Rockstar Rescue was founded in 2010 by Jamie Benfield. While driving around, looking for home rentals, Jamie stumbled upon a young, extremely skinny Pitbull, standing on the sidewalk next to a heavily trafficked road, with an obvious injury to his leg. Asking nearby neighbors whom the dog belonged to, she was told he was a stray, so she scooped him up, took him home and named him Zero. Over the next week she dressed his wounds and cared for him until he was healthy, then placed flyers around to rehome him. Zero found a home quickly and from there, Jamie had found her new calling.
But long before her love of dogs became a full-time career, her first love was music. Jamie grew up in a musical household and as a drummer played in many local bands in and around Phoenix her whole life. Through her musical connections, she established relationships with individuals who would go on to become famous rock stars and musicians. Once Rockstar Rescue was founded, these friendships served to her benefit in establishing a niche in the world of dog rescue. Calling on artists such as Ozzy Osborne, Steven Adler (Guns N Roses), Getty Lee (Rush), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Fee Waybil (The Tubes), Joan Jett and many more, to help promote “Rockstar” dogs by way of promotional photos, and thereby helping them find homes. Check out some of the shoots here.
With Rockstar Rescue’s niche established, and Jamie’s mission to “just rescue dogs” in place, she quickly saw there was a deeper need and more that she wanted to do within the field. Jamie went back to college at 41 year’s of age and earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a second Bachelor’s in Animal Physiology & Behavior, then went further, earning a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management to fine-tune her skills and area of interest into a more focused cause. She has also earned certificates in the fields of Animal Communication and Animal Massage Therapy.
Today Rockstar Rescue is a decompression & recovery facility specializing in dogs with injuries or illnesses on euthanasia lists at County shelters. Special focus is given to dogs exhibiting extreme fear, seniors, and those from hoarding situations. Rockstar's main focus in recovery is the healing of psychological traumas experienced by dogs from these situations. Traditional training is great and always helpful, but until you develop an understanding, psychologically, of what may have happened with an animal and work to repair that damage through decompression, animal communication and trust building, many dogs will fall victim to the repeated cycle of "returned rescue" and spend a lifetime in the rescue system.
Another aspect Jamie pride’s in how she runs Rockstar Rescue is her point to “Stay small and rescue Big!” by housing only 7-10 dogs at any given time to provide a more attentive and concentrated level of care. This method combined with rehabilitation through healthy diets, needed medications, love, affection and behavior modification when necessary, have all proved beneficial to the recovery and re-homing of over 400 dogs-to-date.
As a No-Kill facility, our focus is on re-homing but “Sanctuary Status” was officially added to our program for those dogs unable to rehabilitate and those not sought for adoption, ensuring lifetime and end-of-life care could be provided.
Our facility is located in the Midtown District of Phoenix, an area that accommodates a high homeless population, which perfectly situated us to assist the surrounding community and benefit the homeless population with dogs in our area. Our “Rockstar’s on the Road” program offers free alteration, vaccinations, microchipping and other veterinary services, as well as dog boarding to selected individuals suffering hardship via hospitalization or temporary incarceration, is provided to homeless persons wishing to care for and stay with their loving dogs. Additional items such as collars, leashes, toys, bowls and food have also been provided to those homeless persons in need. These free services and donated items combined with continued monitoring of these homeless dogs has helped ease the burdens suffered by the homeless within our community.
But Jamie’s commitment to her community doesn’t end with rescuing dogs or providing services to homeless individuals, she also produces an annual Halloween Pet Festival, DOGtoberfest. Raising awareness of our cause and offering a fun and exciting pet gathering to our constituency. Showcasing over 30 animal related product vendors, Halloween themed rides and a viciously competitive Halloween pet costume contest. Making DOGtoberfest the must-attend event for October.
In 2018 Rockstar Rescue’s hard work was rewarded again, being named a finalist for Rescue Organization of the Year by World Dog Expo. In 2019 Jamie herself was awarded a Phoenix Community Hero Award, and in 2020 Rockstar was nominated for the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Community IMPACT Award.
Not only does Rockstar Rescue Rock, but we are determined to transform each and every dog from abused and neglected victim to “ROCKSTAR”!