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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal-Related, Animal Services, Animals

Mission: Calls for help are answered almost immediately and dogs are accepted into our clean, modern facility called Golden Gateway, near Reading, PA. Since this 50 kennel run facility was opened in 2000, DVGRR has had the capacity to accept Goldens, Doodles, Labs, and Golden-hearted dogs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Further, we serve as an emergency drop-off point for all breeds by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Agriculture. Golden Gateway is one of only two owned facilities among the dozens of Golden Retriever rescue groups in the United States, and DVGRR is one of only a few rescue organizations to have a dedicated facility for care of the dogs.All incoming dogs are screened for socially unacceptable behavior (biting) and the dogs that are accepted are those that our trainers determine can be responsibly placed in carefully pre-screened adoptive homes. Dogs with certain behavioral issues are accepted for long-term behavior modification as part of our nationally recognized Project Home Life program. Spay and neuter services are provided along with essential veterinary care in our on-site hospital prior to adoption.A hallmark of DVGRR's program is the services offered to senior dogs (eight years and older). These typically hard-to-place dogs receive complete blood chemistry profiles to show prospective adopters that major organs are functioning. This test enhances their adoptability. DVGRR has never had a senior or special needs Golden Retriever that was not adopted.

Results: 5, 475 dogs adopted!

Target demographics: Golden Retriever, Doodles, Labs, and some mixed Goldens

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 300 Goldens, Doodles, Labs, and Golden-hearted dogs

Geographic areas served: a multi-state area

Programs: all necessary veterinary care, inoculations and training prior to being made available for adoption to approved homes. We also help shelters and rescues in Puerto Rico that assist Goldens in poor conditions or being relinquished by owners.

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with DVGRR in February of this year. It has been hands down the greatest experience of my life! I recently moved to the area and discovered that this wonderful organization was just a few miles from me and immediately signed up. The work that they do for all the beautiful dogs that come in to the Rescue is amazing. Many of these fur babies have never had interaction with people. This team works with them and helps them to prepare for a forever home. I have been volunteering on Meet and Greet day, the second Saturday of the month, and I recently signed up to help with the Project Home Life Program to further help these beautiful dogs and get them ready to live wonderful lives. Sue U.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue for many years. The Rescue is so impressive in the way they care for the dogs in their program, ensuring all the dogs are healthy and thoroughly assessed behaviorally so that they can be matched to the best home for each dog and each family. The Rescue is also uniquely qualified to rehabilitate retired puppy mill dogs and very shy dogs and placing them in loving homes. Pre-adoption, home interviews are conducted with prospective adopters to understand their home environments and specific requirements and honest and detailed information on the health and behaviors of the adopted dogs are provided to prospective adopters to create the optimal match. Post adoption follow ups are made with adopters so the Rescue knows how well the dogs are adjusting and to offer additional support if needed. I am very proud to work with the Staff in finding forever homes for these very deserving dogs.

1 Missy B.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering in Dec. of 2012 and adopted my first dog in Jan. of 2013. I was very impressed with the professionalism and the intense devotion all of the staff and volunteers have towards giving the dogs at the facility the best care possible. The adoption team works tirelessly to make sure an adopter is matched with the dog that best suits their home and lifestyle. I am very proud to be a member of the DVGRR Volunteer Team. Here is a picture of my Shyla who turned 15 on May 1st of 2019.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nine years ago, I was introduced to DVGRR. We adopted a beautiful boy & then a beautiful girl, who have brought so much joy to our lives. Emmett & Lily were our first rescues, & it opened up a whole new world for me. I became a PHL volunteer at that time, helping to socialize & rehabilitate many puppy mill dogs so that they can have a beautiful new beginning in a furever home. I have never worked with a more compassionate, hardworking, & dedicated group of people. They rise to every occasion & achieve what almost seems impossible, rescuing from near AND afar & placing these beautiful dogs in loving homes. It is truly an honor to be a part of this organization,

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello,

I wanted to tell you about an excellent dog rescue, Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR). I have been involved there as a volunteer for the past several years. The staff is very dedicated in caring for all of the dogs that come to their rescue. We are in an area where there are many puppy mills and quite a few of the dogs they receive come from those puppy mills. Many come with medical problems that are taken care of before the dogs are adopted into new homes. The dogs receive socialization and some obedience training by the staff and a large group of volunteers. One of the staff members has developed a program called Project Home Life to help the teach the dogs that have never lived in a home what is like to hear and experience normal house sounds. The program also helps very shy dogs to come out of their shell and really experience a good life. Even though their name contains " Golden Retriever Rescue", they have in the past few years also taken in Labrador Retrievers and Doodles and occasionally they will also receive a few mixes. They are constantly trying to improve the facility to take even better care of all the dogs. The staff treats all of the volunteers like members of one big family. We have adopted two dogs from DVGRR and could not wish for better dogs. They do their best to make sure that they find a good home for all the of dogs that are adopted. If you are looking to adopt a dog please contact this rescue you will not be disappointed

