Executive Director's Message from Wednesday, June 13
7 is a special number, but zero is ideal.

The number seven is pretty special. Consider the following:

  • 7 holy temples
  • 7 ancient planets
  • 7 dwarfs
  • 7 deadly sins
  • 7 seas
  • 7th son of a 7th son will be gifted
  • 7 days of the week
  • 7 wonders of the world
And now we have the seven still remaining of the NC 20. Sadly, that number is not zero. It’s been nearly 16 weeks since we rescued them from certain death in North Carolina. 

We’ll bid them good-bye on June 30th. We have no choice. We've tried. We've begged. We’ve pleaded. We simply can’t understand why any of these seven wonderful dogs have not been able to find homes with our supporters, friends of our supporters or those who follow us via social media.

We are now reducing the adoption fee for any of the seven to $250.00. That fee represents a serious financial loss for us, but we cannot keep them any longer, continuing to strain our resources. They are all fully vetted, and everything they needed has been done.

The families that have adopted the other 13 have continuously expressed their thanks and delight over such wonderful additions to their lives. These were people who love the Golden Retriever breed, but could not resist these dogs. Whether it was the story behind their rescue, their personalities, or the fact that they’ve come so far so fast, we’re not sure. What we do know is that the seven remaining are every bit as special and look forward to being a loved and cherished family member.

At the end of this month, in just two weeks, we must turn Alice, Lua, Linus, Caroline, Fonzi, Honey, and Reuben over to a rescue in upstate New York. It was always our plan to do this for the Golden mixes that were part of that incredible rescue, and we have delayed our decision on several occasions, always hoping that folks in our area would step forward and share their lives with these special dogs.

It’s sad for our staff and those who spent their time and energy, risking injury, on the rescue to be unable to see the process come full circle… to see these dogs go home with loving families the way their canine siblings did. We simply have no choice and must now implement the original plan.

One last time, if you or anyone you know has it in their heart to provide a fur-ever home for one of these special dogs, now is the time to contact us.





Executive Director's Message from Thursday, March 1


We've been keeping you updated with snippets of progress about our NC20 on Facebook, but we need a little more space to tell you just how much progress there's been.

During the first few days, walking into Golden Gateway, we almost all had to wear facemasks. The smell of poop was overpowering. Diarrhea and vomit everywhere. It was gross, yet staff members met the challenge.

This morning, there was only one accident - HUGE progress because the dogs are keeping their "dens" clean.  We are hopeful that housetraining will be a natural for them. 

Because there are so many pictures to share with you, everyone who has donated to help the NC20 will receive our upcoming issue of Golden Opportunities, filled with stories and photos of the adventure. Wait until you see the picture of Heather under the house... all I could think was "worker's comp claim"!

Alice is the dog that Heather McDonald and Frank Fabian crawled under the house to get. Heather and Frank were determined they were not going to leave her behind. Alice along with two of the other girls, Caroline and Jackie, have been spayed, and thankfully, none was pregnant. BIG sigh of relief.  Caroline had her spay surgery at Adamstown Veterinary Hospital because she had six broken teeth that needed surgical removal (beyond our capabilities at our Buddy's BARK Hospital).

So far, no heartworm positive results, but lots of Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis - meaning 30 days of antibiotics. Each must be treated for intestinal parasites (about $50 per dog) and many of them have dental problems due to cracked or broken teeth.

Today, Caroline, Jackie, Alice and Lua received their behavior assessment.  Caroline and Alice actually walked up the path to the Project Home Life room on a leash!  Part of the behavior assessment is to test for resource guarding of the food bowl.  We were apprehensive because these dogs have every right to resource guard their food, but the Assess-A-Hand inserted into the food bowl resulted only in curiosity.  Our hearts are soaring with that result.

They are doing really well with the loose kennel leads around their necks, leading them out of the kennel, but some are still fearful when any resistance is applied.  We ordered and received more pink and blue collars, so now we can identify who's who.

One funny note is that Dennis was sure one of the dogs was pregnant, and he almost shed tears of joy when Heather picked up Cupid and felt "boy equipment." Sarah McKillip, a member of the adoption team, thinks Cupid, who has a perfect white heart-shaped mark on his head, heard there was a rescue in the neighborhood and decided to jump on the truck.

Bart has become purely joyful when it's time to go outside, leaping like a kangaroo and barking to get outside with people. Ernie, Bingo and Gizmo have been playing with rope toys and tennis balls. And Fonzi, who for the first three days would stare straight ahead and not move a muscle, is now taking treats from our hands.

Our Project Home Life volunteers were recruited immediately and started hand feeding morsels of food Monday morning.  Next week, these dogs will begin the second phase of rehabilitation by starting "class" in our Project Home Life apartment.

I was worried about Heather "burning out" with such intensive work, but her eyes are sparkling, her speech is animated and she's approaching these 20 challenges with unabashed enthusiasm and determination.

This Friday, there will be a spay/neuter/dental marathon in Buddy's BARK Hospital, with the goal to get eight dogs treated. Marie looks pretty tired, but she's invigorated because we are giving so much to make these dogs ready for... well, a "dog's life" as WE know it.

The only costs we have so far are for the transportation: $1743.65 for van rental, gas and a breakfast for the "Great Eight." Marie has been ordering medicine and surgical supplies for these dogs, so we won't know those costs for at least (thankfully) another 30 days. We have gratefully received many donations from folks in North Carolina who are familiar with the story. While we've also received and appreciate the many accolades shared via social media, there is a huge need for ongoing financial support. You may not have crawled under a dilapidated house through deplorable conditions to save one of these dogs, but you can now help with their progress by making a donation.

