If you happen to live on the East Coast and there is a sweet greyhound dog in your neighborhood, that dog most likely came from Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada (GPAC). GPAC has been rehoming retired racing dogs for over 26 years, and in that time the organization have placed an estimated 6,000 dogs in loving homes.
I adore greyhounds and it goes without having to state it, the people who are lucky enough to have one for a pet idolize the breed. They are sweet, affectionate, bright and relatively low maintenance. People often think the breed needs quite a bit of exercise because of their previous life as racers but this is not the case. They are docile and quite passive. Did I mention how cute they are?
I met with Rhonda Martins to write this column. Martins is a board member with GPAC and their Fund Raising Chair. As is typical in animal rescue or advocacy work she supports many other local rescue organizations. She often shares postings on Facebook of dogs looking for homes from other rescues and she highlights fundraising endeavors for many rescues.
It is very obvious Martins is devoted to helping homeless dogs find forever homes and rescue is lucky to have her commitment and enthusiasm. She is quite impressive if you should be so lucky as to meet her.
Roughly six years ago GPAC began a new heartfelt journey.
This journey was well thought out and to be honest it came with its own heartbreaking stories. GPAC established a rescue relationship with ”Podenco Friends” in Spain. GPAC’s endeavor has saved an estimated 65 dogs in those six years, rescuing both podenco and galgos breeds.
From the GPAC website: “Making the choice to rescue a Spanish galgos and/or podenco is a life-changing decision for both you and the dog of your choice. These true rescues are ready for the life they deserve and settle into a loving home life with such ease.
“The rescue groups in Spain capture these dogs off the streets and from dangerous situations and provide them with veterinary care, safety, and above all a loving environment in which to heal.”
Martins and I spoke at length about the horrific short life these dogs live and endure in Spain. She told me “Spain is behind the times with animal cruelty laws.” There is ample information online about these dogs but please be aware it is horrific and heartbreaking to read.
The rescue organization in Spain prepare the podencos and galgos before they arrive in Canada. The dogs arrive with their individual printed passports, they are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, treated for parasites and temperament tested.
Martins said the breed is very hardy with no genetic issues. They are low maintenance, have terrific teeth and they do not shed very much as their fur is more like hair.
When you understand the life these dogs have been born into and how unbelievably lovely they are when rescued, I think you would agree with this quote from Donald Hicks, “Those who teach the most about humanity aren't always human.”
Please be kind to animals.