Our Staff


Executive Director Lauren Brinkman founded Underdog in 2012 after volunteering with other humane organizations throughout Wisconsin for about 10 years. Lauren’s deep care for animals led her to form a rescue and vet clinic that helps the neediest of animals, while providing a quality experience for our adopters, volunteers, and clients.  Under Lauren’s leadership, Underdog has grown to save thousands of lives through our 150+ foster homes with support before, during, and after adoptions take place. Lauren and her family live on the north side of Madison with their rescue cat, Snax. 


Meet Dr. Lenore! She grew up in the Fox Valley area in Wisconsin and absolutely loves Madison. Her main passion in life is to reduce the number of unwanted animals, and provide a good quality of life for the animals she cares for. This is why she's very excited to be a part of the Underdog team. In her free time, she is always with her dog Olive (who's a street dog from the caribbean), doing outdoorsy activities or agility. 


Dr. Linda Teeter is excited to be a part of the Underdog team.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of  Veterinary Medicine and has over 20 years experience in small animal medicine and surgery. In addition to enjoying the science of veterinary medicine, she has always been very passionate about the human-animal bond and continually strives to enhance that bond.  Dr. Linda is looking forward to assisting clients, fosters, and adopters in providing the best quality of life for their furry companions. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and dogs.


Cayla Price is Underdog’s CVT. She has been working in the Veterinary field for the last 7 years. Prior to her time at Underdog, she has worked in general practice and also has experience in shelter medicine. She has a strong passion for caring for all kinds of animals with a fear free approach. 


When Cayla is not at Underdog, she loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and their two dogs. She enjoys the outdoors and exploring new places. 


Jolene Krull, CVT, is very happy to be a part of Underdog! Growing up, she always had Jack Russell Terriers and horses, both which she competed with in 4H. After high school, she moved to Madison to attend Madison College's Veterinary Technician program and this is where she met her fiance, Zach. After graduation, she worked for 5 years at the UW Large Animal Hospital running emergency cases after hours. During this time, she brought home her and Zach's first fur-child Douglas the Corgi, bought a house and began fostering dogs for Underdog! Once those late night hours caught up with her, Jolene decided to move into Veterinary Management which is where she had been for the last year and a half. During this time, she adopted second fur-child, Armando the Chihuahua/Rat Terrier and adopted a Mustang (horse) named Ruby. 


Emily, Vet Assistant.

Our Board of Directors

Sara Wiesner, Board President and Intake Coordinator, has been involved with animals in many ways over the years. As a former school teacher, she has continued the gift of educating others through being a professional dog trainer. Her true passion is saving lives, and she works with a network of shelters to develop relationships and help Underdog take in animals who truly need a second chance at life! She resides in Madison with her husband and their eight wonderful dogs, ranging from small to large!

Susan Roberts, Board Secretary, has worked in rescue for a number of years, and is a huge herding breed fan. She works as a news producer by day, and in the evening, spends time with her border collie and mixed breed dogs. She and her husband foster dogs for Underdog as well!


Meechelle Bordeaux, Board Member, joined Underdog in 2017 as a puppy foster and has gradually added application/returns processing and Texas intake coordination. She has worked with animals professionally for 30+ years and loves to give her spare time to helping save rescued animals.


Melissa Burchell-Dogra, Board Member


Lexi Gates, Board Member


Meg Hanson, board member, joined Underdog in 2017 as a volunteer for Fundraising events. She works in Fund Development at a local nonprofit and wanted to share her expertise to save the lives of animals. She lives in Madison with her husband, son, rescue dog and two cats. 


Stephanie Koester, board member, is a certified veterinary technician and has worked in animal welfare for over 10 years. She was drawn to the field after she started working part time at our local Madison shelter while completing her degree in Animal Sciences at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the Assistant Director of University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program, where she consults with shelters and rescues around the globe and shares research and education surrounding best practices in animal welfare. UW Shelter Medicine Program is proud to work closely with Underdog Pet Rescue and connect them with other shelters and rescues to learn from and support one another to save more lives. Stephanie and her family live in Madison with her former foster - now forever dogs, Bruno and Rucker, who are fantastic foster siblings to a variety of Underdog foster kittens and dogs. 


Jennifer Whetstone, Board Member, joined Underdog in 2016 as a foster and has gradually added puppy application processing, intake coordinator and board of director member.  While dentistry is the daytime passion, the animals in need and rescue are near and dear to her heart.  

Susan Shapenek.jpg

Susan Shepanek is delighted to be the feline behavior support volunteer at Underdog.  She credits her first stray cat, Archie, adopted in 2003, with whom she began her deep appreciation for felines, enthusiastically reading the small amount out there at the time about physical care, as well as in order to be happy and healthy, understanding how they perceive their world.  Archie at 20 years old, passed peacefully at home in 2017, and she vowed to him that she would continue somehow, someway, to serve cats by raising their status among the public, and supporting a cat’s people to understand them, which deepens their bond. Making her cat-centric, loving home together with her other stray, 14 year old, elder lady cat, Addy, since 2008, is the top joy of her life.  She also enjoys gardening, friendships, meditation, and winter-feeding the birds and wildlife.  They live on the near east side of Madison.  

About Underdog Pet Rescue

Underdog Pet Rescue is an all-breed companion animal rescue based out of Dane County, Wisconsin. Our mission is to find permanent homes for animals in need, and to enrich lives by strengthening the connection between animals and people through community services and outreach. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

WI DATCP Licensed Rescue #281765

In 2016, we were able to provide care for and adopt out 96% of the animals we transferred in. That means that of all the animals we took in, many of whom were sick and behaviorally unevaluated, 4% passed away of natural causes (i.e. failure to thrive in kittens) or were euthanized for severe behavioral or medical concerns

2019 Animal Intakes and Medical Reporting

2018 Animal Intakes and Medical Reporting

2017 Animal Intakes and Medical Reporting

2016 Animal Intakes and Medical Reporting