Many Greyhounds, the elite, graceful athletes of the dog world, will soon be in need of adoptive families as the Greyhound tracks wrap up the 2010 racing season.
According to the American Greyhound Council, upwards of 300 Greyhounds will be available for adoption from two tracks, the Ebro Greyhound Park and Pensacola Greyhound Track. Though the dogs have lived the life of a competitive racing athlete, they still make good companions.
According to Kathy Rakestraw, a volunteer with the Southeastern Greyhound Adoption/GPA Atlanta, the recently retired racing dogs are much like puppies, in adult bodies. The dogs are typically well-socialized, but many have not been exposed to common household items, such as stairs, televisions or hardwood floors. She does note that the dogs are intelligent, and that they tend to acclimate to these items quickly.
Greyhound rescue organizations, such as the Southeastern Greyhound Adoption/Greyhound Pets of America-Atlanta (SEGA), are always in need of foster homes for retired racing dogs. The foster homes provide a warm, safe environment for the dogs that are waiting for their forever families. The families also provide the dogs with an environment that enables them to familiarize themselves with the life of an indoor house dog.
According to Rakestraw, dogs that come in to SEGA go through a “spa” day before entering foster homes. The “spa” treatment includes a weigh-in, bath, removal of ticks, full vetting (including spay/neuter), paperwork processing and then photos are taken so that a profile can be made for the dogs’ adoption.
Adoption events are typically held in public areas, such as farmer’s markets, retail outlets, or festivals. Retails establishments such as Petco and Petsmart often host Greyhound adoption events.
There are many Greyhound rescue organizations across the nation. Many individuals work tirelessly to help find homes for these retired racing dogs in order to prevent them from being euthanized.
According to Rakestraw, many racing tracks have their own adoption centers, and they are committed to finding homes for the retired Greyhounds, but others are called “last stop tracks.” Dogs with the misfortune of being at a “last stop track” are often given a very short period of time to be adopted if they are washed out or injured.
Rakestraw is hopeful that more people will become aware of Greyhounds, and the increased need for homes, especially in the Fall as the racing season comes to an end. To learn more about Greyhounds, and their versatility, please check out this blog created by a member of SEGA.
Individuals interested in learning more about adopting a Greyhound can visit Adopt-A-Greyhound. The agency is an excellent resource for information on the breed, as well as where interested adopters can locate a retired racing dog.
Many thanks to Kathy Rakestraw for sharing this information.
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