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Help a Collie Come Home – Volunteer With Us!

The Collie Rescue League of New England is comprised entirely of volunteer members who show their love for Collies in a variety of ways. Our volunteer members provide transportation, event coverage, foster care, and home visit services to support all of the rescued collies.

We are always looking for and welcome new volunteers and the best part is you don’t have to own a collie to join!

Consider Fostering

Our Foster Homes are the backbone of our organization. Foster care volunteers bring surrendered Collies into their homes where the Collies are cared for, undergo behavioral evaluation, and are trained when needed. Collies remain in foster care for anywhere between three weeks to several months depending on adopter availability, our evaluation of their behavior, and the needs of the Collie.

Assist with transports

Transportation volunteers assist in bringing surrendered Collies to their foster homes and help us relocate Collies from foster care to their forever homes. We are very grateful to our transportation volunteers who drive Ccollies to their new homes all over New England and eastern New York.

Help with home visits

Home visit volunteers play an important role in determining the lifestyles and personalities of our applicants, which allows us to pair them with just the right Collie companion.


Assist at our Events

Event volunteers assist at CRLNE booths at various events throughout New England and Eastern New York. Our volunteers help educate visitors to our booth about our rescue and the Collie breed.


While most of our members are also volunteers, some of them join our organization simply to support our cause with membership fees – we greatly appreciate their help. Every member of our organization plays a crucial part in contributing towards our success!


Please call us today at
or email us at
if you’re interested in
learning more about
joining our volunteer

Sunrise Over the Emergency Vet

by Stuart Hemming, Former Director of Foster Care

Well Good Morning! This is the picture and caption I received as I reviewed my morning texts in July 2018
from one of our foster moms. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, it's to help explain the commitment
that our foster network has to getting our Collies ready for adoption. This collie, who we'll call "Sammy"
exhibited signs of bloat during the night and foster mom knew that bloat can kill. She rushed him to the
emergency vet before the sun was up. Luckily, he was not diagnosed with bloat but better to err on the
side of caution. As another foster mom can attest she had a Collie that in fact had bloat and required
emergency surgery. As fate would have it, I later adopted him (this was long before I appreciated what
foster homes do for their collies) - what a great, great collie Gizzie was, thank you Nancy!

So, I will share with you some of the work that foster homes commit to. The work begins before the Collie
even arrives! They begin by getting a history of the Collie and determining if their home will be a good
place for the Collie to begin the adjustment process. Yes, we spend time determining which foster home
is the right fit for the Collie. Do they need to be an only dog, are they intact, are comfortable with cats and
chickens, children etc? Not all of Collies are just a "rehoming" some are truly "rescues" from an abusive
situation. Those Collies are the most difficult as they may require immediate medical attention, treatment,
socialization and whatever is needed as they are being evaluated. It's not open the door and show them
the food bowl and their bed. Speaking of food, we get them the food they have been eating prior to arrival.
Often a Collie requires a decompression/ quarantine period of a minimum of 3 days and sometimes weeks
to allow the Collie to adjust. Then the work begins by getting a fecal sample to the vet to be sure they
aren't carrying anything contagious. When they are ready we introduce the foster to the pack on neutral ground. Over the course of the next few weeks we get blood work done, tests performed and necessary vaccines updated. COVID has greatly increased wait times for vet appointments. Multiple trips to the vet may be required, for example lyme vaccine requires a booster three weeks after the initial vaccine. If a spay, neuter or a dental is required the foster may be up before the sun to get them to the vet for an early morning check-in and then another trip to pick them up later that afternoon. If after initial vetting is complete a specialty visit may be required for kidney, ophthalmology , cardiac, orthopedics, behavioral, neurological , or dermatology consultations.


As some of you may recall we had a number of collies in rescue that were heart worm positive a few years ago. While this was expensive it was also a lengthy treatment process over the course of four months which required absolutely no exercise and many visits to the vet! How many of you have been unable to exercise your collie for four months? We aren't quite ready to adopt them yet we still need to get them groomed or as
I say "a spa day" for the Collie so they are clean and ready for their new family. While we are getting them physically ready we are also completing an extensive behavioral evaluation of the Collie to determine the best home for them. We have also had them micro chipped and registered with "Home Again" or a similar registry. An adoption kit is customized for each collie- including resources, books, brushes, toys, and a collar set appropriate for the collie. For example, if your Collie was fostered by Nancy Murphy you get a peacock collar set. Can you guess why, LOL?!!


When the big day arrives a copy of all the vet records are copied and provided to the adopter as well as any other history we might have received prior to transfer by the previous owner. You have probably seen the FB post "Thank you to the foster family for opening
their hearts and homes to these beautiful Collies. Foster homes are the backbone of rescue. Without foster homes CRLNE could not continue to save these beautiful collies" It is truly a labor of love for foster homes to do this work.

Recently someone asked - is the adoption fee negotiable? Well, no and NO! The
adoption fee doesn't begin to cover the vet costs or the foster homes time committed to assisting these collies. The foster homes, just as our board is - are all volunteers. They do not get a stipend to foster. CRLNE could not afford to pay them for all the hours they commit to each Collie or pair of Collies (yes, some fosters take more than one and some have three or four!). Foster homes are truly committed to our collies day and night otherwise they would not be part of our foster network.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention some of the more memorable fosters. Sammy's foster mom on another occasion met me at 3am off MA495 to transfer another collie as we returned from NYS. Thank you to the 12 fosters who treated the Collies with heart worm. Thank you to the two foster moms who survived having puppies. Thank you to the foster mom who resuscitated the still born puppy. The foster collies thank their foster families: who have required immediate treatment for neurological seizures, who joined her before she crossed the rainbow bridge (the entire family joined her at the vet at 11pm on a week night), who had 6 months of GI issues, who required reconstructive surgery of his jaw so he could eat and drink normally, who's foster mom and dad rushed her to multiple emergency veterinarians in Portland, Maine because of Von Willebrands disease which wasn't diagnosed until post spay, who's foster mom met me on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at 4am to bring home her 31 day escapee, and the collie who required emergency veterinary surgical care to save her life. This is just a sample of the work our fosters do and my apologies for not making this an all inclusive list.

Fostering is not a trial adoption nor is it a shortcut to adoption. Fostering is a bridge for the collie from their past to their future. Are you willing to make this type of commitment? Thankfully our foster homes do! One of our foster homes has had close to 100 foster collies another foster home in excess of 30! As one of our former foster homes said about a vision impaired collie that I adopted "There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your foster collie a year later with their new family". The CRLNE foster homes all have the heartfelt appreciation of the CRLNE board.

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