There is nothing quite like the love and loyalty of a dog, and in this day and age, we all could use a little extra support. Before heading to a breeder or pet store to find your new best friend, try looking at Adopt a Golden Atlanta, a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to finding homes for golden retrievers. Currently standing as the fourth largest golden retriever rescue in the country, Adopt a Golden Atlanta rescues more than 400 pups a year, ranging from ages six weeks to 13 years old.
The organization, founded by Atlanta resident Lauren Genkinger, is the product of a large need for help, as well as a love for this friendly and popular breed (Genkinger owns four golden retrievers herself).
“Atlanta has always had two golden rescues. One was failing in 2003, and at the time, I was on the board of the Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta (GRRA),” Genkinger says. “We had too many goldens that were being abandoned for one organization to help. I decided to create an organization to compliment GRRA, which is now our sister company. We sponsor rescues for people who already own a golden retriever who may have to get rid of their dog, and take them in before they go to a shelter. GRRA rescues the goldens once they go to a shelter.”
Genkinger, now president of Adopt a Golden Atlanta, says the biggest thing she wants the public to understand about the organization is “you can adopt a pure bred golden retriever without needing to go to a breeder.”
“There are so many unwanted goldens and just to bring awareness to the fact you can get a pure bred from a rescue, it’s a huge cause. Many are trained, and there are no behavior problems,” Genkinger says. “And it’s about the people, too. The first golden we took in was from a soldier being deployed to Iraq and didn’t want to send his best friend to a shelter. It’s about the people and the dogs. We are trying to help people who love their dogs, and trying to make another family happy as well.”
The rescued dogs come from a number of backgrounds: some are left behind when owners move, others are abandoned because their owners can no longer afford animal medical care. Sadly, some are simply abandoned because they are deemed too old. Regardless of the age or medical care needed, Adopt a Golden Atlanta ensures each rescue receives a comprehensive evaluation, spay or neuter services, behavioral services, and veterinary care.
Of course, this kind of love and care requires devout volunteers, as well as financial support. The organization has a large need for foster families to house and learn about the rescued goldens, before a permanent home is found. Even $10 of financial support goes a long way, which pays for a vaccine.
To learn more ways to get involved, or to find your next loyal furry friend, visit: www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com.
Adoption Days – Held the first Sunday of each month at The Pet Set, 2480 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, GA 30329