Our Volunteers


Jillian Carlson

Jillian, our certified trainer/volunteer since 2016 heads up the Training & Behavioral Team, Puppy Patrol and leads many other critical jobs. She has superhuman dog skills and dedication which results in her home being foster dubbed Camp Carlson, where multiple dogs in unison learn about proper dog etiquette. Jillian, adoption event behavior extraordinaire loves being able to volunteer with husband Jon and daughters Reagan and Kennedy, who is actually the Founder & President of DSR Jr. When not shaping the dogs of America, Jillian can be found creating fashionable collars for our 4 legged friends.

Wendy Dobrindt

Wendy Dobrindt is the Fundraising Leader for DSR.   She started her work with DSR in March, 2016 and volunteers at most events.   She works as a Finance Director in the Insurance Industry.  She has two very spoiled cocker spaniels, Maddie and Roddy; who was intended to be a short term foster, but decided he never wanted to leave her home and became a forever family member on 12/29/16.

Susan Gravitch-Smith

Susan is the leader of the Screening Team at Dog Star Rescue. She loves playing matchmaker and finding dogs a place to call home. Susan has been with DSR since 2014 and thinks that the adoption events are one of the best parts of volunteering. She spends her days as the Listing Coordinator of Starr Realty Group at Keller Williams and enjoys bringing her puppy fosters to the office to distract her co-workers. Susan resides in Simsbury with her husband Carmen and their 3 dogs Ozzy, Brady & Jack who are spoiled beyond belief.

Dan McCabe

Dan McCabe is the rescue President and is a rescue jack of all trades master of a few.  He is dedicated to moving the organization forward along with the scores of other dedicated dog loving volunteers with the goal of saving as many homeless dogs as possible.  In his other full time job Dan is an Insurance Compliance Director.  Dan makes his home with Ellen 2 dogs, 2 cats and an occasional guest on its way to their forever home.

Ellen McCabe

Ellen McCabe is the Intake Coordinator of Dog Star Rescue. Ellen is a 5th grade teacher and lives in Avon, CT with her husband Dan, dogs Carter and Redd, and cats Inky and Binky. She and her husband
helped start DSR after being involved in rescue work for several years. She has a lot of fun working along side great volunteers and feels the best part of rescue is seeing a dog meet their forever family for the first time.

Karen Potterton

Karen is our Foster Coordinator who also volunteers at almost all DSR Events and works with our Behavior/Training Team.  She started volunteering with DSR in 2014 when she retired after spending almost 40 years in the Insurance Industry in various Management and Consulting roles.  Karen currently has 3 rescue dogs and 1 rescue cat that are a part of her family. Karen’s greatest dream is to find a home for all the dogs we take in!

Jim Walter

Jim is Dog Star Rescue’s Volunteer Coordinator in addition to being a screener and screening mentor.  He was Associate Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the University of Connecticut, retiring in 2012.  He is a former volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and for ten years was a member of the Cranbury (NJ) First Aid Squad, serving as the organization’s president for two years.

Ali Wasley

Ali Wasley is the Dog Star Rescue Treasurer. She played a large part in the development and documentation of the accounting team’s processes and controls and is very active in the fundraising/grant writing groups and financial reporting. She volunteers at most events and enjoys getting to know each DSR pup. Ali lives in West Hartford with her two dogs and is an Audit Manager for the public accounting firm, BlumShapiro. She has been a passionate Dog Star member since May of 2016.

Lou Zarchen

Lou has been a DSR volunteer since the beginning of the organization and has the distinction of procuring the first piece of DSR logo’d merchandise. He has been a screener, worked transport, handled dogs, transported dogs to and from medical procedures and occasionally fostered a few dogs. He presently is Director of facilities and logistics and takes the lead in the planning of DSR’s Bark & Brew annual event. Lou and his wife Janet grew up with dogs and cats and presently have two of each. DSR has provided Lou with so many great moments, helping dogs find great homes and seeing all the happy faces at our annual Bark & Brew event.

Volunteer Spotlight

Dog Star Rescue is fortunate to have a large number of volunteers that dedicate their time and expertise to make our organization special and successful. Periodically, we like to shine the spotlight on a volunteer whose contributions are extra special. Please take a moment to see and read about these special volunteers, both past and presentClick on picture to read the spotlight story.

Amy Barton

Rebecca Chancey

Kelsey Deutsch

Dennis Dix

Amelia Flater

Kyle and Hayley Haspeslagh

Christy Hoffman

Cindy Kalen

Patricia Lauzier

Katje Pearson

Steve Pflederer
(In Memoriam)

Michelle Sargis

Dawn Sarro

Cindy, Dog up for adoption at Dog Star Rescue looking lovingly for new home.

Linda Sekula

Sydney Shugdinis

Joanne Stevens

Michelle Stoppani

Ali Wasley

Lou Zarchen