Jana Pace, Founder
As far back as I can remember I have always had a passion for animals – especially dogs. It has always amazed me their ability to learn, love unconditionally, and their resilience. As I got older and saw the horrors that these sweet creatures endure at the hands of “humans,” I knew rescue was what I was meant to do. Don’t get me wrong, it took me a long time to be able to go into a shelter for fear I would not be able to leave because I couldn’t save them all. After I rescued my first pit bull and became more informed what this beautiful breed was up against, I knew they needed me most. They are SO amazing and have so much personality each different from the next. I began doing volunteer transports for a number of groups, but my main one was Mobile Mutts. Through the years I have learned so much and made tremendous friends with like-minded people. When I saw the Dolton 7 dogs seized from a dog fight in progress and learned SSHS was determined to stand by the dogs instead of immediately putting them down, I knew that was the place for me. My Mobile Mutts friends across many states gathered supplies and we brought 3 truck loads of donations. When I entered the shelter I knew they needed help. The shelter was in bad shape so I organized 3 makeovers to repair what we could and held two large fundraisers to raise money for those repairs. I have always dreamt of having my own rescue and a year later Dogs are Deserving Rescue came to be. It is tough work, but when you see these dogs who had given up become whole again and see the joy when they find their furever family, every sleepless night and every tear shed is worth it! I’m a member of the Red Rover Network and an OTRA certified transportiv.
Jennifer Heim, COO
I’m a wife and mother and entrepreneur. I have extensive business experience having run successful businesses over the past 25+ years. I have served on non-profit boards, and held positions for numerous civic departments, including; city transportation commissioner, city historic landmarks commissioner, vice president of downtown BID and I have served as a member and committee head to multiple museum boards.I adore dogs and was lucky enough to have grown up loving two beautiful fur babies; Fritzel, a sweet brown dachshund, and Pepper, a hyper, lovable Dalmatian. As an adult, I developed unimaginable allergies to fur and animal dander. Not being able to have a dog of my own in adulthood has been heartbreaking.I am excited to get to be a part of the DADR family.
I believe in rescue and adoption for animals. I believe in the mission of DADR and want to help see it grow.
Dr. Brandy Bearden, Medical Director
# of Dogs: 3 ( include two DADR dogs: Squirt and Criss Cross)
Dr. Brandy is the owner of the Barkin’ Wellness Waggin’ Mobile Veterinary Clinic. She also takes care of the rescued dogs of Dogs Are Deserving. She does takes care of all of our dogs medical needs. She’s an expert adviser for all things health-related and has a great love of all dogs. She’s even jumped in to do home visits–for medical reasons and for foster/adopter home checks.
Jeanna Schroeder, Treasurer
# of Fuzzies: 2 dogs plus 2 kitties!
Message to share: “I prefer dogs over most people….except Jana, she’s pretty grrrrreat!”
Jeanna’s love for dogs began when she adopted her first dog, Keesha and got her heart stolen. Jeanna was a sucker for a needy dog or cat from then on out. Since then, all of her pups have been rescues. Her current crew consists of Montana, who was Jana’s first foster dog. (Jana sent her some photos, and well, Jeanna fell in love!) Her other boy, Norman, was acquired from a friend whose family life didn’t really account for a dog. The two kitties where also rescues. Beethoven was a barn kitten Jeanna brought home and her most recent family member, Helenah, was a stray who showed up on her back porch during a cold Michigan winter. Jeanna also has done some transporting, along with volunteering for DADR. She doesn’t have much spare time, but when she does… “I am more than happy to share it to help save these sweet babies. I love that I am able to contribute something, and hope one day I will be able to contribute more.
Kathy Knapik, Board Member
# of Dogs: 1 Jade (DADR Alumni)
Kathy started in transport with Mobile mutts. She has transportes with them for 9 years. That is how she met Jana. She has now become a vital part of DADR by doing foster screenings, adoption inquiries and pulling dogs from shelters weekly all while working a full time job. According to Kathy “She has the world’s worst dog” (LOL) from DADR. She has been an amazing personto represent our rescue and we are so proud to have her as a board member.