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.

Words of Praise

We’ve been Reviewed!  Mom used to say if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all… but we are inviting our supporters, followers, and adopters to chime in and write a review on our rescue efforts! See for yourself! Read how others have reviewed us on Great Nonprofits!


Here’s an email I received this morning about other rescues’ adoption applications:

Dear Gisele,

Thanks so much for the wonderful site and information you have. My wife and I have been looking for a dog for a few months now to join our family. To say the least it has been a discouraging process. The only places I have looked are and the local pound.

Well, at the local pound you just never know what kind of dog, temperament, and so on you will get. With the adoption groups on petfinder I’ve found that the process has been more of an interrogation than an application. I love what you wrote on your web site when you said: We’re focused on bringing together caring people with the right dog. Thanks for a breath of fresh air. You seem very reasonable and don’t have a laundry list of questions like, “who will brush the dog in the family and how ofter?” No kidding, that was one of the questions on an application I started to fill out as I shook my head in disbelief.  ~John



Laura Robinson Watson, with Starbuck the Aussie:
“The Dog Liberator’s” approach to rescue is a breathe of fresh air. The passion and patience to make sure these animals find safe, loving, forever homes is unsurpassed! They do not place a time limit on the animal and will foster until healthy, stable and the “right” match is made. Thank you Dog Liberator for your efforts. We love our perfect match.

Jesse Moranti, dog trainer, with Titan and Melissa the Border Collies:

I’m very proud to call “The Dog Liberator” my friend. Gisele helped me connect with my Border Collie “Titan“, and in the process she lit a fire behind me that made me jump into my dreams head first. My dog daycare business “Sit and Stay” has now taken on a life of it’s own! Titan has taken on the role of assisting me in everything from intake evaluations to wrangler, and physical trainer for dogs that have forgotten how to play. I am whole heartily grateful to “The Dog Liberator” for pointing out the obvious, my lifes calling, and for matching me with Titan- my new teacher, I learn more from him every day. Keep fighting the good fight, we love you, and what you stand for!

Kim Sullivan Dahan, with Trixie Belle the Border Collie:
Gisele aka “The Dog Libertor”. I can not say enough good about you and your rescue group. I will forever be grateful to you for Trixie Belle, the BC we adopted from you. I can not even begin to imagine what might have happened to Trixie if you did not have the network of volunteers and the time you put into finding each dog their perfect match. Thank you for not letting Trixie, and so many other worthy dogs, slip into the cracks of oblivion. Would that you could save them all, but that is just not possible. Know that you have made so many dogs and owners so very happy. Thank you on behalf of Trixie, my husband and myself and all of those that you HAVE saved. God bless.

Lynne Deal, Border Collies Chelsea and Zondra (Jetta):
Gisele’s rescue and her team are so unique in their rescue style because she bring each dog’s character to light in her videos. Each dog is brought to life by her touch and becomes the star in a video so they don’t remain just a small picture on the web. This style of rescue insures each dog’s chance of finding that forever home. Her family and team has a loving knowledge of every dog and their needs and they are brought into her home and taught what its like to be a family dog. Her network grows bigger every day and the list of happy homes follows. Every dog she pulls finds a forever home no matter how long it takes and that’s not long! I drove across the state of Florida to adopt one of these special dogs. Chelsea the border collie is my new best friend. I recommend Gisele AKA ” The Dog Liberator”, her heart and passion to any shelter and pound and any family who knows that ultimately the Shelter dog make the best pets!

Tammy Cimalore Brinkley:
Missing your Chipley pup and all you’ve endured on your mission to better the plight of these wonderful animals entitles you to a pure cleansing. Goodness knows, I’ve shed a few tears for you, and your Chipley pup. You have my profound and deep respect for WHO you are and WHAT you do, and you INSPIRE ME — and countless others. Not to mention you help so many who need you. Thanks for that — AND SO MUCH MORE!

