Thousands of greyhounds are going to need new homes after Floridians voted overwhelmingly this month to approve a ballot measure banning greyhound racing in that state by 2020.
Local greyhound groups, like Buffalo Greyhound Adoption, are getting ready to help place the animals once they leave the tracks.
“It’s going to be stressful, but I really think that it will get done,” said Connie Caputo, the president of Buffalo Greyhound Adoption.
Buffalo Greyhound Adoption doesn’t know at this point how many dogs it will need to help place or when.
The tracks in Florida are working with 102 groups around the country that were proponents of racing. Since Buffalo Greyhound Adoption has always taken a neutral stance on that issue, it’s not on the list.
But the group is expecting to be called on to place dogs as the need becomes greater.
And Buffalo Greyhound Adoption’s biggest need right now is for foster homes to help teach the incoming dogs about their new lives.
“They have never been a pet, they don’t know how to play. It’s been the life of an athlete,” Caputo said. “So we tell people that they’re really puppies in adult bodies, because they don’t know how to do stairs. They’ll walk into a sliding glass door because they’ve never seen one before.”
The good news is that greyhounds as a breed seem to be especially adaptable, even for apartment life.
In fact, aside from getting a few walks a day to stretch their legs, they seem to be happiest when they’re just hanging out.
“They’re what they call 40 mile an hour couch potatoes,” laughed Rob Stevic, event co-chair for Buffalo Greyhound Adoption.
The Stevic’s dog, Eddie, is a perfect example of that. He used to race on the tracks in Florida. Now, most of his day is spent deciding between his favorite doggy beds.
“It’s really fun just to see their personality, and he just makes us laugh every day,” Stevic said.
Eddie is one of many, many dogs placed by Buffalo Greyhound Adoption, with volunteers driving to the tracks to pick them up and foster families getting them ready to be homed after they’ve gone through their full vet checks.
More volunteers are always needed, especially now with an influx of greyhounds expected in the wake of the racing ban in Florida.
“We’re always looking for volunteers to foster. Looking for volunteers who will help us get the dogs and bring them back. and then we’ll be looking for applicants to apply to bring the dogs into their home,” said Eileen Stevic, the other Buffalo Greyhound Adoption event co-chair.
The adoption fee is less than it costs the group to get each dog, so fundraisers are always big.
Many adopters make an extra donation when bringing home their new family additions.
Other fundraisers include, pet photo sessions with Santa every December, bubble baths three times a year, a garage sale every spring, a hanging-flower bakset sale every May, a meat raffle every November, candy sales, lottery ticket sales, sponsored dress down days in local offices, and more.
You can also donate directly, or learn more about adopting a dog, on the Buffalo Greyhound Adoption website: buffalogreyhound.org