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The Great Greyhound Rescue

Every morning Bethpage resident Linda Schmidt, Grateful Greyhound adopter and fosterer, proudly walks her six rescued greyhound companions once around her neighborhood with her husband. She calls her companions “40-mile-per-hour coach potatoes” who are calm and endearing. She is currently looking for a home for an 8-year-old male foster, who she would love to keep, but just does not fit in her house.

All six of her retired racing greyhounds, who were declared unfit due to their lack of interest of racing or injury, were declared perfect family members by the Schmidt’s. And they love each one’s unique personality and look.

Greyhound races are similar to horse races. The dogs are raced around a track, and they chase a lure until they cross the finish line. As with horse racing, greyhound races frequently allow the public to wager on the outcome.

Grateful Greyhounds, serving Long Island as well as parts of New York City and New Jersey, is a very dedicated group that finds suitable and loving homes for ex-racing greyhounds. The group spends a good deal of time educating potential adopters at meet-n-greets, conducting home visits and offering support post adoption through team of adoption representatives.  

Schmidt originally did not want any dogs because she wanted to travel with her husband after they both retired. However, she fell head-over-heels in love with a rescued greyhound that was up for adoption at a meet-n-greet, and the rest is history.

“People just have the wrong conceptions of these dogs,” said Schmidt. She is particular fond of the gentle and loving temperament of the breed as she described a typical day with her companions. “They get up in the morning, eat and go outside to do their business, Then I take them for a walk, and after they go back to sleep or hang out like any other typical dog.”

She continued, “They are not the hyper dog that people think they are. After our walk, I let them out when they wait by the door, and I even leave my door open sometimes when it is a nice day.” She warned, “But you have to be very careful that they never get out of an unfenced yard unleashed because they will run, run, and run. You probably wouldn’t see them again.”

Before the dog that ranges from two years of age and up is put up for adoption, it is given a needed crème rinse, nail trimming, teeth cleaning, spay/neuter, and necessary shots. The dog is also temperament tested before it is put up for adoption to see how it reacts to other dogs and people. To adopt a Grateful Greyhound adoption forms have to be filled out, and representatives have to see if the potential adopter’s house is suitable for a dog.

When the dog is adopted, the new owner is given a Martingale collar (a special collar for the shape of the dogs neck and head) and leash. A representative also will do a follow up visit a few weeks after the adoption to make sure the family and dog is happy. The adoption fee is $300, and it is not refundable; however, the dog can be returned at any time.

“It is very rare for an adopter to return a dog,” she said. “It happens about once or twice a year, and it is usually circumstantial. The foundation and its representatives are very helpful. When I had questions or needed advice, they always found a solution.”

After adopting and fostering for several years, Schmidt never encountered a problem with any of her companions.

“They come from being raced frequently and crate-ridden for up to 20 hours a day; however, they adapt to the house environment after awhile, and they are perfectly happy with not racing,” she said. “It is very sad to see the dogs kept in a crate for as long as they are. I do keep crates in my house for them (opened) because they grew accustomed to them.”

This Grateful Greyhound lover plans to keep fostering greyhounds in need in the future. Right now she is enjoying the number of dogs that she has with her family, and she is determined to spread her knowledge about the breed to others who may have misconceptions about them.

To view upcoming meet-n-greets and adoptable greyhound such as Cowboy visit http://www.gratefulgreys.com/. A representative of Grateful Greyhounds can also be contacted at 516-735-5070.