Detroit Dog Boss | Kristina Rinaldi


We’re diggin’ on Detroiters who are the top dogs in the animal care industry. These entrepreneurs, innovators and educators are what make our community a top notch place to own our pups. We hope you enjoy learning about Detroit’s Dog Bosses as much as we enjoy working with them.

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Kristina Rinaldi is the Executive Director of Detroit Dog Rescue. This #bosslady has been a part of several documentaries, news stories, and reality shows highlighting Detroit’s stray dog epidemic and she has raised millions of dollars to fund initiatives that support animals, especially ones who are victims of violent crimes. Canine to Five reached out to learn more about how she got started in the animal care industry, and what she wants dog owners to know!

Q: When did you know you wanted to work with animals and how did you get there?

A: I knew very early on that I had a special connection to dogs. I grew up in an abusive environment during my early childhood years and wherever I ended up, there was always a dog to comfort me. Thirty years later, and with a lot of life and animal handling experience, it has all come full circle. Now, I’m the one helping abused and forgotten animals. That is why Detroit’s Dog Rescue’s rehabilitation program is such a passion project for me. We’re taking some of the city’s toughest cases and giving them a second chance.

Q: What do you like the most about working with dogs?

A: Dogs taught me the meaning of progress over perfection. Dogs just want to have a better day than they did yesterday. They wake up every single morning and live to enjoy life in the moment. Each day is a second chance to live a fuller life than they did yesterday.
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Q: What’s the most exciting thing happening in your organization this year? (2021)

A: I’m really excited about expanding our operations in 2021! We’ve started renovating an eleven thousand square foot veterinary clinic on Detroit’s west side in order to expand our rescue operations, community outreach and adoption programs. In the future we would like to see our existing east side location transform into a pet pantry and low cost spay and neuter clinic to benefit Detroit residents.

Q: Favorite dog breed, and why?

A: I could easily say that I love every rescue dog and I do, but my heart lights up a little extra every time I work with a German Shepherd. I love high energy working breeds who need a job – we can relate to each other.
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Q: What’s one thing you want dog owners in Metro Detroit to know?

A: Detroit Dog Rescue is Detroit’s first and only no-kill shelter. In the last ten years we’ve provided alternatives to euthanasia, reformed animal welfare practices in Detroit, and helped residents, and municipal services through our outreach program. Anyone can help by visiting

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