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Debbie Gretz © All rights reserved 2018
13 years ago I went to visit my daughter in Idaho and came home with a 3 lb. Pug puppy I named Muffin. Bob and I had moved out here to Virginia, from Utah a year earlier and I made frequent trips back to visit family. My daughter had a friend who's pug had a litter of puppies so we each took one. She still has little Zoey, Muffins sister.
Muffin was where it all started! Rescue! I needed a little friend for Muffin, since I brought her home to a Rottweiler and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. So, I googled Pugs. What's this? What is "Pug Rescue"? I applied to adopt a pug from Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue and before I knew it we were fostering Pugs. For 5 years I was the foster and adoption Coordinator for MAPR and over 150 Pugs came through our house and went on to their forever homes. One thing seemed to happen over and over again. The seniors were rarely adopted. So, they stayed here. Sometimes I would joke that we were running a retirement home for Pugs. Over the years Bob and I fostered for other rescue groups, and the seniors kept on staying with us. We became more and more aware of the plight of senior dogs. So many are left in shelters, for many different reasons. Many are the pets of aging humans who can no longer care for them. Many of their humans go into nursing homes or hospitals and have nobody to take their dog, so the old dog ends up in a shelter. Then, there are the people who cannot afford their aging dogs veterinary care, and last but not least, the people who dump them.
Whatever the reasons, there is a need for ways to care for these senior dogs, and give them the best quality of life until their last day. That was the beginning of Gray Face Acres. Everything we have done with rescue seems to have taken us down this path, in this direction, to create a sanctuary that could do this very thing. We already had the dogs. We have the perfect property and the perfect location. We just had to make it all official. We obtained our 501c3 non profit charity status in June of 2016. This has allowed us to team up and network with so many shelters, local, and in MD and WV. We are able to "pull" the dogs who are senior and need more help than the shelter is able to offer. Sometimes it is expensive veterinary procedures, like the case of Rudy, who needed a ruptured eye removed immediately, and had multiple other medical issues. Sometimes, because of years of neglect, they need to heal, be rid of fleas and have quality food and medicine for a significant amount of time before they are adoptable. Some we take simply retire here because they are so senior that I do not want them to have to move again, as in the case of 17 year old Jack and 18 year old Bandit.
The rescue has taken off, as this mission seems to capture the hearts of so many people. With so much support from our followers, we have been able to take 40 dogs out so shelters, and help rehome 5 more, since January.
Our goal is to continue to grow and be able to take as many senior, or very sick dogs out of shelters, to make sure their last days, months, or even years, are in a home, filled with love. Bob and I both love what we are being able to accomplish with the help of so many generous donors and volunteers. This is a team effort, and together we can accomplish so much!!
Bob and Debbie Gretz
Board of Directors
Member at Large
Hi, friends of Gray Face Acres! I’m Kelly Blake and l live in Bristow, VA with my husband and our three children, along with our 2 golden retrievers, GFA alumnus Frosty, and our GFA foster dog Yoda. I’m originally from Wisconsin and moved to Northern Virginia ten years ago when my husband was stationed here by the U.S. Air Force. I’ve worked off and on with Prince William County Schools over the years and I am a currently a PALS tutor at Ellis Elementary.
After my first trip to GFA to meet Frosty, I knew that I wanted to be involved with this wonderful rescue. I started volunteering weekly, helping to clean the rescue room, wash dishes, bathe dogs, or just sit and love on the dogs.
My daughter Lauren and I started making no sew blankets to send home with the dogs on their adoption day, and also helped to organize a blanket making day with other volunteers, where we were able to make over 30 blankets!
I am proud to be part of this amazing organization, Debbie and Bob are selfless, caring people who have created a wonderful sanctuary for these dogs who deserve nothing but love!
Member at Large
Hello friends, my name is Cassie Adams and I live in Gainesville, Virginia with my husband Dave and our 2 pups, a bunny and guinea pig. All rescues of course!
I was born in Virginia but raised in Florida from the age of three. I eventually made my way back. For as long as I can remember I have felt a strong sense of responsibility for the well-being of animals. Growing up in Florida my home was always shared with rescues, from sea birds and skunks to our lab rescue monkey Gino. However dogs were constant companions for my whole family.
I met Debbie Gretz while we were both volunteering for another rescue group. When she started Gray Face Acres and asked me to to come on board, I was so happy and honored to say yes!
Debbie grew up in San Jose California. Animals and art were her passions. All she ever wanted was a house full of dogs. After acquiring a degree in Graphic Design and illustration she spent 25 years working in advertising and apparel design. She married Bob later in life and new job opportunities brought them to Virginia, where Debbie started her hobby, a farm with lots of chickens and a few dogs. She fostered for dog rescue groups for 14 years before she and Bob embarked on their own rescue effort, Gray Face Acres.
Our goal is to continue to grow and be able to take as many senior, or very sick dogs out of shelters, to make sure their last days, months, or even years, are in a home, filled with love.
Vice President /Treasurer
Bob is married to Debbie and is the Co-Founder of Gray Face Acres. Bob holds an accounting degree from Fresno State University and ha worked for the last 40 years in the environmental services field.
He and his partners recently sold their company and Bob is taking a few months off to spend some time with the rescue and play a little golf before beginning a new venture.
He intends to continue to manage the finances of GFA.