We cannot thank our volunteer run team enough for their hard work, sacrifice, compassion, and encouragement. Without these guys and the many other volunteers and foster parents we rely on, we could never save as many lives as we do.
Samantha Brody, Director
Bosses everyone around whenever she feels like it. Jk! Sort of. Samantha started with us as a foster parent in 2012 and quickly started doing lots of other stuff it takes to manage this amazing, insane, wily, challenging, uplifting creature we call Social Tees. She does most of the boring administrative junk and also a lot of the cool things like running our social media, planning photo shoots, and playing with really cute animals. She has two ridiculous looking dogs (you may see them from time to time modeling in our Instagram pics) and a big badass cat. In her "past life," she was the senior editor of a parenting magazine and got her Masters in Environmental Conservation Education.
Dimitra Molossi, Director
The woman, the legend. Dimitra is the force of nature behind every off-the-wall thing we do, from rescuing pregnant bulldogs from the underbelly of Brooklyn to flying 100 dogs from west coast kill shelters to the Big Apple. She propells us forward and keeps our heads up especially when times get tough. This Greek Goddess grew up in Germany and has been in the states for the past decade. She also works in TV production, but animal welfare has always been her passion. Her dogs (Mokee the Boston Terrier, Bang Bang the mini poodle, and Emma the Weimaraner) are a great conversation starter for us — did you know that 25% of rescue dogs are purebreds? Discuss.
Marisa Adler, Director
Marisa joined us in 2008 after stumbling upon the shelter by accident. Thank goodness she did! She began as a regular old cage-cleaning volunteer and is now the Pied Piper of our volunteer team — she oversees recruitment, training, and adoption events. Marisa says we originally snagged her “because of our multifaceted personality as a socially conscious organization, serving both animals in need and greater societal good through our tee shirt fundraising activities and our environmentally sustainable outlook.” Wow, that makes us sound fancy! (It’s all true.) Outside of animal rescue, Marisa is a sustainable materials management professional and follows a vegan lifestyle. She has two quirky cats, brothers Purrrcy and Clawde. She can't imagine life without them. Two certainly are better than one!
We barely have words to express our gratitude. Her duties include… EVERYTHING. We pretty much trapped her when she showed her true rescue colors. “Not letting this one go… ever,” we thought to ourselves. We’ve taken over her life, but at least she says she’s met some of the greatest people in the world since joining, and what she appreciates most is: “That the animals’ well being is truly our top priority. We alway makes sure they come first no matter how much effort it takes. Everyone works hard, and we are all united in the mission of saving lives.” Word. Also, she's obsessed with Billy Pilgrim, her mischievous FIP positive cat, and Kimmy, her other kitty, who has messed up eyelids.
Not that we’d want to, but we can’t figure out how to shut this girl off. She manages adoption approvals, and she’s usually the first and last voice in our group texts every day. Jess is that unique balance of solid head on her shoulders plus a dry sense of humor that’s a blast to be around. She says she first became part of the Social Tees fam as a devoted Instagram follower. Now knowing her pretty well, it wasn’t surprising to hear that just looking at dogs on social media wasn’t enough… she wanted to take over the rescue world. “It’s a great feeling to see a dog first arrive and follow their journey to the final stages of adoption,” she says, now entrenched as deeply in the process as possible. Somehow, she also manages to teach middle school art, and her favorite hobbies include petting dogs on every street corner and drinking lots of coffee.
Ginger & Presley Brody
Without these two muppets, the whole operation would fall apart. Just kidding, that’s not even slightly true, but the arrogant fuzz master on the right would like to think that it is. This disastrous duo belongs to one of our directors, and they regularly sacrifice their very precious time and energy to pose for our social media photos and videos. Both Social Tees grads themselves, they also serve as spokes-dogs for animal rescue everywhere they go. Ginger was originally found on the mean streets of Brooklyn emaciated, covered in all sorts of infections, and lactating in the winter of 2014. Presley was found the same year running down the side of a highway in Tennessee. Now? Spoiled af.