Erin Brethouwer, with Tatiana the Collie:
We are the lucky family who got to take Tatianna home with us! I have to say, we were nervous about the whole process of inquiring about and meeting a new puppy…but, Holly and her foster family made us feel welcome and at ease. Tatianna was in fragile condition because of her long journey from a kill shelter in Alabama. But, for having been through so much, Tatianna and her friends were unbelievably happy, clean and secure. Holly is meticulous about keeping the dogs, the crates and her home clean. So, when I took Tatianna to my own vet the first day we had her, he said that she had been through a lot- but, that whoever had her before we got her had saved her life. Tatianna’s adjustment to our home from Holly’s was an easy one because of the care she received. We feel so lucky to have stumbled across this website. I believe they are sincere in looking for a perfect fit for the dogs as well as the people. (I am beginning to see how much it takes to save these little puppy souls…) We never would have been Blessed with the new member of our family if it weren’t for these wonderful people.Thank you!!

Sue McNulty, with Jester the Dachshund:

I was looking for the right personality on a healthy dog. My French bull died from a brain tumor a few months ago. I looked at breeders. Then I saw a video of a very happy puppy and what was written about him. I decided to take the chance and bring my not so easy Jack Russell to meet him. He was a match and we brought him home to meet the cats. He’s sweet,smart, calm, a major cuddlier, gets along with all my other animals, loves toys and bones not chewing on chairs. My vet saw him and he is a healthy boy. He is everything I wanted. I am amazed that someone would throw out such an animal. The puppy and I were very lucky to find the dog liberator group. He is in my lap as I write this as I am sure he will be for many years to come.

Kim Golab, with Tippy the Old English Sheepdog:
From the first contact with Holly I knew this organization was very professional and they cared a great deal about the dogs they are trying to help. I really liked the idea of the in person interview process (I lived so close close it was possible) because not only do they get to see you and ask questions but you can interview them as well and see if there is the chemistry between you and the dog before you commit because it needs to be a forever home for the animal. Holly and her family all love these dogs and spend a lot of time working with them from the puppies to the older ones teaching manners and just showing them what “being loved” feels like and you can tell they are grateful! This is the first time I have dealt with a rescue organization of any kind and I would do it again in the future. I did not mind paying the adoption fee either as this indicated to me they want serious candidates for the dogs and not just anyone as these dogs have been thru enough in their lives. Holly and her associates with “The Dog Liberator” have earned my admiration and respect for all they do and I hope they continue with their great work for many years to come as there are so many lives that need to be saved.

Sherrie Hutchinson with Cinder the Springer Spaniel:
My husband and I were looking for a new puppy to replace our dog Beauty, who we had raised from a puppy, but had recently died at 15 years of age. We still have a 9 year old dog, Boscoe. Boscoe is a mix of basset hound, Jack Russell Terrier, and who knows what else. He is a quirky little guy and we were concerned about finding a new dog that would blend well him and the rest of our family. We saw a cute German Shepherd puppy on The Dog Liberator’s website. We contacted Holly about this puppy, but it had already been adopted. Holly was very conscientious about discussing our wants and concerns about adding a new dog to our family. She took the time to try to understand our issues, and encouraged us to consider adopting a 8-month old Springer Spaniel she was fostering. We also talked on the phone. Holly’s enthusiasm about this dog resulted in our traveling to her home to meet her and the dog. Once we met the dog, we knew she was the one for us. Holly was very professional in explaining the dog’s health and social history to us, our responsibilities, and answered our questions. We are sure that we have made the right decision in adding our new dog, Buffy, to our family. Buffy’s medical history showed that Holly had made sure she had all her shots, had recently been spayed, and had a microchip inserted. We recommend The Dog Liberator organization to others who are looking to adopt a pet.

The Bryant Family with Chloe the German Shepherd Puppy:
As we write this letter-all we can say is- Thank You. To all of the people that make it possible for the dog liberator to function as a viable rescue group. A week ago today I awoke to find a picture of a puppy on The Dog Liberator facebook page. Before my daughter made it to school that morning or my husband had made it to work-I had made a decision. Chloe was the puppy we needed to make our family whole. We had made a promise many years ago that when the time was right we would let our 10 year old daughter have a puppy. She had patiently loved and cared for our older dog Baylee. Our daughter loved Baylee very much. When Baylee passed away after 16 years-we as a family suffered her loss. The wish that my husband put before me was to find a puppy that looked like our other dog Kahlua. Chloe filled that wish. Chloe now named Bacardi is a happy healthy puppy. We would like to state that adopting her was one of the most pleasant and happy things we have enjoyed in some time. In dealing with The Dog Liberator, we have found the group very open and forthcoming as to Bacardi’s history and health before her adoption. We were in communication with Holly on the very first day of our request. We had a very helpful conversation concerning the adoption process. All details were explained prior to meeting Bacardi.

