Laura de Rutte – Northwest Region
When Laura de Rutte walks onto the Jean and Charles Schulz Campus, she brings so much joy and enthusiasm with her. She is often seen interacting with staff, clients and fellow volunteers, always with a smile on her face. Laura began volunteering for Canine Companions in 2011 when she began raising her first puppy, Fame. Since then, with the help of her family, she has raised six puppies. In addition, she is also a breeder caretaker, with her third puppy Laura raised, Noki, being her first breeder dog.
Although Noki has since retired, she is now a therapy dog for Canine Companions therapy dog pilot program. Laura’s second breeder dog, Mimosa, has welcomed many future service dogs into the world – all born and cared for at Laura’s home during their first eight weeks of their lives. One of Mimosa’s puppies, Tiana, recently became Laura’s third Canine Companions breeder! Over the years, Laura has also fostered two litters of puppies, and she has been a supportive whelper helper for other breeder caretakers near the Santa Rosa area. She currently serves as our Wine Country breeder caretaker liaison, helping welcome and support new breeder caretakers.
Laura’s incredible impact on Canine Companions doesn’t stop there! In addition to her work with our breeding and puppy programs, she spearheads the leadership team of her local Wine Country Chapter and has been instrumental in building a strong volunteer chapter, which continues to grow. In her role with the volunteer chapter, she has helped with countless fundraising and outreach events. She also volunteers to serve our clients lunch during their two-week Team Training classes, help socialize puppies and assist with her local DogFest Wine Country event. Plus, Laura has also served as both chair and co-chair of Santa Paws, the Wine Country Chapter’s annual fundraiser, which raises about $10,000 each year for Canine Companions!
Laura does all of this for us, while also managing a successful career as a real estate agent, as well as being an amazing wife and mother! If all of this wasn’t enough, she goes even further by donating a portion of each of her realty sales to us and promotes her involvement with Canine Companions in her realty communications. There are few volunteers who dedicate their lives to our organization in so many ways, and Laura is an exceptional example of someone who gives so generously and asks for so little in return.