Without a doubt, SEVA GRREAT would not exist without our dedicated volunteers. We are always looking for volunteers to help with many aspects of the rescue operation.

There are many opportunities to help including:


Many volunteers start by doing a one-time event like working at the booth at a festival selling merchandise and answering questions about the rescue. A bonus — we almost always have Goldens available at our events — unless it is in a venue that does not permit dogs.


You can also volunteer to transport a dog. Transport means picking the dog up in one location and taking him/her to another location or the dog’s foster home. This might be the dog that was surrendered by a family, pulled from a shelter, or one of the international dogs coming into Dulles or JFK Airports who need to be transported back to our area. Sometimes transport is done in segments if the two end points are a distance apart.

Please note that anyone handling a foster dog, including transporting, is required to take some online training (approximately two hours in length). When you have completed the training, you will need to send the two completion certificates to SEVA GRREAT before you are allowed to transport a foster dog.


In a foster-based rescue like ours, where there is no physical shelter, there is always a need for foster homes. If we don’t have a foster home, we either have to say no to the dog or place them in boarding. Foster care can range from a few weeks for a healthy dog, to a few months for a dog that needs medical care, or even longer in the case of our forever fosters. Sometimes foster care is needed to cover the primary foster’s vacation or business travel and can be as short as a weekend, a week or 10 days. Some foster dogs will acclimate into your home like they’ve always been there, and then there are the ones who really need you because they need some love, consistency, and basic training.

Please note that once you are approved as a foster home (including a foster-to-adopt situation), you will be required to take some online training (approximately two hours in length). When you have completed the training, you will need to send the two completion certificates to SEVA GRREAT before we can place a foster dog in your home.

Home Evaluation

Another ongoing need is for home evaluators (HEs) to visit prospective foster or adoptive homes. Home evaluators learn to do what they do by shadowing an experienced HE to learn how a visit is done. A new HE can have an experienced HE go with them on their own visits for support until they are comfortable going on their own. It usually doesn’t take more than one or two visits. With foster evaluations, it is a one and done. Once you approve a family interested in adopting, your role changes from evaluator to advocate. You will speak with the foster family on behalf of your family when they are interested in adopting a particular dog. The foster knows the dog best and the HE knows the family best. Discussions between the two help the rescue find the right fit for each dog, and that’s what it is all about.


If you have ideas for fundraising, we welcome you to work with our fundraising committee; as you’ve probably noticed, we never stop fundraising — without a regular influx of donations, we can’t afford to rescue dogs. We are always looking for new ideas to raise money and would welcome someone to organize or manage an event.

Other Opportunities

If you like to write, you can submit an article to GRREAT Times to be considered for publication. We’re proud of our newsletter and in every issue we look for interesting topics and information for our readers.

There are volunteers who write thank-you notes, send sympathy cards, pick up and distribute mail, distribute calendars to various locations, solicit calendar sponsorships, and stuff our annual Christmas card among other things.

Another opportunity is to meet an individual, at an agreed-upon location, and do the surrender paperwork for a family who is giving up a dog. This task requires sensitivity as give-up families are often emotional.

Board of Directors

One of the biggest needs we have is for individuals willing to join the Board of Directors. Ideally, all the positions on the board would have — not only the voting board member — but an assistant coordinator who is learning the ropes and filling in when needed. If you want to be on the voting board, starting as an assistant is an easy way to prepare and learn about the rescue in greater detail. It’s exciting. Many people don’t realize what it takes to run the rescue, but it runs very much like any other small business. It provides the opportunity to decide direction and focus but also provides a lot of learning opportunities as well. Serving on the Board could be a real advantage to anyone looking to build their resume. Just because we are an all-volunteer organization does not mean that we don’t build business skills. The Board consists of four elected officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) and Directors/Coordinators appointed by the officers. The Coordinators are in charge of the functional areas (Intake, Foster, Adoption, Membership, Volunteers). There are also Board Members at Large with functional assignments (currently Medical and Fundraising). There are also non-voting board members who create the newsletter and calendar, keep us supplied with merchandise, organize events, and keep both the website and Facebook and Instagram pages running.  

Having volunteers in any or all these areas is advantageous to the rescue. Doing one job or several is common. Shared work makes the load lighter and manageable for all. Come join us! See what we have to offer.

Please fill out the Volunteer Form to become a general volunteer involved in activities such as events, transport services, fund raising and home evaluation.


Foster homes are always a critical need. Please consider being a real hero and sharing your home with one of our rescued Goldens. Read more about how to become a Foster Home by clicking the link below.


Home evaluations are required of each adoption applicant and Foster Home applicant prior to dog placement. As an new home evaluator, you will be paired with an experienced home evaluator in your local area.


The easiest way to support our mission is to become a member.

Rescues since 1990 (& counting)

Forever fosters over the years


Dogs rescued from Turkey & China

Volunteer Application

Please fill out the Volunteer Form to become a general volunteer involved in activities such as events, transport services, fundraising and home evaluation.

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Areas of Interest*
Online Training*
Before you can foster or transport dogs, you will be required to complete online training and provide SEVA GRREAT with your completion certificates. This training is mandated by our insurance company for anyone handling foster dogs.
This hold-harmless clause is mandated by our insurance company. Please check the box in order to proceed.*
Have you ever been convicted of an animal abuse crime?*
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How about a Senior Golden?

Thinking about adopting a golden retriever? Well, how about considering a senior. Think about your lifestyle: Do you work all day? Perhaps you might not have the energy to keep up with a young dog. Or maybe you don’t want to go through the “puppy stage” but really want a companion to share your life and home with. Seniors are the perfect pal. They are usually laid back and easy going. They don’t ask for much. Give them a soft bed and gentle hand, and they are in heaven!! But don’t let their age fool you they have so much left to give. Adoption fees are reduced for seniors, and you’d be providing a wonderful golden retriever with a loving and caring place to live out the rest of his life.

Here are some more good reasons to consider adopting a senior today!!

  • In most cases, senior goldens are well past the chewing and digging stages of life. They are usually reliably housebroken and can go longer periods of time without relief.
    Senior goldens are generally calmer than young dogs. Many have been socialized with other animals, including cats. They are much less likely to scare small children or the elderly by jumping up to greet them. Senior goldens will follow your lead. They can be happy as a “couch potato”, but also instantly ready for a car ride, evening walk, or game of fetch.
  • A senior golden is fully grown, and most of his health history is known. There are no guesses about how big he will get, whether he will bark a lot, or what his energy level will be. A senior golden arrives with his own set of likes and dislikes packed in a bag to come with him, and each one is different. Discovering a senior’s personality makes life with them truly enjoyable….they endear themselves to everyone they meet and greet.
  • By adopting a senior golden, you can make a statement about compassion and the value of life at all ages. Even if you have a senior golden as part of your life for only a few years, the love you receive will more than compensate for the sadness of eventually losing such a wonderful companion. The quality of time together can matter a GRREAT deal more than quantity!

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog

Sydney Jeanne Seward