About Us

Dogwood’s Mission:  To support animals and the people who love them through rescue, rehoming, spay/neuter and education.

Dogwood Animal Rescue Project is a foster-based, mostly volunteer non-profit rescue organization focused on the rescue and placement of animals into safe, nurturing homes. Our goals include providing necessary medical care, ongoing spay/neuter clinics, hands-on nurturing, and placement of the homeless animals of Sonoma County and beyond. Dogwood is continually striving to successfully fulfill our vision to establish programs tailored to assist animals in need by ensuring they find safe, loving homes and receive the medical care necessary to live long and healthy lives.

Shirley Zindler, President/Founder ~Shirley is retired from a challenging and rewarding job as an animal control officer and has fostered endless puppies, kittens, dogs and cats in her 35+ years of doing this work. She thrives being able to bring an injured animal back to health or help a traumatized one recover. She loves to paint and sculpt and also spends time writing down her own experiences for the shelter newsletter, BARK Magazine and just finished her second book, Secrets of an Animal Rescuer. Shirley has been happily married for 27 years and has two wonderful, healthy kids.

Charlotte Tunstall Pearce, BOD/Treasurer & Development ~Charlotte is a Sonoma County native and lifelong friend to animals. After starting her own professional pet services business in 2004, Affinity Pet Services, she began volunteering at The Humane Society of Sonoma County and found her ‘heart work’ by helping animals in need.  Charlotte feels honored to be part of a team that wants to make a difference, not only through rescue and adoptions but spay/neuter as well.

Janet Palma, BOD Secretary ~Janet is a native Californian and was born an animal lover and horse-crazy kid! When her 5 year old daughter ended up sharing those genes, she and her husband George, hocked everything for a piece of country property. Now living their dream surrounded by horses, dogs and cats, they began fostering puppies for a rescue. At this time in her life with an empty nest, Janet is excited to be involved with Dogwood Animal Rescue Project particularly passionate about the future spay and neuter clinic. Believing that spay and neuter should someday be a free service for everyone and hoping for the time that unwanted litters are hard to find!

Dogwood Volunteers ~ Our Superpower!

We are honored to have a community of volunteers who give their time and energy to support our mission. We have a team of over 200 volunteers who help with fostering cats and dogs, reviewing adoption applicants, provide rescue transportation, work on fundraising events, crafts/merchandise sales, assist with grant-writing and administration, and so much more. Our volunteers are our superpower!

Brenda Grisby ~Brenda has volunteered for multiple rescues over the years but found her rescue “home ” with Dogwood in 2015, before Dogwood was an official non-profit.  She has worked tirelessly in many areas within Dogwood and has been an essential part of our growth and success, always leading with kindness and respect. She is loved by all and we are grateful for Brenda’s compassion and work for animals in need.

Hannah Houston ~After 6 years of extraordinary dedication, Hannah resigned from the board in March 2021 to focus on family. As a founding board member, Hannah has been an integral part of making Dogwood what it is. She helped develop programs that have enabled us to save thousands of animals. Hannah developed/managed our foster/adoption program and so much more.  We’re incredibly grateful for Hannah’s service.

Sally Miller ~We thank Sally for her years of dedication to Sonoma County animals before Dogwood and after, she was instrumental in ordering our clinic trailer and getting our Sonoma County spay/neuter program off the starting line.