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January 28, 2020 – There are over 3,000 dogs, more than 2,600 owner participants, 2,000-plus veterinarians and countless supporters involved in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

It can be a bit like herding cats (golden-retriever-friendly cats) to keep everyone informed, reminded of Study visits and on track with filling out questionnaires. A newly created volunteer program, the Golden Outreach Team (GO Team), is lending a hand by providing peer-to-peer support to owner participants.

The lofty goal of our GO Team is to help keep the Study’s compliance rate at 85%, considered excellent for a longitudinal study of this magnitude. Because our GO Team is comprised of Study owner participants, they have an insider view of the challenges faced by other owners as they navigate the intricacies of the Study.

Participant volunteers from around the country will form the GO Team. Each geographic region will have a captain and several associates who will provide support and information to participants in their region, primarily in the form of reminder phone calls and answering logistical questions. They’ll also serve as liaisons with the Study team.

We recently launched our first GO Team in Colorado with volunteers Vanessa Ernissee, Valerie Robson, Liz Rubinstein, Sally Sjobeck and Sherri Wilson. We hope to have teams across the country in place by early June.

The GO Team has its roots in the many volunteers who already have devoted their time and energy to helping make the Study a success. All Study participants are welcome to apply to be a member of our Golden Outreach Team, whether they have active or angel heroes. While we hope everyone who wishes to volunteer has the opportunity, we may need to create a volunteer waitlist based on response. To learn more about applying to the GO Team, please contact Annie Li at [email protected]