Shines Stories: Grey Face Rescue & Retirement

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Stories | 0 comments

Three kids, three dogs, and three cats… Some call it chaotic, but Bethie Gondeck calls that home. Her love for animals of all ages and health inspired her to start Grey Face Rescue in 2015. “I’m a wife and mom of three, but I also have two resident dogs – a 15-year old blind and deaf pug, and an 8-year old pitbull – and one foster dog – a 16-year old Shih Tzu. Plus, three cats. I’ve been rescuing all types of animals since I was a kid… dogs, cats, turtles, birds, ducks – you name it.”

Woman with CatsBethie is originally from Andover but grew up spending time on a family farm in Sauk Rapids. “My uncle who lived on our family farm in Sauk Rapids needed to transition into an assisted living home and we didn’t know what to do with his dog who had been living on the farm for 13 years – the dog was never leashed but in a kennel. If his dog would have gone to the shelter I know he wouldn’t have done well –  so I told my boyfriend at the time (now husband) that we need to buy a house now so Barnabee can come live with us. After that, I looked up senior rescues to see what resources we had and it was slim pickings… it was an idea and passion combined that I ran with.”

“Grey Face Rescue started in 2015 – it’s a funny story… My husband gave me STRICT rules that I couldn’t start ‘this rescue’ until after our wedding… so I waited about 12 hours and started it the day after our wedding.” Bethie ran Grey Face as a volunteer for four years before making it her full-time gig. They rescue senior animals from owner surrenders, strays, and from shelters unable to keep or care for them. In addition to the rescuing work, Grey Face also has an indoor dog park opening this December for dogs to enjoy a warm, indoor place to run.

Woman with DogAlthough playing and snuggling with dogs and cats is a pretty great way to spend a day – funding is a huge struggle. “Senior animals – especially those who haven’t received proper veterinary care prior to arriving – are much more costly than a younger dog, so we do our best to invest as much as possible into their veterinary care. It takes a lot of work to keep us up and running.

Central MN has been a big part of the success of Grey Face. “We have a lot of local partners. Many breweries have been very kind to us, and there are a number of groomers who support us, and Advanced Care Pet Hospital is a partner vet clinic. If someone is looking to support us, we’re always looking for foster homes, volunteers, and donations… even sharing a social post helps us so much. We love our community and are so thankful for all they do!”

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