Gabrielle has been passionate about animals since early childhood. She grew up in a home with many pets including dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish and more. She and her mom would also rehabilitate any injured wildlife that came across their path including birds, turtles, mice, and snakes. Gabrielle’s love of animals led her to pursue a degree in Biology from the University of Richmond in VA. During and after college Gabrielle held jobs in various animal related fields including two vet hospitals, Muscoot Farm and Best Friends Pet Resort. She also ran her own pet sitting business for 8 years.
During her time at Best Friends, she met her first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and it was love at first sight. She got her first Cavalier, Toby, from a breeder in 2001. Gabrielle developed a deep passion for this breed and wanted to add another to her family, but she also felt a strong pull to adopt a dog from rescue. In 2004, Gabrielle learned that there were breed specific rescue groups including Cavalier rescues!
Gabrielle began her research into the various rescue groups and submitted her application to adopt. In 2005, she adopted her second cavalier, Penny. She kept in touch regularly with the people running the rescue and wanted to become more involved. In 2010, Gabrielle signed on to be a foster home. So far, she has fostered more than 65 Cavaliers, giving them love and care until they find their forever home. Gabrielle finds great fulfillment in fostering dogs and has a special interest in helping the Cavaliers that have medical challenges.
Through her work with Cavalier rescue groups, Gabrielle met Deb Glottmann in 2014, who also fostered Cavaliers for rescue. The two became friends and kept in touch over the years. As The Mitzvah Fund continued to grow, there was a need for someone to help with administrative responsibilities. Gabrielle jumped at the opportunity to help The Mitzvah Fund in this role and was very excited to join the team. Gabrielle lives in CT with her Cavaliers, Holly and Petey, and has two sons in college at Central Connecticut State University. Although she works remotely for The Mitzvah Fund, Gabrielle enjoys periodic trips to VT to be with the team.