Greyhounds up for adoption; Wis. track to close

Track: No dogs will be euthanized
December 3, 2009 (KENOSHA, Wis.) Greyhounds are sweet, affectionate companions. Two hundred or more of the gentle canines will be in need of a new home when the track closes on December 31, 2009.

"We hung on as long as we possibly could; for the past 7 years we've lost $17-million in operating revenue and without any type of additional gaming here, there's jut no upside anymore," said Roy Berger, executive VP Dairyland Greyhound Park.

Since the park announced its closing, greyhound adoption agencies in and around Wisconsin have been working tirelessly to help relocate these dogs.

"We have been transporting a lot of dogs off the track, meeting other adoption groups and handing them off to them," said Rich Ingersoll, president, Greyhound Alliance.

These greyhounds are privately owned. By Wisconsin state law when the park closes the dogs must either go back to their owners, be relocated to another race track, or go into an adopted home as a pet. Dairyland officials say the rumor about euthanizing the dogs is absolutely false.

"There was a viral email that went around stating there were 900 dogs that would be euthanized if not adopted by December 31st - we are closing December 31st - we would never euthanize the dogs, we would never do that, it is simply not true!" said Bill Apgar, general manager, Dairyland Greyhound Park.

The track adoption center will stay open until all the dogs have been relocated. The dogs make good house pets. Although they can run up to 45 miles per hour, as pets, they only need regular exercise. They're very laid back, non-aggressive with a gentle, tolerant disposition. They're smart, easy to train, and coming from the track they're 95% housebroken.

While Greyhounds can make wonderful family pets, because of their racing background, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration before folks try to adopt them.

"Greyhounds have a couple of special needs, they can never-ever be left off leash, they have that in-breeding chase and you can't trust them off leash; not all of them are good with cats or small animals," said Ingersoll.

The retired Greyhounds are 2 to 5 years old, but with a life span of 12 to 14, that's a lot of love for many years.

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