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is hard to find the best words to describe DVGRR. Exceptional, excellent, professional, caring, loving, knowledgeable, dedicated, doing whatever it takes, and for those that remember the famous "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". I know I have left out a few I can not think of right now but as a volunteer and adopter I am very proud of this wonderful organization.
My wife and I always purchased our dogs from reputable breeders because we wanted to do the right thing since unfortunately Pennsylvania is the land of puppy mills. My wife was first introduced to DVGRR by a co-worker who was a volunteer there. My wife went to an event there called a Meet & Greet, which is held monthly to show the dogs that are ready to be adopted. It is a great opportunity for the public to come in and meet the dogs and see the great facility. My wife came home and told me about the experience and I went to the next M&G with her. I have to say we immediately were interested in helping out. We filled out the volunteer application and started helping wherever and whenever we could. I remember one of my first volunteer jobs was helping to repaint the inside kennels after a new epoxy coating had been applied over the floors in all of the kennels.
DVGRR has been in existence over 20 years first starting out with having their dogs fostered in homes. Eventually a kennel facility was purchased as more and more dogs came into the organization. They have rescued and placed over 4400 Golden Retrievers and more recently Golden Doodles and Labrador Retrievers. The dogs have 24/7 care from the staff who work several shifts a day and the onsite staff caretaker is always available for any emergency. DVGRR has instituted several programs throughout the years such as Project Home Life to help puppy mill dogs to adjust to living in a caring home. They have onsite veterinary care and every dog who comes through the facility is given needed veterinary care and baseline tests are done. All of this care benefits not only the dog but the families that adopt them. The staff and volunteers help work with the dogs to give them exercise several times a day. The staff and volunteers also help with providing the dogs with some basic obedience training so that it is an asset for the families adopting the dogs. The staff is so wonderful to work with in all matters. The staff has the difficult job of seeing some of these dogs come in from some very horrible situations but they immediately provide the necessary love and care.
A few years ago the house next to the kennel went up for sale and DVGRR needed to expand in size. With the help of a large fundraising campaign and dedicated volunteers they were able to purchase the house and renovate it completely to house senior dogs and puppy mill survivors. That facility now known as the "Sanctuary" is a wonderful place where the dogs are cared for by the staff and volunteers. DVGRR certainly hopes that all the dogs that pass through DVGRR find their forever homes, but the dogs always have a home there if needed.
The staff works very hard in making sure that all adoptions of dogs go well. If you have other dogs they set an appointment up with you to bring your dogs up to make sure the dog you are interested in adopting is a good match. We knew once we became involved we would be adopting a dog there when it was the right time for us. Just a little over a year ago we saw a dog there that we were interested in. Our two dogs at home were both getting into their senior years and we thought it might be the right time to adopt another one. We had filled out the adoption application so we expressed our interest to the adoption manager. We made an appointment and brought our dogs up to do a match with the retriever that we were interested in adopting. The DVGRR dog was carefully introduced to our two dogs and the match seemed to be perfect. We were actually able to take the retriever home with us the same day because all the medical tests and shots were already completed. Our two dogs showed their new buddy our big yard to play in. They taught her how to do what we call "yard patrol", sniffing around the perimeter of the yard for scents of bunnies and squirrels and hopefully no skunks. She is a wonderful dog that brings joy to our life everyday and much of that has to do with the care she received at DVGRR.
As with any facility like these they are constantly fundraising so that they can continue to provide excellent care for the dogs. Their latest hope to build a large unadorned pole barn so that they can have more events on site regardless of the weather. The Meet & Greets are currently held outside every month and unfortunately the weather does not always cooperate. In rain or showers or hot sun they put up portable small tents to help keep the dogs cool and dry. If there are several inches of snow on the ground they normally have to cancel which may prevent some dogs from getting adopted sooner rather then later. A large building like they are trying to fund would help in so many ways with having more events on site and normally exercising the dogs in inclement weather. My wife and I continue to support them financially as much as we can and we continue to volunteer our time.
In closing DVGRR is a wonderful organization that has an ongoing mission to care for these dogs and I can not say enough good things about them. The staff should all have earned their angel wings by now. If you are interested in adopting or helping in any way please check out their website at www.dvgrr.org

