With greyhound racing on the decline nationwide, more and more greyhounds (and hound-mix breeds) are in need of homes. The Massachusetts-based organization, Greyhound Friends, is helping out by placing hundreds of dogs into loving homes every year.
Currently greyhound racing is only permitted in seven states, including Florida, Texas, Alabama and Arkansas. Racing requires an astounding number of dogs: eight greyhounds must run in each race, and a track may hold up to 20 races daily. With a glut of greyhounds in southern states but few adoption prospects, many dogs are shipped north and to the Midwest. The process is difficult and expensive, and the dogs often end up on the streets.
Louise Coleman founded Greyhound Friends after adopting her first greyhound, a former racing dog, on Mother’s Day 30 years ago. The future of the greyhound breed may be unclear, but adoption efforts are on the rise. Though located in the Northeast, Greyhound Friends is affiliated with several adoption groups across the country and even internationally. Coleman points out that former racing greyhounds can be the ideal pet for a variety of people. They are affectionate to their owners and also comfortable with downtime, as greyhounds who raced are used to spending long periods of time in racing kennels.
Photo credit: Jen Hutchinson/Greyhound Friends