Greyhound Friends: Hopkinton group helps rescued dogs find homes
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Hopkinton??”Rescuing dogs??”greyhounds from the racing industry and hounds of other types from states with overpopulations??”has been the mission of Greyhound Friends for over 30 years. The other half of that mission is placing these dogs in homes where they will be loved and cared for.
Greyhound Friends arranges adoptions for about 300 greyhounds a year, and about half that number of hounds, said Louise Coleman, director and founder.
Most of the greyhounds come from Florida, where there are 13 racing tracks, with dogs arriving weekly. Coleman is also bringing in some dogs from Ireland and Spain. These dogs are? finished with their racing or hunting careers.
The other hounds, a wide variety, come to Greyhound Friends from rescue operations primarily in southern states where the breeds are popular but owners frequently do not neuter their animals and overpopulation is the result.
If someone is interested in adopting a dog from Greyhound Friends, the first stop is the organization's website, www.greyhound.org, to check out the always-changing photo gallery of animals needing homes. The dogs, Coleman noted, don's always require a lot of indoor space, but they do need somewhere safe to run around, such as a fenced yard or a nearby dog park.
Greyhound Friends” kennel is open for visits seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coleman suggests people interested in adoption come earlier in the day to allow plenty of time to meet the dogs at a leisurely pace and to process an application.
“Try to bring the whole family to visit,” she said. “Bring the kids to see how they interact with the different dogs.” The staff will try to match a dog's personality to a family's situation.
“And if a family already has a dog, we suggest they bring their dog as well to see how it gets along with different dogs. We can walk the dogs together on leashes first, then let them loose in a fenced area to get a sense of the chemistry between the dogs.”
Greyhounds, she noted, have been raised around other dogs and are also used to being trained.? They are generally good with children and even with a family's cats. “We try to do as much cat-testing here as we can with stuffed mechanical cats.” (A family should not bring its cat to the kennel, however.)
Greyhound Friends charges $250 to adopt a dog, which covers neutering or spaying, all shots, collar and leash and even some dog food samples. And all the animals come with the assurance the organization will take any dog back at any time for any reason if the adoption is not working out. A follow-up committee calls adoptive families to answer questions that may have come up once the dog is in a home.
A spring open house will be held at the kennel May 17 and 18 from noon to 4 p.m.
“Our open house is like old home days,” said Coleman. “Lots of people who have adopted come back with their dogs to see us. It's a great time for people thinking of adoption to see the dogs and to talk to people who have adopted greyhounds and hounds.”
The open house includes a large exhibit tent where vendors sell accessories, toys and food for dogs and for the people who love them.
Greyhound Friends frequently holds information sessions around the Metrowest area, and a schedule of those events is on the website.
The organization welcomes both donations and volunteers. It operates a second-hand shop, Second Chances, in Natick Center at 6 West Central St. (Rt. 135), specializing in old dishes, glassware, clothing, jewelry and small furniture.
Greyhound Friends is located at 167 Saddle Hill Rd. in Hopkinton, near I-495. For additional information, call 508-435-5969 or visit the website, www.greyhound.org.
Editor's Note: The preceding is not an endorsement and is presented for informational purposes only.
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