Our Team

Meet the Sarge's Team:

Nancy Bulluck


With great sadness, we announce the passing of our Founder, Nancy Bulluck. Sarge’s wouldn’t exist without Nancy’s vision and drive, and we are blessed to have her guidance over the last 16 years. Nancy was preparing her Christmas Cards and was going to include these words with them. We’re thankful to be able to share her message with you. Thank you, Nancy, for all you’ve done. Nancy Bulluck 5/8/49 – 12/15/21 —– Dear Friends and Family, I wish I had profound words of wisdom to share with you, but the best I can do is to remind you of what you already know. Live every day as if it is your last, because it may well be. Take care of yourself, but enjoy life as well – eat good food, drink good beer, laugh a lot. Hang out with younger people – the energy they share with you will slow your own aging process, and they benefit from your wisdom and experience – a win-win! Find a purpose – something you are passionate about, and throw your whole heart, mind and soul into it. All the good you put out into the world will return to you multiplied many times over. Live life without regrets – if you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. If someone makes a mistake and hurts you, learn from it and move on. If you have a success, learn from it and move on. Keep your life light – no need to collect baggage that you have to carry through life, because you’ll need that energy for more useful endeavors. Remember we are just walking each other home. When it is time to part ways, say farewell with grace and gratitude, and let go. The universe will support you. There’s no need to struggle and resist. Just relax and let it carry you to where you need to go. -Nancy.

Nikola Rubley

Kennel Manager, Social Media Specialist

Nikola has been with Sarge’s for over two years and enjoys keeping the adoption center looking it’s best as well as spending time with the resident rescues. Nikola adopted her first dog from Sarge’s in 2010; a dog named Roadie who ended up changing her life. Since adopting Roadie Nikola has changed her career to become a Veterinary Technician and has become involved in several dog sports with her second dog, peanuT. She also loves to travel, learn new things, and always keeps an eye out for wayward animals who need a little extra help.


Official Mascot

Sunshine came to Sarge’s in November of 2016, by way of the Haywood County Animal Services’ rescue of 140 dogs from a hoarding case. She was hugely pregnant, and gave birth to her litter within a day or two of arrival at their temporary shelter. She raised her litter, they were all happy healthy puppies who were adopted as soon as they were old enough. We then discovered that Sunshine is diabetic and has a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI, so she requires daily insulin injections and a strict diet with a supplement to replace her pancreatic enzymes. In short, she was a difficult fit for most adopters to take on. We also discovered that she is a terrific nanny, so when we have singleton puppies we put them with her for cuddling and warmth, and she takes great care of them. She is a playful participant in our playgroups with other dogs, and is quite comfortable with her routine at Sarge’s Adoption Center. So we decided to make it official and give her an honored position on our team. Welcome aboard, Sunshine! Get your Sunshine shirt here!

Emily Johnson

Kennel Staff

Emily moved to North Carolina from Southern California in 2017, and started volunteering at Sarge’s while searching for an accounting or tax job. In an unexpected turn of events, she found her ideal job working with Sarge’s. Emily loves all animals, but especially loves working with cats. She and her family currently live with 6 rescued cats – Burrtec, Sammy, Luna, Dilly, Esme, and Flair – and 3 dogs – Arwen, Eva, and Dottie.

Jessie Metcalf

Executive Director

Jessie Metcalf first came aboard Sarge’s in 2018 as an administrative intern. She then returned the following year as an employee coordinating the foster and volunteer program, as well as events. The little animal rescue that could, Sarge’s will forever hold a special place in her heart. Today Jessie lives in Cullowhee with her husband, four kids, ten chickens, and three dogs (Ellie Mae, a pit mix from a Charlotte shelter; Jake, a yellow lab; and Porter Wagoner, a catahoula leopard dog). She recently completed her Master of Public Affairs degree from WCU, where she focused her studies on nonprofit leadership. Every time she finds her way back to Sarge’s, it feels like coming home. The Executive Director since April of 2023, she recognizes that serving in this role is an honor and a privilege. She would like to extend her gratitude to the staff, volunteers, donors, adopters, and community that make the life changing work of Sarge’s possible.

Farrah Stevenson

Kennel Staff

Farrah came to Sarge’s in August of 2021. She has lived in Haywood county most of her life. She has a special place in her heart for bully breeds and is a hardworking, motivated, and important part of the team! She has 4 children, Kallon, Bentley, Ryker, and Jaelynn, and her furry children include 3 dogs, Spanky, Dax, and Addy. She helps keep afternoons running smoothly and loves taking pictures of the animals.

