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Golden Retriever Rescue

The GRR Story Continues...

Since its inception in 2001, when Wendy Donohue and Trisha Jarvis first thought about taking in the occasional Goldie and placing it in a new home, GRR has grown into a large and respected rescue organisation rehoming to date (2013) over 1500 Golden Retrievers. Over the years many people have helped by fostering, transporting, fundraising and in many cases adopting one or two of the rescues. Several of these people, because of their long term input and commitment to the GRR rescue and rehoming process, have now taken up positions on the GRR Committee.

Until 2005 GRR mostly rehomed in NSW and the ACT as the logistics to follow GRR’s rehoming policy made it extremely difficult to place a Golden into a family interstate. However, with the input and hard work of members on the GRR committee, these beautiful Golden Retrievers are now also being rehomed in Victoria.

The care, commitment and passion that goes into finding the best outcome for each of the Goldies could not be achieved without the support of both the GRR committee and a number of other wonderful GRR supporters. Rescuing and rehoming the Goldies is emotionally difficult and time consuming and over the years the GRR Committee has seen many changes. GRR would like to introduce you to the current GRR Committee, the people committed to carry on with Wendy and Trisha’s original concept of finding only the best homes to suit each individual Golden.


Wendy Donohue has loved Goldie’s forever and was the person who advised Inspector Alison Wren all those years ago to “give me a call if you ever hear of a Goldie needing a home.” Famous last words indeed. These words changed her life forever and she would not have it any other way. Over the years GRR has grown and Wendy welcomes the new members of the team and looks forward to working together as GRR faces an ever increasing number of Goldies. Wendy shares her life and home with her current Goldies, Cody and Corkie as well as the many rescues that need foster care before going to their forever homes.

Mary Bomford, a long time foster carer, rescuer and lover of Goldies has taken care of the ACT area for many years and has recently become part of the GRR Committee. Besides being a property inspector, transporter and foster carer to any number of Goldens at any one time, Mary also takes care of the dozens of emails that arrive at GRR. Three gorgeous Goldens, Dancer, Bliss and Jasmine complete Mary’s family.

Lee Kidd and Wendy met when they attended classes at a local Dog Obedience Club 14 years ago and shared a passion for training and all things canine. Over many years, Lee and her husband Warwick have helped GRR conducting inspections, working on fundraising days, picking up dogs from pounds, and along with their children have bidden sad farewells to many foster dogs before adopting a pup who was abandoned at four months of age. This pup is now Smiley Riley, a seven year old handsome Golden boy. Lee previously opened her heart and home to GRR favourite Ruby Rose who made a huge impact on all our lives. Lee has, for some time, been responsible for the administration of GRR’s Facebook page.

Anne Skulander is well known at fundraisers with her trusty raffle apron and raffle tickets in hand. Anne has been a part of GRR for many years, transporting the Goldies to their new homes and has been a long time foster carer for the many Goldens that have come to her home for rehabilitation before going onto their new families. Anne’s husband, Peter, is well known for his ability to turn the most unruly Golden into the pet we all want to welcome into our home. Anne has been on the GRR Committee for many years and looks forward to being a part of GRR’s growth and expansion. Anne and Peter share their home with Golden Oldie, Sam and until very recently, a very special senior Golden named Ewan.

Gail Boyd, Dianne Hanby and Trish Santinon - In 2006 an article featuring GRR appeared in Bark magazine which eventuated in Gail Boyd and Di Hanby from the Albury/Wodonga area joining the team, opening up the opportunity for families in Victoria to go through the process to adopt a Goldie from GRR. Gail and Dianne spend their weekends travelling around Victoria picking up or rehoming Goldies, as well as offering foster care to those Goldies needing temporary care until GRR find them a forever home. Gail and Dianne have also established in Victoria a wonderful network of supporters who provide foster care, transport and assistance to help the Goldies on their way to their second chance in life. Gail’s Golden family consists of MacGyver and Jess while the Hanby four legged family includes Max, Chloe, Wags and Holly. To help with the ever growing numbers of Golden surrenders in Victoria, Trish Santinon has also come on board and has opened her heart and home to Stella, one of the worst cases of abuse and neglect GRR has seen.


Lyn O’Connor and Steve McClure previously lived in New South Wales and over many years have fostered several Goldies. After a recent touring holiday of Australia Lyn and Steve have decided to make their home in South Australia and once settled in their new home will begin to set up the South Australian branch of GRR. Lyn and Steve, with their many years of involvement with GRR, fostering the Goldie rescues, bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in rehabilitating the rescues and the GRR rehoming process.


Karen & Mark O’Donnell – Karen O’Donnell provides her linguistic and design skills to produce posters of Goldies looking for a new home. Karen’s husband, Mark, has been a passionate supporter of GRR, assisting with transport, but his amazing skills in fundraising has provided GRR with the much needed funds to provide medical treatment for those Goldies being surrendered to GRR. The beautiful Rosie and very cheeky Charlie are very fortunate to be part of the O’Donnell household.

GRR Foster Carers – Without the support of our committed foster carers, transporters and helpers across NSW, ACT and Victoria, the work required to process and rehome these Goldies would not be possible. Foster carers open their homes to the Goldies and assess their needs to allow GRR to choose the perfect match for their new forever home so their successful adoption can take place. Our wonderful foster carers endure many hours of behaviour management and rehabilitation of the Goldie’s that come into GRR’s care.

Veterinarian Services – All of the Goldies that are surrendered to GRR, require a health check, and usually a range of other medical care. In Sydney, we are fortunate to have the services of Dr Ben Acheson of Kogarah Veterinary Hospital. Ben has been a wonderful supporter and provider of veterinary care to GRR since 2005. For those Goldie’s who need specialist surgery, David Lidbetter has been on hand to offer his care and expertise which has enabled GRR favourites such as Lacey, Shadow, Cheeky Charlie and Gordy to go to new homes being able to live a normal Golden life.

In Albury/Wodonga, The Family Vet Centre has provided enormous support to GRR since 2011. Justin and his professional team of vets and veterinarian nurses provide ongoing veterinary and surgical services ensuring that the rescues go to their new homes in good health.

Dr Lucy at the Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre, offers the Melbourne based Goldies surrendered to GRR the opportunity to have their medical needs attended to in Melbourne City. Dr Lucy and her team have been assisting GRR with their professional and caring veterinary services since early 2012 saving GRR many hours on the road previously spent transporting the dogs to Albury/Wodonga.

GRR has grown because the number of Goldie’s arriving at GRR has grown and the number of people required to keep GRR running efficiently needs to grow to meet this demand. GRR’s Committee is a team of dedicated people throughout NSW, the ACT and Victoria, who are prepared to work together to bring about the best outcome of every Golden Retriever that comes to GRR looking for a second chance.