20 years ago we heard horror stories about Racing Greyhounds being found in mass graves. Perhaps you remember the uproar. Shortly thereafter we got a line on a new program begun at Phoenix Greyhound Park by a caring betting window employee named Cheryl. We received an education to the fact that this tragedy had been perpetrated by small time start-up companies trying to compete with the large Greyhound racing companies. Obviously they couldn’t compete so these monsters put all their dogs down.

The truth of the matter is that the trainers of these racing dogs love their dogs. We witnessed this first hand in the paddock area. And greyhounds love to race. There is so much to learn about the breed that it would take too much time here to explain.

Well, Cheryl began the Adopt-A-Greyhound program and the response was phenomenal. 20 years later the program has gone nation wide and almost no dogs are put down now after their racing careers are over. My wife and I adopted 2 greyhounds, Kate and Huey, and they lived a happy and full life for the next 15 years.

The rules of adoption were these:

1) The organization had the right to take the dog back , at any time should they get information that the dogs were being mistreated.. All the dogs are spayed or neutered in order to protect the purity of the breed. And all potential adoption candidates were investigated thoroughly prior to adoption. The agency makes every effort to try and fit a particular dog into unusual circumstances as well.

Take my word for it that this program is extremely well run.

The greyhound is a marvelous animal, quite disease resistant and does not need as much room as one might think. They are loving, loyal and get along well with children, cats and other dogs. They are just ideal. And it is worth it to see the trainers face when they learn that one of their dogs is going to a good home. I just can’t thank Cheryl enough for what she has started. And Mark, the lousy government had absolutely nothing to do with it!

I would never hesitate to recommend to anyone that they consider adopting one of these fine dogs, and one of the world’s oldest breeds.

Dennis from AZ

3 Responses

  1. Julie Says:

    We adopted a greyhound earlier this year and you are right! She is the sweetest dog! There is however, still some shady dealings going on in the industry and some dogs are still being put down rather than adopted out. What a greyt day it will be when that is eliminated altogther.

  2. Charlotte Says:

    Dear Dennis,

    You are absolutely correct about what marvelous pets Greyhounds are. A number of years ago, when I and my 5 children still lived in the Boston area, one of my 2 daughters rescued one male and one female Greyhound. They were sensational pets, always docile and loving. She found these wonderful dogs at a Greyhound rescue center which a very fine young man had established in western Massachusetts.

    He told us horrifying stories about how some of the racing tracks ship truckloads of Greyhounds to a place in Texas where people come for “hunting vacations.” This involves the owner of the “hunting” lodge releasing these magnificent dogs to run on his land, while the paying guests go after them in jeeps with shotguns. It is as appalling as the Michael Vick Pit Bull enterprise.

    Thanks for bringing the special attention that Greyhounds deserve. Too many people are not aware of the situation. Thanks to Mark, “Spritey” and this wonderful new feature of the marklevinshow.com page, the word can now get out. I hope that your friend, Cheryl, will have many new inquiries about adopting Greyhounds.

    My daughter was so devastated when first the female, then the male eventually died of complications from advanced age, that she rescued a Great Dane, Lucy, a little Chinese Crested (who’s sure HE is a Great Dane), a lovely Sheltie and then Ginger, whose story I just posted yesterday on this site – “Ginger’s Story” – but I have not seen it on the list yet.

    Thanks again, Dennis………and say Hello to my younger daughter and 2 of my 3 sons, all of whom live in Scottsdale. They and their families have miniature Chihuahuas and Whippets.

    North Hollywood, CA.

  3. Rocco Says:

    Re Dennis from AZ…you seem to be misinformed. The horror stories from 20 years ago you speak of, continue today…mass graves of greyhounds (not all dead) shot in the head with their tattooed ears sliced off (as not to be traced to their owners)…dogs drowned…electrocuted…hung from trees. The “lucky” ones get put to death with a needle.

    The owners of these racing dogs don’t love their dogs…they love their profits. Their goal, like any business owner, is to minimize costs & maximize profits, which is why these dogs are fed a diet of 4D meat (diseased with tumors & mold), “juiced” with perfomance enhancers, kept in crates barely large enough for them to stand, only let out 3 times a day, suffer horrible injuries including broken bones, amputations, electrocutions, & being “de-gloved” (skin being ripped off their body) after collisions with the mechanical lure & electrified rail. For every greyhound that actually qualifies to race…10 are discarded. And when the winners stop winning…they’re gone!
    I speak from first-hand experience…rescuing many of these gentle animals…& adopting 2 of my own…both of which have scars all over their bodies…one with an amputated paw…the other with kidney disease due to their racing careers. And contrary to popular belief, these dogs don’t love to run as Dennis mentions…an occasional romp, yes…but they’re actually couch potatoes. One way in which young greyhounds are enticed to run is with baby rabbits…trainers break the back legs of the rabbits so they can’t get away & the screams arouse the attention of the dogs to give chase.

    Contrary to what the racing industry wants you to believe, only a small percentage of these dogs are adopted out to good homes. It’s at the saturation point…just not enough good homes. And the over-breeding of greyhounds also takes homes away from shelter dogs that desperately need homes. The only real solution is to end greyhound racing!