Volunteer of the Month – September

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

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 Natalie to learn more about why she loves volunteering with Greyhound Rescue…

Natalie

When and how did you first get involved with GR?
I attended the Dog Lovers Show in 2016 and came across the Greyhound Rescue stall where I got to pat some gorgeous ambassadogs. After returning home that evening, I gushed to my parents about how beautiful the greyhounds were and mentioned that there was a rescue situated in Western Sydney, not too far from our house. They realised that a friend of theirs actually volunteered with the rescue already, and by his recommendation, I decided to apply to volunteer. One Sunday afternoon about a week or two later I attended my first shift, and I’ve been going every Sunday ever since!

Do you have any greyhounds or dogs of your own?
I currently have a ridgeback cross at home, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll have a greyhound of my own eventually.

What do you find most challenging about GR?
I think one of the most difficult aspects of volunteering at Greyhound Rescue is coming to terms with the fact that I can’t take every dog home with me. While the shifts themselves can be tiring, it’s such a wonderful feeling to see a happy, healthy dog, snuggled up in a coat at the end of the day, and knowing that you’ve contributed to that in some way.

Why do you support GR as opposed to other rescue groups?
I really support Greyhound Rescue as opposed to other groups because I believe in their stance against the racing industry. The rescue primarily rehomes racing greyhounds and does not give up on a single dog in their care until it has found a home, no matter how long it takes. I believe that Greyhounds have been unfairly portrayed to the public, and my support of Greyhound Rescue has spread through to my family and friends, who are now all intent on raising awareness and supporting the dogs.

When your friends or family find out that you volunteer what do they say or ask?
They typically say something about how it’s unsurprising that I spend my free time around more dogs!  I’ve also had a few questions from friends who are interested in finding out how they can support the rescue too which is wonderful. I’ve practically got a convoy of cars around my neighbourhood that sport the Greyhound Rescue bumper sticker!

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
I would definitely urge them to give it a go! I was quite nervous before I decided to volunteer myself, but everyone at the rescue is so kind and welcoming you really just fit right in. If anyone is considering volunteering, I can’t say enough about how fulfilling and fun it is.

What do you do when you aren’t volunteering or working?
When I’m not at Greyhound Rescue or at work I’m at University! I’m currently in my 3rd year of my degree, and I’m studying a Bachelor of Animal Science at Western Sydney University.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
Outside of science and dogs, I’m really into Dungeons & Dragons!

If you could use three words only to describe greyhounds, what would they be?
Lazy, goofy & vibrant.

And lastly, who is your favourite kennel kid at the moment and why!?
This is a difficult one! I think my favourite would have to be Gaius. He’s such a distinct looking dog with his Roman snout, and he’s got such a funny personality. He loves everyone he meets and is always so excited for his walks! I love ending my shifts by spending a few minutes with him in the kennel having a cuddle.

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