"When you're doing something you love, it's never work." That about sums up Mel as perfectly as we could have imagined when we asked for her thoughts on rescue. Even with a full time career, three dogs, and a baby, she is still a key part of our application processing and adoption approvals team. She joined rescue when two of her dogs passed away a few years ago, and her elephant like memory and attention to detail catapulted her into the glamorous (lol) position she fills now. When she’s not doing something super productive, which is like never, she’s changing diapers or hanging with her hubby — who she adorably describes as her “inspiration to be better.”
What a darling. How could anyone be stressed or glum with a smile like that around? And her positive energy translates digitally too, which is really convenient since this girl is mostly a remote volunteer (one of our main foster home coordinators). In her non to five life, Kate is an Account Executive for a Private Brand swimwear company. She’s super active and loves going on runs and hikes with husband and rescue pup Pal, who’s a Social Tees grad! After fostering and ultimately adopting that handsome hunk, Kate says she had always felt a strong connection to the organization. Because Pal brought her so much joy, Kate felt compelled to continue helping other dogs in finding their furever homes. Her favorite part of working with us: getting to know and love this amazing group of volunteers!
We lovingly call her the Energizer Bunny -- she's cute, snuggly, wears sexy shades, and never, ever stops. Ashley heads up special events and does a smashing af job. She has also fostered up to six puppies at once! She began as a weekend volunteer, but we saw her potential and kind of loaded her up with responsibilities, which she's handled like a champ. Ashley's gone to the moon and back to grow and evolve our volunteer and events programs. "It has been the most fun to work with brands, organizations, andstellar individuals," she says. "Hanging out with adorable pups, helping to raise awareness & funds, and contributing to the culture of Social Tees is an honor, a privilege, and a gift."
Our super awesome and loyal Sunday shelter attendant, Renee keeps the place tidy and helps out with adoptions and foster home coordination. She is one of the happiest, warmest people you'll meet! During the rest of the week, she hangs with her handsome dog and designs toys. So she's basically living every kid’s fantasy version of grownup life. She and her husband rescued their dog Zeke, who they say is the best ever, so she joined our team because she wants to help other people find their best pets ever — and to help the animals waiting for those people in the meantime. She also has a black cat named Dakota Ignatius Kittypants.
This babe is another of our mostly offsite stars who coordinates foster homes. Volunteering is important to her because her childhood dog was a rescue lab that, unbelievably, lived to age 19, and because all she wants in the whole wide world is to own her own dog one day when she’s ready. In the meantime, she’s helping other dog lovers find their soulmates. In her “real” life, she works at an advertising agency and specializes in healthcare. Something random and funny: Tiff is a serious foodie and has been to many of the best or scene-iest restaurants in town, but she’s a sucker for fast food and can never get enough McDonald’s. Go figure.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Michael Levitt aka "LA Mike” guiding our West Coast rescue efforts. We met Michael in 2012 when he adopted his one-eyed pup Nelson from us, but we realized he was our rescue soulmate when we saw how inspired he was to save more lives. He does these videos where he gives dogs newly free from the kill shelter a celebratory fresh cooked snack, which he called "freedom chicken." We were hooked! Having Michael as our L.A. eyes and ears has allowed us to build strong relationships and to rescue thousands of pups in CA.
A hands-on, all-in kind of gal with a passion for service and animals, she could barely control herself when she saw our post desperately requesting new volunteers. “I couldn’t wait to join the team. Working in rescue has truly opened my eyes — the way I empathize, my ability to be patient, and how I communicate have exponentially benefitted from getting to work with these amazing people and serve so many deserving pups,” this life-of-the-party foster coordinator says. There’s literally nothing she wouldn't do for one of our rescue babies. Believe us, we’ve put her to the test.
Behold, our beloved and revered Canine Fecal Engineer! Inside joke. He's a dog walker, so we made him a shirt years ago featuring that title, and he still wears it. Paul has been with us longer than any other volunteer, and his help is invaluable. So is his sense of humor and creativity, which we rely on for pick-me-ups each day. He's one of those guys who somehow knows everything that's going on, so we constantly turn to him for neighborhood news. He has a dog named Brisket and two senior cats, all foster failures.
