Volunteering for Golden Years

How can I help Golden Years?

Shirley and Carol aren't getting any younger and it's getting to be too difficult for Shirley to take care of a full kennel of dogs all on her own. As a small non-profit there just aren't the funds for us to be able to hire anyone as we depend 100% on volunteers for help. It's not the most "glamorous" job but it is vital to have kennel volunteers if we are to have every kennel in use as the dogs wait for new forever homes. Right now Shirley can only keep up with 4-5 occupied runs and even that is pushing her limits.

Shirley's husband isn't getting any younger either and some of the heavy repairs/maintenance is pushing his limits. Ideally we'd love to have a handyman/woman who could come out on a weekend to help with projects that all are necessary to have a smooth kennel operation. Malamutes like to "re-decorate" and the artwork usually needs modifications.

Does your school or civic organization require you to do some form of volunteering for class credit? As a 501(c)(3) non-profit we meet the definition of a charitable organization. We have had kids come out in the spring to help clean up the the big play yard of leaves, branches,debris and other little odds and ends. The dogs can always use brushing, especially during the big shedding seasons. Seeing new faces is great for the dogs - they love attention!

Click on the pawprint to the right for a Volunteer application


Fostering Program

Have a big fenced yard? Have a big heart with love to share? Have experience with large stubborn dogs? Not ready to adopt but willing to help a malamute get ready for a forever home?

The more foster homes we have, the more dogs we can save. It takes a very special person/family who can take a diamond in the rough and can turn that malamute into an amazing pet. Our foster homes do need experience with northern breed dogs as these can be a challenge. They are very pack oriented and they need to have reinforcement that they are not Alpha. One of the biggest reasons malamutes end up in shelters? Folks get that cute little puppy (often born in a puppy mill or unethical breeder) and have no idea what they are getting in to. A foster home is so important making it possible to learn more about the personality of the dog in a home setting. Since we specialize in the senior dogs most are fairly laid back and just in need of love and trust.

So how does our foster program work? Before a dog is transferred to a foster home there are some steps involved. We have the volunteer fill out an application as if they are adopting from us. We do check references and we do a home check just to see what the home environment will be like. Once that process is complete we decide which dog would be best suited for fostering. Golden Years provides the food and covers any necessary vet bills (but we have to be consulted first so we can set up an account at your vet or have you see one of our vets). You do not have to live in Muskegon or Grand Rapids,.but we prefer you are within a reasonable driving distance in the event we get an approved adopter and we have to coordinate a way for them to meet the dog in person. In general we are looking for foster homes in the Greater Grand Rapids area or on the lakeshore between North Muskegon south to Holland.Your home address is never given out to any potential adopter nor is your phone number or email address. 

Click on the pawprint to the right for the Fostering/Adoption application