The Stars Aligned for Hurricane Maria Dogs
Oct. 23, 2017
Ever since Hurricane Maria cast its destruction on Puerto Rico a month ago, we have been in constant contact with our rescue partners on the island. Trying to provide as much support as possible, each time we spoke with them, we heard the desperation in their voices showing increasing signs of panic, asking us to please help to find a way to get dogs off the island. American Airlines hasn’t been transporting rescue dogs since the hurricane. Fosters on the island are still struggling with no electricity and only a limited supply of food. Any drinking water needs to be boiled for both humans and dogs. Desperate times, indeed.
As DVGRR’s Leadership Team convened a meeting, drinking our readily available, clean bottled water, we began the task of organizing a successful rescue mission. Research started, and I asked everyone with whom I had direct contact if they knew anyone who was flying dogs out of Puerto Rico. I received an email reply from a supporter who knew someone who could help. Our first bright star in the sky!
We were put in touch with a group that had a rescue charter flight scheduled, and they believed they still had room for more dogs. We had seven days to get organized to make this work. After many phone calls and emails, the next task was to make sure the foster families could get the dogs to the airport at 5:30 a.m. the morning of departure. The 12 dogs would need their rabies certificates and vet records sent to DVGRR before the day of the flight, so we could get all the details in order. Sounds like an easy task, but most of these foster families still did not have electricity and had only spotty cell phone service. Two days before the scheduled departure, we had all the paperwork ready to go. Another bright star aligning!
While we were working on the flight details and getting paperwork in order, we needed DVGRR staff or volunteers on the ground in Florida to meet the charter flight that would be transporting 70 dogs out of Puerto Rico. In addition to the dogs coming to DVGRR, four other rescue groups would be taking dogs. A third star aligned when it dawned on me that we had two Board Members vacationing in Florida when the flight was due to arrive! I made some phone calls, and one Board member was staying only 30 minutes from the arrival airport. More communications with our other Board Member who agreed to make the drive and help with the arrival. Now we’d have two Board Members and their DVGRR Volunteer spouses on the ground in Florida to meet the dogs! The next part of the mission was the transport back to DVGRR. Knowing we had DVGRR volunteer power on the ground, we didn’t need to send our transport vehicles all the way to Florida if we could arrange transport to meet us part way.
Yet another star alignment: Lisa Jagielski, DVGRR Volunteer Manager and Trainer, remembered meeting a transport group out of Pittsburgh when the DVGRR Team traveled to Texas several weeks ago for the Hurricane Harvey rescue mission. It was worth a shot to ask them if they could help us, so Lisa made a call. Believe it or not… this transport group had a vehicle scheduled for Florida to pick up seven dogs the same day as our flight was to arrive! We worked out needed details, and they were very excited to help us.
During our Annual Reunion on Saturday, we received word that the flight departed Puerto Rico with eight dogs ultimately on their way to Golden Gateway. The only cloud in the sky for this entire mission was that four of our dogs could not make the flight due to the weight restriction of the aircraft. DVGRR was scheduled to transport the 12 largest dogs on the flight.
The arriving dogs landed in Florida on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. As soon as the dogs were unloaded, they were examined by local volunteer veterinarians who checked each of the 70 dogs; the dogs were exercised, fed, and given love by the volunteers and a fresh bowl of water. After receiving their health certificates (required for dogs to travel between states), they were loaded into the transport vehicle for their journey to Golden Gateway. John and Dennis kept in constant contact with the Transport Team. DVGRR staff and volunteers met up with the transport company and transferred the dogs to our DVGRR transport vehicle for their last leg back to Golden Gateway yesterday (10/22/17).
For these Puerto Rico hurricane survivors, their lives will now be forever changed for the better. They won’t be ready for adoption for a few weeks, and we’ll keep you updated and share more photos soon.
As for the four dogs still in Puerto Rico, they are back with their foster families, and we will continue to work with other groups and hope we can get those dogs and more to Golden Gateway in the next few weeks. Your constant caring and support allow us to make these rescues possible and help make the stars align. If you would like to donate to these efforts, click to our Transportation Fund page.
Golden thanks for all the ways you support our mission,
Inza Adams, Development and Donor Engagement Manager/Leadership Team
DVGRR Aids in Hurricane Rescue
Sept. 5, 2017
The Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) returned from Texas last night with 17 dogs. A group of three employees, one board member, and four volunteers departed for Austin, TX on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 to rendezvous at Austin Pets Alive! with two golden retriever rescue groups from the Houston area and to also rescue dogs that had been in shelters prior to Hurricane Harvey in order to make room for dogs displaced by the storm.
