About half of the forty dogs were taken in by a couple of local greyhound organizations while the rest will be picked up by a Las Vegas-based animal organization according to Rory Goreé, president of Greyhound Pets of America’s Arizona chapter and the organizer of the adoption event.
The dogs are the first of many planned for shipment to Arizona over the next few months as part of a larger effort by Goreé to provide homes to former racing greyhounds whose tracks are scheduled to close.
“I’m charged with regulating and ensuring the safety and welfare of not just the humans and jockeys … but all participants and, for me, it’s really important to help the greyhounds get into homes,” said Goreé, who is also chairman of the Arizona Racing Commission.
With live greyhound racing coming to an end in Florida by 2021 and the recently announced closure of Arkansas’ only greyhound racing track the following year, thousands of dogs will soon need new homes. Goreé plans to bring them out west.
This recent group of dogs sent for adoption cost about $4,500 to ship to Arizona, said Goreé. They came from various greyhound farms in Abilene, Kansas, that have cut back on breeding due to the upcoming track closures. Now they have an influx of dogs. Goreé plans to reduce the number of available greyhound dogs by shipping them to Phoenix, where regional animal organizations can take them in and adopt them out.
Once space is freed up in those Kansas farms, Goreé said he hopes to fill them with dogs from the closing tracks and then begin adoption efforts in the west all over again.
Where Will the Dogs Go
The dogs will be foster tested, microchipped and then put into foster homes until they are ready for adoption, said Rebecca Spellman, interim director for the organization. How long the dogs remain in foster homes depends on how quickly they can acclimate to being a pet.
“These are trained athletes that have to be trained as pets,” said Spellman. “If someone were to take any of us here and set us down in the middle of a Cardinals training camp and say do what you need to do, we would not have a clue (and) that’s their (the dogs’) experience.”
The dogs will be listed on the organization’s website once they are ready for adoption.
Ten greyhounds were taken in by Racing Home Greyhound Adoption, where they will phased through the organization’s prison program. As part of the program, the dogs are trained by inmates of Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona for a minimum of nine weeks, explained Jody Brown, a spokeswoman for the organization.
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