About

 

Michele Mussen was one of Sonoma County's best known animal welfare activists. Professionally, she was a real estate agent and property investor who owned houses and live-work units in Jenner, Nicasio and Berkeley.

 

But her avocation was animal welfare and rescue, which her mother, Ethel Mussen said began from the day she spoke her first word: "Dog."

 

"Her devotion to finding proper homes and loving parents for her charges was rewarded by the many happy testimonials to her ability to arrange the proper match," her mother said. "She brought her enthusiasm and social work training to the welfare of dogs, cats, horses, emus and assorted strays and unwanted pets."

 

First, she searched the Bay Area for a licensed kennel to purchase. Few are ever listed on the market and most are owned by generations of dog breeders who support their work by operating boarding kennels. After several years of looking, Mussen discovered Countryside Kennel, one of 30 licensed facilities in Sonoma County that offers dog and cat boarding care. The 40-year-old facility, located on a former farm on Guerneville Road in west Santa Rosa, needed lots of work.

 

Mussen remodeled the original 1907 farmhouse, creating rental housing for some of her five employees. Then, the kennels were fitted with shiny, new 8-foot-high chain-link fences. She set aside part of one kennel section -- enough room for about four or five dogs -- for unwanted animals rescued from shelters. She also made that section available to Bay Area groups such as Hopalong Rescue and Second Chance. Then she started the work of training dogs rescued from shelters. Little or big, goofy or shy, barking or keening, Mussen feels that every dog deserves a second chance at finding a permanent home.

 

Sadly, in August, 2009 Michele passed away unexpectedly in her sleep, and we can’t help but think she was warmly welcomed with wet licks and tail wags of all the four legged friends that she had given a second chance.

 

Owner of Lucky Dog Ranch ( A boarding / daycare facility ) Dave Weiss took over Countryside Kennels in 2009 which encompassed a kennel and a rescue on a little over 5 acres of property in the heart of wine country. Dave was familiar with operating a boarding facility but had no idea what running a rescue would entail. Skeptical at first, Dave and his family knew that keeping Michele’s lifelong dreams and saving the thousands of animals without a voice would be more than worth journey.

 

The journey of the Weiss family has opened their hearts, homes and pocketbooks to many of the animals of Sonoma County that need temporary homes when all other doors are closed. Countryside Rescue has saved thousands of animals since 2009 that had little or no hope of a second chance. We have saved and re-homed thousands of homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and farm animals. We struggle daily to finance caretaking and veterinary care of our animals. We do not have county funding for spay and neuter, and using private vets costs more than the adoption donation we request.

 

Operating a rescue is long hours, sleepless nights, laughter and tears. Why do we continue to do this? For the love of all the animals. 

 

Our mission at Countryside Rescue is to rescue abandoned, homeless animals and place them into permanent, stable, loving forever homes. Our goal is to help reduce the number of homeless animals. assist in reducing the number of unaltered animals in the community and increase responsible pet ownership.

 

Wet Licks & Tail Wags, 

Countryside Animal Resuce Team

Unknown Track - Unknown Artist
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Meet the people behind the paws...

Top Dog - David Weiss



About our leader of the pack, coming soon! 

Amanda Barks 

 

Description, coming soon! 

 

Nancy Dami

 

Description, coming soon!

Kim Johnson

 

Description, coming soon! 

 

Our Dedicated Volunteers
Pat

Pat

Pat, and his wife Tamara, have spent many hours socializing our dogs and showing them a dog's life

Tamara

Tamara

Tamara and her husband Pat, have devoted many hours socializing our dogs and taking them on adventures.

Jason -

Jason -

Spend many days at the rescue helping train, love, temperament test, clean... you name it and these avid volunteers are willing to lend a helping hand. They use Moose ( adopted from Countryside ) as an ambassaDOG for Countryside Rescue and prove that rescue dogs can make amazing pets.

Elise -

Elise -

Pictured here with her boyfriend and their service dog ( adopted from Countryside ) spend many days at the rescue helping train, love, temperament test, clean... you name it and these avid volunteers are willing to lend a helping hand. They use Moose as an ambassaDOG for Countryside Rescue and prove that rescue dogs can make amazing pets.

Christie -

Christie -

Taking on fostering a rescue animal takes a lot of heart, patience & love. Not only did Christie foster one of our rescue dogs, he has special needs. She visits the rescue regularly, and makes sure our rescue cats are loved & cared for.

Santia.jpg

Santia.jpg

Santia is an Amazing young lady who is all about raising money for homeless animals and lending a helping hand by volunteering at Countryside Rescue. She has sponsored one of our cats needing surgery, as well as, networking to find an very kindhearted woman who also sponsored the cat's surgery expenses. Santia coordinated a group of students to collect treats and make Christmas stockings for our rescue dogs, and when she volunteers Santia helps social and exercise the animals.

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                      Wednesday - Saturday :     We are open by APPOINTMENT ONLY.