Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption is helping dogs go from the track to a forever home

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Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:58 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Now that the Tucson Greyhound Park is officially closed for good, a local Tucson organization is stepping up to help rehabilitate more dogs from the track.

Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption has placed over 800 greyhounds in the last ten years, now they’re taking on a bigger challenge.

Now they’re seeing a big need in other countries. They’re getting hounds off the track from places like Ireland and Mexico and getting them into forever homes here in Tucson.

″He raced 66 races and had 14 first place, 14 second, 15 thirds, and 10 fourths,” said Adoption Coordinator Jeanne Gacke of one of the dogs.

Uzi is one of the 12 hounds recently brought over from Ireland. Starting in October, Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoptions anticipates they’ll be getting four hounds from Ireland each month until March.

″They have over 12 operational racetracks. They breed a thousand times more dogs than they actually need, so, if you look at the number of dogs and the available places to rehome them, it’s not possible,” President Debra Hardman said.

The organization says the process of getting the dogs from Ireland is a lot different and there’s more expenses with transportation, from vaccinations to passports for each dog. For the domestic dogs, there’s more expenses for veterinary care. About 30% come in with injuries. Each dog goes through a physical and social process to prepare them for a new home.

″With these dogs, a lot of them have never lived in a home before. So, if they’ve had a track life or they’ve been used for breeding. Part of our transition in getting that dog ready is getting them familiar with living in a house and seeing different types of breeds of dogs and stuff,” Hardman said.

Right now, they have two hounds up for adoption. Mossberg, like many Greyhounds in Tucson, was a former race dog in Florida and then was taken to California to be bred. Forest(tan) is one of her pups and had an injury at a young age, so he never raced.

″There’s certain situations that kind of make it easier to place a dog and that’s a family that maybe doesn’t have another pet. You have to remember these dogs are trained to chase little furry things. Some have raced, some have not. The best part of the job is when you match up that perfect dog and that perfect family,” Gacke said.

Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption has a number of fundraisers coming up. Any money raised goes into the care for the dogs. You can find more details about the organization here.