We are always looking for volunteers to accomplish our goals and are grateful for every volunteer’s participation! New volunteers receive training and instruction prior to their first assignment and are offered various resources to help them become familiar with our procedures.
As a volunteer for DVGRR, we ask that you:
- Take total responsibility for communicating your thoughts and ideas to your team members
- Help the team stay focused on the objectives
- Participate to the best of your ability
- Stay open-minded to new ideas
- Not only let others contribute, but encourage them to contribute
- Share your ideas
- Attend ALL meetings (on time)
- Consciously try to stay positive
- Do your best to simplify our complex problems
- Fully support all team decisions
Becoming a volunteer requires you to read and agree to our Volunteer Terms and Conditions, Confidentiality Agreement, and review DVGRR’s Position on Euthanasia and our Volunteer Handbook as well as complete a Volunteer Application. Below you will find brief descriptions of our major volunteer opportunities. Have a new idea or suggestion? Let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit our Volunteer Spotlight page!
- Project Home Life Team
- Monthly Open House Team
- Transportation Team
- Fundraising Events Team
- Golden Gala Team
- Dog Walking Team
- Campus/Grounds Maintenance
- Home Visit
DVGRR has significant expertise in the area of rehabilitating and re-homing Goldens, Doodles, Labs, and dogs with “hearts of Gold” that have been used as breeding stock at mass breeding facilities, commonly known as puppy mills.
As our experience with puppy mill breeder dogs grew, and as the number of such dogs surrendered to rescue increased, we realized there was a need for a transitional step between our facility and the dog’s new home.
In 2009, we conceived and implemented Project Home Life (PHL), an innovative volunteer-based program designed to help acclimate puppy mill breeder dogs to the typical sights, sounds, and experiences of a home setting. In 2019, we expanded the kennel to include additional space for our PHL program.
Volunteers in this program work in The Lynne Glennon Sanctuary for Senior Dogs and Puppy Mill Survivors or in the main kennel, carrying out specific tasks developed for each dog by the Project Home Life Manager.
These tasks may include:
- Helping dogs get comfortable with humans close by
- Encouraging dogs to take treats from human hands
- Helping dogs accept petting and touching
- Walking on a leash
Because puppy mill breeder dogs have such stunted backgrounds, helping them with these seemingly simple tasks requires great patience and compassion, thus the name “Compassionate Caregiver” evolved for the volunteers on this team.
Initial classroom training and ongoing support are provided.
On the second Saturday of every month, we hold our popular Monthly Open House. These events provide an opportunity for prospective adopters and the general public to meet the available dogs in our program and see our facility in person.
Planning and holding these events depends heavily on volunteer support! Team members enjoy being part of helping showcase the dogs and directly impacting their chances for a great adoption. There is no set requirement for how often you must attend; some volunteers come every month, others are only available occasionally. We appreciate whatever time you can provide.
To participate in one of these events, you’ll need to be available from approximately 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. that day. Monthly Open House events are held in the Thomas and Marian Adoption & Activity Center, so we’re primarily in an indoor setting.
Volunteer tasks may include:
- Greeting and directing guests to parking
- Assisting with event set-up and clean-up
- Staffing registration, donation, and information stations
- Handling DVGRR dogs available for people to meet
- Monitoring exercise rotation of DVGRR dogs being shown
We strongly encourage relinquishing owners to transport their dog(s) to us at the time of surrender. However, sometimes the owners are unable or unwilling to bring their dogs to our facility. In these cases, our Transportation Team volunteers step in to help. Transportation Team volunteers also help transport dogs that are coming to us from shelters throughout our footprint or those flown from greater distances.
As a volunteer on this team, you may bring in a dog from relatively close by or from a distance away. In some cases, we use a “relay team” so that no one volunteer has to drive too far.
