Since childhood I have had a soft spot in my heart for animals. Growing up I took every opportunity to spend time with the few animals that showed up in our family. Somehow an initial career path to veterinary school took a turn and I ended up in commercial interior design.
As my love for animals remained strong, I began to volunteer at a local animal shelter. Over the years I volunteered wherever needed including cat and dog adoptions and fostering 30+ plus dogs (mainly Pit Bulls). Then finally after purchasing my first home and before unpacking I adopted Claudia into my life. She was closely followed by Oscar, and Porter with Sadie tumbling after. My volunteer path lead me to the areas where injured animals were treated. Here I found my passion for helping dogs and cats that would never "make it out" such as my one eyed Leo, having sustained severe head trauma from abuse. Noticing the large number of discarded older dogs and cats, I narrowed my focus to the seniors. Thus my vision for Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary was born.
My hope is to fill a void for the senior animals who have been discarded or lost their humans, the ones more difficult to place, the ones that aren't as "adoptable" and the simply forgotten souls. I feel they deserve to live out their last few years, months, weeks, and yes, sometimes even days with dignity knowing they are loved. My home is a busy one that I share with my husband, daughter, and our six furry family members. Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary is my offering and I invite you to join me in making a difference.
"If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change." - Michael Jackson
Craig and his partner, Steve, moved to Arizona in 2009. Each was born and raised in Wisconsin and lived in the San Francisco Bay area for a number of years.
Craig has had dogs his entire life. He and Steve adopted their two current pups, bulldogs Niki and Charley, from southern California. Thanks to a network of friends, Craig and Steve were able to help these dogs, whose owner was in failing health and needed to find a home for his two girls, together.
Craig went to college at the University of Wisconsin and MATC in Milwaukee, where he obtained his Associates degree in Mortuary Science and Funeral Management. He became a state licensed funeral director and worked in various funeral homes for about 14 years. He then spent 21+ years of corporate life, before retiring early from Charles Schwab & Co.
Craig wanted to do something that was more personally fulfilling in retirement, so he spoke with a former co-worker who volunteered with FLPS and convinced him to do likewise in early 2016. Craig now oversees the sanctuary’s animal status and welfare.
Craig gives his personal attention and love to every animal that comes to FLPS, helping them to adjust to their new life — he knows their current situation is due to no faults of their own. Whether he’s cuddling them in their kennel suite, walking them, or playing with them, Craig learns each of their personalities and helps assess what will make for the best new life and best loving home for each Forever Loved dog.
Debi is originally from Spokane, Washington where she developed a love for animals at an early age and, as a child, always had one or more rescue kitties. After an unsuccessful attempt at becoming a rock star, she graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in professional accounting, which is pretty close to rock star.
About four years ago, Debi was visiting a cousin in Spokane, who had just adopted a Chihuahua. It was all over at that point, and within a few months, Debi adopted a Chiweenie and within another few months adopted a Chihuahua to keep the first dog company. This is when Debi decided that she wanted to volunteer with a rescue organization and learned about FLPS. After meeting Luisa and seeing the sanctuary, Debi wanted to become part of the FLPS team and assist with the finance function.
Debi is a CPA with over thirty years of accounting experience. Outside the office, Debi spends her free time spoiling her dogs and cats, listening to music and working out.
Tom and his wife, Gini, have been active in animal rescue since they moved to Arizona in 1995. Tom has volunteered at Pal's Rescue in Fountain Hills, at Second Chance in Flagstaff, and the Humane Association in Flagstaff. Gini is an adoption counselor at the Arizona Animal Welfare League. In addition to Forever Loved, Tom serves on the McDowell Mountain Preserve Commission, which oversees the 20 miles of hiking trails.
Tom spent 20 years in sales and marketing with Welch Foods, including leading the West Coast region. He is now retired, and he and his wife have three grown children and five grandchildren. Tom and Gini take an annual vacation to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah — one of the leading rescues in the country.
Michele was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where her love for animals was encouraged by her maternal grandfather. She moved to Phoenix in 1994, escaping the very cold and snowy winters.
Since moving, Michele has been involved in rescue, performing many tasks such as dog walking, adoptions, conducting humane education, mentoring, and fostering. She has always had a soft spot for giant breed dogs and senior pets who were overlooked simply because of their age.
Michele works in global financial crimes compliance, and enjoys spending time with her husband, friends, and pets. She is excited to work with all of the selfless volunteers at Forever Loved and looks forward to working with her fellow board members to help create a lasting legacy for senior pets.
Drew and his wife Erin moved to Arizona in 2014. Each had lived in New York City for 10+ years, so they were ready for a house with a yard — and dogs! Soon after relocating to Scottsdale, they adopted Caroline, who was one of Forever Loved’s very first pups. Caroline became rather famous and was later featured in a PetSmart Charities article about senior dogs.
Since then, Drew and Erin have adopted three more FLPS dogs, and Drew joined the organization’s board in 2017. He now oversees the sanctuary’s online efforts, including the FLPS website, email marketing, and social media.
Drew works at a dog-friendly digital marketing agency, Vertical Measures, and he previously worked in the nonprofit world at the Avon Foundation. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, scuba diving, and traveling. Follow him on Twitter: @dreweastmead
Chad was born and raised in Gig Harbor, Washington. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Rebecca, and they have two daughters, Caitlin (19), and Abby (14). He and his family moved to Arizona in 2014 to escape rainy Washington and pursue further career opportunities.
Chad currently works as a service manager at Compressed Air Power. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, riding bikes, working on his jeep, and finding interesting day trips around the Southwest.
Chad got involved with Forever Loved Pets through his dog-loving daughter, Abby, who was searching for a place where 12-year-olds could volunteer with dogs and found FLPS online. Initially his wife and Abby were volunteering, but over time Chad realized volunteering at FLPS events was a great way to also spend more time with his youngest teenager. Already animal lovers and owner of one dog, the family made room for one more former FLPS pup, Percy.
Chad loves helping out where needed at the shelter and playing with all the seniors who come through, waiting for their future homes. His true enjoyment comes from watching his daughter pursue her interests in volunteering with dogs and her excitement in finding an organization where she can help so much.