Our Team

We are a small team of animal lovers. We love what we do, and we do it with passion.

Denise Richter Pena

Co Founder, Co Director
Operations Supervisor

I started BePAWS They Matter with Co Founder/ Director Toni Vargas from another local rescue. Our goal is to educate on respect for all living beings, and how important spay and neutering is, and how it affects the number of pets in kill shelters today . Nowhere is too far for us. We go where we are needed. Monthly we travel to Arkansas to save as many as we can off of the brutal kill list. We support our tri state area shelters, owner surrenders, strays and save off of Craigslist. This has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I am so proud of what we have accomplished and, look forward to many years of life saving journeys. Our vision and drive is simple to improve and keep an honest animal rescue , focus on developing and maintaining our rescue with a pure heart, experience and integrity.

TAMMY FABIAN Co Director / Foster Coordinator

I always had a passion for all animals. Seeing how they are treated, abused, dumped, euthanized, just don’t let me sleep at night. I knew I have to do something, even if I can’t save them all, I’ll do it one at a time. Unfortunately, my experience with other rescues wasn’t as I expected, seeing that other pet rescues who start with good intentions become greedy after a while. That is why I was so happy when I got invited to join BePaws They Matter Rescue. This rescue is caring for the dog’s health, doing everything to find the right adopters, saving from the killing lists puppies and senior dogs wherever they are. All done with integrity and professionalism.
In just a few months, we were able to save almost 200 dogs. I can’t ask for a better place to be part of.

Amy Clough

Adoptions Assistant, Foster Coordinator, Social Media Supervisor,

Hi everyone, My name is Amy 🐾I’m a huge animal lover, even as a young child I wanted to save every animal that was on or close to the road. I started fostering when I saw a found dog had ended up in the shelter. He was a senior that was not neutered, the only way to get him out of the shelter there and then was to foster with intent to adopt once neutered. He didn’t live as long as I would have liked, but continued to foster thanks to him. Fostering and saving lives became a regular occurrence in my life and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. I love helping all animals and finding them their perfect forever home.

Michelle Sabella Transport Coordinator, Supplies

Hi I’m Michelle and, I’m the Operations Supervisor & Transport Supervisor here at BePAWS.

I have loved the animals as far back as I can remember. I may be the crazy animal lady but, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wish could save them all. Fostering is my way of helping the homeless animals. I give them love and a home until they are adopted. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. It’s hard to let them go and, I know I’m just a pit stop on their journey to a forever home. I saw this saying somewhere and it’s so perfect “It doesn’t have matter how much money you have or what possessions you own.” ” Having a dog makes you feel rich!”

Michelle Bosak

Transport Coordinator & Supplies

My name is Michelle Bosak. My family got into rescuing with retired racing greyhounds many years ago . We love dogs and the joy they bring to a home. I’m also an elementary teacher and share my dog stories with my students. I have 4 rescue fur kids and 4 human kids!


Media /Assistant Transport Coordinator

My name is Carly Bosak, I am a student at Liberty high school, I enjoy taking pictures and making vlogs. My Passion for dogs/animals is one of the most important things about me. I would do anything I could to save an animals life. I love volunteering for BePaws because it gives me the opportunity to do what I love.

Isa Marie
Rescue Journalists & Blogger

Hi I’m Isa! I am the blogger for BePaws. I have always had a passion for dogs even before I could talk. When beagle Lily passed away after being with us for 17 years, I got involved with rescue. I began fostering and it has been the best experience. I have a masters in journalism from Emerson College and love blogging. I’m so happy to be able to combine my two greatest passions. Hopefully the information I share is going to be helpful for you and your new furry family member!

Jessica Bardello

Foster Coordinator Assistant

Hey there. From when I can remember, I have always had animals and always dogs growing up. When I was first able to have my own, I chose my girl Keischa, who quickly became my best friend, hiking partner, travel buddy and babysitter. Shortly after, I heard of another Akita, Captain, that was being abused, neglected and use for dog fighting. A young man had rescued him from chains in a lady’s backyard. When he came to me he was emaciated and had no matters, but with lots of love and care, he became another best friend. This is why I help BePaws today. These animals love unconditionally, deserve loving homes and I want to help them find those homes.

Carolyn Meloni

Medical Records

Ever since I was a child animals were very important to me. The neighborhood kids use to bring their hurt pets and even wild animals they found to my home.My parents did not mind as they always knew I would take care of all.I had always thought that I would become a vet when I grew up but life took a different turn and I became a Radiologic Technologist.I continued working with animals in my free time.  I attended seminars about dogs and horses.  I even showed them as well.  I read all that I could to learn more. I have taken courses with different trainers through the years.I feel helping this rescue has started a new chapter in my life. Dogs give love and we need to love them and protect them.

Kris Tracey

” Keeper of the hounds”
Resident Training Expert

I’m Kris Tracey and I have been part of the solution for my entire life. I’ve always taken on the difficult dogs, the ones that need the most understanding. I’m proud to now be a part of the BePAWS team as the “keeper of the hounds” ( as Denise calls me). I’ve been training dogs professionally for 22 years and there’s nothing more important to me than saving, rescuing, and helping owners/fosters learn to understand how to invite a dog into their home and help those dogs understand how to live in a world that they don’t understand, but I assure you, they want to! Dogs are easy, dogs are HONEST! I am here to help the team, the fosters, the adopters. I’m proud to be a part of the BePAWS team!!!!

Anna Matone


I am Anna Matone, 21 years old from central NJ. Since forever, I have only dealt with rescues and always believed they have such special personalities! I currently have a pit bull/lab mix that my boyfriend and I rescued from down south. He is so special to me, since he was close to death from euthanasia and sickness just at 5 months old. Not having a dog in my life in the first couple of years in college was very different and affected my daily life and health. I had to have a dog back in my life, and now I do! I volunteer in as many shelters close by that I can, to help as many dogs as possible, to give them a better life, and show them the amount of love we can give to them. As the saying goes, “until there are no more left to save”. 

Alanna Janes Lyons

Support Team

Welcome to the BePaws Rescue! My name is Alanna and I am from South Jersey. Becoming a foster-dog-mom has been such an incredible journey. I truly believe every animal deserves another chance at a beautiful life. Not only am I giving a dog a loving home, but the love and affection it deserves. Yes, fostering is difficult emotionally when it’s time to be adopted, but knowing that you are giving it a second chance at life makes it all worth while. As a mother of two young kids, I hope I can inspire them to do the same one day.

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