Our Team

Meet the Sarge's Team

Nancy Bulluck

Social Media & Medical

Nancy Bulluck is currently working at the Adoption Center, taking care of routine medical such as vaccinations, testing and administration of medications. She also handles social media for Sarge’s, as an administrator for Sarge’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Nancy is one of the founders of Sarge’s, so she has been with the organization since it began, in 2005. Since then she has worked in several volunteer capacities, including volunteer coordinator, breed rescue coordinator, shelter photographer, and public relations. She tells us she feels she is “Ma Sarge,” and intends to continue to work here until she “drops dead in a dog kennel or play yard.”

Erica Phillips

Adoption Center Manager

Erica has been with Sarge’s since 2013. She has always enjoyed being a part of the rescue effort in Haywood County. She saw the need, first hand, over the 9 years she was a veterinary technician for more community involvement and is thrilled to be part of Sarge’s mission. Erica was also the rescuer of Wuzbug, a two legged Chihuahua, who inspired the Sarge’s Special Needs Fund in her name. Erica’s fur babies include 4 cats, Scoots, Lloyd, Widget, and Rosie, also 3 dogs: Oscar, Zoe & Dumplin’.

Nikola Rubley

Kennel Manager

Nikola has been with Sarge’s for over two years and enjoys keeping the adoption center looking it’s best as well as spending time with the resident rescues. Nikola adopted her first dog from Sarge’s in 2010; a dog named Roadie who ended up changing her life. Since adopting Roadie Nikola has changed her career to become a Veterinary Technician and has become involved in several dog sports with her second dog, peanuT. She also loves to travel, learn new things, and always keeps an eye out for wayward animals who need a little extra help.

Phyllis Lunsik

Office Assistant

Phyllis retired to Waynesville with her husband and two dogs in 2007. She says she can’t remember a time in her life that she didn’t have a pet of some kind (fish, gerbils, rabbits, cats, dogs, parakeets and even a green anole). When her last fur baby crossed the Rainbow Bridge, she began to volunteer at Sarge’s. She couldn’t imagine not having a pet to love. She has been here since helping in the office and fostering cats and dogs. She is now one of Sarge’s happy employees. Phyllis loves what she does, entering our incoming dogs and cats into the data base, answering phones, maintaining volunteer hours, and helping with adoptions. Two years ago she and her husband adopted Izzy the YorkshireTerrier. She calls Sarge’s her “Happy Place”.

Windy McKinney

Adoption Counselor

Windy was raised in Haywood County, and has wandered back home after years spent studying abroad. She is an avid animal advocate. She has always had animals in her life, and if its up to her, she always will! She has volunteered and fostered with animal rescues in Waynesville, Asheville and Wilmington, as well as with the RSPCA in the UK, and happily brings this passion for animal welfare with her to work every day. She hikes and runs regularly with her two dogs, Pearl and Bandit. Arthur, the family cat, often joins them for strolls through their Waynesville neighborhood. When not hiking, working, or spending time with her family, Windy is a cultural historian who does research and writes from home, with the family cat for company.

Fred Strohm

Operations Administrator

Fred moves to WNC from Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was the Operations Manager at the Terre Haute Humane Society. He and his wife have four dogs, Heidi, Morgan, Dublin and Lala; and three cats, Mokey, Lilo and Aladdin. He considers Aladdin his “child,” since he raised him from the bottle-feeding stage. The bond between Strohm and his cat Aladdin is so strong, Aladdin often rides around on Strohm’s shoulder. His previous career path dealt with Information Technology, Business Incubators and Video Game Centers. “Taking care of the animals, in their best interests, is my number one priority,” Strohm said. “My focus will be on how we can better serve the animals in Haywood County.”

Carisa Ledoux

Kennel Staff


Official Mascot

Sunshine came to Sarge’s in November of 2016, by way of the Haywood County Animal Services’ rescue of 140 dogs from a hoarding case. She was hugely pregnant, and gave birth to her litter within a day or two of arrival at their temporary shelter. She raised her litter, they were all happy healthy puppies who were adopted as soon as they were old enough. We then discovered that Sunshine is diabetic and has a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI, so she requires daily insulin injections and a strict diet with a supplement to replace her pancreatic enzymes. In short, she was a difficult fit for most adopters to take on. We also discovered that she is a terrific nanny, so when we have singleton puppies we put them with her for cuddling and warmth, and she takes great care of them. She is a playful participant in our playgroups with other dogs, and is quite comfortable with her routine at Sarge’s Adoption Center. So we decided to make it official and give her an honored position on our team. Welcome aboard, Sunshine!

