Terisa Pepiot, President/Founding BoD member 

Terisa’s love for German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) began decades ago when she was owned by her first GSD, Patrick J, as a young child. That first shepherd left a permanent pawprint on her heart and a love of the breed that has never wavered.

Through the years, as the breed became feared and disparaged, her desire to rescue them became stronger. Thanks to social media, the truth of the numbers and misjudgment in shelters, it all became too much to watch, sit and do nothing. In 2015, she began her quest to volunteer for a GSD rescue and learn enough to hopefully start a successful rescue.

After volunteering for the other rescue for a year, Terisa set course to establish a new local rescue. Shepherds Without Borders rescue was organized in June of 2016. In November 2016, the first GSD was rescued in Salem, Oregon and the journey began.

Terisa currently lives in the Salem Oregon area having raised two “two-legged” children, Dreau and Mikaela. She has worked as an office manager for the same company for almost 20 years. She currently lives with her husband and 3 personal GSDs; Rhiley, Adelaide and Rheine.

Cara Kinzel, Vice President/BoD member

Hi I’m Cara. I live in Sacramento, CA with my partner Gary & our current pack members Benny & Lucy. I’ve been a volunteer with SWB since February of 2017. I do shelter evaluations for many shelters in the California area. I also foster & transport puppers from the shelter to temporary foster homes or to meet transport to the PNW. In my ‘real job’, I do governmental compliance for private vocational schools. Sounds like lots of fun huh? In our spare time, Gary & I do dog transports to Idaho & Utah.

I’ve been involved in shelter training & rescue for about 5 years now, starting off at my local city shelter Front Street Animal Shelter, where SWB has rescued dogs. Our second foster with the shelter was a big male GSD we named Hans. While I love my shelter dearly, they simply don’t have the screening process for adoption that these dogs need to find the active homes they need. So, I went in search of a GSD Rescue. I’ve fostered for a couple here in California & greatly appreciate all that they do, but am happy to call SWB ‘home’ & Terisa & Kassie my rescue sisters. I’m proud to be a part of SWB’s commitment to the amazing Shepherds that are overcrowding shelters. Our team has worked hard to support the dogs medically from the shelter, find them wonderful homes & support their adoptions with training.

Happy tails!

Kassie Ditlevsen, Secretary/BoD member

Kassie has always had a deep love of animals and started rescuing at a very early age, bringing a variety of stray animals home whenever she found them. Kassie grew up with a Doberman (another of the other fabulous four breeds labeled “dominant”) and a GSDx – discovering early on what dominant breeds required. Living in an area where shelters were overwhelmed and overcapacity on a weekly basis, she began networking about 5 years ago, coordinating shelters with rescues. That blossomed into partnering with a local rescue for about a year.

Zoey is Kassie’s first GSD of her own and she quickly began to understand further how the shepherd is so often misunderstood, driving her love of the breed further and solidifying her love of rescuing them. 

In January 2018, Kassie joined Shepherds Without Borders as a BoD member, bringing her valuable rescue knowledge and her experience with another rescue organization. 

Kassie currently lives along the border of Oregon/California with her significant other and two dogs, Zoey and Harlo.