April is National Adopt-a-Greyhound Month— a time to appreciate the beauty of a breed of dog that can sprint at a speed of 45 miles per hour…and race right into the heart of a potential pet parent.
Worshipped as a god by the ancient Egyptians, the Greyhound is revered by dog lovers today for their gentle spirit. An adaptable, low-maintenance dog, the Greyhound would feel equally at ease in a large dwelling or an apartment, and while they enjoy romps outdoors with their two-legged chums these fleet-footed Fidos would love nothing more than to lounge around with their favorite human and savor the comforts of home.
Adopting a Greyhound
If you want to welcome a Greyhound into your heart and home, there are rescue organizations across the country to turn to which are dedicated to finding forever homes for members of the breed. To find a Greyhound adoption agency in your area, visit The Greyhound Project, which offers a directory of US, Canadian, European and Australian Greyhound rescues.
The Race to End Dog Racing
Although the Greyhound gained fame in modern times as a racing dog, thankfully this cruel pastime is fast becoming a thing of the past. While 39 states have declared the sport illegal, 19 dog race tracks are still in operation in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia, with Florida earning the sad distinction of being home to the largest number of race tracks.
The Humane Society of the United States reports that tens of thousands of Greyhounds are bred each year to create the fastest athletes, with many of those not measuring up to the strict standards of the “sport” losing their lives by inhumane methods. Greyhounds deemed suitable for a sprint out of the starting gate are often confined in cramped kennels for 20 hours a day, and fed grade 4-D meat from dying or dead livestock in order to save on cost, Grey2K USA reports. Running for their lives on the race track, many Greyhounds have succumbed to injuries, and many of those who are no longer able to turn a profit wind up facing their fate.
To join the effort to end dog racing, visit GREY2K USA Worldwide. Founded in 2001, the non-profit– which is striving to stop dog racing in eight countries– is the world’s largest Greyhound protection organization.
Greyhounds have many high-profile pals who have used their star wattage to shine a spotlight on both the plight of pooches who are forced to race, and the need to find these sweet-hearted Spots forever homes, including:
- Jean-Claude van Damme: The Muscles from Brussels promoted the option of Greyhound adoption as he raised funds for the animal rights group Animals Australia.
- Twiggy: A supermodel in the 1960s, today the fashion icon is a role model for helping to raise awareness of Retired Greyhound Trust, a registered charity with branches in England, Scotland and Wales, which has found pet parents for more than 75,000 Greyhounds in need.
- Over the years several stars have made their opposition to Greyhound racing known, including Ricky Gervais, Ed Asner (Lou Grant), Peter Egan (Downton Abbey), Annette Crosbie (Calendar Girls, One Foot in the Grave), Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody in the Harry Potter film franchise), Andrea Corr of the pop group The Corrs and Pauline McLynn (Shameless).
- A proud pet parent to two Greyhounds, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor once held an eBay auction, with proceeds benefiting California Greyhound Adoption Promotion and Greyhound Rescue.
- The top dog in the first ever Crufts competition back in 1928 was a Greyhound named Primley Sceptre.
- Since 1989 TV viewers have enjoyed the animated antics of the Greyhounds Santa’s Little Helper on The Simpsons.
Photo Credit: Pixabay; Animals Australia