The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Volunteer Spotlight on Mariacristina Nieves

Volunteer Spotlight on Mariacristina Nieves
Maria, Luis and Foster Dog, Shane

When I was first contacted by Maria to foster, we didn’t know each other very well, but I had an idea that her pack could help a lot of rescued dogs feel at home, and that’s exactly what happened.  Her pack has a playful yet calming energy that is perfect for fostering.  What I admire the most about this fantastic couple is their ability to recognize when they can foster and when they can’t.  Taking breaks is a must in rescue.  Making sure you balance your home, personal life, work and efforts in volunteering is very important to prevent burn-out.  I take breaks, and beg my fosters to take breaks as well.  Every time I have come back from a break I feel like I can do an even better job.  Each dog that we foster, we learn from, and if we can force ourselves to take a break and reflect, it just makes us better fosters!

The one and Only, Elwood!

Maria writes:

Luis and I are originally from Puerto Rico but we’ve lived in Florida for most of our lives! We currently live just south of Downtown Orlando and own two dogs (while fostering a third!). I got Elwood (Yes, he’s named after the Blues Brother!), a short-haired border collie, from a breeder in Oviedo and it was love at first sight! He’s smart, sensitive and is absolutely obsessive about tennis balls!

We later acquired Shelby, a lab mix, from a friend who had a litter of puppies. He’s practically Elwood’s shadow and loves to roll around with new fosters, chew ice and roll up into a ball for movie nights!

We love animals and we’ve always had a soft spot for working breeds and herding breeds so after seeing a friend on Facebook adopt a beautiful Aussie from The Dog Liberator, I convinced Luis that we had to help out with the organization! In the past, we’ve fostered Lady Trulove, Shane, Dr. Pepper, Casey Rose and now Knish! It’s been quite the learning experience with lots of up and downs but the real reward is finding homes for these animals that are so incredibly smart and loveable! My only regret is that I don’t have more time and resources to devote to the organization that helps find good homes for these awesome dogs!

The Pack!

As a photographer, I also try to give each of our fosters their best shot and bring out the best in each of them! I’m available for portraits and can provide discounted rates to The Dog Liberator fans! Just email me at


Maria and Luis fostered Knish for about a month, and we received no inquiries on her whatsoever.  All of a sudden, I was swamped with emails from potential adopters, and they were all great prospects.  It was hard for us to choose.  But together, Maria and I acknowledged that Knish needed a pack, and that’s what she got!  With every home Knish has lived in, she has picked up new skills and training.  I knew that Knish would be a challenge for Maria and Luis, and I was honest with them, but she welcomed the challenge with open arms.  They worked with Knish, never gave up on her, and learned her quirks!  Every one of us has a gift to give, and Knish ultimately learned something from each of us, thus making her one awesome little dog!  Knish’s adopters report in with great news and progress.  I think Knish if finally home!  Thank you Maria, Louis, Elwood and Shelby!

2 thoughts on “Volunteer Spotlight on Mariacristina Nieves

  1. Maria and Luis are MY HERO(s)!!!

    You guys are doing such a wonderful meaningful thing for these wonderful human companions! (aka the Dogs!)

    I absolutely know for a fact that GOD has a great place for you up in Heaven!

    May you be blessed for eternity.

    PS: Cute couple btw!

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