Rescue a Golden of Arizona

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January: Meet Cooper

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01 January Cooper

On December 23, 2022 my wife and I were informed that a Golden named Helsinki was available for adoption. We met with the members of RAG of AZ at the vets and we saw the most beautiful dog we had ever seen. For us it was love at first sight.

We were informed that this poor boy had been through two operations, one for a growth on the inside of his leg and one to remove a bug that was embedded under his skin. The first thing we did, after petting for 37 hours straight, was to change his name to Cooper. Cooper had to have an additional operation for another growth. During this operation we almost lost him, but thanks to the skillful surgeons at Academy West, his life was saved.

Cooper is now a very healthy and happy member of our family and has been giving us more love and happiness than we could have ever expected. My wife and I thank RAG of AZ for giving us the privilege of raising Cooper and for all the joy he will bring into our lives.

Cover Dog Carly

Cover Dog Carly

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Introducing our 2024 Calendar Cover Dog


00 Cover Carly

Carly, rescued from South Korea, arrived at our home in April of 2018. In 2014 we adopted a pair of Goldens June and Cash. We lost June to cancer and Cash was very lonely until Carly arrived.

Carly is sweet, happy and loving. She is smart, can solve intermediate-level dog puzzles with treats in seconds and she can count! She knows exactly how many treats she gets at bedtime, and will not let me rest until she’s had every one!

She is afraid of the water, except for the tiny creek that sometimes runs behind our cabin in Show Low. She loves to run through it, get all muddy and track it into the cabin. She LOVES going to the cabin, and when she realizes that we are packing she will bark and howl until we finally put her in the car.

At the cabin, she loves chasing tennis balls, watching the squirrels and birds and going for long walks. The cabin is her happy place.

Carly knows when the doorbell rings early in the morning that the Groomer has arrived. She will hunker down in her bed and pretend she’s invisible. Once in the groomer’s van, she loves the blow dryer and falls asleep while they dry and brush her.

She falls asleep when I read a bedtime story to her. Carly and Cash both had the same favorite bedtime story. “Harry the Dirty Dog”. At the end of the book, Harry gets a bath. Maybe she can relate to that.

Zazzle RAGofAZ Logo Items

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Are you a proud parent of a RAGofAZ dog? Maybe you’re an admirer from afar? Either way, we have made it easy for you to show everyone that you support our rescue!

Feel free to browse our new shopping site where you’ll find plenty of logo items for purchase. Every penny of profit goes directly to the rescue, care and placement of Goldens in need.

Check back often as we will continue to update and add more variety of items. Thank you for your continued support!

Please note: you can still find other items for sale including our Golden note cards, bandanas, and calendars by clicking “Shop” in the top menu of any page on our website, or by clicking here

Meet Pearl & the Golden Nuggets!

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Many of you may remember Pearl. We posted about her being lost in North Scottsdale in April 2022,  asking people to help her new owners locate her. At that time, she was not a RAGofAZ dog but once she was found, her new owners realized she was a bit too much to handle. You see, Pearl was not used to being around lots of people or out in public as she was a breeding dog. When the breeder rehomed her, Pearl didn’t know what to make of this great big world and got spooked a lot.

Enter RAGofAZ! Once the new owners surrendered her to us, we took her to the vet for our routine “Gold Standard” checkup. Low and behold, Miss Pearl was pregnant! But not just pregnant…VERY pregnant and would be giving birth at any moment! Sure enough, a few days later, she delivered eight healthy babies- four boys and four girls! Of course Pearl knew exactly what to do because this was not her first rodeo…but it will be her last!

Once the puppies are at a healthy age to go to new homes and Pearl has had a chance to fully recover and get healthy again, she will be spayed and placed into her forever home to live out the rest of her days never having to worry about giving birth again!

Check us out on Instagram and Facebook to see updates as the sweet babies grow!

Many of you may be wondering if the puppies will be available to adopt and the answer is yes! … but the families who are on our existing approved list will be called first. Many of whom have been waiting a very long time!!

Pearl’s puppies are growing quickly! They’re strong and healthy and cute as can be!

All of the puppies have been placed. They will start going to their new homes in late July. Families who have active, fully approved applications in place are considered first but if you’d like to be considered for future rescues, we encourage you to follow the application process on our website here. Thank you!

Enjoy this cute little video of the puppies giving Pearl a short break while they chase their foster dad.

