How Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue Was Started

A few of us volunteered at a local rescue here in Colorado. While fostering was rewarding, the needs of the animals were not all met – we were isolated with our charges and unsupported. Not feeling the most was being done for the sake of the animals, we felt inspired. “WE CAN DO BETTER!!”


Fortunately, there were others that felt the same and the Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue was born! We credit our previous experiences as having inspired us to dig deeper into the rescue community… NO ONE works alone and so we sat down to hack out the beginnings of RMPR. We have expanded and added many positions including a position of Foster and Volunteer Manager, Operations Manager and Event & Online Content Manager. Many folks have joined the mission and have added many wonderful facets to the group.

“We went to save one dog that we had see on Dogs In Danger.  She was set to be killed the next day.  The shelter was floor to ceiling with dogs and the shelter director asked if we could help.  We went to store, bought all of the crates and kennels, canceled our upcoming vacation, loaded up our van with dogs and drove home.  That was 5 years ago and we’ve been doing that every week, ever since.”    - Tom, Co-Founder

Some sobering statistics....  and why we do this 365 days a year.

7 Million

The number of dogs and cats that enter the shelter system in the US each year.

4 Million

The number of dogs and cats put to death simply because no one wants them and there aren’t enough rescues to save them.


Of all dogs and 70% of cats that enter a shelter are put to death simply because there is no room to keep them.

Our Mission

To rescue, foster, vet and rehome unwanted shelter animals and promote spay and neuter of all animals. End Pet Overpopulation with our SPAY IT FORWARD program, providing subsidized spay neuter surgeries for impoverished counties in the South West US.

2 Million

The number of dogs and cats that are reunited with their owners or adopted out.

1 Million

The number of dogs and cats put to death due to illness or viciousness.


The number of dogs RMPR has saved and found homes for. Click here to find out how you can help us save even more!


Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue is a group of hardworking fosters and volunteers who work to save the lives of unwanted dogs and puppies around the Colorado area. We focus on the younger animals that, when dumped in a shelter, are often exposed to disease and experience lack of socialization,  killing their chances at becoming balanced adult dogs.


RMPR has successfully rescued and  re-homed over 2,500 animals and we are still going strong!

Emma Shin helped to create RMPR due to her experiences as a child. Her family loved all animals, and her Grandfather in particular had a soft heart for the “ pound dogs “ he would meet. “When I was young he was always taking in a stray and trying to rehome them" Her family’s love of animals coupled by her less than ideal experience at another puppy rescue inspired Emma. Knowing that others felt the same and that more could be done for the homeless animals she met, RMPR rescue and adoption program was created August 2010. In October 2012 the Spay it Forward, subsidized owned animal Spay Neuter program was born. Ms Shin's has over twelve years of successful National Sales Experience in advertising, marketing, sales and product services sales. It is this experience coupled with her passionate love of all things living that fuels the work she does. Emma feels blessed to have a helping hand in saving the animals of RMPR and helping them to reach their forever homes.Together, We Can Save More!



There are several favorite things about being involved with RMPR for Tom... first, coming home from a hectic, stressful day running his custom homebuilding company, laying on the floor and being swarmed by a litter of puppies... "Nothing else matters when you are covered in puppies." Second, watching Emma, and Sonya and the other huge-hearted volunteers come together, doing whatever it takes to save these lives. Tom gets to enjoy one of his passions... photography... shooting the glamor shots of all the dogs that come in, hoping a nice picture might lead to a visit for that particular dog that helps find a forever home. And last, seeing the happy families, completed by the addition of the dog or puppy that without the hard work of these volunteers, had no chance at a happy life. Tom is proud to be part of an amazing group of people that works day after day, and comes together week after week to do something bigger than themselves... and has fun doing it.



SONYA | Foster and Volunteer Manager

Sonya has always loved dogs and brought home her first furry friend Misha at 21. She currently lives with her adopted pitbull mixes and loves sharing stories about the breed to help change the negative public perception of them! With her passion always being centered around dogs, when the opportunity to join Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue full time presented itself she dove in with both feet leaving behind a 20+ year career in the financial services industry. In addition, she is finishing up her classes to be a certified dog trainer to further help those maintain healthy and happy relationships with their companions.  As the foster and volunteer manager Sonya seeks to find other individuals and families with a shared passion about saving lives who are willing to open their hearts and homes to shelter animals until the perfect fur-ever family is found.


Russ Zoeteway  | Foster and Volunteer

Russ, a resident of Loveland, CO is a structural engineer with his own company by trade, and a foster extraordinaire by design.  With the flexibility of owning his own business, Russ has the ability to bring his foster dog to work with him. Russ is a standout as one of RMPR’s adult dog rehabilitators. He has the skillset to take in some of the shy cases that RMPR saves and give them the time and patience to learn to trust and come out of their shells! With a consistent schedule, regular walks, and good nutrition the dogs begin to blossom and their true personalities’ shine through.  In addition to fostering and saving lives, Russ has become an integral member of the RMPR family. He is always there to give of his time and help in anyway needed. He loves going and volunteering at the Spay It Forward clinics and is a valuable member of the volunteer team!


Veronika Permut | Operations Manager

Veronika has been with RMPR since July of 2011. She started as a volunteer at the events, but couldn’t resist jumping into fostering. Over the years she has had many different roles, but her absolute favorite is running the visiting pens and getting to play puppy matchmaker with the adopters. She also loves to participate in the spay/neuter clinics RMPR puts on several times a year. Veronika is a huge animal lover (especially dogs) and recently moved to the country so she could help more of them as well as providing her pups Maya, Cinch, Sweet (RMPR alum!) and countless fosters with more room to roam!