts receivable, including donations, adoption fees, memberships, event registrations, etc. I also help answer the phone when needed, so you may find that I am the person on the other end of the line if you call into Golden Gateway.
To meet me in person, come to one of our events! I will often be found staffing the membership table at the Reunion, helping record auction sales at the Wine Dinner or Golden Gala, and taking food orders at Basket Bingo or Goldens in Paradise.
When I’m not working at the rescue, I’m busy caring for my family, which includes my husband Vernon, our five children, our dog Sammi (a Border collie/red heeler mix), and our DVGRR-adopted Golden, Stryder. I stay active and healthy by jogging!
Prior to being hired by DVGRR in July 2011, I worked at VCA Sinking Spring Animal Hospital for over nineteen years as Dr. Scott Krick’s assistant. Since Dr. Krick was the veterinary advisor for DVGRR and was involved with many of the DVGRR dogs in need of medical care or surgery, I was well acquainted with rescue and knew several DVGRR staff members. When Dr. Krick left the practice, it seemed like a natural next step for me to come work at Golden Gateway. A large percentage of my first few months was spent getting ready for the opening of DVGRR’s on-site Veterinary Treatment Center, BARK (Buddy’s Animal Rescue Klinic) which saw its first canine patient in October 2011. I was involved with much of the planning for the center, ordering of equipment and supplies, and development of policies and procedures. It was a whirlwind beginning, to say the least!
I have been a member of the kennel staff at DVGRR since March 2007 and love working with all of the dogs in our program. Prior to coming on staff at the rescue, I was a stay-at-home mom caring for my four children: Zack, Brady, Cody, and Molly. My youngest, Molly, is actively involved in gymnastics, and I am also presently working part-time as a gymnastics coach.
I have always had pets and loved the experience; in fact, my original goal in life was to become a veterinarian. My family’s current pets comprise a large medley of species and breeds. We have three Goldens (including one hospice dog), one Jug, one Boston Terrier, two cats, three rabbits, two rats, and one bearded dragon!
My experience working at DVGRR has been wonderful and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. I love being involved with all of the dogs, but have a particular fondness for those that come in so frightened and anxious that they won’t even make eye contact with humans. To see them slowly, but surely, develop a trust and comfort level, and to achieve small steps like taking treats from a person’s hand is incredibly rewarding and satisfying.
Director of Adoption
I recently became the Director of Adoption after serving as Assistant Kennel Manager. Previously, I worked part-time on the kennel staff while attending Millersville University. I’ve graduated with a degree in Marine Biology.
I work with the dogs in our program awaiting adoption, helping to feed, exercise, play with and socialize them. This interaction helps me really get to know the dogs to better match them with prospective adopters. We work very hard to match the right dog with the right family based on the dogs’ temperaments and the families’ households and lifestyles.
My greatest satisfaction has been working with the dogs that arrive very frightened and nervous. Sure, they may be harder to handle at first and will take longer to settle in than the average dog, but it is so gratifying to see them make progress, really “come out of their shell” and turn into great dogs.
Having always had at least one dog in our home growing up, I knew I wanted a career working with animals. I have a strong passion for the ocean as well so I always saw myself as a marine biologist working in an aquarium or zoo. However when I was offered a full-time position at DVGRR, I just couldn’t turn it down. After working here part-time for many years, I fell in love working and playing with the dogs and the whole rescue organization. Currently I do not have any pets, due to renting policies, but hopefully will have a dog or two in the near future. My family includes my wife, Maddie, and son, Oliver. I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and reading in my free time.
DVGRR Kennel Staff
I joined the staff of DVGRR in May 2010 and working here has brought me so many rewarding experiences, including the chance to adopt a Golden Retriever myself! My rescue job is one of three part-time positions that I juggle – I also work for the Postal Service as a Rural Carrier Associate and I help care for horses at the farm where I board my own horse. My days are always very diverse and busy!
I love working with the dogs at DVGRR and watching each of them progress and improve, even if it happens in very small “baby steps” for some of the more introverted or challenging dogs. Coaching a puppy mill breeder dog to become braver and more interactive with people or helping a jumpy, rowdy adolescent increase his self-control is so meaningful. I also love finding out more about each dog’s individual personality just from spending time with them – recently, I discovered that one of our Golden Gateway guests knew how to “play dead” on command, thrusting all four feet right up in the air on his back!
