Garden State Mastiff Rescue, Inc.

Helping rescue organizations with the rehabilitation of English Mastiffs in need.

Special Stories

All rescues have several "special" dogs.  GSMR has had several ourselves.  One in particular helped us decide what we wanted to do going forward.

Clem, also known as Little Clemmie, was our Mastiff Rescue Mascot.  He was seen by thousands of people at various events through New Jersey.  He would greet everyone with a little wag and lifted head that actually smiled at you.

Clem was rescued by Garden State Mastiff Rescue three years ago from a puppy store that was going to euthanize him.  When he arrived at the store his front legs were severely deformed from improper nutrition and being crated in a container that was too small for him.  Luckily an animal control officer took him from there and brought him to us.

Lucie, our founder, nursed Clem and with much love and care straightened out his front legs so that he could walk somewhat normally.  Clem had the perfect disposition and it was decided that he would be used as our mascot.  Clem took to it like a fish to water.  He wore his rescue jacket proudly.

Unfortunately, it was recently discovered that Clem had cancer in his rear leg.  Due to his age this cancer grew at an alarming rate and Clem is no longer with us.  We are all truly crushed at the loss of this wonderful companion.  Although he suffered much in his short life, he was always sweet and his pain never showed.

Rescue is about the dogs.  Although this story is sad, I am uplifted knowing that we saved Clem early on in his life and that he truly enjoyed his years.  That we save many other dogs who get to live and enjoy life is what keeps us going.

Many people often say to me that they could never own a large breed because it would break their heart knowing that they do not live that long.  Most Mastiffs see 10-12 years with proper care but yes some die very young like Clem.  My response to these folks is always the same.  “Some one has to love these guys for the time they have.  Although they may not live as long as a Beagle or other smaller dog, the love they give is even larger than they are.”

Clem, you had more love than any other.  You will be missed.


Every day, no matter the weather, we saw Carl sitting on a bench in the park that was near our home.  It was a convenient place to walk the rescue dogs and help socialize them.  Eventually, we would sit with Carl and over sixteen years many conversations were had.  Carl had a great love for animals and grew especially fond of the Mastiffs.

One day Carl mentioned that he would like to leave his estate to Chuck and Lucie as we had become his only family.  Chuck suggested leaving it to GSMR instead as the dogs would really benefit from it.  Carl loved the idea very much.

It was not too long after that that Carl did pass away.  Now and forever more, all of the dogs that have been cared for by us is owed a debt to the beginning nest egg that Carl was able to leave us.

Garden State Mastiff Rescue was started many years ago by Charles (Chuck) and Lucie Fainsbert.  They originally worked under the banner of a larger national Mastiff rescue organization.  They soon saw themselves spending far more on the care and rehabilitation of these wonderful dogs than the national group could reimburse them for.  As a result they began to fund raise on their own to fill the gap and then, eventually, replace entirely.

I have often felt that there were no two who were more dedicated to saving Mastiffs than Chuck and Lucie.  They dedicated much of their lives to these dogs.  

Lucie was the worker bee in the organization.  She traveled the state of New Jersey picking up dogs, evaluating homes, placing dogs and raising money to get it all done.  Lucie grew to have a vast knowledge and understanding of the Mastiff.  She would know, in an instant, what type of home any dog would go into.  

Chuck's job was to feed them, walk them and love them.  Love them he did.  Chuck had a special kinship to them.  He lost both of his parents at a young age.  In a way he had felt abondoned just like the dogs that no longer had a home.  As a result he would never let a dog be left at the shelter nor would he allow any dog to suffer.  Their house would be bursting at the seams with Mastiffs.

They both could be found at the dog shows.  Lucie would be buzzing around getting donations and Chuck would sit with one of our ambassadors and educate people on the breed.  He especially enjoyed having children come to the big dogs where he would explain the proper way to pet them or give them a "cookie".

Chuck passed away in 2012.  It was only a short while after Carl had passed away.  In memory of these two men, Lucie had a plaque placed on the park bench where they would sit.  Because of these two men, we are able to help more dogs than we could before.  Lucie, still the worker bee, reviews every request for help from rescues.  She still can be found at the dog shows asking for donations to help our cause.  

So many Mastiffs have been loved by and love Chuck and Lucie.