Board Members

Jessica Sardella, President, Home Visit & Adoption Coordinator

I’m an Upstate New Yorker born and raised. My husband and I live and work in Voorheesville (near Albany). We have 4 wonderful adult human children, our pack of 3 perfect little rescues as well as many rescued fur grandbabies. In my professional career, I deal with critical path planning, risk management, financial reporting, and resource management among many other tasks. All require an attention to detail, ability to prioritize and a great deal of patience and diplomacy.

While being partial to Pugs, I’m passionate about animal rescue for all breeds. I was owned by 2 pugs before I joined GMPR. As an uneducated consumer, I purchased them from a pet store. I quickly fell in love with the breed, did my research and discovered all the horrors of commercial and irresponsible breeding. I decided I had to give these poor souls a voice and be their advocate. The fine folks at GMPR allowed me to join them in their mission, as a result I became a volunteer in 2006. My first foster was a beautiful, broken little lady from an Ohio puppy mill transport, Pug #### who would come to be known as Hannabelle. It was love at first sight, she was my first rescue and from that point on I was hooked. I picked up the home visit coordinator role in 2007 where I’ve been fortunate enough to build relationships with many wonderful volunteers across the Northeast who share our passion and dedication for rescue. We adopted Miss Haley in 2007 (owner surrender) and most recently we’ve adopted Sonny Ray Jr. (breeder surrender) in January 2019. We also have a Miniature Poodle, Lady Josephine, (puppy mill survivor) that we adopted in 2013.

I continue to volunteer in whatever capacity required of me including fostering, transports, fundraising, expanding our volunteer base, etc. I’m dedicated to furthering our mission of advancing the public’s awareness of our existence, the Pug breed, responsible pet ownership, and helping to place our rescues with loving, capable and worthy forever homes.

Amy Frye, Vice President, Website & Social Media Manager

I am a native Vermonter and has always had a pug in my family since I was a child.

My first pug was our family dog named Winston and he was the reason why my family fell in love with the pug breed. When I was in college, I adopted my first pug of my own from a fellow student who was moving back to Taiwan after graduation and couldn't take him with her. His name was Sky and even though he had some handicaps due to a car accident when he was a puppy, he was a happy pug. Sky and Winston loved going to the GMPR Pug Social's which is how I was introduced to the rescue.

I am a graduate from the University of Hartford, CT with a Bachelor of Art degree in Web Development and a graduate from Champlain College in Burlington, VT with a Master of Science degree in IT Management and a certificate in CyberSecurity. I work for the IT Department as a Manager for the IT Service Management Office for the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, VT.

My husband and I live in Underhill, VT with our fawn pug named Stewie (pictured), our GMPR Alumni, Wally and Rat Terrier, Chance. My sister adopted Munchkin from GMPR in January 2016 which lead to me joining GMPR as a board member. I redesigned the GMPR website to its current design and continue to maintain the website. You can see me at most of the events GMPR attends and I am a foster mom for GMPR. I became Vice President of the Board of Directors in 2019 and I look forward to applying my skills in this position.

Phil Douglas, Treasurer & Judy Douglas, Foster/Transport Coordinator

Phil & Judy Douglas have been involved with GMPR since the formative days of the rescue in 2002. Phil is a retired Civil Engineer and Judy is a Member Services Representative for a local credit union. They met and married in Los Angeles, CA and lived in Rancho Cucamonga for 25 years until they retired from their respective jobs to move to Vermont where Phil grew up. Phil is a VT Tech and UVM graduate. Judy attended college in California. They moved to Vermont just in time to join the fledgling GMPR.

Phil & Judy became pug lovers when they adopted “Rosie” from Little Angels Pug Rescue in Los Angeles and “Spike”, a Pug-Chihuahua from the Riverside, CA animal shelter. Then they adopted a pug named “Moose” from the Upland, CA shelter. When “Rosie” died “Lucy” joined the family as an 8-week old puppy. During the Vermont years “Moose” and “Spike” crossed the Rainbow Bridge and “Lucy” was joined by adoptions “Sonny Ray” and “Trigger”, both of which have since passed on. Currently “Lucy” is Trail Boss to “Misty” (Liver Shunt), “Peach” (blind and diabetic) and “Rocky” (ADHD).

Judy now works part-time to support her Pug habit and Phil has retired again. Judy is the Foster/Transport Coordinator for GMPR and was the Vice-President of the Board of Directors from 2002 to 2018. Phil is the Treasurer for the rescue. They spend non-rescue time riding their Harleys around New England and puttering around their Mendon, VT home when time and weather allows.

