Greyhound Adoption Agencies in the US
Greyhound racing was once a very widespread sport in the United States, but it has declined in popularity for many reasons. The negative perception of the sport, proliferated by animal rights groups, has hurt it greatly, even though the animals are well cared for at their racing kennels. Another factor in greyhound racing’s drop off is that the average age of those who attend greyhound races is well over fifty, with very few young people becoming patrons of the sport. In essence, the fan base is not expanding while the current population that goes to the races is declining due to attrition.
The competition for the gambling dollar used to be between horse and dog racing, with the occasional playing of the “numbers” or a bet placed on a sporting event through a bookie. Today, there is a legalized form of gambling in almost every state. There are state lotteries that rake in millions of dollars annually, putting the numbers’ runners out of business, along with a plethora of casinos popping up all over the country. The days of needing to go to either Vegas or Atlantic City for some gambling action are long gone. Telephone wagering accounts have made the need to go to a racetrack obsolete, which in turn, along with the increased competition, has forced many dog tracks to close down. This has created a surplus of retired racers, and the need for even more adoption agencies.
In New England alone, there has been a drastic decline in live greyhound racing just in the past couple of years. Plainfield Greyhound Park in eastern Connecticut was put out of business by Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos, two of the largest in the world. Shoreline Star in Bridgeport may be changing hands and not offering any more live racing. Wonderland Park, close to Boston and Seabrook Greyhound Park in New Hampshire are presently closed and may or may not reopen for a reduced racing schedule. Only Hinsdale, in southern New Hampshire and Lincoln Greyhound Park in Rhode Island present year round racing at this time. The number of greyhounds needed has been cut by the hundreds in New England alone. The dogs that are not sent elsewhere to run need to be adopted out.
Shoreline Star, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has an adoption kennel on site that usually has several greyhounds available for adoption. They can be reached at 1-888-GO-DOG-GO and are located at 255 Kossuth Street in Bridgeport. Greyhounds that raced at Shoreline that are not going to race again remain in this kennel until they find homes.
Hinsdale Greyhound Park, in the southwestern corner of New Hampshire, has plenty of dogs ready to become couch potatoes! They also have an adoption kennel on the grounds. Hinsdale is a track that adopts out all their dogs when they are finished running. If a dog can no longer be competitive at Hinsdale, it is immediately put into the adoption program. To contact Hinsdale for information, call 1-800 NH-TRACK. They can also provide links to several greyhound adoption agencies in neighboring Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and Canada.
Florida has by far the most greyhound tracks in the nation. The dogs in Florida that can’t compete at one track are usually tried at another. Eventually, some of the lower tier tracks in Florida will wind up with most of the dogs that are ready for retirement. Ebro, Sarasota, and Melbourne are three of Florida’s lesser race tracks, all with adoption agencies connected to them. If you live in close proximity to Ebro, located midway in the Florida panhandle, contact 1-800-345-4810 x112 to reach their adoption agency. Melbourne is halfway down the east coast of Florida; Melbourne Greyhound Adoption Program can be accessed by dialing 1-407-259-9800. The number for Sarasota’s Racing Dog Rescue Project is 1-941-379-3278. Sarasota is halfway down on the state’s west coast.
Colorado has greyhound racing, as does Arizona and Oregon. Colorado Greyhound Adoption is based in Littleton, Colorado. Call them at 1-303-816-2799. Oregon has a comprehensive greyhound adoption agency, the Oregon Greyhound Rescue group at 1-503-257-7220. In the Southwest, Arizona has tracks in Tucson and Phoenix. The Racing Home Greyhound Adoption center in Phoenix phone number is 1-602-505-4699 and the Greyhound Adoption League in Tucson can be given an inquiry at 1-520-578-2792.
Greyhound adoption agencies are looking to place their charges in homes where they will be well cared for. They are also hoping for a low turnover; dogs not coming back to them because the new owners can’t handle the pet. Do your homework when it comes to adopting a retired racer. Ask questions concerning feeding, shedding, housebreaking, integrating the greyhound with other pets and exercising the animal. Greyhound adoption agencies have literature that should cover all your questions, allowing you to give a greyhound a great home for the rest of its life.