Behind the Scenes – What Makes a Rescue Tick?

It takes an army of people volunteering an enormous amount of time to keep a rescue running, and GR is no different. The happy photos on social media, the cute houndie knick knacks in our online shop, and the fun we have at events disguises a hive of activity, blood, sweat, and tears. We would like to regularly feature one of our volunteering roles behind the scenes  to show you just what goes on to help save and rehome the greyhounds. It certainly isn’t just cuddling dogs (although we like to do that too!). Want to know more? Read on….

Ausilia Cristiano – Boss Lady of Emails

Emails is our first point of contact and the central email info@greyhoundrescue is a busy one. When you are a volunteer with other work and a home life too it needs discipline to get it right. The job requires consistent timely attention and Ausilia is brilliant at this!

What is your role in GR?

Don’t ask me what year I started volunteering. I sometimes forget what I said ten minutes ago.  I do know I first started volunteering at the Riverstone kennels many years ago. It was my first real interaction with greyhounds. During that time I fell in love with many many greyhounds (George, Rosie, Princess, Bruce, Stevie, and so on and so on).

The increasing demands running our family-run hang gliding business (HangglideOz) and the need to care for my elderly parents (now 91 and 89) increased. So this meant the trip to the kennels became more and more difficult. So a shift to helping with emails seemed logical as I spend possibly too many hours online. Plus I can type really really fast!

That brings me to today, where I happily spend my days fielding all enquiries at info@.

How much time do you spend on your role? (weekly or daily)

I would have to say 2 hours each day. I check emails every morning and night, every day.

What does a typical day/shift involve in your role?

The rescue receives many email enquiries about adopting, fostering, surrenders and donating.  In many cases it is just a matter of forwarding emails to the relevant volunteers. 

These days we have volunteers to oversee applications in their designated geographical areas. Helps spread the workload.  Once applications are received, they are sent to their respective area coordinators for processing. 

I also assist with applications in the South Coast and Inner West areas.  So that means checking applications, discussing any concerns with applicants, organising home visits and the meet and greets at the kennels. It is a very thorough process at GR.  We won’t just send any dog out to any home.  It is all about sending the right dog to the right home.

What is the thing you like best about your role?

I wait ever so patiently for the “money shot”.  That photograph of a family smitten with their new greyhound about to make his/her escape from our kennels.  It is a truly wonderful feeling.

Whilst I rarely meet the families or the greyhounds it always brings a smile to my face. Always.

What frustrates you about your role?

Hollie (smiley face goes here).

Sadly, if we homed 20 dogs in one day, it wouldn’t take long to fill their kennels with new recruits.  It just never stops. 

I guess it is important to focus on each dog that GR has been able to save.  The big picture can be overwhelming so it is important to focus on the positives.

Anything else you’d like to add?
It is more than just a volunteer role for me. It is a passion that has been with me for a very long time. As with most volunteers at GR, there is a small chamber in our hearts just for greyhounds.

I cannot find the words to describe how it feels when you know that you have played a small part in helping a greyhound make the journey from racer to much-loved pet.   I am just one of a long list of dedicated people who make it all happen.  Quite amazing when you think about it.

And finally, through Greyhound Rescue, I was Hollied* and found my very own Greyhound. My Zoumi. My very own little black treasure who has truly stolen my heart.

* Definition: 

Hollied (verb):
[Holeeeeeed] To induce (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument, without them actually knowing it.  A tactic used regularly by one kennel manager, who shall remain nameless.


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