On arriving at Holly’s home to meet Bacardi, we found it to be a wonderful meeting point. Holly had all of the vet(s) visit paperwork available and explained about the documentation process. Bacardi had been spayed, first vaccinations given, and treated for fleas. Bacardi has since been to visit our vet. The vet has found her to be happy and healthy.
We are happy to have found this rescue group. We are ecstatic to have adopted Bacardi. We are pleased to promote this group in its endeavors. If after reading this you have further questions-feel free to email us:

Thank You, Amie, Randy, and Reilly Branch

The Cooper Family with Stallone the Border Collie/Great Pyrenees:

He’s so perfect…; thank all of you and your team/network for doing what you do! At this point, you’d never know he didn’t just live here always. He’s an awesome dog. He loves everyone, everyone loves him and all is right with the world.
Working with you on adopting Stallone (aka Ozzy) was a tremendous experience. Your level of commitment and professionalism with the adoption was refreshing. The openness and ease of communication will keep you placing animals with the right people for a very long time. We need more people like you in this world! I look forward to staying in touch with you. Thank you again! ~ Deb

David and Vickie with Cinnabon the silky Chihuahua puppy:
We absolutely adore our little Moose. From the day The Dog Liberator responded to my first email, we knew we had found the perfect organization to go through. Having a menagerie of kids already, 2 chinchilla’s, 2 guinea pigs, 3 birds, we found that most rescues did not even want to speak to us. My wife and her best friend spent months looking online for a rescue that might be inclined to work with us to no avail. Then The Dog Liberator! Not just looking at we had a house full and didn’t need a dog, Holly took the time away from her very full schedule to write to me about different breeds that might acclimate and her willingness to find the right dog for us, soon after we were on the way to meet “Cinnabon.” He is a total snuggle bear and full of spunk when he is running around, although car rides seem to be the perfect nap time. He had his first meet and greet with the guinea’s and chinchilla’s yesterday. I think he was more scared of the guinea’s than they were! Although Scarlett our male chinchilla seemed to like him, he even let Moose give him a kiss. He also went over to meet his big sister yesterday at my sister-in-law’s. Trouble is a boxer mix who outweighs him by 94lbs. It took no time and he wanted to play and was dishing out the puppy kisses. We absolutely love our little 4 pound bundle of joy and cannot ever thank Holly and The Dog Liberator enough!
~David and Vickie

The Miller Family with Garcon the Basset/Corgi/Papillon:

My experience with Dog Liberator Rescue has been nothing but positive. Not being familiar with other rescues I cannot compare, but my friend who directed me to your site can. She has rescued other dogs over the years and is familiar with them and she found Dog Liberator to be one of the better (this is my first rescue). The fact you try to find out the history of the animal and the process you go through before you put them up for adoption impressed her. The health care you provide and micro chipping is a big plus and shows the financial investment you put into the pets you rescue. It is a costly process. One of the big impressions to her and to me is your blog page where adoptive families continue to keep in touch and it shows the bond you develop with them and your investment in the animals you have rescued. The recreation you encourage with the reunions and the adoptive families that show up for them is impressive. Most other rescues do not do that, once the animal is adopted it ends there. Dog Liberator rescue family is dedicated to the welfare of the animal and I feel to the adoptive family as well. Your organization is certainly one to be trusted. Gisele’s own testimony of her dedication tells it all. What a team she has surrounded herself with. Kudos!
~ Elizabeth and Dale


The Stephens Family with Spanky, the Australian Cattle Dog mix:
When we decided to adopt a dog, we started looking online not sure exactly how to go about it. I stumbled on the site for The Dog Liberator and began to look at the Adoptables. We instantly fell in love with Spanky, the Australian cattle dog, but site said he had been adopted and he was. As luck (or fate) would have it, he was unable to stay at his first home and we were thrilled to find out that he was available. We contacted Gisele and were quickly on our way to being puppy parents. Amy was a great foster mom to Spanky, as he was clearly well adjusted with her. She has also been a great help to us, answering our questions during this adjustment period for both us and Spanky (now Brody). What a wonderful group of people to open their hearts and their homes for such a great cause. I’ve already spoken to several people about them and will continue to sing their praises! Thank you all for our new family member and all your help!
~ Lauren and Nick Stephens
Bebop and Joshua, April 21, 2011


