Worst Volunteer Job in Rescue

SONY DSCI searched Golden Retriever Adoption Coordinator Photo and look who popped up? Me and Harry. He wasn’t adopted. We got him as a puppy from a breeder. He crossed Rainbow Bridge at age 6.5. Totally healthy. Come home from Jazzercise and he is dead.

I served as Adoption Coordinator off and on for 12 years. Never really liked it, but this past year was AWFUL.

There are not many perfect, healthy, young adult, fully trained goldens in rescue and that’s who everyone wants to adopt.

I’d write the clearest requirements for an available golden and get inquiries from all over the United States. I dreaded posting on petfinder as potential adopters get ugly when I refer them to their local rescue.

adopt 2

Eighty year olds without a fenced yard insist they can manage a one year old male because they’ve had goldens all their life. They forget how much exercise their 13 year old boy who just crossed Rainbow Bridge needed when he was 2, or 3 or even 4.

I suggest a lovely 8 year old boy, but he’s too old.

People who work long hours in DC plus their commute want to crate their pup all day. Oh, and that’s where the pup will sleep. I wanted to suggest a stuffed dog from the toy store would be a better option.

But the last few months when I was really getting burned out, a guy from NJ called me a heartless bitch who didn’t care about animals. Another threatened to track me down and steal my dogs like I was stealing his opportunity to own a golden. I can’t tell you how many times I was hung up on.

Potential adopters went on and on about what they wanted from their adopted golden, but rarely said a word about what they could offer…..vet care, love, long walks.

I don’t like to say no to potential adopters. However, after years of experience I’ve learned young dogs NEED a young playmate as unless the adopter is a marathon runner, it’s too hard to give them enough exercise and they come back to rescue.

Dogs are social animals and most NEED a canine playmate or BFF to hang out with or they will be lonely.

Goldens are expensive to own and NEED an adopter who can afford cancer treatments or surgery to repair an CCL tear.

I said “no” as gently as I could generally referring a prospective adopter to another golden rescue group in the area. Yet, with 25 + applicants for every golden in rescue except the very old or ill dogs,  Golden Retriever Adoption Coordinators say “no” a lot.

Glad I don’t have to do that job any more.

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