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About Us

Our Impact
Why Foster-Based?
Founders & Board of Directors
Our Mission
Our Vision
Foster Based
Volunteer Powered
Where is Motley Zoo?
Motley zoo Animal Rescue is a rock N' roll themed, volunteer-powered, foster-based, no-kill, 501c3 nonprofit corporation

Click one of the below links to jump to that section to learn more!

Our Mission

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue is dedicated to improving the lives of animals locally, nationally and internationally; alleviating their suffering and elevating their status in society through the rescue and rehabilitation of animals in need and through the education of their community on responsible pet ownership and animal welfare, advocating the value of all animal life, in hopes to end the neglect and abuse of all animals and to end the devastating pet overpopulation through spay and neuter advocacy.

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Listen to the awesome voicemail we received from an unknown caller! 

You rock - thank you!

Adopted Motley Zoo alumni, Adam Rippon

Our precious Adam Rippon, one of our international rescues who came to us from our partners in Korea, is one of the many meat market trade and street dogs we've helped give a second chance at life.

Cher, an adopted rescue of ours, faced many hardships before finding her happily ever after

This sweet rescue, Cher, literally came to us in the

arms of a good samaritan, who found her struggling

just down the road from our studio.  After two surgeries and rehab, she found her forever home!

Our Vision

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue dedicates its work to end pet overpopulation and the resulting euthanization of healthy, adoptable animals due to limited space and funds of our local, national, and international animal welfare organizations as well as working to end abuse and neglect of all animals resulting from lack of information and education of the community, all the while advocating the value of all animal life.

“These birds and animals and fish cannot speak, but they can suffer, and our God who created them, knows their sufferings, and will hold him who causes them to suffer unnecessarily to answer for it…”

– George Q. Cannon, Animal Activist

How does Motley Zoo work?

There are big differences between animal shelters and animal rescues.

It is likely you are far more familiar with the idea of a shelter- and a rescue may be a relatively foreign concept.


Unfortunately, this lack of understanding of the fundamental differences between the two structures is the number one issue when adopting.


Both are critical when it comes to the animal welfare system as collaboratively (and in a complementary way), offer the widest range of support for both animals and people.


1. Foster-based rescues, by definition, do not have a central location where animals are housed. Rather, rescues operate virtually when it comes to their structure.


Foster- based rescues consist of a network of volunteers working in their spare time, utilizing the internet to coordinate the care and adoption of animals.


The animals are housed in the homes of volunteers, called fosters, who take care of the animals' individual needs.

By utilizing private homes, we have more flexibility in what we can offer the animals-- and when not constricted by physical walls, also, how many animals we can serve.


2. Motley Zoo is an exception to the rule that rescues in general, don't have facilities.


We actually founded the first- of- its- kind dog daycare as a fundraising program in the nation!  While we no longer have our dog daycare program in Redmond, we do have a beautiful boarding and training facility in the tranquil setting of Woods Creek Kennels in Monroe.


However, despite having a boarding and training facility, this still does not make us or our location a shelter. 

Motley Zoo's facility allows us to operate as a hybrid organization - the best of both worlds of both a rescue's and a shelter's structure.


This physical location grounds us in the community in a way most rescues never can, as it helps people recognize our mission more tangibly.


And while the location represents our bigger picture as a rescue, it operates primarily as Motley Zoo at Woods Creek Kennels – an entrepreneurial, service-based business that further supports our rescue efforts and bottom line. 


3. Despite the many options for housing of our animals while we seek their permanent, adoptive homes, we still operate as a foster-based, volunteer-run organization.


Therefore, because of that fundamental principle, our rescue is still run virtually, with restrictions on coordination and timing.


As a result, ALL of our adoptions require an approved application and an appointment-
and are not a same-day opportunity!

Motley Zoo volunteers rock!

We couldn't run our year-round fundraiser, the Rock Star 

Treatment Dog Daycare, without our volunteers' time & energy!


The Motley Zoo crew is primarily comprised of individuals, connecting via the internet, in their spare time, unpaid, to fulfill our mission to save lives.

As a result, the expectations of us should not be the same as that of any other business or multi-billion dollar corporation- especially when it comes to their ability to provide 24/7 service, catered specifically to your needs, desires and opinions.


We are not shy about noting this- though still, some people insist, which leads to frustration for all...but most of all, them. Just as you cannot get drive-through service from a sit-down restaurant that requires reservations, neither can you alter the way a volunteer-powered, foster-based rescue works. 

It takes us time and effort (read: a few days or more) to provide you the quality service we take pride in.

You cannot hurry or bypass our processes - and efforts to do so will only detract from our ability to provide you what you seek: a well-matched animal companion. 