We also have many upcoming fund-raising events, like the Wine and Dine for Canines in mid-March, that will help offset the costs of not only the rescue but the equally important rehabilitation of these 20 dogs. Every dollar matters because every dog matters.


Executive Director's Message from Friday, February 24

Last night, around 9:30, the vans pulled into Golden Gateway and eight very tired, dirty and odorous heroes arrived back home. What makes them heroes in my mind is that we had, among the group, two Board Members, a donor, staff and volunteers. They all arranged their schedules to meet the challenge. Heather McDonald, our Project Home Life Director, and Frank Fabian, one of our Board Members, CRAWLED under the porch into the den, to get some of the dogs. Dennis carried every dog - 20 dogs x 40-50 lbs. - and that's a very sore back. Fay Jenkins, our Intake Manager, Barry Edwards, Scott Yeagley a Board Member, Joe Shoemaker and Randy Swartley pro-transport volunteers stayed at Gateway until they knew every dog was safe in their kennels and then they started their drive home around 11:00 pm. All of them had at least an hour and a half drive home. 

We lost three, unfortunately. One was poisoned by a neighbor and two ran into the woods and could not be found. We've made arrangements with a rescue in North Carolina if the other two are found, they will respond.

Becuase the dogs presented a flight risk, we carried every crate into the exercise yard before opening the doors. As the dogs were removed, Inza, our Pap's Place Manager, took apart crates as we started to sanitize and clean them. It was, in every sense of the word, a S _ _ _ _ Y job.

When dealing with dogs that are so  under socialized, eye contact is one thing they avoid. Yet last night, as we walked the kennel before leaving (almost midnight) they looked at us. One little red guy/girl crawled up on the Kuranda dog bed (can you even imagine what that must have felt like after living in dirt your entire life?)  was so soundly sleeping he didn't even notice us.   Heather said one even wagged a tail for a short bit.   

There are some "purebred" Goldens in the group, but the gene pool has been diluted greatly. Our mission is Goldens, but we couldn't leave the others behind knowing their fate could be poisoning of the entire pack.

Today's shift started a little later - Heather and Dennis wanted them to sleep some more but as I write this at 9:30, feeding time has started. Then, Heather and Dennis will start taking them out in groups of four. We borrowed a video camera and promise we'll get some shots for you later today.

Last night, I left here around midnight , got home and took a few hot showers. Our DVGRR rescue dog, Woody, rarely comes upstairs to bed until early morning when he stands in front of me and barks for breakfast.  Real pain in the butt sometimes. But last night, Sterling, BobbyDarren AND Woody jumped onto the bed, and literally, crawled on top of me.  As I looked into their eyes, I realized the 40 big brown eyes at Golden Gateway were exactly like the six big brown eyes of my three "purebreds".  And that told me we did the right thing.

Best Regards,

Robin L. Adams, Executive Director/Cofounder




  • Messages from our supporters and beyond...Comment and add your message!

    by User Not Found | Feb 26, 2012

    Hello Robin and everyone else (staff, volunteers & the doggies) at DVGRR! I just read your latest email and I wanted to take the time to say thank you for everything you do for the sake of these beautiful dogs! I've been volunteering there for the last 2 years (unfortunately not as much as I'd like to!) and I love it! As a golden retriever owner myself, it's so wonderful to see so many people share the same type of love that I have for these dogs and it makes me thankful to be a small part of something so great. I really hope you all know how amazing you are and how much all of your hard work is appreciated! Thank you!

    - SS



    You are all so special and I know all the dogs that go through the DV Golden System are so grateful for all the love, care and especially finding their "forever homes".  Bob & I are so grateful for our DV Golden, Cody. He comes with us on most occasions, as Goldens often demand and everyone that sees him has to come over to pet him and compliment him on his greeting, he sits so tall and straight and gives his paw. He melts their hearts and when we tell them he is a rescue they can't believe it.  I made up cards with DV info to hand out to the interested people. I hope at least a few have adopted. I wish we lived closer to DV; we would be there more than home.  If we ever hit the lottery DVGRR would be number one on our list, that's for sure!

    Good luck with the new crew!

    - DVGRR Supporters

  • NC 20 Rescue from a team member

    by User Not Found | Feb 26, 2012

    Wednesday, February 22 is the day the alert email came about 23 Golden Reteivers at a private residence in North Carolina. This was a very large plea and I called the coordinator the moment I saw the email. By that afternoon our team was assembled, vans rented, suppies packed and we were ready to pull out at 4 AM on Thursday, February 23.

    Staff members Dennis, Heather and Fay were joined by Board members Frank and Scott and transport volunteers Randy, Barry and Joe for this mission. We made it to NC by 1:00 and made out initial stop at the county animal shelter for the first six that were taken from the residence by animal control. A half hour later we arrived at the residence where the remaining 16 were. We spent the next 2 hours rounding up the Goldens who were not very socialized with humans. Heather and Frank even went under the house to rescue two who were too scared to some out. Under the house was the only visible shelter they had. We were able to rescue all but three; two went into the woods and hard as we tried to track them, we could not. Another was reportedly poisoned by a neighbor and didn't make it.

    We started our journey home with 20 Goldens: now known as "NC 20". As we travled home that evening arriving at Gateway at 9:30 PMwe were greeted by our staff who helped us carry each Golden to thier soft, warm beds, inside out of the elements for the first time in thier lives.

    It was an emotional day and when I arrived home at midnight, I hugged my two canine babies and felt a deep sense of gratitude for every member, volunteer, donor and staff member of DVGRR for giving us the opportunitity to save these Goldens.

    Please join us as we share stories of their rehabilitation. We invite you to blog with us and share your thoughts.

    -- Fay Jenkins, Intake Manager