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.

Dogwood Animal Rescue Project was formed in 2015 as a nonprofit 501c3 organization by an inspired group of friends and animal advocates.

Dogwood Board of Directors

Shirley Zindler, President/Founder

2Shirley has a challenging and rewarding job as an animal control officer and has fostered over 300 dogs and endless kittens in her 30+ 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 is putting the finishing touches on her second book, The Secret Life of Dog Catchers. Shirley has been happily married for 27 years and has two wonderful, healthy kids.

Charlotte Tunstall Pearce, BOD/Treasurer/Development

IMG_0393_2-1Charlotte Tunstall Pearce 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

IMG_0517Janet 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. They found that work to be rewarding and fulfilling and watched many a puppy get adopted into loving, forever homes. 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!

Honoring Our Founding Board Member ~ Hannah Houston

After 6 years of extraordinary dedication, Hannah resigned from the board in March 2021 to focus on family but continues to volunteer in various capacities. As a founding board member, Hannah has been an integral part of making Dogwood what it is. She helped develop excellent programs that have enabled us to save thousands of animals. Hannah developed/managed our amazing foster/adoption program, fostered and taken emergency calls at all hours of day and night. She’s transported animals in need, worked with local vets to help the most broken and abandoned, and unwanted and so much more.  We’re incredibly grateful for Hannah’s service to the board, the animals we serve and ongoing dedication to Dogwood.

Dogwood Volunteers

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, vet applicants, provide rescue transportation, work on fundraising events, crafts/merchandise sales, assist with grant-writing and administration, and so much more. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer we would love to talk to you about the ways in which you may be able to use your skills to help animals in need.