“It’s very important to understand that the dogs we transported were in shelters or housed by rescue foster homes awaiting adoption prior to the storm,” said John Plummer, DVGRR Executive Director. “In doing so, we helped the groups in Texas have more space to hold storm-displaced dogs and will hopefully be able to re-unite them with their owners.”
DVGRR traveled to Austin loaded with requested supplies, including a critically needed microchip reader. Other items included collars, leashes, and crates plus medications.
“We sent an email and posted on our Facebook page that we’d be going and asked for donations. The response before we left was overwhelming,” said Plummer. “Additionally, we donated certain medications from our own supply and Penn Veterinary Supply stopped by with 10 cartons the night before we left.”
The 17 dogs now at DVGRR’s Golden Gateway campus will undergo veterinary exams and behavior assessments before being released for adoption. Those interested in adopting should complete an adoptions questionnaire that can be found online at www.dvgrr.org.
DVGRR Names Executive Director
Feb. 7, 2017
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR has recently named John Plummer as the organization’s Executive Director. In this role, Plummer will oversee daily operations in addition to coordinating the efforts of the Leadership Team that includes other senior managers in the organization.
Plummer has been employed by DVGRR since 2013 when he was hired as the Facility Operations and Staff Support Manager. Prior to that, he served on DVGRR’s Board of Directors for seven years, including four as Board Chair. He began volunteering for the organization in 1994.
“We’re very happy to have John step into this role,” said Heidi Shore, DVGRR Board Chair. “He has a very long history with the organization and has certainly been an asset to our mission over the years. He’s worn many hats and understands the myriad demands of a rescue. John is dedicated to improving the lives of dogs in our care.”
Plummer said, “I continue to be amazed at the dedication of the staff, volunteers, and supporters over the 20-plus years I have been involved with DVGRR. It’s a testament to the importance of the work we do, and I look forward to continuing the mission.”
Prior to employment at DVGRR, Plummer operated various franchise businesses and worked as a computer programmer analyst. He graduated from Lebanon Valley College with a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems and minor in business management.
DVGRR Named 2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Nov. 16, 2016
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) has been named a “2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits. DVGRR rescues golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and doodles in need of new homes, accepting dogs from the greater Mid-Atlantic area, including puppy mill survivors, and as far away as Puerto Rico and Turkey.
“We are honored to once again be named as a Top-Rated Nonprofit,” said Heidi Shore, DVGRR Board of Directors’ Chair. “We’re proud of our organization, mission, efforts, and our transparency to donors that were integral in the positive reviews we’ve received.”
The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is based on the rating and number of reviews that DVGRR received from adopters, volunteers, donors, and supporters.
“DVGRR is a great example of a nonprofit making a real difference in their community,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “Their award is well-deserved recognition not only of their work, but the tremendous support they receive, as shown by the many outstanding reviews they have received from people who have direct experience working with DVGRR.”
GreatNonprofits is the leading website where people share stories about their personal experiences on more than 1.2 million charities and nonprofits. The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards are the only awards for nonprofits determined by those who have direct experience with the charities – as donors, volunteers and supporters.
The complete list of 2016 Top-Rated Nonprofits can be found at: http://greatnonprofits.org/awards/browse/Campaign:Year2016/Issue:All/Page:1
Rescue Group Honors Staff for 10 Years of Service
July 25, 2016
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) will honor two of its managers for ten years of service at its next Meet and Greet event on Sat., Aug. 13 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at its Golden Gateway facility, 60 Vera Cruz Road, Reinholds, PA. Dennis Stauffer, ABCT, APDT, accepted the Kennel Manager position in July 2006, and Heather Hatt, Project Home Life Director/Resident Caretaker started at DVGRR in August 2006.
As Kennel Manager, Stauffer is responsible for overseeing all daily kennel operations, dog training, and caregiver staff management. Having previously worked at a large printing company for 18 years, he was pursuing his goal of working with dogs with an expectation of operating his own boarding kennel.
Stauffer explained, “I spent my vacations traveling to different locations to take courses in kennel management and operations. My intent was to buy my own boarding kennel or become a manager of a boarding kennel. Rescue never entered my mind. I earned my credentials on paper but still had absolutely no hands-on experience. I noticed an ad for DVGRR and applied for a part-time caretaker job in the hopes that I could work a few evenings a week to continue my learning and get some hands-on experience to put on a resume.” As a result, he was hired as a manager in training to replace DVGRR’s retiring Kennel Manager.
