|Will you please foster a Lab that's at risk in the shelters?
As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on volunteers for the many facets of the work we do. GGLRR does NOT have our own shelter/facility (volunteers work out of their homes using their own cars, phones, etc), but volunteer opportunities abound and you will get great joy and satisfaction in knowing that you played a critical role in helping to place these wonderful Labs into loving, forever homes. Thanks to the people currently giving their time -- read more about why they volunteer with Lab rescue.
At this time, volunteer opportunities include:
- Foster Parenting is a great way to spend time with one of the wonderful Labs that we are placing, providing a temporary home during the adoption process. Foster parents are provided with all of the information we have on the dog, as well as food and feeding instructions. This is a great way to enjoy the company of a Labrador Retriever on a short-term basis, while providing these dogs with much needed love, playtime, and affection. In many cases, approved adopters will come to the foster family's home to meet the dog before adoption. Interested foster parents should have experience with dogs, Lab experience is particularly useful but not required. Also, due to the stress and anxiety our rescued dogs are under, we prefer homes where someone can be with the foster dog a good part of the day, and the home must have a securely fenced yard as well. If the foster parent has their own pets, that is fine, we will just be careful to place appropriate Labs into that home. An initial phone interview and home visit will be required to become a foster parent. Read more about fostering with GGLRR from one of our foster parents.
- Fundraising is essential to our ability to rescue Labs, many of which need vet care, the cost of which can easily exceed the amount we receive in adopter's donations. We are always looking for people to help organize fundraisers such as a raffles, auctions and mailers.
Grant Writing: We need people to help with applying for grants; writing and outreach, in an unpaid volunteer capacity. (Donated services are tax-deductable.)
- Administrative tasks: One day a week in an office in downtown San Francisco. Do you want to help Labs but don’t want to be as involved with the emotions of adoptions? Then GGLRR has an administrative position that might be a perfect fit for you! The person should be able to come to an office one day during the week, the day is flexible, and be able to work on Excel and Word, and handle a variety of administrative tasks under the guidance of the Rescue Coordinator.
- Professional Photographers / Videographers are very helpful to have as volunteers so the harder to place labs can be showcased to their most appealing potential. We also take pictures with Santa at Christmas time and would love to be able to do this in a few more locations. We also produce an annual calendar and this would showcase your talent. If you live in the Bay Area and would love to donate your picture/video talent to help save the Labs please let us know.
- Newsletter volunteer To help organize the newsletter we mail out 1-2 times a year, to keep our adopters and supporters informed as well as raise more funds. We need someone who can write the newsletter (see past newsletter examples) and lay it out in a program such as Photoshop for the printer. These types of projects usually are short term so can be done as you have time to help – and all monies raised go directly to helping the Labs.
- Lab Transport / Pet Fair. Sometimes our Rescue Representatives need help with picking up dogs or transporting them to/from a foster family to places like the vet or especially to our Pet Fairs to help with our Labs waiting for adoption. Volunteers for Lab transport need to have their own car and experience with dogs, Labs preferred but not required.
- Shelter Rescue Representatives monitor area shelters, online listings such as CraigsList, email distributions and the like to find Labs in need of rescuing. The Shelter Reps are the initial screeners to determine whether the Labs have a good temperament and if we can afford to address any medical issues they may have. These volunteers coordinate with the Phone Rescue Representatives and Foster volunteers to determine whether we have the capacity at any given time to pull the dog into our foster care. The Shelter and Phone Reps work together to evaluate the Lab's temperament in person and the Shelter Rep can help with the initial bio write-ups and photos to start the matchmaking process. This position requires a lot of good judgment since many of the Labs can't be rescued (e.g. if they are aggressive). It is heartbreaking to walk through a shelter and not be able to rescue all the dogs, but heartwarming to see the ones that are rescued go to their forever families. This position has less contact with adopters, and more contact with shelter personnel and people wanting to surrender their Labs. Transportation and good familiarity with the Labrador breed are needed, along with ideally some knowledge of dog training or dog temperament evaluation.
- Phone Rescue Representatives handle phone inquiries and assist in the placement of Labs. In this role, you will serve as a liaison between the Labs we have available and a prospective adopting family, answering questions over the phone and providing more details about the available dogs and the process for adoption. Think of it as a "matchmaker" between our dogs and potential adopters. In addition, Phone Reps field questions from persons who may be interested in giving up their Labrador Retriever, and assist with matching these owners with adoptive families. Following the initial telephone consultation, our Rescue Representatives may send the appropriate paperwork to families seeking to either adopt or give up a Lab. The time commitment on the telephone is typically five to ten hours per week, but can vary greatly. We desire Rescue Representatives who have some familiarity with the Labrador breed and have the time, desire, and ability to field inquiries from the public. We have documented our policies in writing and provide a policy/procedure manual to our Rescue Representatives. In addition, on an annual basis we conduct a training seminar for all of our volunteers.
- Youth Volunteers. For liability reasons, volunteers must be at least 18 years of age though kids are welcome to help their volunteer parents through efforts like fostering or dog walking. Young people can help Labs in various creative ways such as fundraising or raising awareness of the need for animal rescue with their friends and classmates. Kids can help by collecting donations for pet care supply gift baskets for foster families or new adopters. Some of our young supporters have raised money for Lab Rescue by asking for donations instead of birthday presents from friends and family! Read more about this selfless generosity of these young volunteers that not only raised needed funds for GGLRR but also resulted in another Lab adoption!
If you are looking to work in a shelter grooming/walking and caring for dogs, you can search volunteer sites such as VolunteerMatch to see what other dog rescue groups have facilities where you can volunteer, since Lab Rescue doesn't have facitilies but rather fosters our dogs in the private homes of our volunteers.
NEXT STEPS: If you are interested in volunteering for Lab Rescue, please fill out our brief volunteer information form and one of our volunteers will get back to you within a couple of days.