Joshua with Bebop the Mini-Aussie:
I have been looking for an adorable puppy or dog that I could give a loving home and life to. I searched for weeks through different breeders, internet sites, and some stores. I then came across the website for the Dog Liberator. Curious by the name, I decided to check out what was special about this site than others. When I read over the page, and looked through the pictures and then I came across this pup named Bebop, the mini aussie. “What an adorable dog!!”, I thought to myself as I started to read this little guys story. I felt connected to this pup. I had to meet this little guy. I got in touch with Holly, the rescuer who was housing Bebop. I told her I was interested in getting to meet this handsome puppy who had the largest smile I had ever seen. (This guy is always smiling.) We emailed a few times and then finally I got to go meet Bebop for the first time. I pulled up to the house where he was, Holly greeted me. We then went out to her back yard to meet Bebop and then met a few other little pups who were looking for a great home also. Bebop stood out in the crowd. He was jumping up in down with excitement. I could tell these dogs were in a great place, but wanting a family of their own. Bebop seemed so happy to see me as did the other 2 pups that accompanied him. He calmed down almost immediately after I sat down and talked with him. Then it was time for some 1 on 1 with me and him, to see how compatible we were together. We played some fetch with a Frisbee, and after playing, he laid down at my feet and was letting me rub his little belly. It was the most adorable thing that I had ever seen. this little guy has so much love and joy that he was looking for somebody to connect with. I knew right then that he had chosen me to be his new owner no doubt about that. As I was signing the adoption paperwork, I looked over at him, he never took his eyes off me, but believe it or not, he was smiling at me!!! CUTEST thing in the world. I smiled back and knew that I had made the right choice. The Dog Liberator is an outstanding rescue group!!! I received so much helpful information about Bebop and tricks to dogs that I didn’t know. I highly recommend a rescue dog from the Dog Liberator. They truly care about animals! I knew we were going to be happy together. It took no time for Bebop to make himself at home here. Right away he was doing great. I owe thanks to the Dog Liberator group for helping me make his transition that much easier. Bebop is doing exceptionally well here with me. We go running, play fetch, and have already started making memories. I am so thankful for The Dog Liberators for rescuing this wonderful guy who is now part of my family. He deserved a second chance, he waited patiently for the right person to come along. I am glad that he chose me. He now gets to enjoy his puppy years and live a wonderful happy life. Bebop got a second chance! I highly recommend The Dog Liberator group! I got quite a bit of honest and helpful information about dog care that I did not know. After talking with Holly about rescue and the dogs she had taken care of, I knew that this group of rescuers were genuine animal heroes. They care so much for animals and giving them a second chance they deserve, like Bebop. I was skeptical about getting a rescue dog, because of negative outcomes in the past, but this group is so incredible that I would recommend them to anybody who wants to give a wonderful dog a second chance. Bebop and I are making memories already and sharing smiles.

Sage and Saffron with the Scotts and Chopper the Beagle

Kevin and Mel Scott with Saffron and Sage, TDL’s Spice Girls

My wife and I started toying with the idea of getting another dog a few months back. We have ALWAYS Wanted a border collie. So after a month or two of “stalking” the Dog Liberator on their website, and falling in love with just about EVERY dog they put up for adoption; we decided it was time to add another dog to our family. We first found Ellie, a beautiful low key border collie who seemed to be a perfect fit for our family, so we pounced…. I got in touch with Gisele…And she told me Ellie had already been adopted… Must not have been meant to be…Then we saw Stonewall, The most beautiful Australian Shepherd I’ve ever seen, so we got in touch with Giselle…ADOPTED… Man, these people are good! We were a little disappointed, but hey it must not be meant to be. Then one day they posted the Spice Girls. The most adorable sisters you’ve ever seen. Within hours of her posting them, I had already e-mailed Gisele telling her that we were VERY INTERESTED in these dogs, but low and behold they were with Amy… on her vacation… Man these people are dedicated! So we waited for Amy to get home (After driving Gisele insane with our incessant badgering for information on the girls lol) After I made the huge mistake of not telling them we wanted both of the Spice Girls, they scheduled the girls for separate meetings with us and another family. Like the way it had gone before, we were disappointed but figured, If its meant to be, Its meant to be. Then… the day before our meet, we got the news that they were both available! It WAS meant to be. We drove to Ocala, and there was no doubt in our minds, these were our dogs… They could have mauled us at the door and we still would have probably taken them home. As it happens, they were SOOO sweet when we met them, and Amy (Their Foster Mommy) was so helpful in answering all of our questions, even answering the questions we forgot to ask! They are so happy in their new home, and they are the perfect additions to our family.  The Dog Liberator is such a great rescue for both herding and none-herding breeds alike. Adopting from them, was one of the best decisions we have ever made. TDL treats their rescues like their own dogs, taking them into their own homes, so that when you adopt them, you have all the necessary information to make the right decision. We really appreciate everything what everyone at The Dog Liberator did for us and all of the other dogs! Thank You! ~ Kevin and Mel Scott

