2017 NCWR OFFICERS & BOARD MEMBERS
MICHAEL R. AYERS - PRESIDENT & WEB MASTER
I first became involved with Weimaraners about twenty years ago
when I met my wife Shiffra who had two, Remy & Madison. I’ve always
loved animals but soon discovered & embraced the unique attributes of
this breed. We have been showing in conformation, breeding occasional
litters and generally loving our canine family (currently numbering
six; five generations) ever since. I became president of NCWR about in
2004 when the local Weim community decided we needed a more
formal organization. I drove the effort for our 501c(3) non-profit
corporate status which we achieved in December of 2004. We
currently have a great group of dedicated board members, seemingly
tireless rescue coordinators and hundreds of generous volunteers and
supporters who enable us to help find loving forever homes for more
than one hundred unwanted Weimaraners every year.
DIANNE VENZON - PR CZARINA
I started volunteering with NCWR in 2004 as a Foster Mom, but was
a miserable failure, adopting my first three foster Weimaraners and
earning the nickname “Weim-a-holic”. I finally figured out how to
“let them go”, and have successfully fostered and nurtured over 45
Weims on their way to their forever homes. As Public Relations
Chair, I enjoy taking the NCWR booth out to dog events all over
northern California, educating the public about the Weimaraner
breed and all the reasons to choose rescue. I live in Stockton with
husband, Terry, and share sofa and bed space with Weims Echo and
Camo, as well as the enduring spirits of Wags, Snickers, Cookie & Willow.
JOANNE MENAPACE - SECRETARY/ADMINISTRATOR
I first met a Weim in 1999 when we adopted Sage from the San
Francisco SPCA. At the time, I didn't know anything about the breed -
but that changed quickly as we took every training class known to dog
and man. Sage's energy and enthusiasm inspired me to take a few
months away from my career in high-tech, and volunteer for a
program training service dogs for people with disabilities. We all
benefited from my new training skills and might have had the only
Weim intown who turned on lights and put his dirty towels in the
washer. In April 2006 we adopted Sterling from Weimaraner rescue,
and in 2007 we adopted Bruce.
KATHY DUNN - BOARD MEMBER & CATERER EXTRAORDINAIRE
Fittingly, my first Weimaraner was a rescue, which had been abandoned a the vet clinic where I worked.
'Jason' was a great dog and got my family 'hooked' on Weimaraners. A few years later, that led to getting show
dog sand joining the local Weimaraner club. With the encouragement
and guidance of other club members, I soon started taking handling classes to learn t oshow my dogs. Since
both were hunting dogs in between shows; we were urgedto participate in field trials and ratings tests. As show
careers wound down, we started the long road to obedience competition. We ended up as CHJafwin's Turning
Point CD, NSD, V and Whidbey's Jill CD, NSD, NRD. But most importantly, it led to getting involved with
rescue and fostering dogs.
Weimaraner rescue in Northern California in the late 70's started out with 2 people placing just a few dogs a
year. Over the years as the need has increased, there has been a tremendous response, and we now have a
large network of dedicated helpers. 25+ years ago, I was recruited as a foster home and I've now fostered over
150 Weimaraners and Weimaraner mixes; from pregnant bitches to very elderly dogs.
My pack now consists of the elder statesman 'Telly', a Weimaraner mix that I started fostering when the litter
was 2 days old; Multiple BISS, Int/Am CH Top Hat's Down on the Corner (AKA'Tristan' the bed hog; my kind of
retired show dog); and my most recent failure at fostering, the sweet little girl 'Star'. In my spare time, I run a
feed & tack shop in Oakland, selling riding apparel, horse equipment & animal feed.
SHIFFRA STEELE - FUND-RAISER CHAIR PERSON,
PLACEMENT COORDINATOR & VICE RESIDENT
My first Weimaraner love in high school, Shadow, was a super-sized hunting reject given to me by my summer
employer who was annoyed by Shadow's penchant for playing with the rabbits he was supposed to be hunting. Ours
was a short-lived romance, as my tiny European parents were deathly afraid of him, so I found Shadow a new home
with a single woman who indulged in Shadow's love for sleeping under the covers.
My next dog was my beloved, although cranky, Cocker Spaniel, Biggles. He was my constant companion & my
fellow traveler on our cross- country move to California. Once I was settled, I was determined to find a Weimaraner
but instead found Tikvah who was a gorgeous, loveable Vizsla. We had 6 great years together until he succumbed at
6 years old to the cancer we had been battling for 2 years. Biggles, my Best Friend, died soon after that at 12. It took
me 4 years to open my heart again.
A friend met Debbie Hopkins at the Golden Gate show & she had a 3 week old litter that changed my life forever. If
Shadow was my first love, Remy was my Once-In-A-Lifetime Dog. Remy came with a show contract & even though I
really didn't know what that meant, it didn't matter. I had to have that puppy! The puppy that I was required to
show won the Sporting Group at his first Puppy Match, his first point at his first AKC show, a major at his second
show & his championship at 13 months. Remy, CH Top Hat's Dorian Gray BROM was Top Ten Weimaraner for 3
years, but that was really a small part of our life together.
Although we have a stable, happy, energetic pack now, we have not been without tragedy or sorrow. Remy died at 9
1/2 from complications due to a back injury, Dawn, CH Smokey City EZ Silverado Dawn BROM at almost 13 from
Lymphoma & the horrible loss of our Destinee, CH Silverado Cosmopolitan, at 5 years old from mushroom poisoning.
