In a scary but thrilling step for our nonprofit, and thanks to the generosity of our supporters and members, the Golden Gateway campus became a reality in September 2000, with pledges to a capital campaign that allowed retirement of the mortgage three years later. (We are only one of a very few Golden Retriever rescue groups across the country with a dedicated facility.) Our beautiful five-acre property started with a clean, modern kennel and modest caretaker’s residence that has allowed us to say “yes” to every DVGRR dog in need since we opened the doors at Golden Gateway.
In the years since, we’ve made many improvements to our facility and program, and we are always striving to provide the highest quality service possible to our dogs and our adoptive families. In 2011, we built our on-site veterinary center – Buddy’s Animal Rescue Klinic (BARK). We expanded again in 2013 when the adjacent property came on the market. Again, thanks to the incredible support of our DVGRR family, we were able to buy the property and convert the residence into a canine haven. In 2014, we opened the Lynne Glennon Sanctuary for Senior Goldens and Puppy Mill Survivors and began exposing those dogs to our award-winning Project Home Life program where we teach the dogs how to live in a home-like environment.
Our Monthly Open Houses have always been a great way for us to enable potential adopters to meet the dogs. However, being held outside, they were always weather dependent events, susceptible to cancellation due to snow, rain, or excessive summer heat. In 2017, we opened the Thomas and Marian Ludwig Adoption & Activity Center, a 5,600-square foot structure that allows us to hold Monthly Open Houses indoors. This pole building also provides space for training sessions, seminars, and working with the dogs in our Life Skills class.
From 2007-2019 our administrative staff office was housed in a used construction trailer. Utilizing the zoning permits and land development design required for the construction of the Adoption & Activity Center, we built the Chief and Clyde Johannessen Welcome Center, modified the office area of the existing kennel, and expanded our Project Home Life program to include the dogs housed in the main kennel.
Our commitment to the welfare of DVGRR dogs extends beyond our rescue efforts. A segment of our mission is dedicated to education about responsible companion animal guardianship. This approach combined with the life-long commitment we have to every dog that goes through our program, even after adoption, has enabled DVGRR to become one of the most well-known and respected Golden Retriever rescues in the country.