My responsibilities also include helping with grooming, and I take great pleasure in making sure each dog presents his or her “best paw forward” in preparation for adoption.
I love all the dogs that come through our program, but I have to admit I’m more partial to the redheaded Goldens. So it’s not surprising that Cooper, the Golden I adopted from DVGRR in November 2010, falls into that category appearance-wise. Cooper was a young, “wild and crazy” guy that was passed over for many weeks because of his high training needs. He won my heart very easily, however, and actually settled in far more smoothly than expected when he came home. My husband Bob and I also share our lives with Daisy, a 4-year-old Lab/Golden mix, and our horse. We have two adult children — our daughter Charlotte will graduate in 2012 from college and our son Matthew is a member of the Air Force.
Pap’s Place Store Associate
I grew up with dogs and always knew they would be part of my family. A few years after my husband and I got married, we rescued a nine-month-old Golden Retriever whose original owners could no longer care for her due to allergies. Maddy was a great dog that lived for over fifteen years and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in October 2011.
My daughter’s Girl Scout troop visited DVGRR in 2010, and we thought it sounded like a great organization. We decided when we were ready for another dog we would get one from here! That time came in the summer of 2012. We came to a Meet and Greet, filled out an application, then met with the adoption manager. We were introduced to three young Goldens, but none seemed like the right fit for various reasons. Then the Doodles arrived! We fell in love with Eve, renamed Ginger, and she became a part of our family. She has been a delight – I enjoy just about all dogs, but my favorite will always be the one I share my home with!
Now I am both an adopter (and also adopted Freddie) and employee of DVGRR. I was hired in March 2013 to oversee Pap’s Place, our on-site retail store. Working in Pap’s gives me the opportunity to meet people and their pets every day, which is so enjoyable. I love hearing the stories people share and helping them find something for the furry friend, a human friend, or themselves. In June 2014, I started working in the kennel to get to know the dogs in our care. I enjoy all the dogs and their different personalities but am partial to the doodles.
I keep busy with my part-time job at DVGRR and teaching Zumba. I enjoy a wide variety of arts and crafts and have used those talents to create some items for the store. My family includes my husband, Pete, my daughter, Sydney, my son, Nathan, and of course Ginger and Freddie.
I am a graduate of Lancaster County Career and Technology Center’s Veterinary Assistant program and have been working at DVGRR since September 2012. I have always been a huge animal lover and have always had animals in my life, from dogs and cats to birds and gerbils.
I love working at DVGRR because I love seeing dogs like Wyatt or Goldie that have some challenges find a home. The look in their eyes and seeing how excited they are to start a new life is so awesome!
I completed an internship at DVGRR as part of my Veterinary Assistant program at Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, then was lucky enough to be hired as a staff member in June 2012. Golden Retrievers are among my favorite breed of dogs (along with Great Danes and Schipperkes), so this is a perfect spot for me!
As a kennel caregiver, I love interacting with all of the residents of Golden Gateway each time I am here – they truly brighten my day. At home, I have a Schipperke named Kobi and two cats, Spooky and Stripes.
Summer is my favorite time of year because I enjoy water sports such as boating, jet skiing, and water skiing.
Intake and Boarding Manager
I am a longtime dog-lover and rescue advocate, so I was thrilled to join the staff of DVGRR in June 2013. I am now handling DVGRR’s Intake function, which involves speaking with surrendering owners, shelters, and other community members regarding dogs in need of our program and making arrangements to get the dogs to Golden Gateway if accepted. I also oversee the Boarding program, assist with phone coverage, and help with various administrative tasks and projects. I also coordinate transportation volunteers to pick up dogs up at shelters, airports and also homes from which the dog is being relinquished.
I have volunteered with United Against Puppy Mills since 2005 and also helped with adoption and home visit functions for various rescue groups in the area. I graduated with a degree in Applied Psychology and Organizational Behavior from Albright College and also attended Kutztown University’s Canine Management Program, where I studied under Certified Animal Behavior Consultant, Susan Bulanda.
I share my home with Zoe, a miniature black and tan smooth Dachshund. I also adopted Gibson #3 (Gibby), a mini Goldendoodle, from DVGRR! In the past, I’ve helped organize the Lancaster Dachshund Meet-up Group. In my spare time, I enjoy scrapbooking, baking, and time at the beach.
