Our pets are our family. They bring us joy, hope, and show us how to love. The staff of because I said I would would like to recognize our wonderful pets and thank them for being there for us as we change the world.
Dad: Alex Sheen, Founder
Our office dog, Kimchi, is the daughter of our Founder, Alex Sheen. She loves to visit our rooms throughout the day for progress updates and official petting time. Kimchi spends her afternoons snoring on the office couch and dreaming of a world where everyone loved their fellow humans as much as they loved their pets. Kimchi is 12 years old, diabetic and a cancer survivor.
In her spare time, Kimchi enjoys snoozing, giving kisses, bringing each of us toys and cuddling with her mom.
Miska Messer and Rocket Renaldo
Mom: Amanda Messer, Co-Founder
Miska (pronounced Meesh-ka and on the left) means little bear in Russian. It describes this little lovable teddy bear perfectly. Miska is a 7 year old Havanese. We often say that all he knows is love. He loves everyone and everything. His excitement for life is contagious. However, Miska loves no one and nothing more than he loves his bone. He will play fetch for hours. I’m not kidding. If you don’t throw his bone, he will put it on you and cry until you do. It is adorable.
He also loves looking out the window, protecting his family, treats, and, of course, being cute.
Rocket (Rocky for short and on the right) is a Chihuahua/Beagle mix. He loves to cuddle, sit in front a heater, and watch out the window from Mom’s desk. Rocky is a very sweet natured and also loves to be in a baby carrier. No joke. He begs to get in. Rocky spent his first 5 months doing who knows what, who knows where. He had Parvo when we got him but he pulled through like the fighter he is. Now he is right were he belogs; with his older human brother and his older dog brother and sister. He was named Rocket at the shelter we found him at and it just fit – our 10 year old suggested Rocky for short. We are so happy to have him as our second office dog. He is a quiet boy and the perfect companion.
Rocket loves being with his family, chewing on a good toy and playing with his older brother.
Mom: Cassie Perez, Senior Chapter Relationship Manager
My name is Moo and I am 7 years old. My mom rescued me as a young kitten after finding me outside with my brother Milo, who now lives with my grandma. I love being the only child in our house as I do not get along with many other animals.I love sunbathing in the window, and playing with my toy mice ( affectionately called mousies). Sleeping all day and watching birds in the window is another one of my favorite pastimes. I love cuddling and getting spoiled with wet food and treats. Overall I am a happy, fat cat.
Mom: Nicole Clevenger, Program Impact Manager
Harley is a boxer mix with an insatiable appetite for playing tug. One of her most adorable qualities is that she loves to do whatever her humans are doing such as sitting with her feet stretched out on the couch or using her ‘hands’ to pick things up, give hugs or play with her toys. She can jump fences in a single bound and likes to chase our squirrel, affectionately called Larry, around the backyard. After a hard day, Harley can be found on her favorite blanket snoring loudly while maintaining her role as guardian of the land while she sleeps.
Leo and Tug Spatafore
Mom: Kay Spatafore, VP of Character Education
Leo is a kill shelter survivor. He is an outdoors enthusiast and loves to experience running, jumping, and the pursuit of a tennis ball. Leo is the founder of our neighborhood watch program, spending a great deal of each day making sure that everyone is aware of the mailman or other visitors to the neighborhood. In his spare time, this Jack Russell loves to watch TV (Dog Hotel is a fav) and spend time with his family. He is the epitome of lap dog.
Tug is the younger of the two adopted brothers and was referenced by the rescue as a Boston Terrier Mix, which seems to be fairly distant on the family tree. Tug is playful, kind and loves any toy with a squeaker. He is passionate about annoying his big brother and treats. Both of these boys are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and making the world a better place one tail wag at a time.
Brother In Arms: Paul McKinney, Director of Content Development
Rufus Maximus, first of his name, was born in Athens, OH. His mother is said to have been the most beautiful beagle in the land, and his father was King of all Pugs. During the great Puggle Rebellion of 2010, Rufus, still just a wee pup, was hidden away by his mother. He spent his early years sheltered by the compassion of strangers, travelling the world tasting all the finest delicacies and searching for the perfect treat. At the dog age of 35, he was captured and imprisoned in Cleveland, OH. It was there that he was found and rescued by his brother, Paul.
Since October of 2015, Rufus has lived with his adoptive family in Cleveland Heights. To this day, he continues his lifelong pursuit of the perfect treat. You can find him on Instagram @rufuspugglekingdom.
Roxanne Amor Bermudez
Mom: Heidi Bermudez – Martin, Executive Assistant to the Founder
Roxanne who affectionately goes by Roxy or Ruzzy fills her mother’s heart with so much love. Her
middle name means love in Spanish and she certainly lives up to that name. She has been a loving and
important part of Heidi’s family for 14 years now.
She can always be found cuddling under her blanket while sitting on her mommy’s lap. Roxy loves to
play with all her toys and getting dressed up in her beautiful outfits. She may only weigh 5lbs but she is
one tough little cookie.
Mom: Abby Diamond, Chapter Relationship Manager
Frank is a one-year-old grey and white cat who was rescued from the Cleveland APL. He is a wannabe outdoor cat who loves sitting on the balcony so he can people/animal watch. His parents’ attempts to take him on harness-lead walks have turned out quite well, so his dream may someday become a reality. His favorite hobbies include secretly plotting his parents’ demise and hitting the cords from the blinds as many times as possible.
In his spare time, Frank enjoys sleeping under the bed and running around the room as fast as he can.
Mom: Megan Franciscus, Bookkeeper
In October of 2015, Megan’s daughter, Kate Marie, suddenly went into ketoacidosis and was not expected to live. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and spent 7 days in the Cleveland Clinic on an insulin drip and slowly came out of her coma. She was release the day before her 13th birthday. What Kate wanted more than anything the world was a dog. The next day, a rescue organization brought two puppies for the family to meet. Kate immediately bonded with a Mastiff/Retriever Mix which she named Samson. Sadly, he had been discovered in a foreclosed home by the junk removal team and turned over to the rescue group. He was approximately 3 months old at the time and as cute as could be Needless to say, Samson (5 years now and 95 lbs.) never left and we all fell in love with immediately! He especially looks out for Kate and never leaves her side when she is home.
“Best Dog Ever” is his slogan.
Grandmother: Kathie McNeilly, Volunteer Manager
Bear McNeilly was born on Halloween, Oct 31, 2011, and moved in with his human “dad,” Justin, on New Year’s Eve, 2011. As a pup, he enjoyed annoying the cats with whom he lived and barking at the squirrels outside his window. He spent a brief time living in Southern California but did not enjoy being boarded frequently while his owner traveled internationally for work. Therefore, Bear moved back to the Cleveland area and now enjoys life here with his human grandparents, Kathie and Tim. Bear enjoys body rubs, playing with toys, and alerting his family to the many forms of wildlife that visit his backyard. Bear once traveled from Ohio to California in a van in the company of 3 other dogs, 2 cats, and a hamster, and is still trying to recover from that experience.