What we Do
We the Dogs was formed by five women from the DC area. We connected on Instagram through accounts set up to feature our dogs and decided to use our social connections to work together to give back to the DC animal community.
In June 2017, our group planned and hosted the Bipawtisan March to benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance and Rural Dog Rescue. Due to the success of the event and positive community response, we decided to form a nonprofit to host regular fundraisers to support local animal rescue organizations.
We the Dogs DC was officially launched in August 2017. In January 2019, we launched We the Dogs NYC. Our goal is to continue to launch We the Dogs teams in other cities that show interest in getting involved so that we can enable them to create the same type of grassroots community to support local rescue organizations that we’ve created in DC and NYC.
Our team works solely on a volunteer basis, and each of us has a full-time job that is not connected to the organization. We do this because we all genuinely care about animal rescue organizations, and we have a talent for thinking of unique ways to bring the community together to benefit the local organizations that need it most.
Meet the Team
Our team consists of volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences with one thing in common: we love our dogs and want to build communities that support our pets. We the Dogs began as a “passion project” for us, and creating a 501(c)3 made it easier for us to work with our community to support local rescue organizations. We are dedicated to finding creative ways to support dog-friendly communities and to further the mission of our organization as it continues to develop. Read on to learn more about some of our incredible pack members.
If you want to contact the DC Team, please email [email protected]
Amber Duggan & Izzy
Amber Duggan is the Executive Director of We the Dogs Inc., and helps maintain each of the We the Dogs city teams. Amber and Izzy (@izzy_the_chow) are so excited to have a group that supports dog-friendly communities and works together to help rescue dogs! Izzy, who is now 13, was rescued by Amber 7 years ago. Their favorite place to hang out is Grist Mill dog park; it is often empty, which is perfect for Izzy!Izzy's Instagram
Naila Campbell & Merit
Naila Campbell is the DC city team lead. Naila and Merit (@meritthemini) are an adventure seeking dynamic duo that love to capture the moment. Merit is a social butterfly who enjoys yappy hours, hikes with swimming opportunities, and hugging humans. Naila is passionate about training Merit. You can often find the pair at Rio Lakefront taking a stroll around the water and grabbing bubble tea.Merit's Instagram
Erin Adams & Loki
Erin is a life-long dog-lover and joined We the Dogs after looking for a way to get involved with local animal welfare organizations. Erin recently adopted Loki (@loki_the_pomchiweenie), a one-year-old Pomchiweenie, from Operation Paws for Homes. Erin, Loki and her husband live in Alexandria and frequent Lost Dog Cafe’s dog-friendly patio!Loki's Instagram
Renee Arellano & Kingston
Renee and Kingston (@KingstonBudz) got involved with the We the Dogs DC team when Renee got the opportunity to unite her passion for animal rescuing and event planning during the planning of the Bipawtisan March in 2017. They love being a part of an organization that gives back to the DC pet community. While the world feels big most of the time, Renee loves the We the Dogs DC community for making it feel a bit smaller and interconnected. Renee is hard to miss at We the Dogs DC events- she is typically running around with camera in hand capturing beautiful pups and wonderful memories. When not photographing and planning events for We the Dogs DC, Renee loves experimenting with the DC food scene. You might spot her at Archipelago on U Street or anywhere tiki drinks are on the menu. To relax from the busy city life, Renee loves cruising on the river to enjoy the scenery and unwind.
