Kayla Buckner

Co-founder | President | worrywart


Kayla relocated from Atlanta to Nashville in 2011 for work. She's a sports journalist for Gannett's Nashville Design Studio. She is the mom of a young daughter, Brita, a fur baby named Penny and is madly in love with her husband, Ben. Kayla is best known for hustling, loving dogs and worrying too much. She has served as a volunteer, foster and events coordinator with several rescues in Nashville and Atlanta.  When she isn't working, worrying or chasing around her sweet baby, she enjoys watching football, playing board games with her superhero husband, and binge watching cop thrillers on Netflix. She thinks it's cute to name dogs after characters from TV shows. Yes, Penny is named after the girl from "The Big Bang Theory." She graduated with a B.A. in communications in 2007 from Kennesaw State University and plans to further her education in business management in the fall.

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Ann Temple

co-founder | Vice President | Chief Feline Officer (CFO)

Ann, a Pennsylvania native, moved to Nashville in the early '90s. Ann is seasoned rescue veteran and a lifesaver. She has helped deliver puppies to a mom in distress, given CPR to a cat, saved a dog from drowning and has even assisted an opossum who was stuck in swimming pool. In the last 2 years alone, she has fostered nearly three dozen dogs and saved dozens of stray cats from the streets. She serves on the Board of Directors of Dogingham Palace Rescue and has served in key roles for several pet lost and found organizations and rescues. She is currently enrolled in Ferndog Training Academy to become a certified dog trainer. When Ann isn't saving lives and spending time with her two dogs, Millie and Jack, she works as a dental hygienist in Belle Meade. She graduated with a B.S. in dental hygiene cum laude from Tennessee State University in 1997.


Melissa Ketelsen

Co-founder | Treasurer | voice oF reason

Melissa is a customer service supervisor at HCPro/Decision Health in Brentwood and if you met her, you would know why! Cool-headed and savvy, Melissa is a jack of all trades. She is the mom of two boys who she adores. She is lucky to have found her soulmate, Susan, a HART co-founder. Together they share a love of helping animals. Melissa loves birds, fish and all things outdoors. She is an amateur artist and photographer and uses her talents to in the rescue world. It was her coonhound who taught her that every animal has his/her perfect match. She saved her dog, Luke, after he had been returned to the shelter twice. He's now 15 and lives with several other dogs, cats, fish and birds!

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Susan Bryant

co-founder | secretary | Mrs. Personality

Susan, a Nashville native, is a mom to four dogs, a cat, birds, two boys and several foster animals. She is the epitome of resilience. While she struggles with two debilitating chronic illnesses, she channels her strength into rescuing and loving animals. Susan isn't afraid to take on the tough cases and has a wealth of knowledge on pet health care and training. Need recommendations on food? What about behavioral problems? She's your girl! Susan has never met a stranger and is a passionate advocate for animal rights. She has the gift of gab and her outgoing personality has a played a key role in in the Nashville rescue community. If you recognize her from her picture, you probably know her from a local business or rescue - she knows everybody!