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About Us
Kim Kuenlen and Nancy Dougan created NorCal Aussie Rescue out of love for the dogs. Both did rescue work previously with other organizations. Kim has been joined by other Aussie advocates Lisa, Kathy, Kayce, Cyndi and Jennifer.

Kim and Buddy   Lisa, Huck and Silky
Kim Kuenlen (above) has been rescuing since 1999 and is NCAR President. She has matched more than 1,600 dogs with their new owners since forming NorCal Aussie Rescue in December, 2003. She enjoys agility, snow-shoeing, hiking and swimming with her dogs, but spends most of her time at the Sanctuary in Grass Valley which she purchased in 2006. Kim can be reached at and 530-268-1600. See Kim's Vision below.   Lisa Chaffee is our Representative for El Dorado and Sacramento Counties. Shes been Kims right arm since 2006 and fosters, transports and rehabilitates Aussies. She adopted Huck (left) in 2004 and Silky in 2008 (right) and has introduced them to herding, agility, tracking and too many adventures to list. Lisa is former owner of the Animal Den Pet Resort in Sacramento. Lisa can be reached at and 916-203-8728.

Kathy, Mookie and Tucker

Kathy and Jon adopted Mookie and Tucker in 2005. Kathy is NCAR Secretary, Volunteer Coordinator, the kids favorite sitter, and helps with transports and fostering. Contact:
Kayce is our Marysville Area Representative and NCAR Treasurer. In 2005, she adopted Dora, a black tri we rescued from the Eldorado puppy mill we helped shut down. Kayce fosters, pulls and transports dogs as well as works at the Sanctuary weekly. Contact

After Jennifer (right) lost Cody, her beloved 14 year old blue merle, she felt a huge hole in her life. She volunteered with NCAR by pulling and transporting shelter aussies. Up to the challenge, she fostered Pico, a quirky, headstrong and very large rescue blue merle. Amazingly, Jennifer and her husband fell in love with Pico and adopted him. Jennifer lives in Danville and is our East Bay Rep. You may contact her at
Jennifer and Pico

Cyndi and Dexter
Nancy and Wylie

Cyndi Saunders has been involved with Aussie rescue since 2001 as a foster mom and now as the Sonoma County area representative. She and her husband Ski have two rescued dogs: Dexter, who was their first foster dog and is pictured above giving kisses, and Chance his side kick! Cyndi's philosophy is simple and gentle: Give dogs lots of love, exercise and guidance. Cyndi and Ski have two children and on break from rescue.
Nancy Dougan has retired from NCAR after years of dedicated service. She is a member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), and specializes in temperament evaluation and management. you can find her at: and via email

Kim's Vision - 2003
Kim and the Kids
Photo © Susan Heggstad 2002
Click to see larger photo
of Kim and the Kids

My dream has been to operate NorCal Aussie Rescue from a 10 or 20 acre parcel of property. I envision the property adjacent to a lake or river where we could house, train and live with our foster Aussies. Naturally, this property would need to be zoned accordingly to operate a kennel. I see it as a safe place for our foster Aussies to play, swim and relax while waiting for a family to adopt them. Additionally, it would be a convenient and fun place for people to visit and spend time with our dogs as well as theirs! Many people who adopt from us already have a dog who also needs to meet a prospective sibling! We would offer agility, obedience and possibly tracking classes too.

My Dream Comes True - 2006! I bought a home on 6.5 acres in Grass Valley! We now have our Sanctuary, andraised enough money to to build indoor kennels and fence two play areas, including an agility ring. We are always maintaining and improving the Sanctuary and are eternally grateful for the ongoing support we receive. Down the road, we'd love to build a swimming pool and possibly a herding area. Thank you for your support and I hope you'll visit! We're between Auburn and Grass Valley, just off Highway 49.

Above are Kim's 3 mini aussies posing for a friend's Pilates advertisement on equipment especially made to fit them. The equipment is on display at Balanced Body, the world's largest manufacturer of Pilates equipment. Sacramento, CA

Cards are available for purchase at :

I dedicate this website to sweet Fritz, who was diagnosed with Lymphoma in July and passed away in August, 2004.
He was rescued and adored by Sue and Jeff Trapp in Carmel Valley. It is because of Fritz that Sue does rescue, and she will continue in his memory.
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