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.

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

Courtney Trethric

Adoptions Counselor & Social Media Manager

Courtney fell in love with Waynesville in 2021, and made a 5 year plan to move to the mountains. She completed her goal early, and lives in the mountains with her wife. Together they share a rescued Pomeranian mix, an English cream golden retriever, and an orange Manecoon mix. Courtney loves hiking, foraging, herbalism, and reading outside in the hammock. When she’s not at Sarge’s, Courtney is a practicing Hellenistic Astrologer, tarot reader, and sound bath practitioner. She incorporates her life mission of finding peace and healing with pairing animals to their forever home, as she believes pets make our lives worthwhile. “The sense of meaning, love, and wholeness I feel spending time with my pets has greatly impacted my life. Without their mutual adoration, I’m honestly not sure where I’d be in life.” Courtney has previously worked in the animal medicine field in South Florida, and is elated to be on the non-profit side of animal care.

Noah Benbow

Kennel Assistant

Noah Benbow, proud native of Asheville, North Carolina, is an avid outdoors enthusiast with a fervor for adventure. His heart finds solace in camping beneath the stars, trekking through picturesque hiking trails, and conquering the thrilling rapids during white water rafting escapades. Noah’s affinity for animals knows no bounds, but his deepest connection lies with dogs. They’ve held a special place in his heart from the beginning. This unwavering love fuels his passion for dog training and behavior, driving him to continually refine his skills and dedicate himself to following his lifelong passion. Beyond his love for the outdoors and animals, Noah has ventured into the nonprofit sector, driven by a desire to build and connect with his community. He’s a perpetual learner, a student for life, constantly seeking to expand his knowledge and expertise.

Kayona Kent

Kennel Supervisor

Kayona moved to Waynesville in 2015 to live out her dreams of living in the mountains. Kayona is a Certified Dog Trainer from Animal Behavior College and has worked with Animals for 5 years and counting! She loves training dogs and taking pictures of all animals! Kayona has 4 Cats – Nacho BellGrande, Chedda Cheeseball, Savathûn & Cayde-6 and 6 Dogs – Bella, Elijah, Latitude, Ramona, Cyrus, & Bob that she loves from the bottom of her heart. Her hobbies are crocheting, singing, and learning everything she can about Dog Training.

JoDesa Carter

Veterinary Care Coordinator

JoDesa Carter (Pronounced Jo-Dee-Suh) was ECSTATIC and humbled to get the news she had been chosen to fill the Veterinary Care Coordinator position here at Sarge’s Animal Rescue. She has over 15 years’ experience in a multitude of animal related fields ranging from a dog kennel and daycare attendant to well-rounded dog trainer and behavior (obedience training, service dog training, behavior modification, and agility.) She dabbled in dog grooming and also Veterinary Medicine where she absolutely fell in love with the field. She worked in private practice, as well as Asheville’s ASPCA Spay and Neuter alliance as a Veterinary Assistant. Her love and experience with animals does not stop there, she was also fortunate to first volunteer and then work as a farm hand on a horse farm rescue that helped children with disabilities and veterans bond and train within horse work and companionship. She was a volunteer for a reptile rescue for several years and also worked at a Nature Center near Charlotte called Dan Nicholas where she had the most amazing opportunity to work with a variety of wildlife and even trained an adolescent alligator named “Ali” and adult Turkey Vulture “Zoltan”. She is currently in school to finish her bachelor’s degree as a Veterinary Tech and hopes to continue her education to obtain a masters in Shelter Medicine and Animal Science. Her goal is to one day have a tiny farm/animal/wildlife sanctuary of her own for mostly handicapped and geriatric animals. She is very eager and honored to be a part of the Sarge’s team and network of employees, volunteers, donors, fosters and beautiful souls who make this rescue foundation a reality and sanctuary for the animals that need us! When she is not working or in school you can find her hiking with her dog, practicing yoga and playing with her toddler, reading anything she can put her hands on, Playing D and D, or softball and watching Criminal Mind reruns with her life partner. She resides in Asheville, NC with her toddler daughter, Husky-German Shepard-Border collie mix “Yuka”, Forest cat mix “Argus”, Tuxedo friendly feral cat she claimed “Purrcey” and Orange and white Special needs tabby cat “Bandicoot”.

