About Us

hope, love & second chances

Our Story

Meet Tatum and Shelley, the girl with a black dog…

“My love for dogs has run deep my entire life. I’ve had many who were near and dear to me. It wasn’t until I rescued Tatum from a small town shelter in rural Kansas that I truly knew what it was like to save a life. We had a bond like nothing I’d ever experienced. He was the love of my life. But in truth – he saved me.

Tatum had been dumped at the same shelter not just once in his short 3 months of life, but twice. First with a sibling, then a short time later after being adopted. Humans had let him down two times, through no fault of his own. He didn’t know it that September day, but he would never have to know that feeling again. He was safe with me.

After losing Tatum in March of 2020, I began volunteering at my local shelter walking the dogs in the mornings. I have to be honest. The thought of going to a shelter again absolutely broke my heart because I knew I couldn’t save them all. But what I wasn’t considering was that by not going, I wasn’t saving any.

On the very first day, it was apparent the needs of the shelter were huge. There was no shortage of animals needing help. Most shelters are over-crowded and under-funded. Many rely solely on donations. I knew I had to do something. That very day, I came home and got busy. With the help of a friend, we created some pet-themed shirts and launched a fundraiser for the shelter. Girl With a Black Dog came to life.

I know Tatum would be thrilled that because of him, we are able to help so many animals in need. He always  impacted everyone he met. So through this platform, I honor him and will be the voice for those who can’t speak for themselves – shelter animals. I will share their stories, help mend their broken hearts, and won’t stop until they all have a home.”

Our motto: Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.

– Anatole France

Our Mission

To provide Hope, Love and Second Chances to every homeless animal.

My dream has always been to give back and save animals. Girl With a Black Dog does exactly that. By volunteering and advocating for homeless pets and telling their stories, we give them hope for a brighter future and love like they’ve possibly never experienced. It’s a second chance at the life they deserve.

Through the sales of our unique pet-themed apparel, we hope to raise the awareness and importance of adopting a shelter pet. And to make progress in finding every homeless animal a loving, forever home.

Katie’s Story

In mid-May, I returned to my hometown of Wellington, Kansas, for a visit with friends and family. While I was there, I met with Jodie, the director of the Wellington Humane Society, for a tour of the new facility and to see how my business, Girl With a Black Dog, might be able to support them. While visiting there, I learned of a beautiful, sweet, black Labrador named Katie. Her story was heart wrenching.

In January, her elderly owners had passed away and unfortunately, no other family members wanted this sweet soul. Katie was simply dumped at a local pound. Her odds of making it out were slim as she was a senior dog – 8 years old. Thankfully, someone in the pound fell in love with her dazzling personality and contacted Jodie to plea for why she might want to come meet Katie. As fate would have it, Jodie (also a sucker for Labradors) scooped her up and took her to the humane society where her chances were much greater for finding a home, no matter how long it took.

And so Katie waited. With no interest, she began showing signs of depression. Her world had suddenly turned upside down; she’d been her owners’ pride and joy, living her life by their sides. Unfortunately for Katie, odds are were against her being adopted because of her senior status, coupled by the fact that black dogs are less likely to be adopted compared to other colors. Her wait continued. Fast forward to May 11 when I met this precious girl for the first time. I literally had NO intention of falling in love or getting a dog while visiting that day. But when I met Katie and heard her story, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. During the journey back to my Arizona home at the end of that week, I popped open the humane society website and filled out the adoption application. My heart was a puddle; I knew I had to give her the best life for her remaining years.

At the end of that week, during my journey back to my home in Arizona,

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Reaching out to a friend in Wichita who works with rescue transports, I asked if by chance, she had one coming anywhere west that Katie might catch a ride, even if it was only part way. Being Memorial Day weekend, there weren’t many transports planned; that option didn’t pan out. But somewhere in my memory, I recalled some stories involving Pilots N Paws. I took a leap, jumped on their website and posted a request about a flight for Katie. And then I prayed. Days passed; no response. Thursday was my self-imposed deadline to begin the 18-hour drive to pick up my new girl myself.

Wednesday night a call from Oklahoma appeared on my phone. The caller was a kind man telling me he’d seen my post and that he and his wife would get Katie from Wellington and take her as far as Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Cue the water works. Filled with gratitude and joy, tears streamed down my face. This one, simple phone call cut my drive time in half. And better yet, I have a dear friend who lives in Santa Rosa – hallelujah! Quickly calling in a favor from my friend Monica, there was no hesitation – YES! She agreed to meet Bill and Suzi’s plane and then drive Katie to meet me in Soccorra, New Mexico, where I’d meet them. Everything was falling into perfect place. Friday I called the Wellington Humane Society to verify everything was ready, and asked if someone could possibly take a few pictures for me as they boarded the plane. That was an easy yes, plus they told me the local news station and newspaper were going to be onsite covering Katie’s story as well. Everyone involved in this labor of love was going to be recognized for their dedication and support. (Shortly after that, I got word another station was also jumping on the event too!)

This sweet girl, that no one seemed to want, suddenly was a celebrity and super star! It was a magical day made possible by everyone who played a part in Katie’s journey. I will be forever grateful to each of them. Without a doubt, this beautiful soul Katie was meant for me, and me for her. She is absolutely perfect. I love her more than I knew was possible. It feels like we’ve always been together, and I’m looking forward to many wonderful years ahead.

I hope Katie’s story encourages you to consider adopting a senior dog, and saving a life. Remember, no distance is too far. There are options out there and amazing people who can help make your dreams come true.

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