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About Special Needs Dobermans (SND)
Updated on March 19, 2013


Special Needs Dobermans was an idea that came to fruition to satisfy the crying need for a mechanism to provide assistance for Doberman families and rescue groups who required financial help in times of unforeseen medical conditions needing veterinary attention. Two wonderful ladies and their individual fundraising efforts to help Dobes provided the inspiration for SND. These two ladies were Dorothy Lechuga (for a rescue Dobe named Hope) and Grace Joffe (for a privately owned DobeLady named Dutchess). From these two individual successful campaigns - a couple of years apart - to support Dobermans with special needs, it became clear that there existed an ongoing need to provide financial assistance to such Dobermans. And so, the establishment of Special Needs Dobermans was begun. Dorothy was the initial link to the Dobe Rescue world while Grace was the link to the show and breeder communities. In order to bring interested parties together to exchange ideas for further fund raising in the future, the SND Yahoo list was formed. Within the first seven days, 19 members had joined the list. Many great ideas were discussed during this first week and it became very clear in short order that it would take more than a discussion list if there was to be some organized effort to help Dobermans In Need on an ongoing basis.

These are the organizational milestones of SND:

SND fills a unique position in the Doberman assistance community. We are not a rescue group in the broadest definition of the term. Many of our members belong to rescue organizations and devote time, energy and money to that end. SND has and will continue to support rescue organizations with their special needs cases. We hope that these organizations will be able to support us as well when they have available resources. These mutually helpful relationships benefit both groups. Most importantly, they save Dobe's lives.

What follows is a description of SND. We believe in full disclosure of our purpose and activities, so these details are available on Guidestar for all to review. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to email us at Thanks to everyone involved with SND. Know that your efforts, time and donations are saving Dobermans.

SND Financial Statement - Please visit Guidestar, the non-proft clearinghouse agents recognized by the IRS. Our current filings are available soon after our report to the IRS is filed each year.

SND Structure

SND is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Aztec, New Mexico. Our incorporation papers were filed in the state of New Mexico in 2002. We are approved by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization. The official incorporation papers state that the purpose of SND is:

"1. To provide assistance to senior and special needs Dobermans including, but not limited to:

All positions in SND are filled by non-compensated volunteers.

Board of Directors

The SND Board of Directors selects the corporate officers, sets policy including but not limited to any amendments to the corporate by-laws. The following persons are the current members of the Board of Directors:

Karen Crosby
Lisa Dahm
Irene Jansen
David Martin
M. Martin
Steve Martin
Debra McMahan

Corporate Officers

The SND officers are responsible for the overall day-to-day operation of the corporation including approval of all cases for assistance. Following are the corporate officers:

Mars Martin, President (NM)
Debra McMahan, 1st Vice President  (NM)
Irene Jansen, 2nd Vice President  (CA)
Karen Crosby, Secretary and Treasurer  (FL)

Case Advisory Panel

The Case Advisory Panel is made up of several National SND members who possess special areas of expertise that we may call upon for advice concerning case issues when the need arises. Their primary and critically important function is to advise us on medical, legal and rescue issues. The current members are:

Lisa Dahm, Esquire (TX)
Manuel Garcia, D.V.M.  (NM)
Chuck Vaile, Doberman Rescue of Colorado (CO)

Case Management Team

The Case Management Team is the primary “processing” group for all applications for assistance. The team members receive the applications, act as the primary point of contact with the applicants, gather the necessary information, put together the recommendations and prepare the notices for the website. The team members track the cases through out the life of the case and continue to be the case liaison. The current members of the Case management Team (Case Coordinator and Case Managers) are:

Irene Jansen, Case Coordinator (CA)
Carol Belknap  (OH)
Nancy Harwood  (MI)
Beth McCahren  (PA)
Debra McMahan  (NM)
Leslie Michell-Young (ME)

Program Directors

The officers may designate certain members as "program directors" to coordinate the activities of specific areas in support of SND. While authority to make policy decisions is retained by the officers, these program directors will operate their areas with a minimum of oversight. At this time SND has the following program directors:

Fund Raising - Dave Martin, Steve Martin, Irene Jansen
Grants/Social Media - Steve Martin, Debra McMahan
The Senior Doberman Project - Debra McMahan

SND Tools

Our organization relies on the Internet for our day-to-day operation and communication. Most of our activities are proposed, discussed and executed via the Internet. We have developed four Internet based tools to promote our cause:

SND Cafe Yahoo Group. The purpose of this list is to provide a forum for the SND community to discuss a wide variety of topics concerning all things Doberman. This is a great place to share your experiences with other Dobe people, or ask questions about Dobes. You will find numerous useful threads pertaining to medicine, behavior, insurance issues, training, and lots of other Dobe related discussions. This is also a great place to just have fun talking about our Doberman kids!

Web Page. The SND web site serves as our primary link to the public. We list all of our cases there as well as our fund raising activities. The site also documents how we disburse moneys collected to help Dobermans with special needs. We also have a special section of this site which is dedicated to the Senior Doberman Project which is the Seniors Web Page.

Seniors Web Page. The SND Senior Doberman Project is a tool we use to help Doberman Rescue groups find adopters and sponsors for Seniors they have rescued.  Advertising available Seniors and seeking sponsors to help with their everyday needs assists Rescues in supporting these marvelous Dobes who find themselves abandoned in their later years.

eBay Auctions. SND can reach a much larger audience by listing our fund raising auctions on eBay. It also gives our group great exposure to people that may otherwise not learn about us.

Visit SND on Facebook!! Former SND Committee Member, Nancy Hassel, established this great new tool for reaching out to our SND family! Come be our friend!!

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