July 19th update: Our little Golden nuggets are growing so fast!! They will start going to their new homes later this week and we will be sure to post some happy “gotcha day” pics! These lucky pups have some fantastic families lined up and we couldn’t be more excited for them (and the families!) 

P.S. Mama Pearl is doing well and she will head to her new home shortly as well!

Belle’s family reports that she’s adjusting well and especially loves her new brother Jack! She’s curious about the pool and always under foot…so basically, she’s being a Golden girl! Enjoy these photos! And remember to follow us on  Instagram and Facebook to see updates of all the puppies!

Pearl and nuggets

¡Hola! Meet our newest arrivals from Mexico

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Each of these dogs has a story that tugs at your heartstrings, some will make you cry. But they all reinforce why we do what we do, saving dogs’ lives and giving them a second chance. Watch for their special stories to unfold as they are immersed in a Golden life with a home, family, and lots of love.

Before they begin their journey to America, all international dogs are placed with pre-approved families.  If you want to be considered to adopt future dogs, international and domestic, please submit an Application to Foster/Adopt found on the website, and someone will contact you.  If you are already approved, please contact .


We have puppies!

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It’s a Thanksgiving surprise!! Eleven puppies joined the rescue just before Thanksgiving and we sure could use some donations to help make sure they all grow up healthy and strong! Sasha and her “friend” Milo were surrendered a few weeks ago. Low and behold, we found out that Sasha was pregnant at her first vet visit. This week she delivered eleven healthy babies— six girls and five boys!

Milo has gone into hiding and retained a lawyer. He’s refusing to pay puppy support so it’s all on us!

Can you help us raise these beautiful babies? Any and all donations make a difference! Thank you.








Enjoy some puppy videos on our Facebook page!



Happy 13th Birthday, George & Gracie!

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Our long time RAGofAZ members Laura and Leigh adopted George and Gracie in 2017. This adorable twosome are celebrating their 13th birthday this week on May 19th! Join us in wishing them a very happy birthday!


Volunteer Spotlight: Dianne Nevius

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This year we’re bringing back our “Volunteer Spotlight” section. We appreciate each and every volunteer because without them, we could not rescue any Goldens. Our volunteers handle everything from fund raising to home visits to transports and all things in between! It really takes a village to keep our rescue alive and healthy. This quarter we’re featuringDianne Neviuswho has been volunteering with us for 10 years! We interviewed Dianne to get a better idea of who she is and why she loves rescuing Goldens with RAGofAZ.

What volunteer positions have you held and what role(s) are you currently in?

I have been the coordinator for the Happy Valley Barnes & Noble gift wrapping for the past 8 years, Microchip manager for 9 years, Woofline Coordinator for 9 years and I have been on the Home Visit Team for the past 8 years.

Tell us a little bit about your family, including any current pets.

My husband and I have been married for 34 years. We blended our family and added a baby to make 5 children. We now have 8 grandchildren and one great grandchild. We currently have Meg, a 13 year old English Setter and Toby our 5 year old Golden Retriever (non-RAG).

Can you tell us a little about your own experience with rescued Goldens?

We have had Goldens for over 20 years. Duke and Duchess were our first and they each lived 13 yrs. old before Cancer came along. Teddy, our RAG dog, came into RAG with a litter of 6. He had an amazing soul. He was epileptic. A second medication caused him to have Megaesophagus. For a year he would aspirate, get pneumonia and then recover. We finally had to let him go to the Rainbow Bridge. Unfortunately, he only lived 4 years and passed away 6 years ago. He was an amazing RAG volunteer as is Toby. Toby is a large Golden with a heart to match. He loves volunteering. If he isn’t coming with me, I have to put my RAG shirt on in the garage because he gets so excited when he sees it. Like all Goldens, he is so gentle and loving.

How did you get started as a volunteer with RAGofAZ?

I saw RAG at gift wrapping one year at B & N after we had lost our Duchess. The following September we adopted Teddy. I saw the need to educate people about all rescues and was so grateful for Teddy. I feel so honored to be able to volunteer with such an amazing, giving group of people.

What has been the most rewarding experience as a volunteer so far?

I think being a part of each team is amazing. However, being on the Home Visit Team I have the opportunity to meet a family and see how much they want a Golden. Then I hear they had a dog placed with them and know they are so excited. I know how hard it is when you have to wait for a Golden. The very best is when I get to see the family with their dog at an event.

