Board of Directors
Austin Brisco is one of the founders, President, and Treasurer of the Texas Wolfdog Project & Shelter ("TWPS"), and has dedicated his life to the well being of wolves, wolfdogs, and northern breed dogs. Austin formerly served four years on the Board of Directors of St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary and six years as President and Treasurer of the Greater Houston German Shepherd Dog Rescue ("GHGSDR"). Austin, along with many other wonderful GHGSDR leaders, was instrumental in increasing volunteer rolls for GHGSDR to well over 100 volunteers, ensuring the financial solvency of the rescue through astute financial management and fundraising, and educating the public regarding the German Shepherd breed. Under his leadership, GHGSDR was responsible for saving more than 700 German Shepherd dogs from being euthanized or living lives of misery. Austin is also an avid wolf watcher in Yellowstone National Park and has followed the northern tier packs since 2009. In addition to these volunteer activities, Austin works at Shell Oil as a Financial Analyst.
In July 2013, Austin purchased the five acres on which TWPS sits and currently resides there taking care of the various residents, including his own two wolfdogs, Baeore and Reagan. Since the inception of TWPS, Austin has led efforts in obtaining a 501c3 designation, growing volunteer rolls to 25–30 people, and alongside volunteers, building 13 large enclosures with donated funds and materials. Austin’s experiences at St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary and GHGSDR has been invaluable in getting TWPS off to such a successful start.
Austin has completed the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Animal Control Officer (ACO) training and has been certified.
Tyler Zachau is one of the founders of Texas Wolfdog Project and currently serves as Vice President and Corporate Secretary. Tyler didn't know much about wolfdogs when Austin first told him his idea to start TWP, but he learned quickly. Tyler has over a decade of experience working with German Shepherds and currently has three of them at home. In addition to volunteering at TWP, Tyler works with several other Houston-area rescue groups.
Alvin Kneisler has been volunteering at Texas Wolfdog Project since February of 2022. Having retired at the end of 2021, he was looking for an opportunity to stay active while pursuing his love of animals. He has always had his own dogs as well as fostering dogs for many years. His original plans of volunteering a couple of days a week quickly changed as he became more and more involved with Texas Wolfdog Project. He quickly assumed the role of volunteer coordinator and spends almost every day working with our wolfdogs. Alvin became a board member in December of 2022 and is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the continued success of our goals.
Recent member but a longtime animal lover, Jordan moved to Texas with his family from California at the beginning of 2022. He had been looking to get involved with a rescue upon moving and found hidden gem TWP. In April 2023, he officially became part of the board as Adoption Coordinator; his main responsiblity is to ensure that the wolfdogs find a home that will accept their giant personalities and capacity for love, while trying to match each wolfdog with a family who will love the big responsibilites and rewards of caring for them.
Growing up alongside German Shepherd Dogs, a husky, and a Malamute, it's no surprise that Emily found herself drawn to the Texas Wolfdog Project. While brainstorming potential fieldsites for an Anthropology capstone project on domestication, she remembered hearing about a wolfdog shelter somewhere near Houston. After an initial interview came two months of volunteering-as-research; once the capstone was complete, she found she had fallen in love with the breed, the dogs, and the chance to make a difference. A year of consistent volunteering later, and she accepted the opportunity to become a member of the Board of Directors as the Intake Coordinator. As Intake Coordinator, Emily is responsible for assessing potential new additions to the shelter for their fitness as future family pets. On any given Saturday, you're likely to find her walking the dogs, guiding tours, and assisting with volunteer lunch.