Volunteers are the very backbone of what we do at Greyhound Rescue. Explore the stories of some of our volunteers and find out what it’s like being part of our volunteer family.
Lives: Sydney, NSW
Volunteer with Greyhound Rescue for: 3 years
Volunteering role: Kennel-hand
What was it that sparked your interest in volunteering with Greyhound Rescue?
I have always loved hanging out with dogs and I had recently decided to work less in my own business to develop a life I truly love! I had been searching online for the right place to volunteer, somewhere that I really felt aligned with and would allow close contact with the dogs. I just happened to come across Greyhound Rescue at the Newtown Festival on Nov 12th 2017. I met the beautiful hounds at the event and fell totally in love with greyhounds there and then. I applied online the next day and was heading to Greyhound Rescue the following week so excited to embark on a new adventure.
How long have you been volunteering and what shifts/role do you do?
It has now been nearly 3 years of me going once a week walking, cuddling and feeding greyhounds. I have recently been bringing my sisters labradoodle along to participate in the socializing of the hounds. Prince the labradoodle is providing wonderful service allowing the hounds to sniff his butt and discover a new fluffy doggo that they had never come across previously. This is preparing them for their life as a pet and Prince receives roast chicken in payment, so it is a win-win all round! I also now do homevisits to help people wanting to adopt prepare their home and learn more on what to expect when their hound comes home. This is such valuable information that helps the hounds and people settle more smoothly.
What’s the best thing about being a Greyhound Rescue volunteer?
My favourite thing about volunteering is being in the presence of these beautiful, most amazing, majestic hounds and meeting the amazing people involved with greyhound rescue.
What skills have you picked up during your time as a volunteer?
I’m so grateful to have learnt so much about the consent test and learning to be respectful of what the hound wants rather than what I want. It is so rewarding to see when you keep the hounds comfortable that, little by little, they begin to trust you and will want to interact and become more affectionate and their true personalities come out and they begin to flourish. I have learnt so much about dog socializing and little signs when the hounds are uncomfortable or overstimulated and how to bring them back into their comfort zones. Learning about the latest behaviour methods rather than the top dog forceful method that is ingrained into our society and still used by some trainers today.
Are there any funny stories that you’d like to share?
When I was very new to volunteering, a beautiful greyhound took advantage of a gate that hadnt closed properly. I knew what he was thinking, but before I could move, he made a run for it! He ended up in a neighbouring paddock with a pack of horses. I knew I had to keep calm (all the while, swearing internally!) so I let him sprint around the paddock until he wore himself out. I moved towards him slowly, calling his name and luckily, as we already had a bond, he trotted over to me! I couldn’t have been more relieved. Definitely not the type of experience you want when you are a new volunteer! I now see this cheeky houndie regularly on weekends at my local dog park. He has a very special place in my heart (and the best mum he could possibly wish for!)
How has volunteering improved your life?
To now have two beautiful hounds that share my life with me is the greatest blessing. They come to work with me, make me laugh so much, give so much love, and I meet so many people that want to pat them and realize how beautiful greyhounds truly are. Spending time each week at Greyhound Rescue focusing on helping the hounds is so rewarding, I believe everyone who works with greyhounds is deeply touched by their specialness and it is truly an honour to spend time with them and serve them in any way. They will melt your heart every time! Thank you Greyhound Rescue for all you do for the hounds and all the lives you’ve touched through matching hounds to their perfect forever homes and being so amazing in training and supporting the vollies to support the hounds!
Are you interested in donating your time and skills to help Greyhound Rescue rehabilitate and rehome greyhounds? Fill out our application form here.