The Woody's Place Team

Dawn Mimnaugh - Founding President, Website/social media Administrator, & Primary Caretaker of the Sanctuary

As a child, Dawn’s best friend was her German Shepherd, Maxine. Often, Dawn could be found sitting with Maxine inside her dog box playing with her and enjoying her company. As an adult, Dawn was given a black German Shepherd named Levi Jane. Levi Jane was the apple of Dawn’s eye until the day passed away.

Dawn got her start in dog rescue world by volunteering for a German Shepherd rescue in the Philadelphia, Pa area from 2005 to 2011. In 2007 she was the only volunteer who was willing to take a chance on fostering a 10-year-old male German Shepherd who had been surrendered to a shelter in New Jersey when his owner, who was in the military, had been deployed.  That German Shepherd's name was Woody, and once he entered Dawn's home, it didn’t take her long to realize what a special boy he was, and that there was a great need for a rescue that specialized in senior German Shepherds, like Woody.

After realizing her journey could only go so far with the German Shepherd rescue she was volunteering for at the time, Dawn decided to take her German Shepherd experience and create Woody’s Place Senior German Shepherd Sanctuary, Inc. 

In March 2011 the Sanctuary officially became a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

When Dawn is not engaged in Woody’s Place activities, she can be found tending to her many chickens and ducks,  pigs, slew of indoor and outdoor cats, spending time with family and friends, kayaking, hiking, enjoying nature, doing home improvement projects, and furthering her education.

Dawn can be reached at or

Karen Gifford - Vice President, Event Coordinator,& Community Outreach

Most of my working life, while I lived in Philadelphia, was mundane: waitressing, answering phones, secretarial,  and training CS reps, but I made my way to a Managerial position.  

Having retired almost a decade ago, I moved to the Pocono Mountains and started looking for something to keep me active, both personally and in my community. I became Department head at the local Greene Dreher Sterling Ag Fair in 2011 in the needlework department,  which is something I've done all my life.

Then, about 4 years ago, I met one of my new neighbors and discovered Woody's Place.  Rescuing senior GSD's is something that never crossed my mind until I met Dawn. I  am now the Secretary to the board, Event Coordinator, and I am working with the team at Woody's Place to help senior dogs retire and live their lives with dignity.  Patience, compassion, and looking out for the underdog all my life have come to roost in my efforts at Woody's Place.

My husband and I have a GSD, a cat, and chickens. Collectively we have three sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, a daughter, and four grandchildren.

Karen can be reached at

Ken Mimnaugh - Treasurer and Sanctuary care taker

Sue Geitz - Foster Care Coordinator Southeastern PA


Sue can be reached at

In addition to the members listed above, Woody's Place has several wonderful volunteers and foster homes without whom we could not achieve our mission of helping homeless senior German Shepherds.

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