Greyhound groups racing to find homes
Between the shaky economy and track closings, greyhound rescue organizations are hard-pressed to find enough homes for the growing number of dogs exiting the racing industry.
The weakened economy has led some prospective owners to back out of their adoption plans, and led some who have adopted greyhounds to return them.
“There have been a lot of stress-related returns with people losing their houses or their jobs and more adoption groups are reporting new adoptions are down,” said Michael McCann, president of The Greyhound Project Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit that provides support and information to greyhound adoption organizations and the public.
McCann blamed the economy primarily, but the Massachusetts ban on greyhound racing — voters approved a referendum that will lead to the closing of two tracks there by Jan. 1, 2010 — is a big factor, too.
“With some tracks having several hundred dogs, they have to go somewhere,” McCann said. “Some of them can go to other tracks, but many of them are ending up needing to be adopted.”
Many of the estimated 300 adoption groups nationwide are seeing increases in returns of adopted greyhounds and declines in new adoptions, according to an Associated Press report.
The problem is compounded by more racetracks closing â€” at least seasonally â€” in the face of increased competition from casino gambling and the general economic slowdown, McCann said.
McCann said the problem is not confined to the continental United States. The recent closure of a racetrack in Guam left about 150 dogs needing homes, and animal rescue officials have been contacting U.S. groups for help.
“They may have to be destroyed if there is no place else to go,” McCann said.
Greyhound Rescue, Inc. places greyhounds in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington D.C.
(Photo: Courtesy of Greyhound Rescue, Inc.)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 19th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, ban, boston, closing, dogs, economy, families, greyhound, greyhound rescue, greyhounds, homes, massachusetts, news, racetracks, racing, recession, referendum, rescue, returns, tracks