RescueRebuild Logo-1
Hammers and Nails for Happy Tails

Rescue Rebuild is a shelter renovation program that recruits volunteers from all over the country to help shelters in need. Our team travels to selected shelters to take projects from concept to creation to improve both the lives of humans and animals. We help animals in need in a variety of different settings: animal shelters, wildlife facilities, domestic violence shelters, and homeless & veterans housing.

Renovations Completed
Pets Helped to Date
Nights of Safety for Families of Domestic Violence
Have Truck, Will Travel

Rescue Rebuild has traveled to selected shelters in 49 states and three countries. Rescue Rebuild isn’t afraid to hit the road with our tools in tow! We’ve traveled far and wide to help great shelters, families, and pets. Check out our shelter map (below) to see just some of the places we’ve been!

Is your organization in need of a visit from Rescue Rebuild? Apply for a renovation grant below!

Been There, Done That

Click to learn more about our past projects!

Animal Shelter

Domestic Violence, Homeless, or Veterans Housing

Stories from the Field
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How Can You Help?

Rescue Rebuild only exists with your involvement! Check out the ways you can help:

Read our Blog

Check out our tales from the road! Learn about our latest builds and what we're doing next.

Improving Pets’ Lives One Shelter at a Time

Since 2007, we’ve been working hard to improve the lives of animals and people through creative renovation projects. Rescue Rebuild has provided 267,180 nights of safety for people in crisis with pets. Over 6,000+ volunteers have helped us accomplish an amazing amount of work!

animal shelters & wildlife sanctuaries

Our goal is to make animal shelters more adoption-friendly by creating spaces that are engaging and enriching for pets and people alike. We work with shelters and wildlife sanctuaries to construct fun and welcoming environments alongside animal-loving volunteers. Some of our favorite projects include:

  • Play yards & agility
  • Kennel installations & repairs
  • Free-roaming cat rooms & outdoor enclosures
  • Shelter makeovers
  • Building & Repairing Wildlife Habitats/Enclosures
domestic violence shelters

Approximately 47% of pet-owning victims of domestic violence delay leaving their abuser because they are afraid to leave their pet behind. Currently, only 18% of the domestic violence shelters accept pets and Rescue Rebuild aims to fix that disparity. Rescue Rebuild renovates domestic violence shelters to make them pet-friendly so people in crisis can find safety with their pets. There are many creative ways to accommodate animals at existing domestic violence shelters:

  • Room conversions
  • Kennel facilities on-site
  • Facilitating partnerships with local animal shelters
  • For more information on how to start a pet program at your shelter, see our Don’t Forget the Pets training seminar and our supplemental training materials.
Housing for Veterans & Those facing homelessness

No one should have to make a decision between staying with their pet and finding a warm place to sleep. The therapeutic benefits of the human-animal bond are undeniable, and we strive to keep those families and their pets together. We change that by working with existing homeless shelters to provide pet-friendly solutions that keep families together.  Pet-friendly accommodations can consist of:

  • Room conversions
  • Kennel facilities on-site
  • Facilitating partnerships with local animal shelters
  • For more information on how to start a pet program at your shelter, see our Don’t Forget the Pets training seminar and our supplemental training materials.

Along with volunteers across the country, Rescue Rebuild is operated by a bunch of hammer-swinging, animal lovers!
Meet the builders behind the reins...

Bryna Donnelly: Founder, Vice President of Family & Pet Projects

Having founded Rescue Rebuild and while running the program since 2007, Bryna’s passion for animals inspired her to address a need that few had before. Through the use of her science background combined with her experience working with tools, she’s been making a big difference in the shelter community for over a decade.  She creatively adapted construction practices for the shelter environment, meanwhile inspiring thousands to volunteer and work together to improve their local (or not-so-local) animals shelters. At the end of the day, her goal is to help animals be healthy, happy and into a forever home as fast as possible!  Now Bryna leads the push to create pet-friendly spaces in Domestic Violence & Homeless shelters to make sure that no owner should ever have to choose been safety and their pet!

Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Woof!”