Hatt has a background and education in music, having earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Lebanon Valley College. At DVGRR, she was integral in the development of the Project Home Life (PHL) program, a nationally recognized effort to rehabilitate puppy mill breeder dogs for life in a normal home atmosphere. She received the Golden Retriever Club of America’s Starfish Award for her efforts with PHL in 2012. Hatt became the manager of The Lynne Glennon Sanctuary for Senior Goldens and Puppy Mill Survivors when it opened in 2014.
Hatt said, “I truly enjoy seeing and helping the dogs in our program improve while they are with us. I love seeing shy dogs becoming more playful, the fearful dogs learning to trust, the anxious dogs getting more relaxed, and the jumpy dogs redirecting their energy more appropriately. I have a special interest in puppy mill breeder dogs and am proud of my role in helping to develop and manage our Project Home Life program, a transitional step between kennel life and life in an adoptive home. This program gives me the opportunity to help our volunteers and adopters learn how to live with and provide the necessary support and guidance to puppy mill breeder dogs.”
Prior to developing the PHL program, puppy mill breeder dogs were typically at DVGRR’s Golden Gateway facility for six to nine months, and now average a 28-day stay with a return-to-program percentage of less than one percent.
Additionally, Hatt serves as DVGRR’s Resident Caretaker, providing any overnight assistance for dog care when needed.
Rescue Group Traveling to Puerto Rico
April 19, 2016
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) will be sending some of its staff to Puerto Rico at the end of April to meet with rescue groups on the island to collaborate and expand rescue efforts.
DVGRR has been accepting dogs from Puerto Rico into its program for three years. “The number of satos, the Spanish term for street dog, is increasing, so we want to do what we can to help rescue these dogs. Because of the economic crisis there, a lot of dogs are simply being abandoned,” explained Robin Adams, DVGRR Executive Director and Founder. “The goal of our trip is to expand our collaborative efforts with various rescue groups on the island. We have an exhausting four-day itinerary to cover the entire island.”
After the required quarantine period in Puerto Rico, rescued golden retrievers, along with a few Labrador retrievers or golden mixes, are flown to Philadelphia International Airport where DVGRR volunteers meet them and transport them to DVGRR’s facility in Reinholds, PA. Once there, dogs are given a 22-point full medical workup and treatment and all veterinary needs are met prior to the dog being made available for adoption. During their stay at Golden Gateway, dogs also receive any needed rehabilitation and training.
Adams continued, “The temperaments of the dogs we’re getting from Puerto Rico are fantastic, despite what they’ve been through, and the families that are adopting these dogs have nothing but great things to say about them.”
Adopters of Puerto Rico dogs and supporters of the effort are helping to underwrite the cost of the trip.
Fox 43 / York Covers Pat Miller Seminar
Mar. 7, 2016
Eight Dogs Rescued in Puerto Rico to Arrive in Philadelphia
Mar. 4, 2016
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) has learned that eight golden retrievers will be arriving from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wed., March 9, 2016 at Philadelphia International Airport. The dogs’ rescue is a coordinated effort between DVGRR and rescue groups in Puerto Rico.
“We’ve been working with rescue groups in Puerto Rico for a few years to help get dogs in need off the island, but this is the largest group of dogs to arrive at one time,” said Robin Adams, DVGRR Executive Director and Founder. “Because of the economic conditions there, many people are leaving their homes and abandoning their dogs. These ‘satos’ – Spanish for street dogs – are left to fend for themselves.”
DVGRR has learned that the dogs arriving next week have been found as strays and living on the streets. They are underweight, malnourished, and some have skin issues. It is estimated that some of these dogs have lived outside as strays for their entire lives.
The dogs are slated to arrive at Philadelphia International at 7:15 p.m. on American Airlines flight 772. DVGRR volunteers will meet the dogs at Cargo City approximately 30 minutes to an hour after flight arrival. The DVGRR transport team will then drive the dogs to DVGRR’s Golden Gateway facility located in Reinholds, PA. Estimated arrival in Reinholds is 11:00 p.m.
Once at Golden Gateway, the dogs will be held in quarantine for 14 days and will receive all needed veterinary care including spay/neuter procedures, bloodwork, and dental work. They will also receive socialization and rehabilitation as needed.
“It’s typical for dogs coming from the island to be heartworm positive, so we’ll test for that and treat as needed, but it’s an expensive treatment,” Adams continued. “However, the temperaments of the dogs we get from Puerto Rico are really great, and we have a lot of prospective adopters who will be ready to give these dogs a great home as soon as they’re cleared for adoption.”
