Volunteering Tutorial

Who We Are

Brenda-with-Ruby-1333--Lady.jpgThe Canadian Golden Retriever Adoption Service Inc.
 (Golden Rescue is a registered trademark) is a volunteer-run, non-profit charity dedicated to rescuing and re-homing displaced Golden Retrievers, and to educate the general public about responsible pet ownership.

A Little History...


Golden Rescue has the distinct privilege of being one of the the largest single breed rescues in Canada. Since its inception in 1990, Golden Rescue has re-homed approximately 2,500 Goldens and the exact number is updated weekly on the home page of our website.

In the first 15 years, we helped 500 Goldens. During the last 12 years, we've given over 2,000 Goldens a second chance at life. The number of Goldens needing our help is increasing each year.

What We Do

503--Kelti.jpgGolden Rescue carefully screens all incoming dogs for socially acceptable behaviour and approves those whom we feel we can responsibly place.

We provide spay/neuter service, micro-chipping, and all the necessary veterinary care required to place them in their Forever Homes.

We provide public education by means of brochures, a newsletter, public/media appearances, and canine educational events, which focus on responsible pet ownership and, in particular, the Golden Retriever breed.

Where Are We Located?

Oliver-1624.jpgSince dogs are rescued all across Ontario and even into Quebec, most of the volunteer coordinating is done by computer or phone.  We do have a mailing address in Barrie, but volunteers, events, and foster homes are all across Ontario.

What Happens When a Golden Needs Help???

1575-Scout.jpgWhen an individual, shelter, or vet has a Golden in need, they contact us by email or the phone hotline.  We respond within 24 hours, but almost always sooner.

The Intake Volunteer answering the call for help will record any particulars about the dog and will request veterinary records, if available.

Our Transport Volunteers will deliver the Golden to their Foster Home.

While in foster care, the Golden is part of the family environment, where they get lots of love and attention, in addition to all medical, grooming and exercise needs.

How Does the Golden Find Their Forever Home?

My-Crew-1.jpgThe Foster Family submits a behaviour evaluation and once they feel the Golden is ready to join their Forever Family, the process of matching their Golden with potential adopters begins.  Once a suitable match is found, a Placement Volunteer arranges for a home visit with all members of the potential adoptive family and, if all is well, the family meets the Golden at the foster home.  If everyone agrees the match is ideal, the adoption takes place.

Why Does Golden Rescue Have Fundraising Events?

1093-Maggie.jpgThe Cost to Care for Rescue Goldens:

The average cost per dog in our program is over $1,700.  Most of the money we raise is spent on veterinary care.  We have many vets who help us, but also many dogs who need extra health care.

The Cost to Adopt a Rescued Golden?

Adoption fees are $500 for Canada, and $800 for an International adoption.

What Kind of Fundraising Events Does Golden Rescue Have?

Group-Shot---end-of-walk.jpgSome of These Events Are:


  • GR Annual Picnic
  • LCBO Tag Days
  • Pet Festivals & Shows:
    • Woofa-Roo
    • Bala Cranberry Festival
    • The Pickering Markets

How do Volunteers Help at These Events?

Kempenfest-5.jpgSince our primary goal at these events is to gain exposure for Golden Rescue, we have our Goldens front and centre.  They are the main reason that people stop and talk with us.

Volunteers do not ask for money, but they might encourage a visitor to look at our merchandise (if it's an event where we have merchandise).  The donation cans are always nearby, and thankfully many visitors do donate!

The best way to engage people in conversation is to introduce them to our Goldens and, since they usually ask, tell them some of the reasons that Goldens come into our care:

  • owners move, pass away, develop allergies, have no time
  • some dogs are found as strays, and some are older or have health issues
  • sometimes vets call us because the owner is unable or unwilling to pay for medical treatment
  • puppy mill dogs, the saddest stories of all

Is That All That Volunteers Do?

picnic-15.jpgVolunteers at the events also help with the setup of merchandise, keeping the merchandise well stocked, and have brochures or handouts close by to give to visitors, BUT ONLY if they appear very interested in Golden Rescue.

As well, there are many other volunteer positions that require a greater time commitment, such as Intake VolunteerTransport VolunteerEvent CoordinatorsFoster Families and many more positions, which are described on the Golden Rescue website, under the top menu "Support Us", "Join A Team".

How Can I Be a Golden "Golden" Representative at Events?

1090--Ben.jpgDO:  Arrive early
DO:  Smile a lot
DO:  Have our handouts and brochures within easy reach
DO:  Keep your Golden on a leash, but assure everyone he/she is friendly
DO:  Stand – you're so much more approachable
DO:  Wear comfortable shoes (you'll be glad you did) and GR logo apparel, if possible
DO:  Hand out past issues of the Guardian, but sparingly
DO: Talk about the advantages of adopting

DON'T: Leave home without water and a bowl for your dog.
DON'T:  be afraid to ask visitors questions – do they have a dog, have they heard about rescue organizations, would they consider adopting or volunteering?
DON'T:  eat while on your shift – a drink is fine, but be discreet
DON'T:  have your personal items visible – this prevents theft and looks more professional
DON'T:  just chat with other volunteers, but be ready to talk with anyone walking by
DON'T:  advertise for any other business – you are here to represent Golden Rescue