When working with us, it is best that you appreciate the time, effort and energy that goes into ensuring you walk away with the right animal, not just the first animal you see.


If this is not your preference, then likely a shelter will be a better fit for your needs and ideals. 

Please, most of all, be respectful and considerate in your interactions with us. Our crew is made of people just like you, and expect to be treated kindly for their good deeds - as they quite literally, do not get paid to warrant accepting bad behavior from our clients.

Rudeness will not be tolerated as a general principle - and no matter how great of a home you have,  nor how badly you want an animal, how you treat us is what determines our service...namely - whether we will work with you at all.

A lesson everyone needs to remember nowadays is: just be nice. It's astonishing to us how many people are not.  THIS is the way to get what you want, especially when it comes to an adoptable animal from an organization who has invested so much time, energy and love into their "babies."


Just be the kind, loving family every rescue and foster dreams that their animal will go home to - and you will get exactly what you want (and need as well.)

Where is Motley Zoo?

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue is both a virtual and physical operation. Our rescue is virtually-based and we have a physical location in Monroe, Washington, where we offer dog boarding and training, and can connect our mission to the community.


In general, the rule of thumb is:

  • Rescues typically exist virtually, due to the nature of utilizing foster homes to house animals and volunteers vs having a staff. You cannot typically "visit" a rescue at all.  Communication is done via the internet before a meeting can take place - but compatibility is also assessed before that meeting. Meetings are set only with pre-approved, screened applicants, who seem a likely match for the animal in question. The adoption meeting is therefore the last step in determining a potential match - not the first.

  • Shelters are locations where animals are housed on-site, in kennels and are ready to go home that day. Communication is done on the spot, after meeting the animal. However, true compatibility is assessed after you've gone home.


Both care for animals in need of homes; however each do so in very different ways, and in a different order, for different reasons - with different rules, principles and strategy. 

Motley Zoo cannot operate like a shelter - and a shelter cannot operate like a foster-based rescue. Like libraries and bookstores, both have books inside - but operate differently - so do rescues and shelters.

This can be a bit confusing for people; we understand. We believe that some day, our model will be quite ordinary. Until then, we will do our best to explain the differences - as well as the huge  advantages of operating in this way.

Our Impact

Motley Zoo has a 99% live release rate. This means that while less than 1% of the animals we’ve rescued have died or were humanely euthanized, we have saved 99% of them! In comparison, Washington state has an approximate 90% live release rate. In all, we’re doing pretty well in the northwest.

However in some states, live release falls to a deplorable 40%. This means in many places around our country, more than half of the animals in shelters are put to death.

How can this be?

It is primarily because of pet overpopulation- a very controllable, human issue. Not enough people consider spaying and neutering a priority- or they can’t afford it. Whatever the reason, nearly 4 million animals lose their lives annually because unwanted litters were born when they shouldn’t have been.

Reproduction is not rocket science. It is very simple - so is the solution: spay/neuter advocacy and adoption.

Our goal is to maintain this 99%, high impact as we perform this critical life saving mission- as well as to decrease euthanizations nationwide.

Rescue kittens just chillin' in our Mission Studio's Cat Lounge

For specific data on our live release rate, check here.

Why foster-based?

Foster-based organizations have many advantages - namely being flexible in size and by carrying less overhead costs. Also critically important, the animals get to live in real homes, providing them a level of comfort that cannot be achieved in a shelter, and also allowing us to really get to know the animals best; so we can determine which adoptive families will truly suit each animal, as an individual…to make pairings that last “fur-ever.”  Fostering can take some of the guesswork out of finding the right pet for your family.

Our animals are adopted directly from foster homes and solely housed in this manner and move to new homes through adoption meetings, events and/or partnering pet stores. They are spread throughout the area: from Redmond to Everett, to Tacoma. We coordinate virtually to arrange adoption based on inquiries from each pet’s internet profile.

Foster families are the backbone of our organization.

In an effort to reach more animals in need, foster homes allow us to accommodate the needs of the animals at any given time. We can grow as willing families join us - or scale back if there is less of a need for one reason or another. By utilizing volunteer homes in this way, rescue can direct live-saving resources directly to the animals, instead of to rent or other costs. On that same note, each animal gets treated like a family member in the meanwhile- until their adoptive home is found. This makes for happy, healthy animals we know well.

We are always in search of dedicated foster families. As a foster family, you provide our animals with a safe home to relax their minds; fresh water and healthy food to nourish their bodies; gentle hands and soft words to caress their souls.

But also, like children, pets crave routine, boundaries and limitations. Our foster families provide such structure, not only to help these animals become better companions, but also to provide them with (sometimes their first) sense of security. With all this- which is what most people do for their own pets already- these animals are able to relax and become happy, healthy creatures again- which in turn makes them more adoptable. This also helps them to adjust much easier into new forever homes.

