Volunteers and foster homes always needed!
We bring in as many greyhounds as we have foster homes. If you would like to foster one, please contact us.
More Information is available in our Foster Manual.
A retirement day is a greyt experience for experienced greyhound companions and first time volunteers alike. Each dog will need a friendly human guide through exams and bath time. Please join us to see these dogs taking their first steps off the track! The dogs usually arrive around 11 AM. Volunteers that would like to help set-up are welcome to arrive after 10 AM. We provide lunch for volunteers.
If you are just interested in seeing the dogs just arriving from the track, you are welcome to join us and see the most recently retired greyhounds. This will be their début as a pet and they will be bewildered, but enjoying the attention.
The event is held at the home of Tom & Joyce McRorie, 1210 N. Cypress St., La Habra Heights, CA 90631. Be aware that there is no on-street parking in La Habra Heights, so you need to park south of the curve, in La Habra. Directions to the location are available by clicking here.
Retirement days are scheduled when we have enough foster homes to bring in greyhounds from the track. Retirement days are a greyt time for volunteers to get together, and see the new dogs, but they are also a working day for many of the volunteers. If you are interested in helping, you can sign up for a job with the volunteer coordinator at the check in table.
If you've never been to a retirement day, this is how the process works:
1. Sign in at the check in table. Even if you are a long time volunteer. This way, we can make sure we have all of the jobs covered. If there aren't any jobs for you to sign up for, you can hang out in the area set aside for socializing; this keeps the main throughways free for traffic.
2. Be in place when processing starts. If you have a job, make sure you are in your assigned area once the dogs come up from the corral, so that the dogs flow smoothly through all of the processes.
3. Gather for the briefing. Just before the trailer arrives, everyone will gather on the blacktop, and Joyce will give a briefing about how the process works, what to look for, and what to do. When the trailer arrives, you will be asked to step off the blacktop so the trailer can get parked.
4. Take a dog from the trailer. The dogs will be unloaded from the trailer one by one, and handed to waiting volunteers. If you want to walk a dog through the process, make sure you are in the line to take a dog from the trailer. We do try to make sure that first time volunteers have priority in taking the dogs through the process, so if it is your first time, make sure to let the handlers know.
note: If you are walking a dog through the processes, make sure he visits all the stations. They don't always have to be visited in order if there are lines or hold ups, but it is important to visit each one!
5. Check his muzzle. Once you get a dog, walk him off the blacktop, and check his muzzle for broken straps, and make sure it fits properly. There should only be about 1/2" from the end of his nose to the end of the muzzle. The reason we check this is to make sure that later, when we do small dog and cat testing, that the greyhound can't get out of his muzzle. Please don't skip this step! If there is a problem with the muzzle, there will be a person standing by with good muzzles; you can exchange the broken one for a good one, just make sure to properly adjust the fit.
6. Take the dog down to the corral. This frees up room on the blacktop for other dogs to get handed out. Make sure to keep female dogs separate from male dogs! They are all unaltered, and we don't want any funny business going on! You will also get assigned a name in the corral, so make sure you see the person holding the name collars. While you are in the corral, look over your dog, and see if there are any injuries, or skin issues. Make sure to point anything out to Joyce. In the case of skin issues, she might want to see the dog in the medical tent PRIOR to bathing; this is very important in case we need to take a skin scraping to send to the lab.
7. Tick Control. Line up at the tick bucket, and dogs will step in one at a time to get their feet dipped. Volunteers will also be roaming around with tweezers, make sure your dog gets checked for ticks by one of them. Don't be shy if they don't see you!
8. Bathing. One by one, you will get called up to get bathed. Stay in the corral in the meantime, to keep the bathing areas as clear as possible. Males are bathed in the big tub, and girls are bathed in the smaller, outside tub.
9. Ears and Nails. After bathing, visit the ear station to get ears cleaned, and also to get nails clipped. After each station, the plastic collar will be marked with B for bath, E for ears, and N for nails. When you've done all three stations, you can proceed to the medical tent.
10. Pictures. Before entering the medical tent, visit the photo area, and wait to be called. You will then walk your dog in front of the screen for mugshots for the website.
11. Medical Tent. Line up outside the tent in the waiting area, and wait to be called. Only one dog can be in the medical tent at a time. Once you are called, you will hand over your dog to one of the medical tent volunteers, and you can sit down and wait until they are done. The dog will be examined, have blood drawn, get vaccinated, and measured; the process takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes. They will bring your dog back out when they are done, and you can go on to the next station
12. Feeding time!! After medical, you can take your dog to the barn where he can finally get to eat! You will take your dog up the ramp, and the barn volunteers will take him from you. He will get placed in a crate, and will get to relax and eat.
You are done! You can go relax with the other volunteers in the social area, and wait for small animal testing if you want to watch.
13. Small Animal Testing. Volunteers will bring the dogs down one by one, where they will meet a small dog and a cat, and their behavior will be observed. Please don't be loud during this process, or yell out to the dog. We need to get a good reading of the interaction for determining if the dog can be placed in a foster home with small animals.
14. Foster assignments. After small animal testing, the foster coordinator will assign dogs to the foster homes. If you are a foster home, please don't inundate the foster coordinator with requests, as she has to consider small animal safe placements first, as well as gender specific requests. This doesn't always leave room for requests for a particular color or a specific dog, unfortunately.
15. Clean up. After they day is over, volunteers will clean up. They will pack up canopies, put tables away, etc. If you are around, please join in. It's important that we leave the area clean when we are done, as it is the McRorie's backyard.
Restricted areas. For everyone's safety, certain areas are restricted. These areas are the medical tent, and the barn. Once processing starts, you will not be allowed to cross through the medical tent to use the restroom. You will be given a last chance to use the restroom before this happens, so make sure to take advantage of it! Also, please do not enter the barn during processing; the people in there are working and need to stay focused on handling the dogs and feeding them, as well as administering medications.