Kevin Mueller

Behavior Coordinator

In October 2022 Kevin jumped at the opportunity to fill Sarge’s new Behavior Coordinator position and is thrilled to be developing the new behavior program. He first became interested in a second career in the field of dog behavior in 2018 when he was trained to help dogs with fear and aggression issues as a behavior team member at the Contra Costa County animal shelter in the East Bay area of California. In July 2019 he accepted a position with Asheville Humane Society’s behavior team where he furthered his dog training skills. Prior to this, Kevin had a successful 20-year career as a professional conservationist working on wildlife protection and National Forest preservation in Utah and the Intermountain West. Kevin earned a Bachelors in Island Biogeography from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1997 and grew up in Rochester, NY and the Great Lakes Region. Kevin lives with his wife Colyn and their dogs in Candler where they love exploring USFS lands in Western North Carolina.

Lyndsey L. Tate

Volunteer and Foster Coordinator

Hail and well met, travelers! My name is Lyndsey E.L. Tate, formerly Lyndsey E. Long, as of September 17th. And I am your Volunteer and Foster Coordinator! I have lived in Haywood County for my entire life, and count myself lucky for that. As a teenager, as most teenagers do, I wanted nothing more than to flee as far away from this “podunk” town as I could. But when I set my heart to leave and began to plan out where I would be going, I decided to lay out some parameters for my new home. A town that’s not too big but not too small, with lots forests to explore and rivers to sit next to while sipping coffee, hiking trails and camping spots, somewhere with a reasonable night life scene, nothing crazy, maybe somewhere near a city. And then it hit me; I was already exactly where I was supposed to be. I met the man who would eventually ask me to marry him and we explored the mountains we call home together. We fell in love with each other and this place, together. We now have a beautiful little home with our fur-babies, a sweet Border Heeler named Booker and two cats, Faye and Samantha. It is easy to say that I have always loved animals, but it also incredibly cliché. Because I feel like it goes deeper than that. I have always been drawn to them. They are so much easier to get along with than my two-legged counterparts, and they provide the simple and perfect companionship that I believe is necessary to thrive as a human. My heart is for them first, always. I worked at the Pet Vet on Patton for most of the formative years of my life as a kennel technician, with a short stint as a vet tech assistant. And no matter where I went afterwards, whether it was working as a barista or a fledgling teacher, none of it ever felt right, or true to myself. Then this position came across my desk and I felt the pull of destiny, and who am I to deny destiny? If you have ready any of my emails, I am sure you can tell how excited I am to be here. And I can promise you, it’s 100% genuine giddiness. I get to wake up every day and know that I am actively making a difference. I am seeing to it that these babies are being lovingly and attentively seen to as they patiently wait for their forever homes. So, in short, I am happy to be here, and I am so excited to work with you all. Can’t wait to meet you! “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I have found it is the small things, the everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… simple acts of kindness and love.” –Gandalf the Grey

Samantha Long

Events Coordinator

Meet the Sarge's Board of Directors:

Brandon Kittle

Board Member

Brandon is originally from metro Atlanta. Brandon’s mom Deborah, moved him to Bakersville in 2002, where his mom and mom’s friend Liz started a wolf sanctuary known as The Wolf Sanctum. Brandon was involved with caring for the wolves and wolf dogs. He also participated in the Wolf Trek programs the Wolf Sanctum offered. A lot of the wolves were rescued from roadside zoos and from folks who could not care properly for the animals. The Wolf Sanctum, no longer in operation, was a refuge for wolves and wolf dogs to spend the remainder of their lives being well taken care of. Brandon graduated college and moved back to Atlanta in 2010 where he started his successful cosmetology career. After only 2 years Brandon started missing the mountains and decided it was time to make a change and moved to the Asheville area where he continued his career. In October of 2018 Brandon and his spouse bought a home in Maggie Valley. Brandon is now a full time Realtor and still continues to do hair on the side. After missing working with animals, he decided it was time to get involved again with animals and the local community where he lives. He became a board member for Sarge’s in April 2023 and is very excited to help make a positive difference in this amazing foundation.