You will find that fostering is easier thank you think- and changes so little for you…but makes a world of difference for each animal!

Founders & Board of Directors
Motley Zoo Board of Directors

Special shout-out to our awesome friend, nowheremanphotos, for taking our current board photos - you rock!

Bryan and jme - Director, Executive Director
Bryan & jme Thomas, Board of Directors

Bryan (Director of Marketing) and jme (Executive Director) are a married couple of avid animal lovers who have been involved in rescuing for the past 14 years. Animals are their life, as you can clearly see!

When they got their first dog Jasmine, they noticed she was very poorly socialized. Shortly after, they saw a plea for "death row dogs"- who needed foster. They wanted to help Jasmine learn to be more like a "real" dog AND save a life at the same time…it worked out magically! They were immediately hooked on the idea of hosting a dog in their home, meant they'd save a life- and make a huge difference for an animal in need.

They have fostered more than 1,500 dogs, cats and other animals over the years- typically focusing on little dogs with behavior issues and kittens but they will foster anyone in need. They have also clearly adopted a few of those foster animals too- it happens sometimes! 

jme acts as Executive Director for Motley Zoo while Bryan has a full-time job making video games. 

Pate, Animal Care Director

Pate (pah- tee) acts as foster and Animal Care Director for all the animals- managing upwards of 75 at a time.


She brings many years of experience to Motley Zoo - especially in regards to birthing litters, nursing moms and bottle feeding babies, special and medically needy animals, as well as those who need behavioral rehabilitation. She loves all animals but is especially soft for: “pibbles” (pit bulls). 


Pate is unrivaled in her dedication and commitment to the animals- and Motley Zoo and we could not be what we are today without her.

Christi, Community Outreach Director

Christi acts as Motley Zoo's Event Coordinator. She handles Event and Meet & Greet inquiries and coordinates volunteers and fosters to facilitate public outreach. She's also worked to grow MZAR's social media, fosters dogs regularly, and is well versed in all things Motley Zoo. Christi even created her own on-going fundraising event, Paint Fur Paws, where donors are invited to come learn how to paint their own personal pet portrait under her artistic guidance. 

As an independent special needs pre-school art teacher by day, Christi brings a creative and nurturing presence to her volunteer work at Motley Zoo. We're so glad she found us 7 years ago when she adopted her MZAR Rock Star, PJ!

Linda, Donor appreciation manager & HR

Linda's bio coming soon!


Eileen has been a certified dog trainer for going on a decade. Though she started chasing this passion later in life, she has enjoyed the journey so far. She has trained many different breeds, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, and those of different temperaments and personalities.


Eileen has been active in Motley Zoo for the last several years - and including prior experience, has fostered over 50 dogs! She LOVES working with the moms and babies, and also has four dogs of her own: a Chihuahua, a Retriever mix, a smooth coat Collie mix, and a Sheltie mix. All have been rescued or given to her by family.


Eileen loves spending time with dogs, learning from them, and watching them learn from her. 

Eileen, former board member,
owner-Doggone U Dog Training
Nancy, Director - Retired
Nancy, retired Motley Zoo Board of Directors member

Nancy brought more than thirteen years of dog rescue experience to Motley Zoo.  Before moving to Washington, she was a hands-on volunteer with a group in Richmond, VA, where she fostered post-surgical and seriously ill, yet treatable dogs; was active in fundraising, transporting and attending weekly adoption events.  Community outreach and the education of companion animal owners are areas of focus for Nancy.

People who know Nancy, know she has always done “whatever it takes” (including her choice of awesome outfits), to draw attention to Motley Zoo’s adoptable animals and in doing so, is able to share our philosophy and mission by promoting better companion animal care and satisfaction through training, proper nutrition and improving social interaction.  And bringing home new toys!  We are honored to have had her expertise and generosity over the years.

Fosters & Volunteers:
Motley Zoo Volunteers Rock!

We have approximately 100 fosters and another 100+ volunteers who dedicate their time and love to our pets in need. Many prefer to remain somewhat anonymous, or are simply camera shy but we couldn’t do this without them! Motley Zoo rocks because of people who are willing to help.

To work on-site at our boarding & training facility, youth must be 18yrs+, but fostering can be done at home as early as 2 yrs old for cats/ kittens and 5yrs old for dogs.


This is truly the most fun way to channel your youths’ desire and need to volunteer - and it can be done from your own home.

Motley Zoo, by definition is a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and beliefs - all unified around the mission of saving the lives of animals in need.  We appreciate, encourage and embrace diversity, equality and differences, believing that it makes for the most balanced and cohesive culture - which in turn, allows us to fulfill our mission to the best of our ability.​​

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