Rescue Ranger
April 2022
The History of NRGRR

In last month’s issue, we introduced you to the founding of Neuse River Golden Retriever Club (NRGRC) in May of 1983 by a group of Golden Retriever breeders with a passion for Goldens. The organization continued as a club throughout the 80’s and well into the 90’s with membership gradually increasing. NRGRC hosted many events each year to promote the breed, such as wellness, grooming, and handling clinics as well as match shows and an annual Doggie Olympics.

In late 1988, two notable changes occurred; the membership voted to change the club name to Neuse River Golden Retriever Club of Raleigh-Durham and to develop a rescue program. The rescue program grew through the 1990s and as the number of dogs in need increased, they decided to form a separate, non-profit organization to focus on rescue, and Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue (NRGRR) was born. The rescue organization was officially incorporated on May 5, 1997, structured with by-laws, and led by a Board of Directors.

Stay tuned—there is more to come as we roll out the history of Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue! We are still very much interested in hearing from those of you who can help fill in some of the pieces with your knowledge of the history of NRGRR. Please reach out to us at

Note: The above photo is of the NRGRC info booth at the Pets Are Wonderful (PAW) event on March 3, 1987.
2022 Statistics
through March
39 Dogs Rescued

47 Dogs in Rehab

27 Dogs Adopted
Congratulations to these dogs finding their furever home in March

  • Meadow 21
  • Sgt Pepper 22
  • Miranda 21
  • Jimbo 22
  • Wooferina 21
  • Lewis 21
  • Janet 22
  • Moonflower 22
  • Jack Tripper 32
  • Triton 22
  • Twinkle 21
NRGRR Logo History

Below is the evolution of the club and rescue logo starting on the left with the original NRGRC logo from 1983, several iterations of the NRGRR logo through the 1990's and 2000's, and the current NRGRR logo created in 2011.
NRGRR 2022 Events
  • May 7th - Spring Swim - Montague Lake, Raleigh
  • May 14th - Cary Dog Days and Pet Expo - Fred G. Bond Metro Park, Cary
  • May 22nd - Triangle Beer Co. Brewery Event - Cary
  • June 1st - Bark in the Park - Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham
  • June 18th - Pop Up Raleigh Art and Vintage Market - Trophy Brewing and Taproom, Raleigh
  • July 23th - Summer Splash - Montague Lake, Raleigh
  • August 10th - Bark in the Park - Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham
  • August 27th - Golden on the Green Charity Golf Tournament - River Ridge Golf Club, Raleigh
  • October 16th - NRGRR Gala - The Meadows at Firefly Farm, Raleigh
  • October 22nd - Rescue Reunion/Spooky Splash - Montague Lake, Raleigh
  • November 19th - Raleigh Christmas Parade - Downtown Raleigh
  • December 4th - Light Up the Night Hillsborough Holiday Parade - Hillsborough

Visit our Events web page for more information about our events. Stay tuned as more events are being planned for 2022!
Community Outreach Events
Thanks to everyone who came out to our community events at Black Dog Bottle Shop, Lonerider Brewery, and Bark in the Park over the past month. We had a great time and it was wonderful to visit with our friends and supporters.
We hope you will join us for Yappy Hour at one of our upcoming community outreach events shown below. Come meet our volunteers and learn how you can adopt, volunteer, and support our rescue. Well behaved dogs are welcome to join the festivities. Click the button below the event for a flyer to share with your friends or post on your community bulletin board.
Sunday, May 22nd
1 to 4 pm
Saturday, June 18th
12 to 5 pm
Spring Swim - May 7th
Join us on Saturday, May 7th, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Montague Lake for our Spring Swim. You'll see a ton of dogs running, playing, and fetching tennis balls out of the lake! GoldenKdog food truck will also be selling specialty Korean corndogs.

