This is John, he’s been a dedicated volunteer with Friends of the Hound for eight years.
As well as being an amazing Greyhound advocate at our market stalls, he is a foster dad, storage king and our very talented FOTH photographer.
Here he is with Martina (blue) and Zoe (fawn).
We asked him some questions 🙂
What is you volunteer role?
I talk to people who visit our market stalls about greyhounds. Fostering, adopting and the cruelty of the racing industry.
I store FOTH merchandise, set up promos and pack it away for our next adventure. (side note: if you’re keen to help we’d love to hear from you!)
I love photographing these magnificent animals.
Oh, I also take these gorgeous creatures into my home and bring them “back to life” from their certain death in this horrible industry to the prospect of an awesome furever home.
Most memorable moment…
All aspects of rescuing, promoting, fostering and rehoming the gorgeous hounds are memorable. The first foster was Charlie we had him for fourteen months, we hadn’t a clue what we were doing we just winged it.
In the early days Eileen and I were at a promo in Bulimba when a call came in that a recently adopted hound that had an issue at his new home in Beenleigh and needed to be returned. We went to Beenleigh and picked up the hound, that was our first rescue. The next one was Charlie, we picked him up from a vet at Stafford and took him to Lynette on the Sunshine Coast.
The following weekend we attended a promo at Caloundra and we were asked if we could foster Charlie.
Charlie was extremely scared at first. Everything was brand new for him. We really didn’t know anything about fostering but we learned as we went. Charlie stayed with us for fourteen months before he found a home in Hervey Bay. We set off on a Saturday morning to take Charlie to his furever home – it was a very sad trip.
Since Charlie there have been dozens and dozens of hounds pass through our front door, we have never kept an accurate account of exactly how many, until this year we had over thirty this year so far at the end of July.
Most rewarding aspect…
Bringing in a frightened, under nourished, unloved and broken animal from an uncaring cruel racing industry and turning the hound into a confident family pet.
Most challenging aspect…
Having a long term foster, seeing the hound flourish and letting them go, then seeing them come back having been rejected (for whatever reason).
Read on for John’s volunteer story
I have been volunteering with FOTH since 2014.
The first promo I attended was at Manly market. I was with my wife Eileen and hound Zoe who we had adopted a few weeks earlier, at the time we were both working full time and were toying with the idea of adopting a second hound.
At Manly I met a beautiful red brindle hound called “Holly”.
I fell in love with her as she reminded me of a lurcher (greyhound cross) that I had in England in the 1970’s. Eileen and I adopted Holly and brought her home from the FOTH AGM a couple of weeks later. Zoe and Holly were best friends from the get go. Unfortunately we lost Holly a year ago to the dreaded osteo sarcoma.
Eileen and I along with the girls have been regular attendees at many FOTH promos. The early ones were at the Nambour show and there were many visits to Eumundi for the regular first Saturday of the month market.
In more recent years the Brisbane promo group has evolved and I have become more and more involved.
We are regularly doing monthly promos at either Carseldine, Redcliffe or West End markets plus other one off promos like the Brisbane Gay Pride Festival, RSPCA Adoption Days and PetStock and Pet Café stores.
All the promo gear is stored in our garage, for me a typical Saturday market promo starts on Friday afternoon.
I load the ute and make sure it is double tarped to protect against the weather, an early rise on Saturday usually around 3.30am. If it’s Carseldine (Brisbane) I like to get there around 4.15am to be set up for a 6.00am start.
My usual partner in crime is Hayley Bessell. I set up the marquee, tables and signage, Hayley deals with the merchandise. The market wraps up at midday so everything is pulled down, we repack the ute and back off home to unload and store everything away until the next adventure.
Attending promos and talking to people about greyhounds, fostering, adoption and educating people about the cruelty of the racing industry brings me a great deal of pleasure.
It also allows me to pursue my other love, photography. Trying to get the perfect shot on most occasions eludes me but I’ll keep trying.
If you love hounds and have thought about fostering please consider doing so, it is a very, very rewarding thing to do.
Many people say “I couldn’t do it. I’d fall in love with them and want to keep them all”.
The way we see it is, if we don’t let one go how can we save another?
FOTH has been a big part of my life for a number of years. I have met hundreds of people through promos and I have gained many true friends in the FOTH family.