Interested in volunteering? GREYT!
Because year-round we need enthusiastic, regular and reliable volunteers - without them no non-profit can exist!
If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer their time to help Northern Greyhound Adoptions, please leave a message for Dorothy or Sue at (802) 524-6659 OR fill out the Volunteer Info Form (in PDF & Word Doc formats) - and e-mail it to info@NorthernGreyhoundAdoptions.org, or print and mail it to the street address above, or stop by and bring it with you. When you e-mail you will get a response with the phone numbers of the ladies that coordinate volunteers.
Ways to help:
Hand out brochures in your area - see and download to print the brochure's pdf here - some of your area businesses may even let you leave a small stack of them near the register!
See the Donate Page for other non-monetary items the kennel could use - items that may just be sitting around your home un-used and taking up space.
Donate your Returnable Cans and Bottles - there's a collection bin at the kennel in front of the barn.
During the warmer months we have Bi-Weekly Fund-Raising Yard Sales on the weekends, generally May on thru to September (Saturday & Sunday) here in the kennel's big yard - this is the kennel's single-biggest fund-raiser!
- We need people that will help set-up on Friday late-afternoon, and help take down on Sunday mid-afternoon.
- Also helpful are people willing to help man the check-out stand and move new things out throughout the day.
- and if you have items to donate for the tag sale that's great too!
Volunteers always needed to help man booths at Meet-and-Greet events; helping set up, answer questions about Greyhounds, and help break down after the event is done - see the Events calendar for what events are coming up. If you are running a booth/meet-n-greet for N.G.A. it always helps to have brochures to hand out; see and download to print the brochure's pdf here
Is there an event in your area that you'd like to represent N.G.A. at? One that we don't already cover would be wonderful! Events like Home & Garden shows and town festivals are great for meet-and-greets - Let us know! We'll help guide you with set-up gear; banner*, brochures (if you can't get some printed) and insurance forms when needed. Most importantly; we'll provide you with more knowledge of our kennel and practices so you know how to answer questions you may very well be asked.
* if you are planning on doing multiple events in the future and would like your own banner you can soon order one thru our CafePress store - e-mail Thea if they are not up yet and you'd like one.
Turn-out volunteers are our single biggest volunteer need!
Turn-out times are 6am, noon, 5pm and 9pm - help would be appreciated any day of the week, and any turn-out of the day!
If you are doing volunteer time for class credit/"job experience"/community service or the like, stopping in to take dogs for extended walks does not count. Not just because these dogs are sprinters (meaning they cannot just start going on extended walks but need to build up to it carefully, this is best left to their future owners) but also because walking dogs is what folks do for fun. (See more about Dog Walking here.)
For volunteering to count for credit a true service is needed. Those needed services are help with turn-outs, cleaning the kennel and yards, or helping to set-up and/or take-down the fund-raising tag sales the kennel hosts through the warmer months. Thank you kindly for understanding!
A note from a volunteer about doing turn-outs:
"Hello, I've been doing turn-outs weekly with my sons for nearly two years now and we love it. Not just because it is great bonding-time with my children but because of all the things one can do to help the kennel and its dogs, doing turn-outs is by far the most rewarding!
It's not glamorous work and you never want to wear new clothes when you go. You will be scooping pooh and changing a pee'd blankie or two. But that doesn't matter because the dogs are just delightful and are so very happy to be loved up it makes any mess you have to deal with nil in comparison!
Help with turn-outs is one of the more difficult things to find volunteers for as it is a true commitment; those dogs depend on you to be there to feed them, to let them out for pees and poohs in a timely manner, and for their much-needed exercise.
PLEASE, come help the 'houndies of N.G.A. - your help will be greYtly appreciated!!!"
- Thea :^)
What a Turn-Out entails:
Or, how to do a turn-out, but even after reading this you will still need to go thru training ...
The training to learn to do turn-outs takes a complete shift to ensure that the dogs are properly cared for.
That means doing a one-off turn-out shift with no intent for doing future ones would not really help; what we really need are regular returning volunteers for turn-outs - thank you!
The online Turn-Out Schedule sign-up form is located on the "Sign-up for TurnOuts" page.