Animals at Home: “4 Dogs (Bucky, Blacky, Tinkerbell, & Teddy)”

Favorite RR Memory: “When I hired Zach!”

Zach Baker: Vice President of Animal Shelter Projects, A.K.A. Bob the Builder

A carpenter at heart, Zach’s construction background and love for animals brought him to Rescue Rebuild as a volunteer for 5 years before we finally made him stick around and help out full time!  Before Rescue Rebuild, Zach ran his remodeling company and spent most of his free time pestering Bryna about where the next build was.  Now Zach leads our animal shelter renovation projects through to completion.  In addition to making plans, ordering materials, and leading volunteers on-site, he also loves to take pictures and videos of our awesome volunteers!  Chances are if he’s not holding a hammer, he’s holding a camera!  Together with his new fiance Laura, they have 7 animals at home!

Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Don’t make me say!”

Animals at Home: “2 Cats (Chunk & Tex) and 4 Dogs (Copper, May Belle, Pete & Cricket)”

Favorite RR Memory: “That time I dropped a fence fitting into a drain pipe and Bryn had to fish it out barehanded, up to her shoulder in things that no one should have to touch!”

Casey Paholski: Senior Program Manager, A.K.A. Dudley Do-Right

Casey started volunteering with Rescue Rebuild in 2013 while he was a freshman in college. Before Casey joined our team, he had already been on over 12 trips and his family had adopted 3 pups from Rescue Rebuild shelters! Lilly, Daisy, and Flint are happy to have forever homes thanks to him! He graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2017 with a B.S. in Conservation and Wildlife Management. Before coming on with Greater Good Charities, Casey worked as a Park Ranger after college and then did wildlife mitigation in Atlanta, Georgia. Now Casey splits his time with GGC's Global Discovery Expedition program, further Amplifying the Good and using his wildlife expertise. 

Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Dog person!”

Animals at Home: “1 dog (Lily), 2 crested geckos, and 1 flying gecko”

Favorite RR Memory: “The time I convinced my parents that I had already adopted Lilly and got the ok to bring her home from the shelter we were working at!”

Nate Borger: Senior Program Manager

Nate is currently living outside of Los Angeles, CA but is from Bethlehem, PA. Nate first worked with the team in 2013 after transferring to Delaware Valley University. He went on almost every trip he could during his time in school and picked up his construction knowledge along the way. Nate graduated with a degree in Wildlife and Conservation Management and soon after began working with a bird removal company. Nate has 3 pets (1 dog and 2 cats) that keep him and his fiancé company. Nate is heavily involved in the Don't Forget the Pets program.

Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Cat Person; Brains over Brawn”

Animals at Home: “2 Cats (Posh and Tyrone); 1 Dog (Moe)”

Favorite RR Memory: “That time Bryna returned a Rototiller…and then had me till an entire yard in the Nashville sun.”

Patrick Hilaire: Program Manager,
A.K.A. Dora The Explorer

Patrick joined the Rescue Rebuild team in early 2020 with a diverse work history but more importantly, a love for animals! He graduated in 2017 from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Business Management and also has a background working with a general contractor, along with some logistics planning experience. He is excited to adapt and grow these skills into doing something meaningful for animals! Outside of work, Patrick loves to find solitude hiking and he hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018.  He is always looking for new backpacking opportunities!

Dog Person or Cat Person?: "Dog"

Animals at Home:None yet, but we’re working on it!

Favorite RR Memory: "Making new ones every day!"

Troy Penley: Program Manager

Troy became part of our team in 2021 and brings a ton of animal and construction experience with him. He worked in animal welfare in Tennessee for 8 years, is trained in animal search and rescue and has been swinging a hammer for 20 years!  He is excited to put his unique background to work in a job that takes advantage of both.  Troy lives in TN with his family and officially wins the award for most animals on our team!

Dog or Cat person: Both… and why isn’t cow an option?! 

Animals at home: 5 dogs, 4 cats, 3 cows, 2 horses, 2 ponies, 2 goats, 2 guinea pigs, 20 chickens 

Favorite RR Memory: When I realized that I was going to get to do two things that I love together: building things and helping animals!

