From Shelter to Rescue to Home

Penngrove, CA   |


Wonder Dog Rescue’s mission since 2003 has been the rescue of homeless dogs throughout Northern and Central California, most clearly demonstrated in our rescue of hospice, special needs, and senior dogs. In January, 2020 our mission evolved from that of a single purpose dog rescue, into a fully working non-profit sanctuary for general rescue, hospice and special needs dogs.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Linda Beenau

Main address

P.O. Box 17

Penngrove, CA 94951 USA

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Formerly known as

Bay Area Boston Terrier Rescue



NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Other Services (D60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Adoption Program

RESCUE & ADOPTION PROGRAM: Dogs are brought into rescue from locations throughout Northern and Central California. These dogs receive medical treatment, including vaccinations, heart worm testing, neutering and surgery or treatment of any additional conditions. They spend time in foster homes, where they are evaluated for behavior, and also go up on our web page. Through the application process, dogs are matched up appropriately to loving homes. In a case where an adoption might not work out, the dog is returned to Wonder Dog Rescue.

Population(s) Served

We actively seek dogs who are at greatest risk due to challenging medical needs. Adopters often do not have the money to adequately diagnose and treat conditions. Said conditions would include cancer, heart disease/congestive heart failure, liver/kidney disease, cataracts, blindness & deafness, cushings disease, neurological/seizure disorders.

These dogs arrive at the sanctuary for medical evaluation and treatment. A decision is made on whether they would thrive better at the sanctuary or in a foster home. We also designate the category of "hospice" when the illness has progressed to a point where we must utilize palliative medicine to keep the dog comfortable. There are wonderful families who wish to bring these dogs into their homes. Wonder Dog supports the cost of medical care, and we give lifetime support.

Population(s) Served

The Wonder Farm was born in January, 2020 when we rented a five acre farm in Penngrove, CA. Our director had a deep wish to have a peaceful, contemplative home and gardens for the elderly and sick dogs to live out their lives. It is our hope to purchase this property within several years.

Because the farm includes a barn, horse stalls and a pen area for pigs we have brought in farm animals too. At present time we have four mini horses (rescued from another sanctuary), 3 pigs rescued from slaughter and a dozen hens (rescued by Animal Place from an Iowa egg factory!) We recently brought in 8 alpacas from another sanctuary which was threatened by the fires.

These animals are a big part of our mission of teaching kindness to others. Visitors, especially youth, love interacting with them. It is our intention to be able to accept special needs and hospice farm animals as our funding base develops.

Population(s) Served

We recognize the goodness that projects bringing people and animals together can generate. Additionally, we feel a responsibility to future generations to shift focus to plant based food as one major way of saving our planet. A main goal of our sanctuary is to bring these concepts to all, especially to youth who do not have pets, or the ability to visit farms or sanctuaries. It is our intention, post covid, to invite more schools and organizations to visit, help out, hang out, and learn about the joy animals can bring into their lives. We will be targeting Bay Area schools and organizations who serve economically disadvantaged youth and teens, with added focus on those who feel disadvantaged due to a physical or developmental disability, gender acceptance, or race & color. We are here for everyone, and the animals teach us so much.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Wonder Dog Rescue & Sanctuary’s VISION is a world of a great quality of life for underserved dogs and a public implementing new ways to assist our most vulnerable canine companions.
Our MISSION is to provide stable care and permanent housing for dogs who possess good “quality of life”, and for whom treatments are available, but who, without medical/behavioral intervention, do not meet traditional criteria for rescue or adoption. These dogs come to us from Northern/Central California shelters and private individuals, and are facing euthanasia because of extraordinary medical needs or the need for hospice (comfort care). These dogs are generally euthanized in shelters because few other options exist.
Our VALUES: In providing the necessary care we will return these dogs to the healthiest state possible, providing a very individualized rich life. Some of the dogs are adopted to loving homes, while others remain with us for the remainder of their lives. For the past thirty years, and in the foreseeable future, our focus has been and will be on the quality of their experience, rather than the quantity of animals served. This care is provided in foster homes and at our new sanctuary, Wonder Farm. (
Our expected outcome with our new sanctuary is to increase the number of extremely vulnerable dogs rescued, and of equal importance, to introduce and our methods and train others in the compassionate care of these dogs.
Wonder Dog Rescue and Sanctuary’s 1 to 2 year goals include stabilizing the sanctuary, which is a rented space, and growing our infrastructure. We are currently in a period of transition, from that of a small urban rescue to a larger, more comprehensive rescue which provides long-term stability for hospice and special needs dogs. Our transition includes:
Creation of an advisory group which is working on our business plan, long range goals and increased fundraising.
Continue to introduce selected companion farm animals to our sanctuary. We currently have 3 pigs, 4 mini horses, a goat and some chickens. These animals are rescued, and live with us as companions. To do this, we will need to build structures to house them safely from predators at night.
During 2021-22 (post-Covid), building the organization’s equity and stature within our new communities.
Adding to our board of directors, 2-4 new positions which will encompass the issues facing rural sanctuaries, transitioning from San Francisco to Sonoma county, and guiding the long-range advisory group.
These steps will, over time, provide us with the infrastructure we need to purchase a farm-style sanctuary, providing first class medical and comfort care to the animals we serve.

