Harrowsmith resident sings praise of greyhounds

Photo and story by Ian Reid -  THE FRONTENAC GAZETTE


Elaine Adams receives a kiss from her greyhound Brooke, last week at her Harrowsmith residence. Adams is trying to raise awareness about Adopt-A-Greyhound, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding homes for retired racing dogs.

A Harrowsmith resident is doing her best to raise awareness about an animal known largely for its size and speed on the race track.

Elaine Adams, a member of Central Canadaís Adopt-A-Greyhound, couldnít say enough positive things about the sleek breed of canine during an interview with The Gazette last week.

Fairly rare in this region of Canada, greyhounds are considered by many to be ideal racing dogs for a sport that took off in popularity years ago in Florida. After their racing career is over, however, many of these dogs are destroyed if homes are not found.

Enter Adopt-A-Greyhound.

In operation for about five years, the Ottawa-based organization brings together retired racing greyhounds with suitable owners.

The adoption process begins with the submission of an application form, which is followed by a home visit to assess the potential ownerís needs as well as those of the dog.

Adoption fees are approximately $300 for a pure bred animal, which covers teeth cleaning, an update of shots, transportation from Florida, and an assurance that the dog will be spayed or neutered.

Adams said organizations such as Adopt-A-Greyhound are essential in order to find homes for the many race dogs that are retired from the sport each season.

The average age of an adopted greyhound is between two and three years. They start their racing careers at 18 months, and they can stay in the sport up to five years - as long as they continue to win.

"I think itís important because, letís face it, weíre saving an animalís life," she said.

She added that positive press is a pleasant change for a breed of dog which normally attracts only publicity focusing on their abuse, poor living standards, and possible death when their racing career wraps up.

"Thereís been so much negative press on what happens to these animals, itís nice now to know there will be more positive publicity," said Adams.

Always a dog lover, Adams adopted her greyhound, Brooke, two years ago while she was living in the Ottawa region. During that time, she said she had fallen in love with the breed and encourages others to find out more about the organization.

According to its literature, "Adopt-A-Greyhound is a non-profit organization incorporated in Ontario that is dedicated to finding responsible, permanent, loving homes for retired racing greyhounds."

Adams said more information can be found by visiting www.adopt-a-greyhound.com. Also, she said she would be happy to invite interested individuals to visit her home and spend some time with Brooke.