By Janet McAfee
These beautiful majestic Greyhound dogs are popular among pet lovers, and various rescue groups network them throughout the United States. Greyhounds are sweet, mild mannered dogs which makes them popular among dog lovers who adopt them after they are “retired” from their racing careers.
While Greyhound racing provides gambling entertainment for some humans, this profit driven practice involves extensive suffering for the animals. Greyhound rescue organizations work against a system that results in thousands of the Greyhounds being killed annually when they retire or if they become too slow to win a race. When they are not racing, the dogs may endure lives of desperation and confinement, living inside stacked warehouse kennels up to 20 hours a day. The larger dogs can barely stand or turn around in their kennels.
Greyhounds were selected for sport as they are the fastest dogs on earth, able to run up to 45 miles per hour. However, racing frequently results in orthopedic injuries. Veterinary care is minimal or nonexistent, and injured dogs are routinely killed. Other dogs die of heat stroke while being transported in trucks in a largely unregulated system. Racing dogs may test positive for cocaine and anabolic steroid injected to increase their speed.
This month Arizona joined the majority of states to ban Greyhound racing. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey made it official when he signed the bill, commenting, “Greyhound racing has run its course in Arizona. It’s heartening that these beautiful greyhounds will soon be off the track and in loving homes. For any families looking to adopt a new canine companion this summer, I encourage you to consider one of these gentle and intelligent dogs.” Rescue groups have already begun efforts to place the animals in foster and adoptive homes, coordinating efforts with the National Greyhound Association.
California is among the states that have outlawed greyhound racing. Active tracks only remain in the states of Florida, Iowa, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Alabama. For more information about how to end this cruel practice, go to www.GREY2Kusa.org. More information about adopting a rescued Greyhound, including a list of their California rescue groups, can be found at www.adopt-a-greyhound.org.
People who have adopted one of these lovely, elegant animals love their sweet, mild mannered nature. Quiet and dignified, they are well mannered indoors. While they can be a bit timid with strangers, they are loyal and loving to their own humans. These sensitive dogs prefer a quiet, calm home. They don’t do well in environments with tension and loud noises. Greyhounds usually do well in a home with medium size or large size dogs, but because of their heritage, they may chase cats and small dogs. Quality rescue groups will screen them for “cat compatibility”. Greyhounds require daily exercise, but because they can run toward danger at high speed, they must be exercised in a secure area. They require a yard with a tall fence as they can jump great heights.
Greyhounds possess superior intelligence, while exhibiting a quiet but surprising independence. They may be confused when they come to a new home, so folks adopting them need to be patient and gentle. Gentle training works best with these docile creatures who respond best to praise. Amazingly, their beautiful spirits are not broken by their early deprivation and training, and their sweet souls will reward you with loyal gratitude for giving them a second chance.