R.O.A.R. Squad: Gini and Steve, the Canine Death Squad, and the Killer Kitties

A very warm welcome to author Gini Koch and her husband Steve from Arizona!

Gini and Steve have opened up their home to creatures big and small. Two of their dogs came to them as a result of being abandoned in their homes during the economic crisis. Heartbreaking. So glad they now have a wonderful home.

Read more about the Canine Death Squad and the Killer Kitties after the jump!   

If you would like to be profiled in the R.O.A.R. Squad (Rescue Owners Are Rockin!) all the info you need to do so is HERE. A special shout out to fabulous folks in Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island– we need you!

Rockin’ Rescue Owner: Gini and Steve

The Canine Death Squad: Mileena (American Stafforshire Terrier), aka Li’l Leader; Harley Quinn (Dalmatian), aka The Spotted Fiend; Baraka (Pit Bull Terrier), aka Big Baby.

The Killer Kitties: Claude (American Shorthair), aka Mr. Fluffykins, He Who Rules All, Master of All He Surveys, Mommy’s Leetle Darlink, His Highness; Figgy (American Shorthair), aka Porkins, Dementia Kitty; Kratos (American Javanese), aka Lapcat, aka Spidercat, aka Prince of Purrsia; Artemis (American Javanese), aka Mous-Mous, aka Squirrel. (Yeah, we’re big on the nicknames…hey, I’m an author, it goes with the territory).

About Gini: Gini Koch is the author of the Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series from Penguin/DAW Books (“Touched by an Alien” and “Alien Tango” are out now, “Alien in the Family” releases April 5, 2011, “Alien Proliferation” releases December 6, 2011, “Alien Diplomacy” and “Alien vs. Alien” release in 2012). She’s also published in short fiction, and has two short stories under her Anita Ensal pen name in two DAW anthologies — “Love and Rockets” and “Boondocks Fantasy”, both available now.

About Steve: Steve works for Corporate America and prefers to talk about sports. 

Where to Find Gini:

Steve prefers to live like a monk and lives online vicariously through Gini. Yes, he prefers it that way. Yes, so does she.

Love at First Sight: Our cat, Sheba, had died and I wanted another cat. We went to a Petsmart adoption event and there was Claude. It was love at first sight and he leaped into my arms when they opened the cage.

Sensitive Soul: We rescued Harley when our second Greyhound, Hermes, was dying, so our Big Fella would have a friend still (he hadn’t handled losing our first Greyhound, Achilles, well). We found her through Petfinder. Harley was found abandoned on the streets of Mesa, starving. She was in the pound for a month before rescue got her, then in 4 foster homes. In the one before us, she was crated up to 14 hours a day (understandable — they were in a tiny apartment and were out, but still, hard for her).

Playmate: Harley helped Goulash through losing Hermes, but she was too young a dog for him and was basically a little sister, complete with the whole “stop touching me!” thing. So we knew we needed to get another dog so she’d have a playmate. Enter Petsmart adoption days again — there was Mileena, just waiting for us.

Bully Buddy: Once we lost the Big Fella, I was mourning and needed a new big boy to love, and Mileena has been, pound for pound, the best dog we’ve ever owned, so we wanted to stick with the bully breeds. Ended up contacting the gal who’d helped us through Mileena’s adption, and she said she had the perfect boy for us via Benji’s Buddies. She was right, and we’ve had Baraka since January 2010.

Economic Crisis: Mileena and Baraka were both home abandonment dogs, albeit at different times and different homes, and both made the news. Mileena because she and her cat were at the start of this lovely craze. Baraka because he was such an example of the horror of it — when rescue found him, he was literally skin and bones and only had fur on the top of his head.

A Mystery: Claude we’re not sure about, though Petsmart found him hurt and he had to have vet care before he was put up for adoption.

Abandoned: Kratos and Artemis were abandoned at the Intel center in Tempe/Mesa, probably because Intel has a wonderful cat rescue/spay/neuter policy.

Kitty High Five: Claude loves pit bulls and does his Kitty High Five (rubbing his head against theirs) regularly; he ignores Harley as if she doesn’t exist. Harley gets back at him and everyone else by being Steve’s favorite.

Character Inspiration: I’m frequently asked if I base characters on anyone, and, honestly, the closest “real person” characters are based on my pets. Names, breeds, and species are sometimes changed, but personalities and characteristics come from the Canine Death Squad and the Killer Kitties.

Where: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Want to meet another author from Arizona? Check out Edie and her dog, Frankie!

Join the R.O.A.R. Squad

Do you want to join the R.O.A.R. Squad? Our goal is to make having a rescue animal THE coolest thing around. Ya game? Perfect! We’d love to have you! 

Send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Recruiting Members

We are well on our way to reaching our goal of finding at least one rescue owner from every state in the U.S. and at least one rescue owner from every province and territory in Canada by April 2011. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We’re looking for rescue dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots… donkeys… snakes… we’re not biased around here. We just want rescues who have found fabulous homes! Check out all the R.O.A.R. Squad members HERE.

Recruiting for:


  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland- need asap!
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island- need asap!
  • Yukon- need asap!


  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky- need asap!
  • Mississippi- need asap!
  • North Dakota- need asap!
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

Everywhere Else:

  • From somewhere else? Lemme know!

If your state/province/territory isn’t on this list, THAT’S OKAY! We still need you to join! Just keep your eyes and ears out for rescue owners from these places for me, k? Thanks!

I look forward to hearing from you!

5 Responses to “R.O.A.R. Squad: Gini and Steve, the Canine Death Squad, and the Killer Kitties”

  1. Kristine says:

    Killer kitties, I love it. That’s a lot of rockin’ rescues in one family. So glad you found them!

  2. Kari says:

    bwa ha ha Canine Death Squad bwa ha ha


  3. @Kristine- I am blown away for how much they have & continue to do for rescue. So fantastic!

    @Kari- I know, they should have a band or something, best “group” names ever!

  4. Brandy says:

    Awww, bless you for rescuing so many fur-babies. Almost every one of ours is a rescue, too. *g* Gini is the BEST!

  5. @Brandy- I just reached out to you- if you’d like to join the R.O.A.R. Squad we’d love to have you!