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Golden Tales Spring 2023

Golden Tales Spring 2023
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Rescue a Golden of Arizona


From the President's desk

Golden retriever at desk in Oval OfficeAs we head into our warm weather season, it is amazing to look back at the incredible work that has taken place in just a few short months. Our “dog teams” have succeeded in rescuing around forty dogs from various locations including a significant number of puppy mill dogs from Ohio. And of course in February we finally welcomed the fifteen Golden Retrievers from China that were delayed for more than a year by CDC restrictions. 

Many of us take for granted the way our volunteers accomplish these amazing feats of rescue, but the process is actually quite specialized. Our Director of Golden Rescue, Bob Wood, oversees the work of our Intake, Transport, Home Visit, and Woof Line teams, and personally devotes many hours to the demands of international and out-of-state rescue. Director of Golden Operations Bob Schillaci manages the many volunteers who make up our Placement, Vet Care, Follow-Up, and Behavioral Teams plus the folks who handle Micro-chipping and Adoptions. In addition to the “dog brigade,” there are scores of dedicated folks who continually take care of membership renewals, donations, correspondence, finances, our website, Bridge cards, social media, merchandise, not to mention those who plan and carry out events and programs like the ones you’ll read about below. 

Would you too like to be in the room where it happens? Visit our website for more information about volunteer opportunities and find the right fit for you. And to every single individual who contributes their valuable time, energy, and expertise to our cause, thank you from my Golden-loving heart.

Kelly Cook - President

Events and Happenings

Record-breaking topgolf fundraiser!

Golfers at TopgolfWow, what a turnout for our signature fundraising event of the year at Topgolf Scottsdale! Thanks so much to everyone who joined us – it was great to see our members and donors come together as we kick off the celebration of our 25th anniversary! I’m thrilled to report that we sold out of tickets and sponsorships. What a testament to the commitment of our amazing Golden rescue !

This year, we raised more than $13,000 and had a full house with 90 attendees!

As you may know, I am fairly new to Rescue A Golden of Arizona and the board of directors. In my short time, I have been so impressed by the longtime dedicated support of our members, who make our work possible. Year after year, around the world, abandoned, lost, and mistreated Golden Retrievers wait for rescue and a safe home. Without the commitment of our volunteers and the financial resources provided by our donors, these dogs would never know the warmth and love of a forever home.

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our sponsors, whose generous support made this event possible. Be sure to check out the great signs Mark Preston created to recognize each of our sponsors.
  • Shannon and Anthony Gleckler
  • Una and Dave Loge
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton – Brandy and Brandon Earl
  • Shea-Connelly Development LLC
  • Tristar – Ken and Marilyn Edwards
  • Chris and Ellen Brant
  • Martha McSally
  • Leigh and Jim Bradburn
  • Judi and Bob Schillaci
  • Joe Arpaio
  • TDC Financial – Terry Cox
  • Jim and Jenn Jacobs
  • Leslie Robinson
  • Brenda Kalivianakis
  • Kathie and Les McIsaac
  • Kerri Crabtree
  • Becky Buck-Wetzel
  • John and Linda Kavanagh
  • Four Legged Friends Animal Hospital
  • Elyse and Frank Overdyk
I would also like to give a special thanks to Chris Brant, Judi Schillaci, Mark Preston, Kerri Crabtree, Margie Karow, and Judy Smith for their extraordinary support toward making this event such a success!

I’d love to hear from you about how we can improve Topgolf and other fundraising events. Please feel free to email me directly at

Thanks for your ongoing support of Rescue A Golden of Arizona, and I can’t wait to continue the 25th anniversary festivities with you all!

Stephanie Corns
Director of Community Relations

Bark in the Park

golden retriever restingFebruary 19th was the day, Red Mountain Park was the place, and Golden Retrievers were the stars! More than 100 members turned out for our annual Bark in the Park celebration reflecting the increased number of newly adopted Goldens and their delighted humans. President Kelly Cook introduced the Board of Directors, which immediately put forward a motion declaring it was lunchtime! Delicious barbeque with all the fixings was rapidly consumed while four-footed tablemates sat patiently waiting for a bite. Or three. Tammy Pauletto, DVM, of Harmony Veterinary Clinic offered a riveting presentation and Q&A on a wide range of veterinarian issues including Hemangiosarcoma, which continues to pose a significant threat to our dogs. The raffle rewarded many happy winners, the peanut butter licking contest was hilarious, and the Bridge and Rescue ceremonies had us somehow smiling through tears. While there were many dedicated volunteers to thank for making this event such a success, special kudos go out to Becky Buck-Wetzel, our very busy Director of Events. She’s a big part of the reason that Bark in the Park remains a cherished highlight of our beautiful Arizona winter.