Gabbie Vilanova: Program Coordinator

Gabbie started volunteering with Rescue Rebuild in 2019 when she was a freshman in college. After graduating with a B.S. in Animal Science, she realized that the animal welfare industry was where she belonged. After graduation she worked at a local SPCA as an animal behavior coordinator and completed an internship with the Don’t Forget the Pets program. She is excited to take her animal shelter experience and put it to good use while also learning the construction side of things. She currently resides in PA with her rescue guinea pig and spends her free time helping out around the farm and apprenticing with a dog trainer!

Dog Person or Cat Person?: Dog

Animals at Home: Pet parent to one guinea pig, but I live with 4 dogs, and a bunch of horses, donkeys, and various livestock!

Favorite RR Memory: Camping out in Colorado and building a bear enclosure!

Get Involved!

Rescue Rebuild needs YOU! Our team is constantly traveling around renovating shelters and we frequently use volunteers to help us
help more animals! Click on each project to learn more about it and how you can help. For many non-animal shelter projects we do require background checks for volunteers on those projects only. 


Animal Shelter Projects


Domestic Violence and Other Shelter Projects

Boulder, CO - Spring/ Summer 2024

Iowa City, IA - Summer/ Fall 2024

Wildlife projects

Nov - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - South Florida Wildlife Center

Sign Up for our Volunteer List

Sign up for our volunteer list to receive updates when we have new volunteer opportunities!

Donate to Rescue Rebuild

Help us to keep doing what we do! Your donation goes toward amazing projects that better the lives of shelter animals and the humans who care for them, increases adoption rates, and accomodates housing for 

Corporate Team Building

A great way to get involved with Rescue Rebuild is to ask your company about partnering with Rescue Rebuild! Contact us today to see how we can work together to serve animals in our community! Click to email Rescue Rebuild for more information.

Don't Forget The Pets

Looking to better support people in crisis by learning about starting and funding a pet program at your shelter? Join Greater Good Charities and RedRover virtually (in-person returning soon) for a FREE training seminar intended for helping domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, and animal shelters to achieve just that! We will explore:

  • Ways to create and sustain pet programs
  • How to apply for funds from Greater Good Charities and RedRover
  • How to design your pet program
  • The importance of the human-animal bond on recovery, child welfare, and PTSD sustainability
Upcoming Training Webinars

Explore ways to create and sustain pet-friendly housing programs through free trainings hosted by RedRover and Greater Good Charities. Attend the next Don't Forget the Pets virtual webinar to learn more!

How-to videos for your next project

The Rescue Rebuild team is always coming up with new ways to improve shelter spaces for animals — from cat bridges, to tire tunnels, to repairs, and more! Our how-to videos will walk you through how to bring these projects to life in your space.

Apply For a Renovation and consulting

We help animals in need in a variety of different settings: Animal Shelters, Domestic Violence Shelters, Homeless & Veterans Housing, and Wildlife Sanctuaries. 

Animal Shelter
Wildlife Sanctuary
Homeless & Veterans Housing
Domestic Violence Shelters
Temporary Housing at Animal Shelters

If you have any issues or questions about our applications please reach out to us at

We also offer free coaching services

Our coaching services will vary based on what we can do to best help your shelter. Apply today to find out what we can offer your shelter!

Animal Shelter Coaching
Temporary Housing Coaching
Release Forms

Please only fill these forms out for a specific job that you are signed up to volunteer for. If you do not see the correct job, email Rachel Hiebert:
Waiver and Photographic Release (18+)
Waiver and Photographic Release (Under 18)

Please only fill out this form if you have been asked to by a Greater Good Charities staff member.
Greater Good Charities Photo/Video Release
Greater Good Charities Non-Disclosure Agreement
Greater Good Charities Background Check Release

Please only fill out this form if you have been asked to by a Greater Good Charities or Red Rover staff member.
Greater Good Charities and Red Rover Combined Photo/Video Release