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Friday Focus: Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland

By Monica Meinert • January 30, 2015

When circumstances force a dog owner to give up his or her canine companion, the Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland is there to help find a new, loving home for the dog. The Rescue takes in around 50 dogs each year, depending on caring foster families to provide temporary homes for them until they can be adopted. We spoke with Pat Johnson, Founder and President of this St. Mary’s County-based 501(c)(3) organization for this week’s Friday Focus interview.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: Golden Retriever Rescue is a local organization that takes in golden retrievers at Tri County Animal Shelter or from owners who can no longer take care of their dog due to relocation, illness, death, lack of time or resources.

In addition, we are a resource to local dog owners providing information about nutrition, behavior, health, training, etc. via our website, blog, Facebook page, newsletter and at local events.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: My favorite moment is when we were contacted by a local vet who was concerned about a litter of golden retriever puppies who had been exposed to the deadly parvo virus. The owner could not afford the treatment for the puppies, and some had died.

We did not hesitate to bring the puppies into rescue where they were quarantined and treated at the vet's office. A temporary or "foster" family then cared for each puppy until a “fur-ever”, or adoptive family was carefully screened. Pups were all placed with loving families and are all healthy and happy now.

We are a small rescue and most of our goldens are adopted locally, so we were able to watch the pups grow and become beautiful adult goldens.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Golden Retrievers are an expensive breed to own. They have been referred to as "lovable lemons", as over 60% die of cancer. They also have a tendency towards orthopedic problems and allergies.

Golden Retrievers often come to rescue with expensive medical problems that the rescue pays to treat, so fundraising is a big effort.

We also often need loving, temporary homes for golden retrievers until they are adopted.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: We are hosting a lecture/discussion/potluck this Saturday at the Charlotte Hall Library from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The topic is “Helping your Fearful Dog”. Admission is free for members; $5 for non members.

Our annual meeting in on Saturday, February 28th at the Charlotte Hall Library from 1130 to 1 pm. RVSP is necessary to contact@goldenretrieverrescueofsouthernmaryland.org

We also have activities such as dog park meet ups, beach blast and hikes where you can bring your dog.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization? 

A: For more information about joining Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland call 855-477-3728 or contact@goldenretrieverrescueofsouthernmaryland.org. Annual membership is $30 per family.