Sharon Grieco-Bolden

Adoption Counselor

Doug Savitt

Adoption Counselor

Jeff McDonald

Adoption Manager

Jeff is originally from New Haven, CT but has called Western North Carolina home since the summer of 2014. We lives Waynesville with his 4 year old son, raising him as a single father since just after his first birthday.  He came to Sarge’s in July of 2019 with a love for animals and has always been an advocate for the underdog. He worked many years in the corporate management world but decided there wasn’t a much better time to pursue something that he would actually enjoy. Jeff is grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the wonderful humans and animals of the community!

Emily Johnson

Kennel Staff

Melinda Smith

Volunteer Coordinator

Melinda grew up in upstate New York with her Irish Terrier Shamrock always by her side.  She has been living in WNC for about 25 years – loving the mountains – hiking and taking care of her little cabin in the woods.  She currently has one fur baby – a cat named Mr Bean adopted from Sarge’s about 4 years ago.  Since retiring from her engineering career in mid 2019, she has been volunteering at Sarge’s where she feels lucky to meet and get to know many wonderful dogs and cats as well as the devoted folks that care for them.

Meet the Sarge's Board

Jed Lambert


Dr. Jed Lambert is a dentist at Smoky Mountain Dentistry, where he practices with his wife, Elizabeth Ferguson. He has been a member of Sarge’s for the past nine years and a board member for the past five years. Dr. Lambert has two Great Pyrenees and two cats, along with six alpacas, five goats, two cows and a llama.

Jim Ray

Vice President

Born and raised in Haywood County, I love both the mountains and the pace of life here. I am retired from my business developed to manufacture and distribute tactical knives and rescue tools. My connection to animal rescue began with Sarges in 2008, and much of my focus has been on transport operations, facility upgrades, and fostering. My wife, Katie, and I have had the pleasure of fostering scores of great dogs, most of them coonhounds (to see many of them, go to Katie’s Youtube channel 4dogsandafoster). We also have a Maremma Sheepdog, two Redbone mixes, a Plott Hound, and a Black and Tan Coonhound of our own. The progress Sarge’s (and the entire Haywood County rescue community) has made since the early years has been amazing. Our Board, our staff, and our volunteers are deeply appreciative of the support our friends and neighbors continue to provide.

Steve Hewitt


Steve was first elected to Sarge’s Board of Directors in 2008. By then Steve and his wife, Connie, had officially moved from Indianapolis to their Haywood County vacation home. This was a big change from their home in downtown Indianapolis where Steve had worked for 25 years with Eli Lilly. Back then the Haywood County Animal shelter took in just over 4,000 animals. Sarge’s evolving mission to end the euthanasia of adoptable, healthy dogs and cats at the Shelter seemed more like Mission Impossible. But some things are possible given a lot of hard work and the cooperation of local animal welfare groups with the County Shelter. In 2017 the Shelter intake had been reduced by more than half and over 90% of the animals were finding homes. Steve is still on the Sarge Board as Treasurer and still finding homes for cats and dogs. The Hewitt’s, doing their part to keep the momentum going, have 4 cats and one recently adopted, 10 year old hound – Thom.

Paula Gatens


She moved to Waynesville in early 2002 with her husband John and their two German Shepherd Dogs following a 15-year career at an international oil company. Currently, Paula & John share their home with two Shiloh Shepherds, Lambeau and Stella. They have been proud supporters of Sarge’s since its inception and enjoy participating in the annual Dog Walk. She is happy to be a member of the Sarge’s Board in order to get more involved in helping the animals of Haywood County.

Carrie Moreland

Board Member

She is a Chicago native who retired to this area with her husband 11 years ago. She has always loved animals, growing up with 6 cats, and am now a proud mom to Wally and Isabella, both of whom were adopted from Sarge’s. She volunteers for Sarges and is looking forward to serving this wonderful organization on the board.

Jason Ottie

Board Member

Jason is married to his beautiful wife Jessica and has two kids, Jonah and Julia who are Youth for Sarge’s volunteers. Jason has been a volunteer with Sarge’s since 2013. Jason’s works full time at Western Carolina University for the College of Engineering & Technology as the Systems Specialist. When Jason isn’t working on a computer or caring for a dog, he spends his free time with family hiking, biking and kayaking in our beautiful area.

Ron Kroot

Board Member

I have been fortunate enough to live in western North Carolina since 1996. Married 52 years and have two boys and four grandchildren. I’ve been in varied businesses during my working years. I enjoy my affiliation with Sarge’s and I have met a variety of interesting people and find that people that have a compassion for animals usually make very good friends. We consider our animals our furry children, and the mountains our forever home.

Join Us!

Interested in joining our team or board? Contact us today!