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Greyhounds Get a Second Chance

By: Tracy Grinnell

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See this very poignant video about crimes committed on greyhounds

BEWARE: This contains some adult content and graphic abuse images.

A Better Option

Across the country, many organizations have been established to educate the public about this growing greyhound cause and act as liaisons to help facilitate greyhound adoptions. Staff members and volunteers travel to dog tracks to locate retired greyhounds (or they'll get calls directly from dog track kennels across the country wanting to donate retired dogs) that are healthy and suitable for adoption. Greyhounds are usually then brought to the organization's home base where they are groomed, spayed, neutered, etc. After successfully completing the adoption application/screening process, for a low fee - which usually includes spaying/neutering, shots and an adoption package - you can adopt a dog in need.

The Greyhound Rescue Adoption Team, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that has been founded to "institute and manage programs for the adoption of retired racing and abandoned greyhounds as family or personal pets." This organization vows to "educate the general public about the racing environment, the plight of unwanted greyhounds and their suitability as pets."

The National Greyhound Adoption Program (NGAP) has the only breed/rescue surgical center in the United States. It is 10 1/2 years old. Each year, it performs nearly 1,000 procedures and helps nearly 500 dogs get adopted. Director David Wolf says, "Greyhound adoptions are very successful nationwide because of the dogs; they make wonderful, loving companions and pets."

Many dog track kennels must "wait in line" to donate dogs to Wolf's facility. And more and more kennels are constantly calling to see if the NGAP has room for their retired dogs, Wolf says. Increasing "advocacy and pressure," he adds, are the reasons why increasing numbers of dog tracks are getting with the adoption program. However, it's very unfortunate that there are still some dog tracks that couldn't "care less" about saving the lives of retired dogs and opt for euthanasia - or what they consider the easiest way out.

Deserving Dogs

Greyhounds are usually not the high-strung dogs that many people think they are, although they should have lots of exercise and room. According to the NGAP, an adopted greyhound is:

  • Eager to please
  • Quiet (rarely barks)
  • Between 26 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder
  • Between 50 to 80 pounds
  • Gentle and non-aggressive
  • Good-natured with children
  • Affectionate and friendly by nature
  • Highly intelligent
  • Grateful for his new home
  • The perfect companion

    Wolf says: "Many greyhound owners experience the potato chip effect; you can't just have one! Most of all, the lives of those who've adopted a greyhound have been enriched beyond what they could have imagined. This is wonderful, because it means we're doing our job and more people are becoming aware of our cause."

    For more information on the breed characteristics of a greyhound - please read Choosing a Greyhound

    What You Can Do

    Most importantly, get the good word out. You just might have a friend or a friend of a friend looking to adopt a dog. Why not suggest a greyhound in need? Also, many states have greyhound rescue/adoption programs and would welcome volunteers, foster parents and/or adopters. If interested, don't delay and check in your area today.

    Contact Information

    National Greyhound Adoption Program (NGAP)
    8301 Torresdale Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19136
    (800) 348-2517
    (215) 331-1947 (in Pennsylvania)

    Greyhound Rescue Adoption Team, Inc.
    (716) 839-4275

    New Jersey Greyhound Adoption Program, Inc. (NJ GAP, Inc.)
    NJ GAP, Inc.
    335 County Road 513
    Califon, NJ 07830-4164
    (908) 832-9678

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