On May 8, 1983, Louise Coleman, a rehabilitation counselor for the United States Department of Labor, visited Wonderland Race Track in Revere, Massachusetts, at the urging of an acquaintance who knew that a discarded racer was due to be killed shortly. With no previous experience with greyhounds, Louise adopted Boston Boy, who received a new name Shadow and another chance. Shortly after the adoption of Shadow, Louise Coleman, with the help of several volunteers, started the work of Greyhound Friends, a small non-profit organization dedicated to saving racing greyhounds, The organization was incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts two years later, and since that time more than 7,000 retired racers have found good and caring homes. The dogs were originally housed in Louise’S home and at the Brookline Animal Hospital, but in 1987 the organization received funding from the Ahimsa Foundation to rent a kennel in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. This remains the main adoption center of Greyhound Friends, and it is here that the dogs are prepared for their new lives.When they are received, they are groomed, treated medically, nourished with high quality food, waled and reassured, and outfitted with as new collar an leash. They respond almost immediately to kind treatment and most dogs are readied for adoption in just a few days.Greyhound Friends has many volunteers who help with all aspects of the work.
Greyhounds arrive at the kennel from six tracks in the New England area: Wonderland and Raynham (MA), Seabrook, Hinsdale and Belmont (NH), and Lincoln (RI). These dogs come in a range of ages, and from kennels that serve the racetracks. They have lived in crates, released only for exercise and racing, and they have often been shipped to race at tracks throughout the United States. Living life in a crate has done little to diminish the unique and winsome personality of these animals. Their natural temperament is gentle and trusting, and they are used to being handled by humans and so easily adapt to household situations.
Placing a dog in an appropriate home is done carefully, with respect for both the animal and the future owner. The prospective owners living and financial situation is reviewed carefully and each placement is monitored through telephone contact to ensure that things are going well.
Recently a greyhound adoption effort has been started in Ireland. Racing greyhounds are a major export from Ireland. They are sent from Ireland to the United States, to England, and the unlucky go to Spain where they are raced to death. Greyhound Friends is trying to address the plight of