Meet our Volunteers – Jess

Mar 12, 2024 | Volunteer Stories

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.

Name: Jess

Volunteer with Greyhound Rescue for: 2 Years

Volunteering role: Kennel Hand

How long have you been volunteering and what shifts/role do you do?

I am a weekly volunteer on kennel shifts, with my second anniversary of volunteering this month. I have also attended a couple of Corporate Volunteering Days and done several excursions, before bringing home my adopted greyhound last April.

I only lasted 2 months as a volunteer before I applied to adopt, so now I stick to my regular shift and show my grey what the good life is. 

What was it that sparked your interest in volunteering with Greyhound Rescue?

I knew I wanted to do something working with animals in a volunteering role. I have previously volunteered elsewhere, but the duties were limited to dog walking only, and you didn’t get to know the animals or their stories at all. When I learned that Greyhound Rescue had moved locally I decided to give it a try.

What’s been your favourite thing so far?

The greyhounds of course! They always have a way of making you laugh or smile no matter what you might be feeling. And like all dogs – they don’t judge based on arbitrary features (like humans do); they judge based on how you treat them. 

How has volunteering improved your life?

This is a SAFE space. You can learn and grow, knowing respect is paramount. It gets me out, active and socialising. The staff have also been amazingly supportive in working with my limitations based on a chronic medical condition.

What skills have you picked up during your time as a volunteer?

  • I’m great with a squeegee thanks to yellow row kennels (there’s a reason it was the only one left on a three vollie shift in my first weeks)!
  • I’m far more confident in my lead handling skills.
  • I’ve learned the poo scale (did not see that one coming).
  • I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do gait analysis watching dogs walk while completing a training course in canine remedial massage. 

What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve done while volunteering?

Honestly – I would not have imagined getting to do any of this, being so involved in their stories. Most of all I never thought I would fall so head over heels in love with greys as I have!

Are there any funny anecdotes or stories that you’d like to share?

You are pretty much guaranteed to come away from any shift with some sort of anecdote. Zoomies, toy stealing, doggie trauma when the toys randomly explode (“I have no idea what happened, I was sitting here quietly and it just went boom, I swear!), the speed at which food disappears, Olympus and his art installations…

Toebeans also stole my heart my first shift and had me laughing at the same time. He tried his favourite trick of walking between a person’s legs with me – I’m short, he’s tall, so he just ran into me instead. He looked so insulted that he didn’t fit!

What would you say to someone thinking about applying to volunteer?

Jump right in, you won’t regret it! Be honest about what you know / can do, as well as any restrictions you have, and you will absolutely be supported in developing your skills. You will have your heart stolen repeatedly (and possibly your lead…but we won’t point fingers Myrtle!)

Are you interested in joining our volunteer team? Click here to find out how you can help.

Why not help a hound of your own?

Rehoming organisation number: R251000042


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