Retriever rescue nearing 1,000th adoption

Any woman can tell you the benefits of adopting a golden retriever.

He’s an asset with housecleaning — his tail can clear your coffee table in three seconds flat. He can lick off your make up in under five, and he can give you unconditional love for the rest of his life.

Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada is edging closer to its 1,000th adoption, which is likely to happen in a few weeks.

“That’s 1,000 dogs that deserve to be loved,” said Karen Freed, GRRSN volunteer.

Meanwhile, GRRSN plans to host a flea market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Siena Town Center Mall, 10170 W. Tropicana Ave. at Hualapai Way.

Dogs will be welcome to shop with their humans, who are welcome to shake paws with a couple of the golden retrievers GRRSN plans to have there.

Proceeds will benefit the rescue and will be used for veterinary costs and other expenses. The flea market will help keep the adoption fees as low as $150.

“We want to keep it that way because it’s all about the dogs,” said Deb Pietro, one of the group’s founders and a Summerlin resident.

GRRSN averages 200 adoptions annually and had adopted out 976 as of mid-April. It currently has 10 dogs in foster care, ready to be matched with new homes. The rescue group was established in 2003.

The group relies on foster parents to house the dogs until a suitable forever home is found. When it comes to adopting out the dogs, potential forever families are carefully screened for a proper fit. That includes assessing family habits and a home inspection.

“We want to make sure the dog doesn’t come back to us again,” Pietro said .

Summerlin residents Randy and Laurie Yeary were heartbroken when their aging golden retriever died, but then they met Bodie through their volunteer work with GRRSN. The 1-year-old pup charmed them with his antics.

“When we first saw him, it was absolutely amazing,” said Laurie Yeary. “He turned our tears into smiles.”

Joel Esrig is a foster parent who has adopted his own golden retriever. He is involved with the intake process — accepting a dog when a family can no longer care for it. The reasons people give up their dogs are many — a family illness, divorce or job loss . Sometimes the dogs were purchased as puppies — a holiday or birthday gift — something the family was not expecting.

The economy also can be a factor . One grandmother was giving up her dog after losing her home. She was raising her granddaughter of about 7 or 8, who cried the entire time.

“It broke my heart,” Esrig said. “But they were moving into a place that did not accept animals.”

Golden retrievers usually weigh between 60 and 75 pounds. Known for greeting everyone enthusiastically, they are intelligent and easily trainable. They are high-energy dogs that need daily exercise.

Pietro recalled a woman who suggested that instead of surrendering her dog, she “just ‘put the dog in the basement for life.’ I kept telling her, ‘Would you want to live your whole life in the basement?’ ”

For more information about the rescue group, visit

Contact Summerlin and Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at or 387-2949.

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