There are notices posted around the kennel of what needs to be done at each turn-out, but if you've never been to the kennel and are interested in helping here is what a turn-out entails ...
Start each turn-out by reading over the log book to see if there is something that needs to be done or needs to be noted.
Turn-outs need to move quickly; when turn-outs take too long or are done in the wrong order dogs get anxious and bedding get soiled. All a too-long turn-out accomplishes is more work for you, the volunteers doing laundry, and the person doing the next turn-out. If you would like to take longer playing with a particular dog - or doing some extra help like bathing or grooming dogs - please do so after the turn-out is complete.
So the dogs all have plenty of fresh and clean water to drink; fill the water-buckets and hang them on the two hooks on the fence in the turn-out area (fill them inside in the winter as the outside faucet may be frozen or covered in snow). Keep an eye on the buckets throughout the turn-out and change/refill them on a regular basis.
Follow the list on the door to the turn-out pen of all the dogs currently in the kennel in order from top to bottom. The dogs expect to be let out in that order, they will become frustrated and may pee their bedding if they feel it is taking too long to go out. For example; the list always starts with the one-by-ones - often newly vetted dogs, then the Front Room dogs, they need to be done BEFORE THE BACK ROOM DOGS CAN BE TURNED OUT. (On occasion there my be a one-by-one that is in the back room because they have just been vetted, the dogs seem to understand this and it not an issue) Dogs like predictable pattern - it reassures them. DOGS ON THE ONE-BY-ONE LIST AND DOGS FROM GROUPS ARE NOT TO BE MIXED - EVER!
Do not mix-around the groups, DO NOT MIX MALES & FEMALES, and do not mix singles into groups. They are in that particular order and with their particular group for a reason, often for compatibility - because some of the dogs have yet to be spayed and neutered the genders need to be seperate. Even if "fixed" they still need to stay with their own gender as well as their own group.
Turn-outs take anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours depending upon the number of dogs in the kennel at the time. Things like the more dogs that are on the vetted or one-by-one lists affect the length of turn-out too, keep that in mind. Plan on being there for 3 hours just in case. Also, since a turn-out should not take more than 3 hours (as taking longer is detrimental to the dogs), extending your turn-out to knock-down community service hours owed will not fly - or be signed off on.
Dogs going out in groups DO need to be muzzled. Dogs going out on their own do not need to be muzzled. DOGS LOOSE WITH OTHER DOGS IN THE KENNEL NEED TO BE MUZZLED AS WELL! THERE ALSO IS NO REASON THE DOGS SHOULD BE RUNNING AMOK THRU THE KENNEL WHILE SOMEONE IS DOING A TURN-OUT! If you want to play with a do please wait until after the turn-out to do so - you STILL need to follow the safety measures regarding groups, genders and muzzles.
Muzzles are not a punishment; they are a safety measure and are not looked upon by the dogs as a negative. Greyhounds have thinner skin than most dogs and could easily tear one another's skin when playing rough; muzzles help prevent this. Dogs can drink through their muzzles just fine - some are even know to bum-rush other dogs' crates and steal their stuffed toys while wearing muzzles!
The picture to the left shows how the muzzles should look on the dogs. Muzzles slip on easily, no need to unbuckle the straps. The straps slip right over their soft ears, just be gentle with their ears as you put it on and take it off. Some volunteers muzzle all the dogs that go out in groups at the beginning of the turn-out, some muzzle as they go along and let them out. Either way works.
If a dog is misbehaving (jumping on you, annoying other dogs, peeing in the kennel, etc) all it takes to correct them is saying "(dog's name), No!" sternly, accompanied by a loud hand-clap if you didn't get their attention the first time. Greyhounds are sensitive dogs and respond well to gentle treatment. Any dog who has picked up something it shouldn't will bite down on it if they feel they are being attacked, instead get their attention with "(dog's name), No!" and just take it away from them. Greys are used to being handled and should let go easily.
Do not spend the whole of a dog's turn-out time in the yard with them; some need privacy to do their business. Some socialization time during turn-out is good, but keeping the turn-out going swiftly is most important.
While you are out there with them scoop the poop! All solid (and non-solid poop) needs to be scooped up and dumped into the garbage bag-lined pail. Keep the yard as free of poop as possible; dogs stepping in one another's poop is unhealthy for everyone.
