For today’s post, I’d like to introduce you to a rescue group in my area, the New York State Retriever Rescue. They are a fairly young group; in fact, this month they are celebrating the one year anniversary of receiving their 501(c)3. I’d like to tell you a bit about them by sharing an email interview that I had with the group’s president, Janet.
Why did you decide to start a new rescue group?
Janet: Labs and goldens are tremendously popular on Long Island. Many of our members were involved with other breed rescue groups and upon visiting shelters we began to notice numbers of available Labrador Retrievers. When we inquired about the local lab breed rescue group, we were informed that the chapter of a Long Island Lab Rescue was not active any more in the area. We knew that we had to open our hearts and homes to not only golden retrievers but all retrievers who have that wonderful kind nature and spirit.
Why do most retrievers find their way into rescue?
J: Many are owner surrenders. People find that they do not have the time for an active, energetic dog in their current active lives and cannot give them the care, devotion and love they deserve. I often tell people that we do not usually get abused dogs but we certainly receive neglected dogs. It is amazing how appreciative they are when they receive the proper devotion, attention and exercise. We also nurture relationships with local animal shelters and are advised when they receive a stray or owner surrender. Occasionally, we do receive dogs from high kill shelters in the south eastern states.
What should people consider before buying or adopting a retriever?
J: Labs are hunting dogs and they need a “job” to make them happy. They need lots of exercise and are eager to please. Labs have webbed feet and are built to swim – if you have a place for them to swim you will have one happy dog. They need to consider their lifestyle and how an active dog will fit into it. Also, Labs are large dogs – that cute little puppy could end up being an 80lb, wiggly, wacky tail wagger. Labs are great family dogs and have that affable, gentle temperament that gets along well with all.
What are some benefits of adoption over purchase?
J: Rescue groups take the time to get to know the adoptive family’s dog knowledge, dog needs and life style and matches the dog to meet their specific criteria. We take the time to carefully evaluate our dogs and temperament test them and whenever possible place them into foster homes where we can further evaluate their personalities. We want the best match possible for our dogs. I often tell people that the dog is our client and that we are trying to find them their forever home.
How many retrievers have you found homes for?
J: To date, we have placed 13 dogs. We have way too many foster failures!!! At least four members of our organization have adopted dogs.
What is your favorite rescue story?
J: *We received a call one afternoon from a woman that needed help in placing her neighbor’s dog. Chris and Pal were regular visitors to Cindy after their daily evening walks. During the cool spring evenings, Chris and Pal’s regular jaunts usually ended up at the driveway of their neighbor Cindy, where discussion of the latest gossip and daily events were shared and where Pal always received his special treat. Cindy has no pets of her own but always had a never ending supply of biscuits for Pal. She welcomed the opportunity to care for Pal when Chris was out of town and was deeply attached to both.
For several days, Cindy did not see her neighbor and his buddy Pal on their regular walks. She became more concerned when her phone calls and texts went unanswered. She became even more alarmed when she noticed that his car was still parked in the driveway. After several days, she finally decided to contact the authorities and her worst fears were released. Chris had a heart attack in his sleep and had passed away, Pal was there by his side when the police arrived.
Terribly distraught and not knowing what to do, she contacted the local shelter, who directed her to NYSRR. Within minutes, our team took action. The volunteer who took the call reached out to another volunteer who was in the area – he immediately went over, picked up the dog and took him to a local vet to be checked out for any health issues. Once the vet assessed that he was in overall good health, we sent him over to the Doggie Day Spa for a much needed bath and grooming. Our other volunteers were already reaching out to a potential adopter, another single man looking for a furever friend. They agreed to a meet and greet the next day.
When Dan met Pal, we immediately knew it was right. Pal was somewhat shy with the female volunteer who had agreed to transport him but lit right up and went right to Dan when they met. You would have thought that they had known each other for years.
Pal now spends his days on Fire Island. He starts his mornings with a short jog on the beach, it would be longer but he cannot resist the call of the ocean and jumps in before Dan can tell him “no” – they than head off to the mainland to begin their work day. Pal has become the company mascot for Dan and is his constant companion.
What can my readers do to help your group?
J: We are constantly looking for volunteers to help foster. It is one of the most rewarding and difficult jobs in rescue. People often ask, “How do you do it? How can you have these dogs in your home and give them up?” And I tell them, I can do it because I know that there are these wonderful families out there that are going to give these dogs the love, attention and devotion they so deserve. We cannot personally take them all in but we can help to foster them, nurture them and save them by fostering.
I would also ask that people spread the good word about rescue. ADOPT DON’T SHOP!! Rescue is there to help place the right dog in the right home. You can buy that Christmas puppy and it will only put money into the hands of the puppy mills – go to reputable breeders if you truly want a puppy but look around and try a rescue group.
Is there anything else about your group that you’d like to tell potential adopters or volunteers?
J: We are a new young group and are open to new ideas. We would welcome the opportunity for new volunteers who have experience with different types of social media and different mediums to use to transport our message.
Our potential adopters should know that we are about the dogs – we want to make sure that these displaced furbabies find happiness in their forever homes – and we want to make sure that you find happiness with your new forever friend, so be patient with us, we will find you and your family the perfect pet to fit your lifestyle.
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The group currently has several AVAILABLE DOGS, including this sweet boy named Doc.
Doc is approximately 2 years old and is a small mixed Lab, very very very cute!! He came from a high kill shelter in the south, along with about 15 or more other dogs to search for their forever homes in different states. Kind of like a freedom ride. He came to NY loaded with parasites like many rescues do, but he has been fully vetted and is now learning how to be part of a family. He is a happy and joyful boy who loves playing with his foster’s two Goldens while he is searching for his furever home.
For more information about adopting Doc or any of the other great dogs at NYSRR, please call 516-828-1177 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org