Due to its overwhelming success, local non-profit powerhouse, Delaware Golden Retriever Rescue League Incorporated, has decided to significantly expand its original mission. “Lancaster County has a special place in Her heart for our furry friends,” explained Robin Young, CEO and founder of the organization.
“So many caring and compassionate people have come in to adopt a Golden Retriever that we currently have a four year waiting list. We have all of these empty cages, and all these bags of Eukenuba going to waste. It was time to broaden our horizons.
At first, Young and his executive board were unsure of what type of animal to add to their adoption list. They considered Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers. For a brief time, they even considered bringing in stray cats. Then something happened to Young that changed his whole outlook.
“I walked through Binns Park one sunny summer afternoon, and noticed at least twenty five indigent individuals sprawled throughout the park. My heart went out to these poor folk, as a Sarah McLaughlin song played in my head. Later that day, I placed a call to the Water Street Mission, and learned that, ironically, they had the exact opposite problem as us. They had too many occupants and not enough room. Which, in retrospect, shouldn’t have surprised me, since more Lancastrians donate to us than to them.”
Young had an epiphany and decided to make changes. His shelter would now work on adoptions for both Golden Retrievers and the homeless.
“It really wasn’t that big of a deal The twenty or so individuals that we first brought in seemed to love their new space. They told us that the food was so much better than Water Street’s. They also couldn’t believe we kept their cages unlocked at all times. Apparently, they never had such luxuries while in jail.”
Young spoke of the unique opportunities and challenges associated with running a stray dog/homeless shelter hybrid.
“Of course, the little kids get adopted first. Who can blame them? They are so darn cute. We will see a couple come in who can’t decide if they want to adopt a dog or a kid. Nine times out of ten, they will take both. It is a win-win situation for everyone. Some of the residents who are older or mentally ill are, naturally, much harder to place. We are doing our best to find these individuals a loving, permanent home. For the time being, they are welcomed to stay with us. We take pride in being a ‘no-kill’ shelter, and have no immediate plans to change that policy.”
Individuals interested in adopting a Golden Retriever and/or homeless person should visit the shelter or go to their booth at That Pet Place on Saturdays 12-3pm.