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About Us

  Our mission at Northern Lakes Rescue is to be a voice for the voiceless animals needing help. We aim to improve the life of these animals in need by placing them in loving foster home while getting them the care they need for them to move on to the next chapter in their lives; and that is their forever home. Our organization values compassion, understanding, and love above all else.      

Rescue animals are not broken, they've simply experienced more life than other animals. If they were human, we would call them wise. They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write, the ones dealt a bad hand who responded with courage. Don't pity them. Do something. Help to rescue. Donate. Volunteer. Foster. Adopt. And be proud to have their greatness by your side. 


"Thank you Daniel Bade for this beautiful sentiment"

“It’s easy to think about the world as this really big place that we can’t change, but when you’re in someone’s home with their rescued dog, there’s a real tangible example of a person making the world a better place.” 

Leadership Team

Shannon Steele - President & Founder

My name is Shannon, I am the Founder of Northern Lakes Rescue. I have been doing animal rescue for about three years and have made it my life's passion.  My dream is that there will not be a need for animal rescues and shelters, but until then I will make it my life's work to protect and save as many dogs as our rescue is able to. I rescue because all animals need a voice and I want and intend to be one of those voices. It takes a community to make rescuing animals happen, I am just one  of many. By having Northern Lakes Rescue in Northern Minnesota I am hoping to bring awareness to foster-based rescue and educate people so they have a clear understanding of what the differences are between a shelter and a rescue.  

Neal Fisher - Board Member

My name is Neal Fisher, vice president of NLR, and I've been involved with animal rescue for almost 5 years now. I got started because my daughter fell in love with a deaf dog at our local animal shelter. We followed his story, and he ended up in a foster home for a rescue in the cities where I eventually became a volunteer. That got my foot in the door, and I've been hooked ever since. I have done everything from transports, to hosting adoption events, and everything in between! Animal rescue has become my passion, and it's where I've met many of my very close friends! I have been and always will be a voice for the voiceless. Together WE save!

Shelley Fisher - Board Member

My name is Shelley, I am the Secretary for NLR. I have had rescue dogs my whole life, but it really became a serious part of my life 5 years ago when we rescued our black Lab/ German Sheppard, Hamlet.  Then came Lady, she was my Mother's Day present. 

Finally, my amazing husband, Neal, convinced me we needed to foster this sweet little 6 week old puppy or she was going to die. Needless to say, within 24 hours I was a foster failure. Fast forward 2 years and Nala is the final member of our pack. I LOVE rescue because my husband, daughter and I are all in this TOGETHER. It's our family's passion. 

Theresa Hutton-Welsh - Board Member


Why I rescue… Why canine and not feline, children, equines, etc.   One day my son came home with a dog, he found it in the dumpster behind the restaurant he worked at. The dog’s breed was outlawed in Colorado, he was a pit bull – we moved to Minnesota, gave him a name "Oso" and he would now become a part of our human family.  He was the love of my life for 17 years, we put him to sleep when he got cancer. When the vet asked if I wanted to say good-bye, I hugged him and laid my hands to pet him one last time – I said, " until we meet again, please come back to me." 

He has since guided me into the lives of many canines that needed a voice, a meal, a hug, some compassion, and a warm bed. How can I turn away the needs of so many that were sent here to give unconditional love?  I wonder how an animal gives its’ heart to all of those that do not deserve the love of an animal with so much soul. I drove 1700 miles to save a beagle – why would I do that for some dog that I did not know?

Why do I care? Because the one being rescued in 1987 was me being saved by a canine, he saved me from an abuser and I swore I would give my soul to the next one that could not help themselves from a striking hand, being kicked, not being fed, cared for or even loved. And canine or human, we deserve better. That's why I rescue…

Dawn Bushman - Board Member