Michael & I, Silverado Weimaraners, now live on 5 acres in Lake County, with our family of eight. There are 5
generations, all part of the legacy that was Remy. We think it's pretty much "Weimaraner Paradise". Our kids
entertain & amaze us & we couldn't imagine a different way of life.
MELANIE DIAMOND - BOARD MEMEBER
I grew up with two great danes (one was half weim) and a basset hound along with a plethora
of other animals that followed me home over the years. I started when I was eight. Things
haven't changed much in that regard.....I had my next weim for almost 15 years and just
lost him last year. Theo was my fur child and best friend....110 lbs. of love.A few weeks after
he passed , Debbie Hopkins dropped a pup in my lap to "take care of " for the weekend. I
named him Dolce and he'll be two in July.A few weeks later I rescued Charlie ( a pup that
had never been touched)and Sage (a blue)that had been hit by a car.
We're all living happily ever after along with a variety of bunnies, tortoises and horses. I
have a practice doing craniosacral therapy in the bay area with people and animals and do
plenty of healing work with the weims coming through to get them feeling safe again and
ready for their new homes. I'm honored to be a part of this organization.
When I was ten I found seven abandoned dogs and brought them all home
(presumably to add to the three I already had). My parents wouldn't let me keep them
so we rehomed them all. Recently, I added WILLY to my motley crew.....a 110 lb. One and
halfyear old weim that looks like a dane that fell in a vat of weimaraner ice creme and sticks
to me like velcro. I'm selling my furniture to make room for him.
.....and they lived happily ever after:)
JAY WYMAN - TREASURER
I met my first Weimaraner in 1995 when a friend brought home a puppy. I helped to
raise the puppy for a year . When it left my house I knew I had to get my own, which
I did with the help of Nor Cal Weimaraner Rescue. Maisy was the love of our lives and
lived 13 ½ incredible years. May wife Mary and I added Kacey to our lives 6 years ago. We
currently compete with her in AKC hunting tests which bring out the versatility of the
breed. We live in Sausalito and are blessed to have beaches and fields nearby where we can
go for daily adventures with our dogs. For 17 years I have admired and respected the basic
beauty and intelligence of the breed as well as their unrelenting demands, sense of humor
and incredible sense of being part of the family—every minute!! Several years ago, I became
involved with NCWR rescue, volunteering at booth events. I was impressed with both the
efficiency and integrity of the organization and wanted to get more involved. I am honored
to be part of this endeavor, and my goal is to stimulate potential Weimaraner owners to
adopt our dogs and give them the lives they deserve.
Photo by Tonya Perme
MYTH SRSIC - INTAKE & TRANSPORT COORDINATOR & BOARD MEMBER
I got my first Weimaraner nearly 28 years ago and have had them since. My first
three had short lives due to a variety of health issues I contributed to irresponsible
breeding. Heidi, my fourth girl, lived to be 14 years old. After losing her I wanted to
take a break from starting over with a puppy and started researching rescue
Weimaraners. My search brought me to NCWR and I adopted my 5 yr. old Alysa in
Feb. 2012. I was so impressed with the commitment that NCWR has towards our
gray friends, that when I was asked to be one of the coordinators for the organization I
accepted wholeheartedly. There is nothing more rewarding than at first seeing
images of a scared dog that was brought in to a county shelter, moved in to the hands
of NCWR, receive any medical care needed, and through a network of dedicated
volunteers, to finally receive a picture of that dog today. These pictures usually show
a happy Weimaraner stretched out on a cozy sofa in the arms of it’s new forever
people. Weimaraners have given me so much joy over the years, that I am glad to be
able to give back to this wonderful breed in return.
Photo by Tonya Perme
MITZI PHILLIPS - INTERNET & VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR & BOARD
My husband’s family has been full of Weimaraner lovers for the past 50 years. My
first experience with Weimaraners was when we adopted 3 Weim girls (sisters)
that we called “the pretty triplets” about 20 years ago. They lived until the age of
14 and died within 6 months of one another – 2 died from cancer and the last one
died from a broken heart after losing her sisters. At that time, I promised them
that I would somehow “help the others.” However, I had also vowed never to have
another pet! Then I met our amazing Sage. Our family adopted our sweet girl
through NCWR in February of 2011 at the age of 9 from a military family. She
served as a therapy dog and was the light of our lives until she passed at the age of
14.5 years old. We also adopted our sweet and wonderful boy, Jackson, through
NCWR. This journey led me to volunteer with NCWR. My primary goal, and a
great source of pride for me, is to support the people who I believe are the pinnacle
of our organization – our fantastic volunteers! Without these amazing people, our
organization would not be what it is today!
SUSAN DILL - SHELTER & FOSTER COORDINATOR & 2017 BOARD MEMBER
As a child I wasn't allowed to have a dog. I dreamed often of having a big house where I
could bring in all the stray, dogs I could find. One of the first things I did after college was
adopt a dog from the SPCA. I hoped she would grow up to be something like a German
Shepard but Shelly remained small so I got a Labrador! On it went over the years until I
bought my first pure bred dog, Teddy, cocker spaniel. Shortly after, I purchased a
beautiful Rottweiler who became my first show dog and titled obedience dog.
When I met my husband, he was an avid German Shorthair guy and an active pheasant
hunter. Of course his Schnapps became part of my pack for another 7 years. When we
found ourselves dog less, I spent a year researching hunting breeds. I was looking for a dog
a little less wild than our shorthair, that could hunt with my husband and be my
companion at home and in the show ring. I landed hard among the Weimaraners at the
benched Golden Gate KC show and we've been sharing our home with Weimaraners ever
since. When I retired I needed something more I could put my heart into. It took awhile
before I realized it was going to be rescue and that's when I joined NCWR.