While they are outside check their bedding to make sure it is not soiled. Soiled bedding is to be shaken out of all dust and hair and then washed. If there is solid waste on it please do scrape & rinse it off as best as possible. Sometimes there is no saving the bedding after a particularly bad accident but that is unusual. Decent bedding is hard to come by, let's not waste it. Clean bedding can be found in the cupboards high along the long wall, piled on top of the crates and often in empty crates.
Fresh bedding is only needed if the bedding is truly soiled. Do not just change bedding "because it would be nice for them to all have fresh bedding" - we are a non-profit, there aren't unlimited funds for niceties. The kennel washing machine can break down if it is over-loaded or when hair, dirt and poop are not shaken out and cleaned off before washing ... and then the laudromat is needed while we get the machine repaired. It costs money to wash and dry bedding, especially at the laundromat - let's avoid that.
If a crate needs to be cleaned up there are cleaning supplies and disposable gloves in a couple of obvious locations within the kennel - if you cannot find easy-access supplies look around there should be stashes of extras, it may be that more need to be taken out.
If you have any concerns during your turn-out Sue & Dorothy's contact numbers are posted right above the kennel phone. Concerns can include a dog being injured or sick (in which case check the log book, there might already be an explation of what the dog needs) - or being found injured or sick - don't write that in the log book, just call - leave messages on both phones if need be. Usually the kennel manager is already aware of the situation, so leave a message on Sue and Dorothy's phones if you cannot get ahold of them immediately. (Kennel phone is for necessary local calls, not for chatting while you're supposed to be taking care of dogs.)
When turn-out is done; empty the poop-bucket's full bag into the dumpster at the end of the parking lot and re-line it with a fresh garbage bag, sweep up the kennel floor, and rinse out the water buckets - bringing them back inside in the winter-time. Also in the winter put the draft-preventer back under the turn-out door.
If people come to walk dogs when you are there; making sure that they sign dogs in & out and follow the basic walking guidelines (listed to the left) is part of turn-out duties too.
Make notes in the book of how the turn-out went and what was done before you leave.
Other things that can be done if you have time or extra hands helping you; basic grooming like nail-clipping, ear-cleaning, baths and brushing out. Mopping the floor is always appreciated after it has been swept. And doing laundry when the washer is in working order; unfortunately the kennel washing machine is often down because volunteers too often put thru loads without having shaken dirt, hair and poop (yes, poop) out of the laundry. Not shaking out bedding or trying to wash solid waste clogs the machine up and makes it inoperable - repairs and waste are expensive, we are a non-profit and reliant on sometimes-lean donations! When bagging up dirty laundry please make sure there are no clumps of poop in it; no one needs to grab a hold of a "surprise", YUCK.
Each turn-out time has different responsibilities as well as the basic turn-out:
6am - The 6am turn-out needs to be started at 6am. Any later than 6:30am to start letting dogs out and there will be enough soiled bedding to keep the washer going all day. Dogs are fed at this time; clip their hanging buckets up about 2/3 of the way up the side of their crates as Greyhounds are used to eating in their crates higher off the floor than most dogs.
Noon - The noon turn-out can start as early as 11am, but no earlier. This is the last time of the day that the dogs can get treats (these must be pre-approved by the kennel manager); any later in the day and they might soil their bedding over-night. If their food buckets are emptied it sometimes helps the 5pm person if you start pulling them for re-filling at this time.
5pm - The 5pm turn-out can start as early as 4pm, but no earlier. All food buckets need to be pulled, re-filled and stacked (where the dogs going in and out won't be able to easily get into them) by the end of this turn-out. Visiting dogs/boarders often have their own food; fill their labeled buckets with that. Seeing buckets getting re-filled is very exciting to the dogs so it needs to be done at 5pm instead of skipping it and leaving it for the 9pm shift when the dogs really need to be settling down for the night.
9pm - The 9pm turn-out can start as early as 8:30pm, but no earlier. This is the quickest and most peaceful turn-out. Turn off the lights and lock-up on your way out.
It may seem like a lot, but it isn't. It's all common-sense and once you've done it a time or two it all comes easily!
* Want to bring this info with you? Download the PDF for it HERE - thank you!