DVGRR is a 501(c)3 organization, founded in 1993, that works to rescue and rehabilitate golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and Doodles. Its five-acre facility is located in Reinholds, PA.
Rescue Group Named as Finalist for National Writing Awards
Feb. 16, 2016
The Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) was named as a finalist by the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) in four categories for its work in publications and video. The annual awards ceremony was held on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 in conjunction with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
DVGRR’s quarterly magazine, Golden Opportunities, was one of three finalists in the Canine or All-Animal Newspaper/Newsletter category; the annual calendar (produced as a fundraiser) was a finalist in the Posters, Calendars, Brochures, or Pamphlets category; and its video, “Because of You,” was a finalist in DWAA’s Other Media: Video, DVD, or TV Broadcast category. The video was also nominated for the Special Award sponsored by Adoptashelter.com for entries that best describe the plight of homeless dogs, the joy of adoption, and improving the quality of life for dogs in shelter environments.
“We’re very happy to be recognized for our work,” said Robin L. Adams, DVGRR Executive Director, “and our efforts go to spread the word about the importance of rescue, recognize our supporters, and raise funds for our mission. Having been a judge in this competition in the past, I know how many entries never make it this far.”
DVGRR is a 501(c)3 organization, founded in 1993, that works to rescue and rehabilitate golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and Doodles. Its five-acre facility is located in Reinholds, PA.
DVGRR to Hold Therapy Dog Informational Session
The Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) will hold an informational session about therapy dog work and qualifications after its monthly Meet & Greet event on Sat. June 13, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. at its Golden Gateway facility located at 60 Vera Cruz Road, Reinholds, PA.
Kathy Gardosh, DVGRR Secretary and Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs evaluator, and Karen Gerth, KPETS Executive Director and Founder, will cover therapy dog information including the type of dog suited for therapy work, training and socialization needed for a successful therapy dog, the type of work therapy dogs perform, and how to prepare a dog for evaluation.
“Golden Retrievers often excel as therapy dogs,” said Sara Bright, DVGRR Director of Adoption and Education, “and some of our alumni dogs are now great therapy dogs. We get a lot of questions about therapy dog work, and that was the impetus for offering this informational program.”
The program is informational only, not a dog evaluation session, so dogs should not attend. For more information or to RSVP, please email Sara Bright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DVGRR to Participate in Saving Pets Challenge
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) will participate in the Saving Pets Challenge funded by Michelson Found Animals that runs from May 4 to June 5, 2015. The Saving Pets Challenge is a fundraising competition where animal welfare organizations gain awareness and raise money for projects that address the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia in their community.
The organization that raises the most money to help at-risk animals will win a $50,000 grant from Found Animals; second place will win $20,000; and third place will win $10,000. There are additional challenge bonuses that will be awarded throughout the month-long competition.
“For us, it’s all about helping the puppy mill breeder dogs find new homes rather than being destroyed,” explained Robin Adams, DVGRR Executive Director and Founder. “These dogs typically spend their lives in wire hutches until they can no longer produce. We work very hard to get them into our program, and then staff and volunteers work with them in our Project Home Life program.”
DVGRR started the Project Home Life (PHL) program several years ago to help retired breeder dogs transition from life in a commercial breeding operation to life in a typical household. Dogs usually spend several weeks in this rehabilitative program before they are ready to be adopted. Heather Hatt, Project Home Life Director said, “The puppy mill breeder dogs are typically unaccustomed to human touch or normal household sights and sounds. With PHL, we’ve dramatically improved the adoption success rate of these dogs.”
The monies DVGRR raises, both through direct donations and any additional challenge grants, will go toward establishing a dedicated medical isolation unit for puppy mill breeder dogs since these dogs rarely have full vaccinations, so that they can begin their rehabilitation from the first day they arrive at DVGRR.
During the Saving Pets Challenge, in addition to making donations, supporters can create their own fundraising pages for the organizations they are supporting.
DVGRR’s Saving Pets Challenge page is found at: https://www.crowdrise.com/dvgrr-savingpets2015. Those interested in helping to fundraise may click on “Fundraise for This Campaign” on that page.
DVGRR Announces New Position
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) has hired Sara Bright, former DVGRR Board of Directors Chair, to become the Director of Adoption and Education for the organization. In this newly created position, Bright will oversee adoption policy and procedures and expand DVGRR’s efforts in education regarding canine/human interaction and responsible care.
