Greyhound adoption group sees increase in applications after Florida greyhound racetrack ban

A greyhound adoption group for the Atlantic region says a recent decision by the state of Florida means the region can expect more of the dogs to be coming here.

'With the bill being passed, we see more of an interest and the applications coming in'

Lindsay Jenkins's dog Suberman used to race in Florida. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

A greyhound adoption group for the Atlantic region says a recent decision by the state of Florida means the area can expect more of the dogs to be coming to P.E.I.

In November, Florida's government passed a bill that would close all greyhound race tracks by Jan. 1, 2021, meaning thousands of dogs would be out of work and in need of homes. 

"With the bill being passed, we see more of an interest and the applications coming in," said Mary MacDonald, regional representative with Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada, which works with racetracks to re-home the dogs.

MacDonald said last month the group took in 30 dogs from Florida, and now has fewer than five that have not been adopted.

11 greyhounds adopted on P.E.I.

In comparison, in the past couple of years it brought in around 30 dogs every two months.

Mary Macdonald, the regional representative with Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada, says close to 8,000 dogs will be affected. The dogs in the photo above are not greyhounds. (Submitted by Mary MacDonald)

The group is expecting another delivery on Dec. 16 of around 30 more, including 16 senior female dogs that were used for breeding. 

"With it being on the news and stuff you know, people are a little more interested so you see a little more applications," said MacDonald.

"Prince Edward Island alone ... in the last 11 months we had 17 dogs adopted and I think that's pretty great."

'Most loving, wonderful dogs'

Lindsay Jenkins is hoping more people make the choice that she did four years ago, when she adopted her greyhound Suburman.

She said she thinks all the Florida dogs will find homes. 

Suberman used to be a racing dog in Florida. Last month, the state voted to close all of its greyhound racetracks leaving thousands of dogs unemployed. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

"There are lots of groups, not only here but across the United States that truly love and care for these dogs and are working for them," Jenkins said.

 She said before adopting, people should do their research to make sure the dogs are a good fit for their family. 

"These were racers. These were not bred as puppies to sit on your lap," she said.

"And there is most definitely a little bit of adjustment, however, everything can be worked through and they are just the most loving wonderful dogs I've ever dealt with."

Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada reiterated that message saying that due to Canada's colder climate, the dogs need to be kept warm.

It also said because they are bred to run fast, they should be kept on a leash for all of their walks.

The group has an adoption guide on its website with information about the breed. 

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With files from Natalia Goodwin