Monday, October 15, 2012

Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option: 2012 Reunion

Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option is the adoption group that is partially funded by Southland Park and has an on-site kennel.  As Ricky Bobby raced at Southland, we decided to attend their fundraising reunion this year.  Of course the reunion isn't limited to dogs that came from Southland, but I felt extra motivated to go this year so that Ricky could see his old stomping grounds.
The event wasn't supposed to start until around 5:00 but we arrived around 1:00.  We were told that it is a lot of fun to let the dogs observe the races inside and behind the glass and watch their reactions to everything.   There was some confusion because we were quite early for the event, however eventually things got sorted out and we (and other greyhound adopters) were graciously invited into the kennel club with the dogs to watch the races for some private viewing.

Ricky wasn’t that animated inside.  I don't think that his eyes are as good as Kassa’s are.  Outside where he could hear the sounds and smells associated with a race he was so excited he was hard to control but Kassa was ever vigilant both inside and out.  He was fixated on Rusty (the stuffed bone/lure) that zips around the track.  I wish I had watched more of the races, but I was so fixated on watching my dog’s reactions that I kind of forgot to really take in what was going on.

After the matinee finished we went back to the hotel for a while and returned at 5:00 for cocktail hour.  The dogs milled around as the humans were merry.

We then had the opportunity to walk the track with the boys.    While the dogs walk the track they do an announcement on the viewing floor describing the greyhound adoption program.

Both Ricky and Kassa were super excited and I admit that I had a very strong temptation to unhook them so they could run the track.  I kept my temptations in check however and we went upstairs for the fundraiser dinner and auction.

They had a great turn out at the event and both hound and human were suitably exhausted by then end.
The next morning we went to check out the adoption kennel.  The staff there kept the whole kennel absolutely immaculate and were providing the 'broken leg dogs' with excellent care while they mended in preparation for adoption.  It was really quite an impressive setup.  

These adoption programs are very well run; and they also have large financial burdens. Surgery for a dog that has a broken leg can be thousands of dollars alone, not including the cost of food and shelter. Another huge area of concern, is one of transportation costs. As the landscape of racing has changed, we are now in a position where there are a large number of dogs residing in the east, and a large number of adopters and adoption centers in the west with no systematic, safe, and cost effective, way to transport them. Almost Home for Hounds, located in Nunn CO acts as a way-station for greyhounds on the way to retirement, by providing both housing and medical services including (spaying/ neutering, dental cleaning, vaccinations, heart worm tests and microchipping.) It works closely with adoption groups on the west coast, to ensure that the dogs have a safe transition from their racing lives to their life as a pet. I personally think that much of these medical and transportation expenses should be built into the National Greyhound Association's racing licensing fees; however, I don't think this is on anyone's radar. Until then, these needs will need to be addressed by the adoption community, and the good people who volunteer their time and money to it.