Two golden retrievers wearing donation vests

Whew! There we were for three days in a row at the SAHBA Home and Garden Show at the Tucson Convention Center - again!
The weekend of April 14 - 16 brought our volunteers and their Golden Retrievers out in force to staff our Rescue A Golden booth. To say they were a hit would be an understatement. Decked out in their colorful donation vests, our Goldens worked the floor in non-stop meet and greet fashion with a shameless look that said “please tuck a donation into my vest pocket, thank you very much.”  Indeed, our “show dogs” raised hundreds of dollars in support of our mission. Many thanks to our members who gave their time, energy, and feet in service to our organization. And special recognition goes to Diane Weiss and Becky Buck-Wetzel for once again using their dazzling event management skills to great success! 


PACC911 logo

It has been a busy winter for our volunteers and their Golden Retrievers!
 In support of the cause of pet adoption, PACC911 (Phoenix Animal Care Coalition) hosted a series of events in January, February, and March, and our devoted members and their Goldens were there for three of them. Dozens of rescue organizations and animal welfare agencies turned out to share the many good reasons why animal lovers should “adopt, don’t shop.” You only had to glance left and right at these events to see how many beautiful animals are in need of the warmth of a soft bed, a full belly, and the touch of human kindness. As a longtime member of PACC911 we are proud to participate in these worthwhile programs, and we congratulate PACC911 on their outstanding leadership in the animal welfare community. 

Newsworthy and Noteworthy

Golden retriever with glasses reading newspaper

All the Golden news that's fit to print!

Cutest Golden Contest Winners

Carly smiling golden retriever
The canine contestants were entered, the votes have been cast, and the results have been tabulated. And the winner is ... every single doggo that participated in our 2023 Cutest Golden Contest! Even so, after all the votes were counted, adorable Carly emerged as our Cover Girl for our 2024 Hearts of Gold calendar! Joining Carly with their very own calendar pages are Ginger, Butter, Thunder, Sophie, Maysie, Buoy, Fenway, Spicy, and Shiloh. Plus, the calendar will include pictures of all entrants, a couple of special needs dogs, and our dear furry companions that have journeyed on to Rainbow Bridge. There’s a lot to love about our calendars, and your generous participation in this unique fundraising event makes it possible to produce these treasures year after year. Thank you!! Enjoy this video of all the contestants.

Psst ... Heard Around the Dog Park

Golden retriever in sunglasses at park

Give us two minutes and we’ll give you a gaggle of quick hits, timely reminders, and fun facts!


two girls with girl scout cookies
• We’ll take two Thin Mints, three Samoas, one Trefoils, and eight Doggie Delights! 
Thanks to two very enterprising young ladies who love to sell Girl Scout Cookies, Rescue A Golden of Arizona will be seeing a generous donation arrive to help save more Goldens in need. Olivia and Katie are the daughters of longtime RAGofAZ members Greg and Em Sederis, and the two girls have been members of Scout troops in Scottsdale for several years. The Girl Scouts are all about community service, and the money they raise from cookie sales supports many worthwhile local charities and programs. Olivia has been the top seller for two years in a row so she got to select the charity of her choice ... you guessed it, it’s RAGofAZ! On behalf of our rescued Goldens (and cookie lovers everywhere) thank you to the entire Sederis family for your loyal support! (Add one more Thin Mints to my order please.)


toadSnake and Toad Avoidance Training  
Did you know ... as spring and summer kick into gear, rattlesnakes may be silently slithering in your yard right now! Toads too!
We know, you can’t un-see these images now. And these critters could pose a threat to the health and safety of your beloved dogs. But here’s the good news. One Sunday a month through November you can teach your dog how to avoid these nasty desert dwellers at Master's Kennels in Gilbert, Arizona. Sessions are already getting under way so check out the details and sign your dog up soon.

Mark your Calendar

Dog holding calendar

Because you know you don't want to miss out!

• Woofstock - June 10, 2023



Waiting at the Bridge

rainbow path going over bridgeGone from this earth but living on in our hearts ... 

View a memorial to the beloved Goldens that have recently journeyed to Rainbow Bridge.

Visit a loving remembrance of dogs that have gone to the Bridge previously.

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P.O. Box 71987 - Phoenix, AZ 85050 | (602) 404-WOOF (9663)