April is “Adopt a Greyhound Month” but there is one local rescue that makes this their mission year round. GO – Greyhound Options, Inc. was formed in 1995 by a small group of volunteers devoted to finding loving homes for retired racing greyhounds. GO has chapters located all over Massachusetts.
This non-profit organization does not operate a kennel, but chooses to provide the Greyhounds the stability, care and comfort only possible through a foster home network. Fostering also enables GO Greyhound Options to truly evaluate the temperament and behavior of each dog so they can best match adopter with dog.
A little history about Greyhounds: Animal anthropologists generally agree that the Greyhound – type dog is one of the seminal canine breeds from which virtually all domestic dogs descend. They can be traced back over 8,000 years to early cave drawings and decorative artifacts. The distinguishable modern Greyhounds are descendants of an ancient identifiable breed that goes back to the Egyptians and Celts. The Egyptians worshipped Greyhounds as a god and frequently showed them on murals in the tombs of kings. In old England “You could tell a gentleman by his horses and his Greyhounds.” Old paintings and tapestries showing hunting feasts frequently included Greyhounds. To read more about the history of the Greyhounds visit GO’s website at www.greyhoundoptions.org
Racing: Well we all associate these very fast, long lean beauties with Greyhound racing. Animal activists, animal lovers and the general public voted to eliminate this cruel treatment to Greyhounds back in 2010 when all Massachusetts tracks were banned from dog racing. This was a great win for the folks that care and defend animals, but a blessing and godsend to those Greyhounds that were mistreated and abused to win races for profit. Many of these dogs only saw light when they were on the track or training. Most of their days consisted of living in a tiny crate for over 18 hours a day with little food or water.
Today: GO – Greyhound Options works mainly with Maine Greyhound Placement Service who brings Greyhounds up from states where racing is still legal, such as West Virginia, Alabama and Florida. There they are spayed or neutered, dental cleanings are done and the dogs are vaccinated if necessary.
Nancy Scarfo, member of the Greyhound Options Board of Directors also mentioned when GO brings the dogs into Massachusetts, they must be isolated for 48 hours in a MA Department of Agriculture approved facility and then checked by a licensed MA veterinarian to make sure they do not have any infectious diseases. After they are released from isolation, they go into foster homes throughout Massachusetts and northern Connecticut where they begin to learn about life as a house pet. They will stay in foster care until they are adopted into approved homes.
Scarfo also shared GO has saved and placed over 1,500 Greyhounds into loving homes.
Wow, 1,500 lives have been saved! To that, on behalf of The Valley Patriot: THANK YOU for what you do, your dedication and saving these innocent lives and helping them find their forever homes!
For more information about adopting or fostering a Greyhound please visit GO Greyhound Options, Inc website at www.greyhoundoptions.org
Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, tv and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units and National Award winner of the Platinum PAW award. Tracey may be reached at email@example.com. Become a fan on facebook at Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care.