Val-u-vet Deltona:
This letter is in reference to The Dog Liberator. It has been our esteemed pleasure to be able to work very closely with this rescue. We have found that The Dog Liberator rescue makes a tremendous effort for every pet that comes into their care to be properly cared for.
Each pet is completely vaccinated, spayed/neutered and microchip implanted with the rescue’s information as a contact so that hopefully no pet they place may fall through the cracks again after finding their forever home.


Each member of The Dog Liberator team has shown great compassion and knowledge for the lucky ones that get to have these wonderful people help find their second chance.

Should you have any questions regarding any aspect of the veterinary care or quality of care that an animal may receive while at the rescue, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Christina Sutherin
Clinic Manager

Why We’re Different:

The Dog Liberator is a small, foster-driven organization dedicated to identifying high-quality dogs and placing them in foster homes to avoid the trauma often associated with pounds, shelters and rescues. While in these homes, the focus is on care and training to turn them into well-balanced pets that can be adopted by loving people.

Why People Drive so Far to Adopt from Us
written by Holly Ryerson
We have asked ourselves that as well. Gisele gets phone calls from people all around the country who have been following The Dog Liberator blog and want to adopt from her. Why? It isn’t our fees ~ they are higher than most. It isn’t our breeds ~ most shelters have these dogs. So why? Probably because we are intimately involved with our pets. We live with them. We learn about them. We know who likes kids, who doesn’t. Who wants to play with cats, and who wants to eat them. Who loves frisbees and who loves couches. And then we match these dogs up with the right family.


We do not have the blanket policies that most larger rescues are forced into. We don’t require EVERY owner to have a fence, a large yard, another dog. If the match is right, we’ll adopt to those that others turn away ~ retirees, boat dwellers, RV travelers. It is all about the match. And, again, that requires that we know our dogs and that potential owners be honest with us and trust us when we redirect them to “the right” dog. Obviously, this has worked!

Folks drive great distances for our dogs who then find their forever homes quickly. Just maybe we’re on to something!

After volunteering for various local rescues, advocating, and educating the general public about the plight of the American dog, we have created an innovative way to rescue. Within a very short period of time, our numbers showed that thinking outside of the box works. We have developed an innovative and detailed way to take in owner-surrenders and help overcrowded shelters. Our dogs are adopted quickly to high-quality and pre-screened homes simply because we work hard.

Social networking, along with aligning ourselves with qualified foster homes has increased our ability to rescue, resocialize, rehabilitate and rehome significant numbers of out-of-time dogs. Through caring and compassionate volunteers, The Dog Liberator has made an impact while remaining relatively unknown in the rescue network. The vast diversity of talent, expertise and energy in the personnel makes rescue spiritually fulfilling and rewarding to everyone involved.

We specialize in herding breeds and take in qualifying dogs from throughout the south. We are fortunate to have experienced dog-owners as fosters as well as trainers who help us help these dogs reach their full potential. Our adoption fees may be higher than you might expect but it is a reflection of our size and our effort. We get very few donations outside of the fees themselves. We use private vets who, although they might wish otherwise, charge us for their services. Also, we do not hesitate to call on professional trainers to help us assess and guide our dogs over any issues they might have. I guess I’m saying, we think you’ll find we’re worth it! You can help reduce the number of pets that are euthanized every year:

We don’t just find great homes for the great dogs we have, we find great homes and provide an actual match-making service by finding the right dog for our clients. If we don’t have the right dog for our clients, we will spread the word to other shelters, pounds, and rescues and find that perfect dog.

Please, Spay And Neuter!

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