Ashley Boswell & Ella & Otis
Ashley wanted to become a part of We the Dogs to help give back to the dog community and connect with other dog parents in DC. When Ella and Otis (@thebozpibbles) are not napping or eating, they can be found at local dog parks, a nice patio at a brewery, or traveling to see their friends and family. Ashley adopted her first dog when she was 23 and has never looked back from having multiple dogs in the house! Ashley enjoys being outdoors with Ella and Otis, photography, and traveling with the pups and her husband.Ella & Otis's Instagram
Emily Cao & Asher
Emily and Asher (@asherfitzwilliam) joined We the Dogs to connect with and support dog-friendly communities in DC. Emily and Asher are each other’s first human and dog, respectively – and neither could have asked for a better match! Asher is a Golden Retriever whose life’s mission is to perfect his treat-begging face and keep constant tabs on the whereabouts of his favorite ball. They can frequently be found on local hikes or playing fetch in Alexandria’s best creeks.Asher's Instagram
Shannon DiMartino & Ruby
Originally from Long Island, New York, Shannon is the proud owner of Ruby (@rubycubethebulldog), a rescue bulldog mix from Virginia. They started an Instagram account and instantly connected with other dog lovers in the area to plan something positive during a contentious time in DC. Soon after, the We the Dogs DC group was launched and their first event – the 2017 Bipawtisan March – was a smashing success! One of Shannon’s favorite things about We the Dogs DC is the incredible sense of community it has built for dog lovers and animal rescues. Outside of We the Dogs DC, Shannon spends her time travelling, baking themed cakes or spending time on benches with Ruby. You’ll often find Shannon at the lighthouse in Jones Point Park when she wants to get away from the crazy city or supporting the Caps to show her local pride.Ruby's Instagram
Jillian Molina & Seneca
Jillian grew up outside of Buffalo, New York and has lived in the D.C. area for almost ten years. Her lifelong dream came true in 2017 when she adopted her dog, Seneca (@senegrams), a low-rider black lab mix with some serious side-eye game. Noticing how group walks with other dogs boosted Seneca’s confidence, Jillian helped form the Meridian Hill Dog Pack, a weekly walking group with a focus on positive socialization for dogs and humans, leash training skills, and enjoyment of the dog-friendly community. You can find Jillian and Seneca at almost any happy hour where proceeds benefit local rescues.Seneca's Instagram
Carolyn Phillips & Lucky
Lucky (@hurricane_lucky) was rescued from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and then flown up to the DMV area. She met Carolyn at a local adoption event in October 2017, and the rest is history! They held the We The Dogs DC handle last October to celebrate Lucky’s second Gotcha Day and had so much fun! That experience and her love for rescue dogs inspired Carolyn to start volunteering with We The Dogs, and she has loved it so far, especially the trivia events. You can find Carolyn and Lucky at dog parks around Northern Virginia and DC, especially the Shirlington Dog Park. They also recently tried kayaking together on the Potomac River, and although Lucky would rather avoid water at all costs, she seemed to enjoy it!Lucky's Instagram
Ayanna Toomer & Simba
Say hello to Ayanna and her pup Bear Simba (@therealsimba27) – or Simba for short! We the Dogs has allowed Ayanna and Simba to become more involved with the dog community and to meet fellow dog owners in the city. They can frequently be found at Wagtime or any local pet boutique looking at new toys and goodies. Sometimes Simba also hangs out with Ayanna at work at District Veterinary Hospital! When Ayanna is not loving on her Simba Bear, she enjoys teaching pilates, catching the latest Marvel movie, and trying new restaurants.Simba's Instagram
New York City
If you want to contact the NYC Team, email us at [email protected]
Rachel Richter & Daisy
Rachel Richter is the NYC city team lead. You can often find Daisy (@thebasicflower) and Rachel making fetch happen on the West Side of Manhattan! Rachel and Daisy love being a part of We the Dogs because they get a chance to meet amazing dogs and their humans, while also helping dogs in need. Their favorite things to do together include taking fun photos while exploring the city and visiting dog parks.Daisy's Instagram
Carol Hill & Ruby
Carol is the momager to Ruby (@ruby_top_of_the_hills), a 1.5 year old Sheepadoodle. Carol started working with We the Dogs NYC to help find furrever homes for all dogs, after being inspired by the many dog lovers in her own house who love to spoil Ruby rotten. Ruby keeps her family active and they can most often be found in one of the local dog friendly hiking spots in Northern NJ or NY State (Harriman State Park is a go-to!). Ruby is loved by her two human brothers Casey and Alex, and pawrents Doug and Carol.Ruby's Instagram
Claire Olivarez & Layla
Claire (@brightlightsbighair) is mom to Layla, a 12-year-old miniature piebald dachshund. Claire and Layla became involved with the We the Dogs community while living in Washington, D.C. They loved the mission behind We the Dogs DC, and welcomed the opportunity to meet other Washingtonians and their furbabies. Claire and Layla moved to Brooklyn in March 2018, and look forward to many more adventures with the NYC chapter of We the Dogs. You can often find Claire and Layla exploring Brooklyn Heights Promenade or walking around Prospect Park.
