Adoption program benefits greyhounds

John Smith holds on to Janie, a 4-year-old Greyhound, at the Carson City Community Center after they finish their afternoon walk . | Photo by Rick Gunn

John Smith holds on to Janie, a 4-year-old Greyhound, at the Carson City Community Center after they finish their afternoon walk . | Photo by Rick Gunn

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The long, lean lines of the greyhound's physique add dimension to the beauty of their markings.

These friendly and beautiful dogs are the focus of one woman's campaign to save them from possible death after a short career in the canine racing world.

Gay Holst of Silver Springs started Nevada Greyhounds Unlimited three years ago after working three years with another organization. She has established close ties with a similar rescue group in San Diego to adopt dogs from a racing facility in Tijuana, Mexico.

"The main purpose is to place the dogs in good homes," said Holst, holding on to her three hounds, Manny, Sunny and Willie.

"The tracks around the nation and Mexico are ranked A, B and C," said Holst. "A being the best, and C not so good. Since the Tijuana track is ranked C, we are working with them because it is a more urgent situation for the dogs.

"Basically, these are kennel dogs. They are trained from the age of 6 weeks to 18 months to race. And they're not mistreated per se, they just don't receive any love or attention.

"They've never been in a home, never been hugged, on stairs, carpeting or linoleum."

"If they're not kept on the track to race, some of them are destroyed," added Peggy Pollyea, who adopted a beautiful fawn-colored female greyhound she named Janie.

"It is estimated 20,000 greyhounds are put to sleep after their racing career, which can be up to the age of 5 if they're successful," Pollyea said.

Pollyea found out about the adoption program while attending a home show in Reno. The group takes the dogs out for "show and tell" to promote the program.

"We try to go where a lot of people might be," Holst said.

Holst also said the National Greyhound Racing Association is trying to control the number of dogs bred. Since she has been active with rescue programs, Holst has placed 160 greyhounds into adoptive homes.

"I've already adopted out eight this year. Gardnerville and Carson City are popular areas. Greyhounds are an easy breed to take care of. I have to kick mine outside to exercise," said added with a chuckle.

"They are couch potatoes," Pollyea said.

Greyhounds are generally good with children and their coat can be maintained with a quick brushing twice a week. Their dander is different from other species, so they are usually OK to live with someone who has allergies to dogs.

The dog's diet requires high-quality, dry dog food with a protein content of 20 percent to 26 percent, fed a specific quantity twice a day. Their food and water dishes should be elevated to accommodate the dog's height.

Holst cautions though, that whenever walking your dog, never, ever, take it off its leash unless it is inside a fenced yard.

"They are trained to race," said Holst. "If something catches its eye, it will bolt."

Holst said she will do home visits to see how the dog will act within a household.

"Greyhounds usually get along with any other breed of dog. And the dogs are profiled when we get them to let us know if they're OK with kids, other dogs and cats. And they are an indoor dog.

"They're not mean, they're not hyper, they are very good dogs," she said.

Holst will be at the Horizon Resort Hotel/Casino at South Lake Tahoe July 12-14 for the group's annual craft fair.


Who: Nevada Greyhounds Unlimited

Where: P.O. Box 210, Silver Springs, NV, 89429

Phone: 577-2414; Fax: 577-0713



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