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 the 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, goats, and a 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
Ken Mimnaugh - Vice President and Sanctuary caretaker
Being Dawn's husband, Ken has had front row seats and all that entails for Woody's Place before there even was Woody's Place.
As a child, Ken had a beagle named Nemo for a short period of time, but it wasn't until he met Dawn that he became fully immersed in animals and the German Shepherd rescue world.
Not only does Ken help run the day to day operations of Woody's Place, but he also has his own kitty clowder that he absolutely adores.
Woody's Place has multiple Feral, semi-feral, and rescue cats that Ken takes great pride in caring for.
When Ken is not helping with the resident dogs or working, he can be found doing some sort of home improvement project, watching sports, or dining at his favorite restaurant.
Karen Gifford - 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
Brittany Cleghorn - Secretary
Brittany is photographed here with her fur nephew, Rocky. They thoroughly enjoy one another's company and spend as much time together as possible.
Brittany has grown up with many dogs including German Shepherds, so she has no problem being hands-on when she is at Woody's Place. She also helps with fundraising events, transport, and all the secretarial duties of the sanctuary.
Brittany is finishing up her last year as a nursing student, so she is quite busy, but always makes time for our organization.
When Brittany is not helping with Woody's Place or studying for her nursing degree, she enjoys spending time with her son, Owen, hiking, kayaking, and reading.
In addition to the members listed above, Woody's Place has several wonderful volunteers without whom we could not achieve our mission of helping homeless senior German Shepherds.