What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about becoming a volunteer?

I always tell them we have needs to be filled requiring an hour a week, everyday, or once a month. Find what their passion is and try different teams if necessary.

We thank Dianne for her years of dedication to our rescue and look forward to many more! Let’s give a round of applause for Dianne!

Volunteer Spotlight: Scottie McGowan

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This quarter we’re celebrating Scottie McGowan. Scottie is one of our most tenured volunteers and has held many different roles over the last 14 years including her current role as Director of Golden Rescue. Many of you may recognize her work as the leader who pulls all of our International Rescue efforts together. You can find her driving her mini-van (with a huge vinyl sticker of a Golden on the side!) back and forth from LAX picking up dogs or flying to Mexico to bring back a bunch of Goldens in crates heading to their new homes in AZ. Her energy is endless and her enthusiasm is infectious. We would not be able to save as many dogs as we do without her. Thank you, Scottie, for all you do!

1. How long have you been a volunteer with RAGofAZ?

Since 2005

2. What volunteer positions have you held and what role(s) are you currently in?
• Meet and Greet volunteer since 2005
• Intake Team since March, 2009
• Transport Team Member since May, 2009
• Transport Coordinator Team since 2009
• Foster since November, 2010
• Home Visit Team since November, 2010
• Assistant Transport Team Coordinator in April, 2011
• Southern Director, K9 Operations
• Board Member since November, 2011
• Rescue to Rescue Transfer Coordinator Since 2013
• Director of Golden Rescue since November, 2015
• International Rescue Coordinator November, 2016
• Currently, Director of Golden Rescue, International Rescue Coordinator, Trainer for long distance transporters moving international dogs from LAX, and McCarron International Airports to Phoenix since 2017

2. In what part of AZ do you reside?

A. In southeast Tucson in Rita Ranch.

3. Tell us a little bit about your family, including any current pets.

A. I was assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in 1997. Ken retired from the USAF in 1993; I retired in 2003. Between us we have 4 grown children, 5 grandchildren, and two Goldens. Ken, my sweetheart of 26 years, supports all aspects of rescue. Twelve-year-old Jake and nine-year-old Morgan rule the roost. Ken is their chef, landscaper, and pharmacist; I am their groomer, chauffer, and social director.

4. Tell us a little bit about any past/current rescued Goldens (from us or otherwise).

A. We purchased six-week-old Abbey from a backyard breeder. Five years later,
we discovered rescue, became foster failures and adopted our first RAGofAZ Golden,
Chad. Little did we know that Chad was destined to change our whole life’s path. He went to the Bridge after only six years from a brain tumor, and we learned the devasting heartbreak of losing a beloved Golden, it wouldn’t be the last. We adopted Crystal in 2009, Jake in 2011, and Morgan in 2012. We learned what “All for the Love of A Golden” means. Crystal went to the Bridge in 2014. We are still grieving her loss.

5. Tell us a bit about why you wanted to volunteer with us.

A. We were invited to bring Abbey and Chad to meet and greets and doggy socials. It sounded like a good way to meet people and socialize our dogs. We discovered what RAGofAZ is all about; we met so many adopted dogs and their dedicated families. Our dogs became Ambassadogs to help rescue more dogs in need, and I found I couldn’t say no to participate in all things Golden. Then I learned about the amazingly synchronized teams that make it all happen, and I was hooked.

6. What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had so far as a volunteer with us?

A. Every dog has a story and being part of their journey to a new life is very rewarding. But, developing an international program that embodies the meaning of rescue brings tears every day. To see the before pictures of dirty, skinny dogs at meat markets or on the street fighting for survival, then seeing them cleaned, fed, and with loving families is most rewarding.

7. What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t volunteered with us before but may be thinking about it?

A. When you have a Golden in your life, resistance is futile. But even without a dog, there are many ways you can help secure a second chance for a Golden. Every volunteer makes a difference even it’s only for a couple of hours. The benefits are lots of tail wags, sloppy kisses, the knowledge that you help save and improve Golden lives, life-long friendships, and maybe a Golden or two.

8. What else would you like us to know about you and your volunteering?

A. There is a magnet that says, “Who Rescued Who?” It rings so true. I wrestle with clinical depression and found that Goldens are the very best antidepressants. I am so blessed to belong to this organization and to be able to be a part of the mission to save Golden lives.

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