Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary, a 501c3 approved charity, provides a compassionate, loving, and lifetime home that supports an elderly dog’s good days, bad days, and last days. Pepper’s was founded in 2019 by Justin Klemer and his mom, Mary, and Leigh Sullivan. All are Colorado natives, as well as lifelong animal advocates, and proud foster ‘fails’ who have rescued and nurtured dozens of dogs. These dogs have given us their love and loyalty. They know our likes and dislikes. They redefine what it means to be a best friend. The joy we have received from them is priceless, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Having given us so much, don’t they deserve to spend their final years in peace and comfort? We think so, and that’s why we created Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary (PSDS).

PSDS is the ideal forever home, a place where senior dogs in need will be among other senior dogs in a communal environment that offers love, 24-hour care, companionship, shelter, and medical care as needed. And when these precious dogs finally come to the end of their journey, they’ll receive round-the-clock hospice care to ensure they are well cared-for up to the moment they take their last breath. The sanctuary we have created for senior dogs in need offers all the comforts of home—in fact, quite possibly better than any other home they’ve known. This is the home they deserve, and it has been an honor for us to bring our dream and vision into reality.

Our Leadership

It’s our pleasure to introduce our Leadership Team to you:

Justin Klemer holding a dog

Justin Klemer


Justin has a B.A. in business finance from Metro State University and is a fourth-generation Colorado native. A lifetime animal welfare advocate, shelter volunteer, and foster-fail, he's a tireless advocate for senior dogs.

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Paula Jacques-Bonneau headshot

Paula Jacques-Bonneau


Paula brings a comprehensive background in education to Pepper’s Board of Directors and is dedicated to animal welfare and learning opportunities. After three decades in education, Paula recently retired from Jeffco Schools Gifted & Talented...

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Dr. Colleen Ferriman


Dr. Colleen Ferriman completed her Bachelors of Science and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University. She has been an avid dog lover since she could talk...

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Ruby Purdy


Ruby is a proud Colorado native.  She loves mountain biking, trail running, roller skating, movies, and DOGS.  She has 2 Chihuahuas at home who run her world.  I have 2 degrees none of which have anything to do with animals but I do have a Dog Training Certificate. When she retires, she's going to a room at Pepper's!  

Our Board of Directors

We are grateful for the time, talent, and expertise of these individuals:

J. Brad Olsen holding a dog

J. Brad Olson


A licensed attorney and business advisor, Brad has a J.D., and a B.A. in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an LL. M. from University of Edinburgh.

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Mary Leprino holding a dog

Mary Leprino


Mary has served on numerous nonprofit boards and worked with community programs, and has extensive experience working in the health and welfare industry, including a stint as an EMT.

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Jes Cytrong holding a dog

Jes Cytron

Jes (they/them) has a life-long dedication and great love for senior animals. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Jes is employed as the Dumb Friends League's‚ Director of Shelter Behavior and Veterinary Services.

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Leigh Sullivan

Leigh is a Denver native, the founder of the Sullivan Restaurant Group, a
wife, and a mother of three children and eight dogs.

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Andi Leahy

Andi is a marketing professional who’s been an animal advocate since childhood. She’s dedicated her life to making a positive impact in the world of animal welfare in various arenas.

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Jon F. Sands

Effective January 2023, Jon is a full time mediator and arbitrator.  He retired from private practice of law in December 2022 after nearly 43 years of civil trial work.  He was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers...


Jesse Ogas

Jesse leads community engagement, manages station partnerships, and champions inclusivity at 9NEWS. Ogas was the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year, which is presented by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.

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Larry Kunz

Larry is a native Coloradan, lifelong Denverite, and a die-hard dog lover. Larry began working in the family business as a teenager, under the watchful eyes of his father and two uncles.

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Steve Greig

Steve is an accountant in Denver who has a house full of senior rescued dogs featured on his Instagram account @Wolfgang2242. Steve's Instagram account also features a precocious (and famous) pig named Bikini, a turkey named Cranberry and Betty the chicken.

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Erica Lopez

Erica is an Anchor and Reporter at 9NEWS Denver. She joined the 9NEWS team in August 2020 as the traffic anchor on Mile High Mornings.

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