Within the next three-to-five years, we will be expanding outreach of our Hospice and Special Needs programs for dogs and their caregivers. In addition to training our volunteers and staff in our techniques, we will offer one-on-one guidance as well as group training in the compassionate and medical care issues we face as our animals age and fall ill.
We intend to offer farm animals the same hospice and special needs support. To accommodate our animals, we will build necessary structures upon our acreage, for their safe and comfortable housing. This is a huge step which we are unable to undertake on a rented property.
We also intend:
To provide opportunities for the public to have meaningful contact with the animals, to help broaden their knowledge and perspective.
To find and rescue farm animals who face slaughter or euthanasia due to fires, owner relinquishment and the meat industry (i.e.: 4-H pigs, egg industry chickens, horse kill pens, surrenders to county animal shelters)
To provide on-site public programs which provide sustained socializing and comfort to these animals, and to make these programs readily accessible to children and youth.
To create on-site programs which will educate the public to the needs of these animals.
To have a sustained, positive impact upon both the lives of dogs who are facing severe medical issues, and upon farm animals who are rescued from slaughter and euthanasia.
To share the importance of this work, and the inherent value of these animals with the public (in the SF Bay Area and surrounding counties).
The goal of this impact is to improve the bond between humans and animals by creating unique opportunities for people to interact during vulnerable times of the animals’ lives. It is also our goal to continue to demonstrate the inherent value of animals’ lives. We feel that a society which learns to recognize and nurture an individual’s compassion has the possibility of improving the quality of life for everyone on our planet.

STRATEGIES & OBJECTIVES include the following:
Currently with us for the past ten months, Marketing Director, Marie Rochelle Mascaspac will utilize social media, newsletters, and the media to continue building our circle of supporters .
In January we intend to conduct a search for new board members who can aid in the fulfillment of our long range fundraising goals.
The board and staff intend to create one large scale fundraising event annually, beginning in 2021.
By January 2021, commence working with two identified facilitators on the structure of our business plan and 3-5 year growth plan.
Continue grant writing to support the care of the animals and to identify professional level funding for a capital campaign.
Research the amount of land and type of facilities we need for the care of our animals.

3-5 YEAR PLAN For Wonder Dog to purchase a farm to establish a permanent residence for the animals.
To undertake the building of permanent structures such as stalls, barns, sheds, which could not be added to a rental property.
Through education and outreach, to change the public’s perception around end of life options for animals.
To provide opportunities for the public to have direct access/contact with the animals, to help broaden their knowledge and perspective.
To create on-site programs which will give sustained socializing and comfort to these animals.
To create on-site programs which will educate the public to the needs of these animals.

Our capabilities for doing this include:
Our ability and intention to continue working with leaders in the "end of life" and palliative/hospice fields for both humans and animals.
Our ability to continue to epand our volunteer base in Sonoma county, and to build lifelong relationships with people who have come to us because they want to make a difference.
Our unique ability to work alongside these volunteers to continue our education of the essential elements surrounding end-of-life for animals and the ability to create training for the humans who will be working with the animals and the public.

Our accomplishments to date include:
Celebrating the founder's 30th year of dog rescue in December, 2020
Received several bequests over the past two years, which have strengthened our resolve to create a larger rescue project, serving more animals.
Moved from San Francisco to Sonoma county in December, 2019 to establish a sanctuary for hospice & special needs dogs.
Added farm animals into our project.
Begun receiving grants from new sources who were previously unfamiliar with our work.
Solidified a core volunteer base in Sonoma county for the care of the animals
Added a Marketing Director and a Sanctuary Director
Continuing to adopt dogs, and run a healthy foster program in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Begun serving the needs of more critical dogs through our hospice program



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Board of directors
as of 01/01/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Linda Beenau

Wonder Dog Rescue

Term: 2004 - 2021

Sarah Shaw

Nature Defense Foundation

Julie Kass


Wendy Watson


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/12/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/12/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.