Greyhound dog racing is a big business in this country and are a popular entertainment venue for race fans and gamblers alike. Breeders and trainers breed greyhounds specifically to race. The problem comes when the dog is no longer an asset, but a liability to the dog owners. For many years, greyhounds were killed or euthanized at the end of their careers, simply because the racers owners no longer had a use for them. Fortunately, some folks saw this as animal cruelty and began looking for ways to rescue these beautiful animals.
Adopting a rescued greyhound is a straightforward process. Rescue agencies find the dogs by contacting owners of racers and ask them to donate the dogs to their group adoption in a home rather than die at the end of their usefulness as a racing dog. Many times these animals are retired early because of injuries or even disinterest in racing. The dog my wife and I adopted permanently injured a thigh muscle and was retired at the age of two and a half, but still had a long life ahead of her (she will be ten shortly after this article was written). Imagine putting this animal to sleep at such an early age. Many owners agree to turn the dog over to the adoption groups to be placed in responsible homes to finish out their lives. The adoptive groups agree to have the animal spayed or neutered, before adoption, so as not to breed the animal.
Most of the rescue groups will take an application with references before handing over a greyhound to anyone, to insure the dog is going into a safe environment. You may also be required to sign an agreement with the rescue group stating you agree to keep the dog indoors as well as other requirements that will benefit the dog. There is usually a fee to adopt the greyhounds and may vary from group to group.
What do you get in return for jumping through the hoops to adopt these beautiful dogs? First, these dogs have lived a hard existence, without many luxuries in their lives, if any. Greyhounds greatly appreciate their new home and show how happy they are to be there. Watching these dogs discover the things they never had before is amazing. They may get their own soft bed or their dog bowls is always full and of course, the big soft sofa’s they discover almost immediately after they arrive. You will derive more pleasure from these dogs than you ever thought possible.
If adopting a greyhound is not possible for you, but you still want to help rescue the animals you may be able to volunteer for one of the rescue groups. Contact your nearest rescue group to see what you may do. Donations and your time are but two ways you can contribute.