Tasks may include:
- Picking up a dog from a private owner or from a shelter, using your own vehicle
- Ensuring that all necessary paperwork accompanies the dog to DVGRR
- Securing the dog in your car using a crate or barrier (we’ll loan you a crate if you need one)
- Helping the dog feel comfortable during the trip to Golden Gateway (yes, that sometimes includes stopping at a fast food restaurant for a shared hamburger!)
- Making sure the dog is always safely restrained with a slip lead when being taken in and out of the vehicle
Note that for everyone’s safety and health, family pets and non-DVGRR volunteers, including children, are not allowed on transportation runs.
Our transport volunteers typically form some initial impressions of the dog during the trip, and your observations can be very helpful to our staff. Even though the time you spend with the dog is limited, you’ll undoubtedly find that the experience leaves you with the very rewarding sense that you’ve made an important contribution to the dog’s new life… because you have!
When applying as a Transportation Team volunteer, we ask that you read and understand the Transportation Team Terms and Conditions in addition to the general volunteer Terms and Conditions.
DVGRR holds many fundraising events throughout each year. We rely solely on donor support and our fundraising efforts to offer the high level of care we provide to the dogs at Golden Gateway. Volunteers are needed to work with our Events Manager to plan and staff these events. You can be involved with as many or as few as you would like and do so around what works best for your schedule. DVGRR uses volunteerspot.com to organize the volunteers’ schedule for these events. Requests for volunteer help are sent to approved volunteers via emails.
Sample Events (may change from year to year):
DVGRR’s Annual Reunion
Various on-site events
Reading Fighting Phils Bark in the Park
Allentown Walk and Wag
Since the first fun-filled Golden Gala in 2002, this event has become the premier fundraising effort for DVGRR and grows in popularity every year. We shed our sneakers and jeans, wash off the mud (but not the dog hair), and dress up for a great night with friends and fellow Golden and “Golden-hearted” dog lovers. If you think this event is “too fancy” for you to be involved, you’re wrong!
We have a great time, enjoy a fabulous buffet and cocktails, bid on wonderful auction items, see adopters and co-volunteers, and always have a hard time leaving at the end of the night.
Naturally, we take some of our program dogs to the Gala. You can imagine the attention and petting they receive, not to mention a few surreptitiously slipped hors d’oeuvres as well!
The Gala Team meets regularly for planning purposes throughout the year.
Tasks may include:
- Planning and organizing the event
- Soliciting auction items
- Gathering and/or making decorations
- Greeting guests at the event
- Assisting with auction check-out
The heaviest activity for this team is often two to three days before the event. If you are a good organizer and/or persuasive when it comes to asking for donations, serving on the Gala team may be a great fit for you!
At Golden Gateway, our dogs get plenty of exercise and human interaction. This factors into improving their socialization skills and getting them into their forever homes quickly and successfully. We rely on our Dog Walking Team to help with this important part of daily life at Golden Gateway. Every day, our dog walkers take dogs on a stroll around the Golden Gateway campus. The designated perimeter path is about two miles long.
The Kennel Manager and staff determine which dogs will walk with our volunteers, and volunteers will walk several dogs each shift.
Dog walking shifts are seven days a week:
- 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
- 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- All weather conditions (except for extreme hot/cold; walkers are notified in advance of cancellation)
- Training occurs on-site during volunteer’s first scheduled walk
With a five-plus-acre campus, there is never a shortage of grounds maintenance that needs to be done. Tasks include weeding, mowing, leaf raking, power washing, and other miscellaneous tasks to keep the property safe for dogs, staff, and volunteers as well as looking as nice as possible for our visitors.
Campus/Grounds Maintenance volunteers are needed weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Our Home Visit Team volunteers interview potential adopters (either by phone or in person) to assess their household situations to ensure they’ll meet adoption criteria, according to our pre-determined checklist. When in-person visits are needed, we match volunteers who live in the general vicinity of the applicant. Because we match volunteers and applicants geographically, team members may not be contacted too often.