1 Carol H.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm an adopter, a volunteer and supporter. We had many dogs prior to adopting our first dog from DVGRR in 2012. None were like Caroline. She was part of the large rescued group from North Carolina, known as the NC20. She was the first dog we ever had that had such serious issues with living indoors, trusting people and so on. There were times I thought "what was I thinking? I'll never be able to help her." With the help and support of the staff we made it through a difficult transition for her. They gave us helpful tips and were always very encouraging. Most of all I learned patience from Caroline.
Not too long after adopting her, I came on as a volunteer with the Project Home Life program which helps dogs like Caroline. They get used to human touch, living in a home, some very basic obedience, getting to know different people each at an individual pace. I absolutely love the program and see firsthand how it helps puppy mill survivors, breeder dogs, senior dogs that are no longer wanted for assorted reasons. It's a challenge but so rewarding.
We also attend Shy Dog Park, a special and limited program created for dogs from the Sanctuary that need some additional support. I've seen how much that has helped bring our special dogs blossom. They become so much more confident which helps them when they go home. It's not open to the general population. That helps us keep all dogs safe and we move slowly with the new dogs so they have a very positive experience.
I've since adopted three more dogs since then and they've all been wonderful.
I've also become a volunteer in another program - Life Skills and Basic Manners. This helps dogs to get used to different objects they may encounter (wheelchairs, ramps, steps, umbrellas, toys, etc). They learn to sit and relax, , walk under and between things, learn obedience skills, meet other dogs and people too. I am so proud to be part of these two programs and look forward to volunteering every week. I've learned so much working with Heather and Lisa and the staff and other dedicated volunteers. It's a great community that works hard everyday to provide all the dogs that come through the rescue a good start for a wonderful life. . DVGRR is dedicated to the well being of the dogs and supporting the families that adopt them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We've adopted 4 golden retrievers from DVGRR and have been volunteering for the past eleven years. Dvgrr is a great organization! They are truly very devoted to doing whatever it takes to rescue, evaluate, care for and nurture every dog that comes to Golden Gateway. They are very dedicated to taking the time to evaluate the dogs' needs to the adopters needs and wants so that each dog has the best chance to find the best forever family.
The staff are all highly trained in their positions. Everyone is devoted to the betterment and well being of every dog.
Project Home Life has been the lifeline to help countless numbers of shy, fearful and un-socialized dogs. Without this program, many dogs would not have the skills and courage
to flourish in a home environment.
As volunteers, we are proud to say we are part of such a great organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Helping Goldens, labs and goldenhearted dogs from puppy mills, owner surrender, medically challenged with love and compassion

1 Outi P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with the Project Home Life program at DVGRR for more than 3 years now. This is a program for dogs like puppy mill survivors that need to adjust to living in a home environment... it involves very simple, basic things that former breeder dogs may never have encountered, for example going up or down stairs or what to do with a toy - after all, these dogs have lived their whole lives in a cage without any toys or play, or affection from humans, and they need to learn how to be a family dog to become adoptable. The staff at DVGRR has created a great program to help these dogs make the adjustment - it really works, and it's great to see so many dogs come out of their shell in even just one month. What's more, the staff takes great care of the dogs' health issues (they've raised funds to build an on-site surgery and pay for a vet 3 days a week). Heather and Jess, who run the program, also keep the dogs wonderfully well-groomed (clean and good-smelling!) and keep the house where the dogs live very clean --- I've never such a clean, well-run operation! It's a pleasure to volunteer there :))

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our experiences with DVGRR, Inc. have been awesome! Six golden retrievers have found their way into our home and hearts over many years, and this nonprofit has always ensured that matches between dogs and "forever homes" are good ones! We are also impressed by the vision the organization's leaders have, and the hard work and resiliency shown by staff members at the Rescue. This organization deserves, without question, to be on your radar!