All human and furry friends are welcome, so please join us for a fun day. Click here to see all the details about our Spring Swim.
NRGRR T-Shirt Fundraiser
Our spring t-shirt fundraiser has now begun! We have many styles of t-shirts and women's tanks this year with several color options available. Make sure to click on the color and style buttons to view all of your options! HURRY! T-shirts orders will be open through April 26th. They will start shipping on May 4th.
Planned Giving Officer
NRGRR is looking for a talented consultant and you can help!  
In the February Rescue Ranger we shared the story of Tom Donovan and his commitment to NRGRR over the years. We established the Tom Donovan Fund for the sustainability and future of NRGRR with the generous gift from his estate. We also have established a Golden Guardian Legacy Society for all who, like Tom, plan to include NRGRR in their estate. 
To be sure we honor Tom's heart and assure all is done well as we launch our new Planned Giving Initiative, we are looking for a results-driven development and/or financial professional to launch this strategic initiative. This will be a temporary project, anticipated to last between six and nine months. It is expected that the project will require approximately 30-40 hours per month. For details about this project, please visit our request for proposal announcement by clicking the button below. Inquiries can be directed to Proposal submission deadline is May 15th.
Please share this incredible opportunity with your family, friends, and colleagues who may have the talent we are seeking! We are committed to making sure we have the resources to not just fulfill our mission to Rescue.Rehab.Adopt. Golden Retrievers, golden mixes, and other golden-hearted dogs this year but for years to come. Together we can make sure that the future of NRGRR is Golden!
Risk Management 101 - Escape Prevention
As NRGRR continues to add new fosters, and dogs who may not be well socialized and confident around people, it's time to review escape prevention procedures and employ some risk management techniques! Below are some suggestions and excerpts from an email recently sent out by Julie Rigby; who leads our Dog Behavior Team; to help educate us on how to protect dogs during transports and in our homes, whether a foster home or forever home.

Employing good tools, practices, and daily habits for keeping our dogs safe and where they are supposed to be is where we start.
  • If you are transporting a dog, be sure to have a crate or seat belt harness to keep the dog from escaping your vehicle and from moving around your car, including jumping in the front seat putting you and the dog in a dangerous situation. Check out a headrest dog seat belt; many of them also convert into leashes.

  • Consider purchasing a leash with a waist belt to prevent the leash from being pulled from your hands. These can be ordered online or purchased at local pet stores. (Black Rhino is a good brand that I purchased several years ago from Phydeaux.)
  • Before you take a new dog home; foster dog or your adopted dog; make sure your house is “dog proof.” Dog proofing your home includes many things such as securing wires, kids’ toys, medications, chemical compounds and cleaners, and other articles that you don’t want chewed, destroyed, or consumed. It also includes making sure your house and yard are secure so a dog is unable to escape (barring “human error.”)

  • For flight risk dogs, ALWAYS employ two-levels of security. Use baby gates and other barriers to keep a dog from “door-dashing.” Be aware though that many baby gates can be knocked down easily or jumped by a dog that is dead set on escaping. Test your barriers for strength and ask yourself, “Is it high enough?” If you have a garage, place your dog in your car and remove them from your car, in your garage versus in your driveway.
  • When you have company, crate your dog, or put him in a room and close the door as guests arrive and depart. Do not give your dog the opportunity to escape. If they do, it will ruin your party for sure!

  • Do not become complacent! It seems many of the dogs that have escaped have done so when the foster (or adopter) “let their guard down.” It takes weeks for a dog to feel settled in a home, sometimes months. If you are not familiar with the 3-3-3 rule, check it out online. This rule (heuristic) represents the phases of transition for a rescue dog or common milestones your new dog or puppy will go through when moving from a shelter to new home. The 'Rule of Three' means that you can gauge the time it might take for your dog to fully acclimate to his home in threes: three days, three weeks, and three months. This time, after bringing your dog home from the shelter (or foster home, if you are the adopter) is sometimes referred to as the “rescue dog honeymoon period.” Remember, it is just a “rule of thumb,” your dog may take longer to acclimate to their new surroundings. (Simply google 3-3-3 rule for dogs to educate yourself. One of the sites I found helpful was 
  • NEVER leave a new dog in a fenced-in backyard unattended! You may need to walk the dog in your yard for several days or weeks until the dog is comfortable and responsive. Work on building a relationship with your new dog before you take her for a walk around the neighborhood. If you do not have a fenced-in yard, keep your walks shorter and close to home and use defensive leash handling techniques discussed below. Get your dog use to the smells of your yard so they know it’s a safe place. If they do escape, at least they may know “home base” and might hang close by. (Let’s take no chances so you don’t have to find out if they’ll hang around!)

