Dogtime’s Road to Rescue program salutes Colorado’s Friends of Retired Greyhounds.
How did your organization get started?
It was originally founded by a couple nearly a decade ago who were working with a race kennel to help find forever homes for recently retired Greyhounds.
What is your mission?
We strive to find loving forever homes for retired Greyhounds and to work to educate the public about the breed as well as the life that the greyhounds live as “professional athletes.” Our kennels are very loving and thoughtful to their dogs and we work hard to undo some of the popular beliefs about the racing kennels.
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
We work closely with great race kennels and dogs come from all over the country. We do also take dogs that are turned in to shelters and occasionally get one from the show dog circuit.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
Once we get a dog we put them through a very thorough medical check including: spay/neuter, dental cleaning, full shots, heartworm test, fecal test, microchipping, and a full physical. Once they are medically cleared, they either go to private foster homes or the Cell Dog program.
The private foster homes keep the dogs until they get adopted and teach them the basics of home living. The Cell Dog program is a partnership between Friends of Retired Greyhounds and a medium security prison. The resident handlers work with the dogs for an hour every day for eight weeks learning behavioral skills and agility. The handlers get certification dog training, and the dogs then go up for adoption and go home as well-trained hounds. We carefully and thoroughly screen potential adopting families and then pair dog personalities to meet the needs of each home.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
It is difficult to choose just one dog. We have several that are working as pet therapy dogs, and we have even adopted to nursing homes. All are loving and devoted pets.
One of the dogs that has been the most inspirational was a stubborn boy named Leroy. He had great potential as a racing hound, but he didn’t want to perform when it came to training. He was not fond of children, other dogs, or any other animals. He also did not care for women other than the woman that helped raise him. We couldn’t figure him out. His siblings were fun, silly, and liked everything.
When our board member, a woman, went to pick him up, she tried to catch him in a 12×12 pen and failed. The kennel owner had to come and help load him in the van for transport. He went to our Cell Dog Program and it took lots of love and persistance, but he finally decided that working with people instead of against them was actually fun.
He was finally adopted by a very gentle guy and he is now a fan of all things in his world. He gets along great with other animals of all types. He plays with kids and even loves women. It took him a long time but he finally enjoys all the fun things in life, like his litter mates did all along. He is a very sweet and loving boy and we are so thankful that we had a program that could help change his mind and realize that the world is full of fun.