Tessa Glover

Kennel Attendant

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and moved to Sylva in 2021. I live on mini farm with my husband Matt, son Wyatt, 4 dogs, 4 cats, a rabbit, goats, mini donkeys, geese and chickens. When I’m not working I can be found taking care of my animals, or dealing with never ending house projects! My more relaxing hobbies are gardening reading, cooking or getting out for a hike. To say I love animals and always have is an understatement. In HS I started my career volunteering at my local wildlife rehabilitation center. I then majored in Conservation and Wildlife Management in college, and did multiple animal care internships, including at a big cat sanctuary after graduating. I returned to Philly to work at a small no-kill rescue, until getting my dream job working with cheetahs and other carnivores in Florida. I worked there for 5 years and absolutely loved the experience, I learned so much and got to do so many things I could have only dreamed of. While it was hard to leave all of my friends, my now husband relocated to the beautiful WNC mountains for a job and I was ready for a change of scenery. I switched things up and got a job involving my other passion, plants, and now seasonally work at an organic produce farm. I can’t stay away from animals so I also volunteer at Balsam Mountain nature center, and fostered multiple pregnant momma dogs and puppies for ARF in Jackson County. I’ve clearly missed working with animals so when this job opened up I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I’m very excited to bring my experience and passion to this wonderful organization and get to know all the people that make it so great!

Ellyse Trethric

Events Coordinator

Ellyse has been involved in non-profit work for over a decade. From starting her own successful NPO, to consulting other NPO’s and startups, to speaking at major conferences and hosting workshops around non-tokenized marketing, she has driven innovation and strategy throughout the NPO sector. She has hosted and co-hosted nearly 100 events across the nation and has worked with major corporate brands like Harbinger, Walmart, FitAid and more. Ellyse has also held high level positions as COO, Creative Director, CMO, & Brand Partnerships Director across verticals in beauty, Web3, and art galleries. Her passion is networking and building lasting bonds that truly make a difference in her communities. With Sarge’s she aims to do the same and grow our family larger than ever before so we can help more and more animals every year through events, donations, and gatherings. Her hobbies are hiking, painting and ceramics, cooking, writing, enjoying her favorite local spots with friends, and playing with her 3 dogs Poe, Luca and Timber (a Sarge’s foster fail and family success!).

Meet the Sarge's Board of Directors:

Bonnie Grumka

Board Member

Bonnie hails from northern New Jersey, where she was born and raised. Throughout her professional journey, she served as a Software Engineer specializing in  designing and developing systems for the manufacturing sector. In addition to her career, Bonnie dedicated her spare time to volunteering at a local animal shelter. Married to her husband Ed for 39 years, they relocated to Waynesville in 2014 upon retirement. Shortly thereafter, they both immersed themselves in volunteer work at Haywood Spay/Neuter, where Bonnie joined the board and shortly thereafter assumed the role of Treasurer. A devoted cat lover Bonnie ensures their home is always filled with feline companionship. When not busy with her commitments, she indulges in activities like exercising, playing Maj Jongg, exploring new destinations, and reveling in the majestic beauty of the mountains.

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.

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


Richard Gould, the treasurer at Sarge’s, comes from a business background and holds a degree in philosophy from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest Illinois. Dropping out of college at 18, Richard left for five years in Canada racing cars before returning to Chicago to start his printing business. Moving onto working at Harley Davidson, then vice president of a bank and finally teaching middle school in Fort Myers Florida and then retiring. He paid his way through Lake Forest at 35 years old. A lifelong love of animals brought Richard to Sarge’s several years ago. His wife, Constance had been a volunteer for several years prior to that. They have adopted several cats from Sarge’s and look forward to continuing to do so. As treasurer, he looks to his business background and multiple careers to contribute to board decision making from multiple perspectives.

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!