  • Julie recommends that when you get home with your new dog, rub the dog all over with a clean washcloth. Then put it in a zip lock bag and place it in the freezer. Should your dog escape, and tracker dogs used to find the dog, the washcloth will provide the scent needed for tracking. 

  • If you foster an NRGRR dog that is a flight risk, your dog will likely come with his properly fitted martingale collar and a Tractive GPS tracking device. Be sure to keep the device fully charged. Plug it in at night when your dog is crated or safely snoozing somewhere in your home. Then be sure to put the Tractive device back on your dog’s collar the next morning before they leave the crate or other safe location. 
  • Know how to properly hold your dog’s leash so they do not get loose. Watch the following YouTube video for instructions on defensive leash handling. Many outdoor escapes begin with the dog pulling out of their harness, collar, or from the handler with leash attached. Make sure you have a secure harness on the dog, well-fitted collar (NRGRR uses Martingale collars), and know how to handle the leash properly to avoid mishaps. (And get rid of your retractable leashes, they offer no control.)
Power Tip #5
How to Hold a Leash
  • You might want to consider purchasing an Apple AirTag for your dog. Although, for those who live in remote areas, or near large tracts of wilderness, the Apple AirTag isn't a good fit. They are relatively inexpensive at $29 each. They are NOT reliable tracking devices so do not purchase it for that reason alone. If you have a skittish dog that might be a flight risk, you will do much better with a satellite GPS tracker dog collar like those used by NRGRR. They are more expensive but worth the “peace of mind.”
Should your foster dog escape, one of the first thing you need to do is contact your dog coordinator. NRGRR has a team of volunteers who will jump into action to try and recover your escaped dog as soon as possible. Truly we don’t want to use their services, but they are there to help when needed. Same goes for adopted dogs, NRGRR is here to help in the event of a runaway dog! Better yet, watch the recommended videos and use the advice presented above so you do not have to go through the agony of losing a dog!

PLEASE watch the following YouTube video so you know what to do and what not to do when trying to capture a dog that has run away. Educate yourself NOW so when, and if something happens, you are as prepared as you can be.
Unit#4 Calming Signals Panicked Dogs
A few quick examples of what NOT to do:

Julie once helped trap a newly adopted dog for another rescue. The adopter had picked the dog up, driven straight home, and then opened the car door and called the dog to come with her to the front door, just like she'd always done with her previous dog. The problem was, the dog was not on a leash and this wasn't her previous dog. The new dog scampered through surrounding neighborhoods for several days until trapped. The adopter kept saying, "How could I have been so dumb?" It was something that had worked for her with her previous dog, but this was not her previous dog. She operated on “auto-pilot” and what was familiar to her without thinking about her current circumstances. (Hopefully this would not happen with an NRGRR foster dog because of Mimi Sudduth’s great foster training.)
Another example, (different rescue) of a newly adopted dog. A young woman adopted two dogs on the same day. One was a fairly confident dog, the other extremely timid and skittish. (Friends of mine fostered the timid dog.) The day after adopting these two dogs the women took both dogs to a local dog park. Well, as you can imagine, the timid dog was extremely terrified and found a way to bolt out of the park. That was over a year ago and the dog was never recovered.