Stefanie VanAmerongen, Volunteer Coordinator

I have always loved animals. Growing up my family shared out home with dogs, cats, a sweet rabbit and adorable guinea pig. I spent many years of my childhood riding horses. Throughout high school I worked for a veterinarian and loved working in the veterinary setting. It was challenging, rewarding and I was helping care for a wide range of animals which was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

After graduating from SUNY Albany with a BS and Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling, my husband Tom and I, settled in Saratoga Springs NY. In Saratoga we raised our two sons and shared our home with a variety of dogs and cats. I have worked in healthcare services and insurance for over 30 years.

In 2006, after the loss of our Shepard mix Maggie, our family was looking for a dog to join our family. Through Pet finder, we found GMPR. We were a very active and busy family and thought that we might want to adopt a smaller breed with all the personality of the larger breeds that we had lived with. That is when Ellie came into our lives. We applied through GMPR and Ellie was being fostered with the GMPR volunteer who conducted our site visit. Ellie was a puppy mill survivor with a ton of ‘pugattude’. It was love at first site and we were fortunate enough to be approved and to adopt her. Soon, I was volunteering for GMPR and our family was an active GMPR foster family. We love the pug personality, sprit and attitude. They live up to their reputation, a lot of dog in a little space.

In 2019, I was happy to accept an invitation to join the GMPR Board and continue to support the mission of GMPR. Our family currently includes 5 adopted GMPR pugs, Toby, Rupert, Abbie, Bubbie and Norman.

Helen Bryan, Secretary

As a youngster growing up in rural Vermont, I lived with all of the common farm animals and an untold number of cats and dogs. My favorites have always been dogs and horses, I retired from horses several years ago. I filled that empty space with several pugs of my own before volunteering with GMPR as a foster mom. I joined the GMPR Board early in 2014. We lost our beloved Jleigh Howard within a few months and I was asked to take over the role of President beginning January 2015. I fulfilled those duties for 4 years, plus many additional duties before deciding it was time to take a step back and let someone younger take the lead. I remain on the Board and continue my work with adoptions and fostering.

All of this would not be possible without the support of my husband, Shawn and his willingness to have dozens of “strangers” in the house over the past 10 years. Although we currently have no pugs of our own, our family includes Finnegan the Border Collie and Daisy, a French Bulldog I fostered and adopted through GMPR. They are wonderful foster siblings to the lost souls who arrive with their own special needs.

We have lived in our 200 year old farmhouse in Berlin, VT which we bought in 1982, early in our marriage. Our 3 girls are all long grown but tell us we need to keep the house to create memories for our many grandchildren. It certainly makes a wonderful temporary home for the endless stream of fosters that come through our door. As long as we are here, there will be room for “Saving One Pug at a Time”.

Kristen Griswold

I've lived in the greater capital district of New York state the majority of my life. I studied Latin and psychology at Union College and after receiving my masters at SUNY Albany, I began teaching Latin in Clifton Park. My husband and I live in Rexford, NY with my pugs and his cats; it is a mixed marriage but we make it work.

One of my first goals as an adult was to get a dog, so six months after getting a full time job, and after a lot of research about different dog breeds, I settled on the pug. I fell in love with their big personalities and their lazy dispositions. My first pug, Basia, led me to seek out other pug people. I joined the Albany-Capital Region Pug Lovers Meetup where I became aware of GMPR. After a few years I began fostering pugs and eventually I took over as organizer of the Meetup group. I've fostered many dogs, mostly pugs and pug mixes, much to the consternation of my current pugs, Maximus and Luciana.

When I'm not trying to wrap a belly band around a squirming pug, I'm probably doing something related to teaching or Latin. I'm the webmaster for the Classical Association for the Empire State and also on their board. I've taught mostly middle school students for 20 years. Pugs and middle schoolers listen about the same amount, but I do clean up much less poop at work.

After many years of fostering, I'm happy to help GMPR serve pugs in need in new ways as a board member.

Tony Sardella

I was born, raised and continue to enjoy living in the capital district area of upstate New York. I live with my wife Jessica and our four adopted pugs. Our human children are older and on their own; therefore, we spend a lot of time with our furry children. My wife is a longtime volunteer and board member with GMPR. I’ve done what I can to support her and the rescue for several years. Along the way I’ve learned so much and met some wonderful people who’ve changed the world for so many dogs. I’ve joined the board hoping to further support the organization and its mission. I have gained considerable business experience during my 36-year long career with a multinational industrial company, also serving on non-profit boards in the past. My aim is to support GMPR in continuing to “Save One Pug at a Time” and working with a group who think with their heads and not just their hearts. I’m thrilled to be involved with this group of volunteers who believe in the mission of GMPR, and I want to help see it grow.

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