Caitlin Morrow

Board Member

Caitlin graduated in 2006 from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science, in 2007 graduated with honors from the Animal Behavior College and in 2012 graduated with honors with an Associates degree in Animal Medical Technology to become a Registered Veterinary Technician in North Carolina. Caitlin obtained her CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed) in the fall of 2011, and is also a Fear Free Certified trainer. As a Certified Canine Behavior Consultant, Caitlin helps Sarge’s to improve the behavioral health of animals in our care, is a creating training programs to make our animals more adoptable and working with dogs struggling with their transition into an adoptive home. Caitlin has been involved with Sarge’s since 2007, and has her own dog training business working with owned dogs, and trains service dogs as an important part of her work. She and her husband have two young daughters, Rosie and Lizzy, as well as three dogs, LS, Granger and Tina.

Kelley Pezzella

Board Member

Raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kelley attended Appalachian State University and UNC-Charlotte before starting her mortgage banking career, specializing in finance operations and leadership management. Having always had a strong interest in real estate, she transitioned into a real estate sales & marketing career; to include interior design which eventually took her to Southwest Florida. After missing the “change of seasons,” she found her way back (part-time) to North Carolina and now enjoys all that WNC has to offer. Kelley demonstrates a passion for community service by serving as a Community Emergency Response Team Member (CERT) in SWFL trained in fire safety, light search & rescue, disaster medical operations and has deployed with several disaster response teams across SWFL & the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She’s also affiliated with multiple Habitat for Humanity work projects that help families build and improve places to call home throughout her 25+ years in the home building industry. In addition, it was with great honor and a privilege that Kelley acted as an Ambassador/Liaison to a Military Veteran and his family in the nationally “Built To Honor” community outreach program dedicating newly built, mortgage-free homes to deserving veterans living with disabilities as a result of their military service. Kelley actively volunteers at Sarge’s with a strong interest in making a positive difference in the lives and welfare of animals. She joined as a board member in 2022. She strongly believes that saving an animal’s life often turns out to be saving a human life as well. She considers herself “rescued” by two amazing rescue furbabies – Cammie & Buddy Lee. Kelley and her husband Jim reside in both Bonita Springs, FL and Maggie Valley, NC – experiencing the best of both worlds! She enjoys traveling, photography, “all things” outdoors and entertaining with family & friends.

Kim McClure

Board Member

Kim is a lifelong resident of Haywood County, with a background in manufacturing/supply chain. She has been involved in animal advocacy since 2010, when she began volunteering at the Haywood County Animal Shelter and fostering for Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation in 2010. She joined the Sarge’s Board of Directors in 2023, and is looking forward to playing her part in helping to decrease the number of homeless pets in our county while supporting the community. She has always had animals in her life, having had multiple dogs in her home for years. She is now retired and enjoys hiking and gardening, as well as spending time with her grandchildren, and, of course, her dogs.

Nancy East

Board Member

Nancy East has called Waynesville home since 1997, when she moved to the area as a newly graduated small animal veterinarian from Auburn University. For many years, she practiced full-time at Animal Hospital of Waynesville, but she shifted her focus to regional relief work while raising her three children. Maple Tree Veterinary Hospital eventually stole her heart, and she practiced there exclusively until she retired in 2020 to pursue a career that took her outdoors more. Nancy is an avid hiker and a member of Haywood County’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team. She is the author of Chasing the Smokies Moon: An audacious 948-mile hike–fueled by love, loss, laughter, and lunacy, inspired by her involvement with SAR and the search for a missing mother in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She is also an outdoor educator and speaker. Nancy lives in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina with her husband, three children, and their beloved rescue dog, Ivy. She is incredibly passionate about her involvement with Sarge’s, as she remembers a time in Haywood County when not nearly as many animal rescue groups existed to save the lives of so many wonderful and worthy animals.

Richard Gould


Windy McKinney


Windy grew up in Haywood County, and wandered back home after graduate school abroad, beginning her role at Sarge’s as a volunteer in 2011. She is an avid animal advocate, having always had animals in her life, and if its up to her, she always will! She has volunteered and fostered with animal rescues in both the US and UK, and happily brings this passion for animal welfare to her work every day. Windy is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, with a special interest in shelter behavior and nose work. Currently working at Behavior Tails, her specialty is training dogs in Nose Work, including service dog alerting, and detection work. She hikes regularly with her three dogs, Bandit, Pearl, and Zuri, while Arthur, the family cat, often joins them for strolls through their Waynesville neighborhood. When not hiking, working, or spending time with her family, Windy is a cultural historian who researches and writes from home, with the family cat for company.

Join Us!

Interested in joining our team to help save homeless cats and dogs? Contact us today!