Suchita Aishwarya & Sasha
Suchita is a POM-MOM to Sasha (@sasha__thepom). She grew up around dogs in India where she helped many strays with food and love; she is best described as a complete “dog-a-holic”! In 2019, she got married and moved to New York. Since then, she has been volunteering with multiple animal rescue organizations and has fostered 6 dogs. Recently, she adopted the feisty Sasha, who has made her quarantine-life fluffier and happier. Suchita joined the We the Dogs NYC team to continue to expand her dog-friendly people network and accomplish her goal to support and rescue every single dog in need.Sasha's Instagram
Haley Wilson & Mushu
Haley Wilson is a Broadway stage manager, animal advocate, and most importantly dog mom to her rescue pup Mushu (@mr_mushu_pork). After adopting Mushu and many quick life changes, Haley learned not only the difficulties of having a reactive dog but how important it is to have a community of like-minded dog owners, which is why she wanted to get involved with We The Dogs NYC. Though reactivity never goes away, training and management now allow Haley and Mushu to welcome foster dogs into their home as a way to give back to the rescue community that brought the two of them together. We are always happy to chat if anyone has questions about reactivity, management, muzzles, fostering, or Broadway!Mushu's Instagram
Marissa Dimino & Teddy
A New Jersey native, Marissa was excited to do something light-hearted and happy during a tense time in DC. She joined the We the Dogs DC group in planning the Bipawtisan March and the rest is history. While in DC, Marissa and Teddy (@Teddy4president) were a huge part of We the Dogs DC and Marissa planned a lot of the fundraising events for the pups in the DC area. In 2019, Marissa and Teddy moved from DC to Boston, and decided to help expand We the Dogs into a new city: We the Dogs New England!Teddy's Instagram
Amanda Baker & Acadia (Cady)
Amanda is a Massachusetts native and adopted Acadia (Cady) from City Dogs Rescue in Washington, DC. Cady (@AcadiaNationalBark) gets her name from her Mom’s favorite place! While Amanda and Cady lived in DC, they were big fans of We the Dogs, DC and were so thrilled to connect with one of the DC founders who had moved to Boston from DC, just like us! Cady and Amanda are thrilled to be a part of the team bringing We the Dogs to New England, and for the opportunity to connect with a community of dog lovers and dog-friendly businesses in the beautiful New England area. Amanda and Cady are passionate about animal welfare and rescue, and helping other puppers find their forever homes. Amanda and Cady love testing out new recipes and restaurants, hiking, and meeting new friends!Acadia (Cady)'s Instagram
Katrina Kagan & Otis
Katrina and Otis (@otistheyorkiepoo) became involved with We the Dogs to help save more dogs and support local rescue efforts. Otis, a Yorkiepoo, was rescued from North Carolina at just two months old; his mom and dad were rescued together and baby Otis was born with his fosters. Katrina and Otis want everyone to know that all kinds of dogs can be rescued: large and small breeds, young and old, and if you want a specific breed, you can find them! Katrina started volunteering for We the Dogs DC, but recently moved to Boston, and is excited to be a part of the newly formed We the Dogs New England team!Otis's Instagram
Los Angeles (Coming Soon!)
Interested in Joining?
Our team is entirely dependent on community involvement and volunteers who want to make a difference. We created this organization with the goal of allowing other people who share our passion for dog-friendly communities to create and lead their own teams in their cities with our support. Learn more about how you can get involved and take advantage of the opportunity to support rescue organizations in an impactful and fun way!Volunteer