New White House rescue dog has something in common with these Johnson County pets

In celebration of President Biden's "In-dog-uration Day," the Shawnee Mission Post is featuring rescue pets owned by local councilmembers and school board members. Above, meet Fairway Councilmember Tanya Keys' rescue dog Ruger.

President Joe Biden has brought a rescue dog to the White House. But the nation’s 46th president isn’t the only elected official with a rescue.

In honor of this week’s … ahem, “In-dog-uration,”  the Shawnee Mission Post reached out to some local leaders for images of their rescues. It turns out, it’s kind of a trend in our area among elected officials and has been for a while.

All of the pet owners (or pet parents, as some prefer to be called) are either city councilmembers or school board members in northern Johnson County.


Meet Lenexa Councilmember Dan Roh’s three rescue pups. “Here’s a pic of my three rescued/adopted miniature dachshunds. Oakley is the blonde upfront, Groot is the dog on the left and Stanley is the dog on the right… guarding one of his toys. Grateful to our neighbors for allowing us to utilize Lenexa‘s special permit to have three dogs!” Roh said.


Meet Merriam Councilmember Bob Pape’s rescue dog. “Duke is his name. Carl is on his back,” Pape said.
Meet Merriam Councilmember Jason Silvers’ rescue dog. “Here’s a photo of our Beagle/Catahoula Leopard Dog mix, Warren. We adopted him around four years ago from The Great Plains SPCA where they estimated him as being 9 years old. At the time we adopted Warren, he was experiencing alopecia and severe skin allergies which made him a difficult dog to adopt out. He has turned out to be a dream dog,” Silvers said.
Meet Whitney Yadrich’s three rescue dogs: Lefty, Mildred and Lita.


Meet Mission Councilmember Sollie Flora’s rescue pup. “This is our rescue dog Wags (pic is from when we first brought her home in March)!” Flora said.
Meet Mission Councilmember Hillary Parker Thomas’ rescue Spunky.

Prairie Village

Meet Prairie Village Councilmember Chad Herring’s two rescue dogs. “Here’s a picture of our daughters with our two rescue pups: the Aussie is named Ryder, and the Wheaten Terrier is Annie. That is Nora on the left, and Tessa on the right,” Herring said.
Meet Prairie Village Councilmember Tucker Poling’s pet rescue Sheba. “She was an abandoned stray who wandered into our neighborhood. Nobody (including animal control) was able to catch her for a couple months but she apparently decided she like PV and stuck around the neighborhood. A neighbor started feeding her and eventually coaxed her into coming into her yard and took her to the vet. She had never received any vet care and was very ill with a life threatening parasite infection but recovered after a lot of vet care and we adopted her from our neighbor to be her permanent family. She is a black and white fox terrier mix of some kind,” Poling said.
Meet Prairie Village Councilmember Inga Selders’ two rescue dogs: Will and Hope.

Roeland Park

Roeland Park Councilmember Trisha Brauer’s two rescue dogs. “Here are Mark and Elle. They are both rescue pups and love them with all our hearts!” Brauer said.
Meet Roeland Park Councilmember Benjamin Dickens’ rescue dog . “This is my new best friend, Captain. I rescued him this Jan. 9 quite unexpectedly. I lost my Siberian Husky of 15 years just before Christmas. I wasn’t sure if I could take in another dog because my heart hurt so badly. But the universe had different ideas and this sweet face randomly showed up in my newsfeed.
I contacted his shelter and within a week I was on my way to bring Captain back with me to his forever home. I was told that he was a difficult pup to re-home because his eye wasn’t ‘perfect’ and most people want perfection when they look for a Siberian Husky. However, I’ve always found the most interesting people and animals are the unique ones,” Dickens said.
Meet Roeland Park Councilmember Jennifer Hill’s rescue dog Jake.


Meet Shawnee Councilmember Jill Chalfie’s two rescue dogs. “The Chalfie family has two adopted shelter dogs. Attached are Winnie (adopted from Prairie Paws Animal Shelter in Ottawa, Kansas in December 2016) and Frankie (adopted from Prairie Paws Animal Shelter in Ottawa, Kansas in November 2020),” Chalfie said.
Meet Shawnee Mayor Michelle Distler has three rescues: Two dogs named Casey and Scout, and a rabbit named Disney. “I have also owned (that have since passed away) a German Shepherd rescue, Mattie, and four rescued cats, Sprite, Max, Scruffy, and Pepper. Every animal I have ever owned (eight) has been a rescue,” Distler added.
Meet Shawnee Councilmember Lisa Larson-Bunnell’s two rescue dogs: Betty and Panda. “Panda (border collie) was adopted from Melissa’s Menagerie Second Chances, a shelter here in Shawnee. Betty was adopted in 2010 from Hope Rescues in southern Illinois,” Larson-Bunnell said.


Meet Westwood Councilmember Holly Wimer’s rescue dog. “This is our rescue Scout, who we adopted from Kansas City Pet Project in April of 2020,” Wimer said.

Shawnee Mission Board of Education

Meet Shawnee Mission Board of Education Member Sara Goodburn’s rescue cat Sonny.
Meet Shawnee Mission Board of Education Member Jessica Hembree’s rescue dog Willia. “We adopted her in December 2019 from The Rescue Project. She was 2 years old at the time. She has been such a great addition to our family!” Hembree said.

USD 232 (school district in De Soto)

Meet USD 232 Board of Education Member Stephanie Makalous’ rescue Oakley. Her family rescued him seven years ago.
Meet USD 232 Board of Education Member Ashley Spaulding’s rescue Piper.
Meet Rachel Zade’s four rescue cats: Bonnie, Moose, Kisses and Spuds.