Greyhound racing is a business. The winners make the money and the non-winners are seen as a disposable commodity. Few trainers or dog owners put the dog’s welfare before financial gain. A dog that loses money or is injured could be euthanized. But, they don’t have to be because there are organizations in place to rescue and find good homes for them. FastFriends is an organization in Southern California whose single purpose is to “rescue” racing greyhounds.
Its mission statement: FastFriends Greyhound Adoption is dedicated to finding kind, loving homes for every greyhound retiring from the Caliente Race Track in Tijuana.
FastFriends is a non-profit organization that has been finding homes for greyhounds since 1995. It’s all done through volunteer work and donations. There are no paid or salaried positions. Joyce McRorie (President) is proud to say “they take sick and injured greyhounds first. The donations pay for medication and operations on things such as a broken leg and then the dogs are rehabilitated in foster homes before being released for adoption.”
FastFriends is dedicated to placing these dogs in Southern Californian homes. Per the FastFriends website, “current statistics indicate that about 80-85% of the 30,000 greyhounds leaving the track each year are adopted. [They’re] goal is to increase this percentage to 100% placement for the available dogs.” In fact, over 3,000 ex-racing greyhounds have been placed in homes by FastFriends.
For those who are not familiar with greyhounds here are some details. They are a large breed. They shed mildly a couple times a year and are virtually odorless. They are gentle, loveable, quiet dogs, who rarely bark. Surprisingly, they don’t need a lot of exercise. Only about 15 mins of walking per day is needed. They spend the other 20 hrs sleeping…for the most part they are couch potatoes. When they retire to FastFriends they are tested for compatibility with cats and small dogs. The greyhounds are then placed in foster homes for at least 3 weeks before becoming available for adoption. The purpose of this is to get them acclimated to home life.
To adopt a greyhound from FastFriends, start by filling out an application. A representative will meet with you and help match you with the best available greyhound. For more information on this process, visit their site. FastFriends also have a myriad of events going on year round. For instance, Sunday January 30, 2011 is a dog washing fund raiser. Review the event calendar to get involved. If you can’t adopt, but still want to participate, then take this opportunity to become a volunteer or make a donation.