One of my foster dogs, with another rescue, was adopted just over a week ago. She is an extremely skittish dog and so I took a great deal of time to counsel the couple on what to do to keep her safe as they helped her transition into her new home. We did a Zoom call so they would know what to expect with this beautiful but scared girl, I had them purchased a tracking device (which they forgot to bring with them), and I had them spend an hour at my house before heading home to Virginia, a 3-hour drive away. This couple has a fenced in yard with a metal fence, rungs spaced about 3 inches apart. Immediately upon taking her home, they took her to their backyard and walked her around. From what I am told, something spooked her, she yanked the leash from the woman’s hand, and squeezed through the 3-inch space to escape. She wasn’t at her new home long enough to recognize it as her home base, and I am not even sure she ever got to meet the resident dog. Unfortunately, she is still missing (as I write this). Tracking dogs were used this week to try and locate her. Apparently she is still in the area and hopefully she will be recovered soon. (The tracking device was never placed on her collar.)
I share these stories only as examples of how dogs escape, despite our best intentions. Bottom line, use good common sense, employ best practices, and develop daily habits that will keep your dog safe, secure, and where they are supposed to be until ready for adoption (and after adoption)!

If you have a safety technique or tip you would like to share with the NRGRR community, email us at Also, if you have any questions you would like addressed, feel free to reach out to us and someone will get back to you with a response.
~Kerry Ahrend
Share Your Stories With NRGRR
As we celebrate our 25th year of incorporation as a non-profit Golden Retriever Rescue, we would love to hear your experiences being part of our 25 year+ history. Whether you have been part of NRGRR as a foster, volunteer, adopter, or donor for only a few weeks or many years, we want to hear from you.
  • Share one of your favorite memories
  • Share a favorite event you attended 
  • Share about a favorite dog you fostered, adopted, transported, or simply adored
  • Share with us the changes you have seen
  • Share with us why you got involved with NRGRR
  • Share with us why you stay involved with NRGRR
Share with us by emailing your story to and we will share in one of the upcoming Rescue Rangers. Our success over the years is solely based on the people who have become a part of NRGRR—as fosters, adopters, volunteers, and donors. So please, tell us what you love about Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue. YOU are the reason we have been so successful in rescuing, rehabbing, and adopting thousands of dogs from our local area and internationally. Tell us your stories—Together We Are Golden!
Help Support Animals in the Ukraine
The invasion of Ukraine has left many animals homeless and in need of food and shelter. One of our NRGRR volunteers has made contact with a Ukrainian woman in Reidsville who, with her animal rescue, Fine Whine and Lickers, is helping the animals of Ukraine. Galyna Karpenski, the founder of this rescue is originally from the Ukraine.

Monies donated are used to purchase supplies in Poland, such as crates and food. The supplies are then transported into Ukraine to help abandoned pets and stray animals. Galyna’s rescue is working hard to help animals in the Ukraine, but they need help! If you are interested in supporting their efforts check out Fine Whine and Lickers website and Gail Karpenski and Ukrainians in the Carolinas Facebook pages.
Support NRGRR
Go to and choose Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue as your charity. Click on Supporting: just below the search bar to add or update your charity.

When shopping online, make sure to navigate to first to ensure NRGRR receives the donation.

Make sure to continue your support for NRGRR. If you use the Amazon app, you must renew your charity each year.
You can now support NRGRR by purchasing much needed items from our Amazon wishlist. These items will be put to good use by our foster dogs as they go through rehab.
Facebook Fundraisers
Creating a fundraiser for NRGRR is super easy. Just click the link below and adjust a few details and you're all set. Share it with your friends and encourage them to help you raise money on Facebook.
These hard plastic stemless wine glasses are perfect for taking on picnics with your pups! 12 oz. shatterproof plastic with the NRGRR logo sold in sets of 4.
We are always looking for new ideas for store items. If there are any items you would like us to carry, email our store manager, Nikki D'Ambrose, and we will see if it's feasible for us to provide it to you.
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We hope you enjoy this new platform for the Rescue Ranger! You may receive this edition more than once as we strive to not leave anyone out. You can always email questions or concerns to us at:

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NRGRR is a 501(c)(3) organization in North Carolina that is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of Golden Retrievers in need. The organization advocates responsible pet ownership, community education, and protection of all dogs.