INDIANAPOLIS — Golden retrievers are often described as the "all-American breed," but sadly, each year many still end up in need of rescue.
That's where Golden Retriever Rescue and Community Education — or GRRACE — comes in.
Dozens of people are behind the important work of helping find homes for the gorgeous goldens. Kerry Lay is a foster mom for GRRACE. She said it is a wonderful feeling to help given up, abandon or abused goldens find new, loving families.
"Some of the fosters come from such difficult situations that it feels so good to see them go from the bottom of the barrel to the really good life," Lay said.
Dave Larson and his wife started GRRACE 25 years ago. The organization takes in goldens for all kinds of reasons.
"Unfortunately, you have family deaths, family illness, change in lifestyle," Larson said. "A lot of the dogs are strays that either people will contact us about or sometimes a shelter or Humane Society will contact us, as we've got a pretty good relationship with most of the shelters and Humane Societies in the state."
Larson said if other people have goldens they can't take in, they'll call GRRACE. Sometimes, that includes folks who just aren't prepared for what they're getting into with the breed.
"You see a golden puppy, and 100% of the people fall in love with a dog. And they don't always realize this 5-pound puppy grows up into a 7-year-old, 80-pound, very active, athletic dog that has a fair amount of hair on him and needs a lot of exercise, and sometimes people just aren't prepared for that," Larson said.\
GRRACE finding forever homes for golden retrievers across Indiana
Over the 25 years that GRRACE has been in practice, they estimate they've found homes for about 2,000 goldens.
GRRACE has about 200 volunteers all around the state of Indiana.
Not all of them foster dogs in their homes. Many help in other ways, like transportation or in-home visits. And they can always use more help — a decision Lay said she will never regret.
"Having each one of them with us has just been so special. Getting to know them, get to know their personalities, and then also finding them their home and knowing that we're making that kind of an impact," Lay said.