Events & Information

GDRI Volunteer of the Month

Keith and Sarah with Danforth (fawn), Guiness (brindle) and Monty (harlequin)

We thought that you might like to get to know us. There are a host of volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time and energy to Great Dane Rescue Inc.

Some of our volunteers home foster our Danes, others help transport our Danes to their forever homes and others perform home visits and help out at fundraising events. We have volunteers that match our Danes to their perfect forever home and others that help out with behaviour issues. Volunteers come from all walks of life but what they all have in common is a love for Great Danes.

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This month we're featuring Keith and Sarah Bennett - volunteers in Ontario.

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How long have you volunteered with GDRI?
We started volunteering by mistake. We were staying at a hotel downtown for Sarah's work, near Woofstock, a huge dog festival. Keith heard there was a GDRI booth, and decided to drop in and visit with Deco & Kitty, our first Great Danes. He answered lots of questions over the two days he visited and was encouraged to do it again, in a more formal way. Soon, we were attending all the information/fundraising booths in the area with The Girls.

What are your roles in GDRI (past & present)?
We did booths for information/fundraising/petting zoo at all sorts of different venues when there were more in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We have been doing homechecks for potential adopters and potential foster homes for years. We really enjoy meeting people, and have made some very good friends after this introduction. We do follow-ups for adoptions in Michigan and Ontario, checking in with adopters a few times to make sure everything is going well and to see if there's anything they need to make the adoption a success. We attend (often both of us, but sometimes just Sarah) the annual picnic/ Funday in Michigan and help out wherever needed. We also coordinate the Foster Homes in Ontario. Lastly, we foster Monty, the sometimes-angel, oft-times devil snuggle-bug who has an unusual history and special needs.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a GDRI volunteer?
Helping other adopters 'make it work'. Sometimes we get calls/emails from frantic adopters after something happens and they are searching for a way to make it work, but don't have the tools. There are several dogs who kept their forever homes because we were able to give their family what they need to succeed.

Why did you decide to volunteer with GDRI?
As noted earlier, the first weekend was unintended as 'volunteer work' but we have continued to help out because it's such a worthy cause. We love the breed and all the work GDRI does. It's very gratifying to know that, in a small way, we help make that happen.

What is the hardest part of volunteering?
Hearing/seeing the horror stories and knowing you can't save every dog. The abuse and neglect that is 'out there' is heart-wrenching.

What was the most unexpected part of volunteering?
Meeting a couple who ended up becoming close friends after their first Dane adoption that we did a homecheck for. They have since adopted two other Danes and share our addiction to the breed.

What do you do outside of your rescue work?
Keith is a Network Engineer (computer guy) and Sarah volunteers with several other organizations and sells antiques and jewelry in her spare time.

What’s one little-known fact about you?
Keith is 'the voice' of Danforth's Facebook page. Sarah can't imagine life without Monty.