Bright served as DVGRR Board Chair since 2013, as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2013, and as Volunteer Manager since 2013. She earned her dog training certification (CCDT) through CATCH Canine Trainers Academy and is a certified Animal Control Officer in NJ. She also serves as a disaster response team member for animals with the Humane Society of the United States and Red Rover Responders. Bright is a licensed Be a Tree presenter with Doggone Safe, a dog bite prevention seminar program for school age children.
“We’re very happy that Sara is relocating to Reinholds to become the Director of Adoption and Education,” said Robin Adams, DVGRR Executive Director and founder. “We’re broadening our reach, and this new position along with Sara’s background and training will help us achieve even greater numbers of successful matches and adoptions.”
Bright received a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Iowa and formerly worked for Price Waterhouse and J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. Since leaving that position, she had served on numerous boards for animal shelters and other rescue groups. Bright has been involved with DVGRR in varying capacities as a volunteer for over twenty years.
“I am very excited to begin working full time at DVGRR’s Golden Gateway,” said Bright. “I find great joy in working with people and dogs, helping them understand each other’s language in order to form a lifelong bond.”
Amber and Leroy Arrive from Puppy Mill
These videos were taken of two Goldens that arrived at Golden Gateway from a puppy mill. Once loose, Amber (probably out of a hutch for the first time) continually ran into the fence, and Leroy completely shut down. Subsequent videos show their incredible progress in the following days.
Are puppy mills on the rise again?
Read the Reading Eagle editorial (10/4/12)
DVGRR Employee Receives National Award for Rescue Work
Read the Reading Eagle article (6/18/12)
Seniors 4 Seniors Program at DVGRR
We’ve implemented a Seniors 4 Seniors Program and if you (or someone you care about) are age 65+ and would enjoy the companionship of a senior Golden Retriever or DVGRR dog, this program is a perfect way to enhance life!
Given that the many older adults are living on fixed incomes and must be more careful about budgetary concerns, DVGRR’s Seniors 4 Seniors program incorporates several financial incentives for older adults to consider adopting an older dog. These, combined with the emotional advantages of sharing one’s life with an easy-going, relaxed, calm Golden Retriever, serve to create a win-win situation for the humans and dogs alike.
Please click here to learn more about this program and benefits.
DVGRR Announces our NEW Choice in Nutrition
Recently we decided to explore some other possibilities in our quest to always provide the utmost in nutrition for our Goldens. After a lot of research and studying DVGRR has selected NutriSource® Super Premium Nutrition for Pets for Gateway.
Two Outstanding Reasons to Consider NutriSource
Outstanding Reason #1: Enjoy a loyalty program where you can earn FREE dog food. Simply purchase 12 bags for the 13th bag is FREE! Contact Pap’s Place for more details.
Outstanding Reason #2: Never worry about running out of dog food and driving to the pet supply store. Introducing our convenient “Pap’s Store to Your Door” automatic delivery! Many food selections to choose from, check Pap’s Place for details and to sign up.
We will be feeding NutriSource Seafood Select brand which is grain free. Here is some nutrition information about Seafood Select: NutriSource Seafood Select Grain Free provides super premium nutrition in a scientifically formulated easy to digest food. Real Salmon is the #1 ingredient that features excellent palatability, digestibility, and tastes dogs love. Salmon is a source of high quality protein to help maintain your dogs muscle mass and strength. Seafood Select Grain Free features the NutriSource exclusive “Good 4 Life” system and is made with the finest quality ingredients available. NutriSource Seafood Select Grain Fee combines Salmon and carefully selected ingredients in the precise blend to balance all essential nutrients necessary for optimum health, well being and long life. Readily available nutrients in Salmon go to work on the inside, resulting in less waste.
A BIG Thank You to Putney, Inc.
DVGRR would like to express our gratitude to Putney, Inc. for generously providing Gateway with Putney’s Carprofen Caplets; a generic equivalent of Rimadyl® caplets.Carprofen is a more affordable way to treat our Goldens for pain associated with osteoarthritis and for controlling post-operative pain from some surgeries. To read more about Putney, Inc. and carprofen, please click here.
Click in for “Pawsome Radio” with Barry RosenbergPawsome Radio
The mission is to provide information to dog lovers about the many aspects of dog ownership they may not have considered. Pawsome Radio accomplishes this by introducing the audience to canine professionals from around the world; experts in their field who share information on a personalized level. The station is a vehicle by which dog-care professionals are able to provide information to enthusiasts about methods, products, training techniques and organizations focused on building healthy relationships between people and their best friends – their canine companions.