Ever since I was young, I have always had pets. Animals have a special place in my heart, so being hired at DVGRR has been a wonderful opportunity. I started at DVGRR in July 2013. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I call it my home away from home!
Prior to being hired at DVGRR, I was a pet care specialist at Petsmart Caring, and ensuring the safety of animals has been and always will be my goal.
Seeing the frightened and shy dogs walk through the doors at Golden Gateway can be heartbreaking. Once here, however, it surely does not take long for them to open up and become amazing companions to us and their soon to be “fur ever” families!
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and my daughter, Zoey, who also has a huge heart for dogs as well.
Dogs (and horses) have long been a part of my life. In my role at DVGRR, I strive to help educate dogs and their humans, so they can exist happily together and enrich each other’s lives. I will also be working with our great volunteers to coordinate their efforts at Golden Gateway and on behalf of DVGRR.
Prior to becoming a paid staff member, I have volunteered as a dog trainer for DVGRR and have spearheaded the organization’s Life Skills Class for our program dogs. In fact, I started as a DVGRR volunteer when I heard the story about the NC20 multi-dog rescue. I fell in love with them and adopted Bonnie from that group, now named Lillie.
Professionally, I was a paramedic working with Western Berks Ambulance for almost 20 years. Educationally, I hold an associate’s degree in equine science and a bachelor of science degree in animal science/equibusiness, both earned at Delaware Valley College (now University) in Doylestown, PA.
I also received certification in canine training and management from Kutztown University have attended a number of professional dog trainer’s conferences including those offered by Dr. Ian Dunbar, Kyra Sundance, Nicole Larrocco Skeehan, and Debbie Jacobs.
I’ve had many Labrador Retrievers over the years, and in addition to Lillie, I have a 15-year-old Lab, Sadie, plus two horses, Jetlag and Dandee, a foster, and a cat named Goblin.
I look forward to putting my knowledge and passion to work now on a full-time basis to enable every dog at Golden Gateway to make a smooth transition into its adoptive home and to help adopters better understand what their dogs are telling them.
My life with Goldens began when my husband, Jim, and I purchased a Golden from what we thought was a reputable breeder. Unfortunately, however, Emerson came with many behavioral challenges. While I had cared for dogs as a child, I wasn’t prepared for the issues we were facing. Thankfully, my veterinarian suggested a behaviorist at the University of Pennsylvania, and with his guidance and consistent language, we started making good progress.
Thinking that another Golden in our house might help Emerson, I answered an ad in the local newspaper for “free to a good home.” I brought the Golden home but Emerson was highly reactive toward him, so I tearfully realized I could not keep the stately old gentleman. Feeling guilty, I asked all my coworkers if they knew anyone who might want to adopt a Golden Retriever. Someone did, and Apollo went on to live a wonderful senior life. I always tease this adopter that she must have written my name on every bathroom wall in the area, because soon after I became the “go to” person for anyone with a Golden to place or wanting to adopt one. That was in 1984. In 1993, I realized it was time to incorporate and obtain non-profit certification from the IRS, so our small group made the big step.
Since then, my life has revolved around rescue and I have watched with awe and pride as DVGRR grew from a grassroots “one-woman” operation into a nationally renowned rescue organization helping close to 300 dogs per year. From the very beginning, my dream had been to buy or build a freestanding kennel facility so that we could respond to dogs in need as quickly as possible and achieve the greatest level of quality care by centralizing operations. In 2000, my dream became a reality with the purchase of Golden Gateway, made possible by the generosity of everyone who contributed to our capital campaign (both financially and with the proverbial “blood, sweat, and tears”).
We share our home with Goldendoodle, Reese, and a senior Goldendoodle, Cosmo. In 1990, I obtained a show quality Golden named Spencer. As I attended dog shows, I kept seeing one particular handler, a girl with hair as red as the Goldens she was showing, having a grand time in the show ring. This was Patty McCoy Coleman, Animal Control Officer for Clarks County, NY and a group winner at Westminster. I decided that I wanted Patty to handle Spencer. Little did I realize that we would not only become best friends, we would also start a small breeding program together. My Spencer and Patty’s Betsy produced several wonderful litters that made many families happy.