Volunteer of the Month – November

We’d like to introduce you to Shelley, one of our dedicated volunteers who we are recognising as our ‘Volunteer of the Month’ for the month of November.

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 cooperation to make GR what it is, and we thank them tremendously.

We had a chat to Shelley to learn more about why she loves volunteering with Greyhound Rescue…

Shelley

When and how did you first get involved with Greyhound Rescue?
Around 5 years ago my partner, Belinda, and I got our first dog, a whippet. We started going to dog parks and would meet greyhounds and their owners and gradually started to learn about the breed and the plight of these poor dogs. We started to look into how we could help, and began by sponsoring dogs through Greyhound Rescue, then 3 years ago we started volunteering at the kennels every 2-3 weeks, and now also undertake house checks for inner west applications, and volunteer at as manyGreyhound Rescue events as possible, with our greyhound.

Do you have any greyhounds or dogs of your own?
We got ‘Hollied’ two years ago and as a result have a beautiful 4yo greyhound, Piper. We also have a 5yo whippet (or ‘whoppet’ due to his not insubstantial size), Rocket.

What do you find most challenging about Greyhound Rescue?
Always struggling to find enough volunteers to cover shifts and not being able to save more dogs, because we rely solely on donations to survive. It’s also hard when adoptions slow down and as a result, some dogs end up waiting such a long time for their forever home. I just wish more people knew what incredible companions they are, and what gentle and loving pets they make.

Why do you support Greyhound Rescue as opposed to other rescue groups?
Because Greyhound Rescue is not affiliated with the racing industry and in fact are very much anti-racing. Also because GR is a no-kill shelter that needs volunteers to survive and receives no funding from govt or industry, therefore everyone who volunteers for GR is there purely for the love of greyhounds.

When your friends or family find out that you volunteer what do they say or ask?
Most aren’t surprised as they know how much I love animals. Some ask what a shift at the kennels involves, and also ask about greyhounds in general – ie what are they like as pets, how much exercise they need, etc. This, of course, is just the opening I need to talk about them ad nauseam and try to talk them into adopting one!

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
Just do it! It is so so rewarding and the greys are always SO happy to see you when you turn up for a shift. You feel like an absolute celebrity with an adoring fanbase and the love you get from them is incomparable. Even the crappy jobs (and yes, I do mean poop scooping), is rewarding because you’re doing it for them.

What do you do when you aren’t volunteering or working?
I’m a bit of a running addict – it keeps my sanity intact, and allows me to solve the world’s problems at the same time 🙂 I also enjoy collecting wine (and sampling the collection on a regular basis). Other passions are cooking and going on mini adventures with my wife and our dogs.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
I have a bit of an unhealthy interest in serial killers. I also have quite an obsession with stemware. And finally, I’m quite shy.

If you could use three words only to describe greyhounds, what would they be?
Loyal, loving, goofy.

And lastly, who is your favourite kennel kid at the moment and why!?
Max is my No. 1 guy at the moment. He’s so gentle but also playful and a complete doofus. He’s a master bed un-maker and the only grey I’ve met that tries to sit on you. Best of all, he’s a big cuddle monster.

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