Volunteer of the Month

Margot with Ruby

We’d like to introduce you to Margot, one of our very dedicated volunteers who is our ‘Volunteer of the Month’ for June. 

Our volunteers are the very backbone of what we do at GR. Without them, we could not possibly save and rehome as many greyhounds as we do. While every single one of our volunteers is important no matter how much they do whether hands on with the dogs or behind the scenes, every month we are introducing just one of them to you and acknowledging their amazing efforts. These volunteers have demonstrated exceptional passion, commitment, reliability, and co-operation to make GR what it is, and we thank them tremendously.

We had a chat to Margot about why she loves volunteering with Greyhound Rescue. 

Margot

When and how did you first get involved with GR?
I started volunteering in July 2015, originally on the Sunday morning shift but now mostly Sunday afternoon and when I can get the time to fill in on another shift. Although I generally knew about greyhound racing, I didn’t know much about it before seeing an interview on TV with Peter and Janet. After hearing them talking about the greyhounds and the industry, I decided that I wanted to be involved in helping in whatever way I could.

Do you have any greyhounds or dogs of your own?
I don’t have a greyhound. I have an anxious 11-year-old staffy x foxy and I’m not sure how she would go with a new and much larger dog in the house.  She’s had the run of the place since I rescued her when she was 2 years old.

What do you find most challenging about GR?
The biggest challenges are dealing with industry attitudes, government and trying to raise funds. In the space of 6 months I went from thinking nothing much would change, to a ban and then a backflip by the government. Through all of that, all the volunteers have increased the number of events that we attend to tell people what we do and to raise funds, whilst still working at kennels. It is also heartbreaking to see the condition of some of the dogs when they come to kennels (though the upside is the difference just two weeks with us makes).

Why do you support GR as opposed to other rescue groups?
I think that greyhounds face some of the biggest challenges when it comes to animal rescue. Because they have been breed in the racing industry with who-knows-what training techniques and they wear muzzles, people are wary of them and believe that they aren’t sociable. Once you meet a greyhound, you realise nothing could be further from the truth. Turning up to kennels to be met by so many happy faces who just want attention is a great way to start a day.

When your friends or family find out that you volunteer what do they say or ask?
They weren’t at all surprised that I would get involved in animal rescue. I’m always encouraging people to adopt and not shop. I think they were surprised that it would be greyhounds as none of my family or friends at the time had greyhounds.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
Do it. It is one of the best experiences because you are doing something important and doing it because you want to contribute and do a particular thing not because you have to.  I have met a lot of great people from very different walks of life. Everyone at the rescue pitches in to contribute as best they can. It is amazing what we will all do for the dogs that we wouldn’t do at home or at work: working in torrential rain or extreme heat, cleaning kennels, picking up after dogs, filling in holes, and fixing kennels or fences. The volunteers just don’t consider not turning up due to the weather because we are needed by the greyhounds and by the rest of the team that are rostered on for the shift.

What do you do when you aren’t volunteering or working?
I’m a lawyer.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m a lawyer.

If you could use three words only to describe greyhounds, what would they be?
Playful.
Mischievous (yes, you Chip!).
Affectionate.

Elton

And lastly, who is your favourite kennel kid at the moment and why!?
That’s the hardest question because there are so many for so many reasons. I think Elton is currently my favourite. He is the largest of the boys in kennels and he came from a pretty tough place. He is really a big sook and softie who just wants attention.  He just ambles along when you walk him and then happily does nothing for the rest of the day. However, he can be easily frightened.

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