Michael & Ann Deibert
Alleghenyville, PA

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

I've served as a long-time volunteer, have fostered Golden retrievers, and have adopted Golden retrievers through Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc. I could not imagine how our lives would be without this wonderful organization. Their mission, their placement of wonderful pets, and their attention to detail. set them apart from other non-profits. The family members we've adopted from DVGRR have been wonderful, and have enriched our lives immensely. This organization deserves its top rating for all it has done for both helpless animals and the people who have adopted them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an adopter and volunteer, I can’t say enough about this wonderful organization. DVGRR is paradise for man’s best friend. Can’t begin to tell you of some of the worst conditions these poor dogs endure before arriving at DVGRR. I am honored and proud to be a part of this organization who saves many dogs and teaches them that not all humans are bad.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I write from experience. I have been a volunteer, in one form or another, almost since Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) began in the mid 1990's. I saw a notice on the bulletin board of my local supermarket saying that this organization rescued Golden Retrievers. My husband and I were looking for a Golden, favored the concept of adoption, and I contacted them. Six Golden's later and I still volunteer as much as I can for the organization.
My whole professional career, up to the present, has been mostly spent in not for profit organizations. I know an excellent one, or not so good one, when I see it.
DVGRR is, bar none, the most principled and well run organization I have ever encountered. Integrity and quality are woven deeply into every thing they do, every action they take. They are fiscally responsible and make capital decisions wisely. The employees they hire are dedicated, capable, and very hard working. Once a dog is adopted from DVGRR, the organization continues to stay in touch with adopters and many events are planned throughout the year to both assist operating funds and to provide fun and networking for DVGRR human and canine alumni.
I hope in these few words I've communicated the great esteem in which I hold DVGRR.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I first heard about DVGRR when we moved into the area sixteen years ago. We had one golden retriever and we were looking for a buddy for him. We were very satisfied with the way DVGRR ran things and we adopted our first golden retriever, which was an excellent match for our dog. Since then we have adopted other golden retrievers, from DVGRR, and volunteer for various events, transportation, meet and greets, community out reach etc. We are so pleased with how DVGRR operates that we also make a monthly donation to help fund all that they do for the dogs that come into their care.

2 geldota67

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became aware of DVGRR in early 2017 when my husband and I were looking to adopt a golden retriever. We found their website extremely informative and went to a “Meet and Greet” event at their location. It was immediately obvious how well they care for the dogs there and the amazing work they do to save as many dogs as they possibly can. We were given a tour to see the entire facility. Their very small staff is incredibly hard working and caring. DVGRR is located in an area of PA where there are a lot of farm breeders from which they get a lot of dogs, many who require extensive vet care and rehab. Our own dog, Oakley, who we adopted, was a farm breeder dog. DVGRR believes every dog deserves a chance and they work tirelessly to save these dogs and find them the right homes. In addition, they take part in rescues of dogs from Puerto Rico, South Korean meat farms and hurricane stricken areas of the US. Since adopting Oakley we have become volunteers at DVGRR and have gotten a closer look at what this wonderful organization does on a daily basis, doing everything they can to save dogs, and it is truly impressive.
Amy G., Volunteer

1 ACahMak

Donor

Rating: 5

After 3 Goldens purchased and raised from puppies, we decided it was time to adopt. DVGRR was recommended as we wanted another Golden. Everyone was professional as well as kind and helpful. We were fully vetted, with even a home inspection, though we live more than an hour away (they have volunteers everywhere!). With descriptions and extensive behavioral reports available to research, we were able to go to an open house with a few dogs in mind. Low and behold, we came home with a little lab mix, not a Golden, brought from rescues in Puerto Rico to DVGRR. Because of the love and care she received from the rescues in PR and in DVGRR, one would never know that only a few months before, our Alianza was an emaciated dog living in a construction site with her puppies. She is sweet and loving, was fully housebroken, and we couldn't be happier. She has our heart. We can highly recommend DVGRR! We continue donations to them and share their stories.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a part of DVGRR since it’s inception over 25 years ago. I was one of the lucky ones to have seen this amazing organization grow from what it was to what it is now. I have been and am the most blessed owner of four awesome DVGRR dogs. This organization has been an essential part of my life in all respects.

1 Katherine Amico B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DVGRR rescued my Darwin who was born in a puppy mill with leg deformities. Not only did they make sure he was up to date on shots, they neutered him and they provided the necessary surgeries so that he was able to walk. The care that they give all of the dogs at the rescue is top notch. They are an extremely caring group of people.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted 5 golden's from DVGRR and I'm sure that there will be more in my future. They are an amazing organization to work with and just super people. I highly recommend DVGRR and have had friends and family that have also adopted through their program. They do wonderful work preparing the pups (and new families) for adoption and take the time to secure the best possible match. Once the adoption process is complete the DVGRR team does follow up and offers support to every adopter and welcomes the pups back for various events and an annual reunion. Just love DVGRR!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for about 15years - a more loving, caring or concerned group does not exist - group is concerned that adopters know "the good, bad & ugly" about the fur friend they are bringing to their "people" family - they love and care about every animal brought to them - when you take a new fur baby home they should fit perfectly

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our family has adopted four Goldens from DVGRR over the past 7 years and we couldn't be happier with our "fur-family". DVGRR works their best to make a perfect match between the dogs and their to be "furever home". The staff, volunteers and board members all work together to make DVGRR the "best"....education of the community in transitioning of dogs needing new homes no matter the situation they come from, giving the dogs first class medical care and a new loving environment to thrive in.