Meredith is the hot tub of our adoption events team: warm, bubbly, ever inviting. Her energy, optimism, and awesomeness help plan and guide our pop-ups to success! This happy babe works in the fashion industry designing activewear, is super outdoorsy and fit, and got involved with us to give back to the NYC community and to help dogs find their forever homes. Random fun fact: She learned photography after seeing the northern lights!
As thorough and detail oriented as she is snuggly, Sam is another member of our application processing team who also assists in coordinating adoptions. She joined us because she felt compelled to do more as an animal-lover than just spam her IG followers with cute dog pics and felt a calling to help match pups with their soulmates. “Seeing our dogs go from sometimes dismal pasts into happy homes and knowing I played any kind of role in that is all I could ask for, and I'm constantly inspired by the rest of the Social Tees clan who work so hard to make this all happen.” In between fielding rescue emails and setting up meeting requests, she works in marketing for her family business.
“I had nothing to live for until I found Social Tees.” Just kidding, Jaime never said that, but she did say being a foster coordinator has filled her with a joy and sense of pride and accomplishment as she helps secure homes for previously unloved pups and gets to be a crucial part of their journey to their forever families. She joined us because she knew she needed to find a way to be around dogs when she moved here after college, but she also wisely knew she wasn’t ready to own one. She found us after a comedian (shoutout to our girl Nikki Glaser!) shared us on Instagram, and the rest is history. When she’s not on the rescue clock, she’s chilling with her baby niece in BK, who has become her world. :)
This piece of gorgeousness is basically a super hero as she spends nearly every waking moment protecting something special, human or animal, during her day job and while volunteering with us. Plus she has a few stunning rescue doggies of her own! She is on call 24 hours a day and, despite her very busy schedule, somehow always available to rise to the challenges we present her, like foster some off-the-wall bulldog puppies for a week, or completely fill her car with dogs in need of transport. Michelle’s motto: “I took 9.”
If you can believe it, this youthful lady is a stay-at-home mom of two little humans… and two four-legged Social Tees grads! She joined our application processing crew to show her gratitude: “It has been so wonderful working with passionate volunteers who strive to find the perfect homes for these abandoned pups.” When she’s not helping us, she’s serving on the PTA board, and for fun she’s learning how to skateboard so she can keep up with her kids.
In case you can’t tell from this photo, Taylor likes to have a good time. We’ve never seen this girl any less than glowing and eager to socialize with humans and pooches alike, which is why she’s a natural for our adoption events team. She volunteers because it’s important to her to spread awareness about rescue, and she loves being able to educate people in fun ways, informing curious event attendees about the Social Tees mission (always with a huge smile on her face, usually with a puppy in arm). Taylor works full time as a UI / UX designer at tech company and part time as an event host for social gatherings around New York City. She loves concerts, discovering new music, and enjoying life in New York.
Tempy Nala, the kitty she and her husband own, is too camera shy for photos, so Colleen’s friend’s cat graciously posed with her for this pic. Colleen’s always had felines growing up, has always loved animals, and says she likes them better than most people. Which is probably why we like her so much. If you can’t tell, she’s a cat lady, which adds some mischievous variety to our team as most of us seem to lean in the dog direction. Colleen is one of our main application processors, and she got into rescue because she wanted to make a difference after burning out of 20 years in the restaurant industry. She still loves food and wine though, and she’s a certified sommelier. Cool!
Paw-Parazzi: The very, very talented artists and photographers who donate their time and skills so our critters can find their forever homes faster.
Stunning studio shots of all kinds of critters. We legit have no idea how she gets those pics. See for yourself: shainafishman.com
Truly has a way with dogs. And people. He’s just the best, and his photography is hot as biscuits; flobophoto.com
Runs the gloriously rescue forward site (with corresponding Insta account) adoptabledogsofnyc.com