Adoption groups from Maine and Oregon have been named the winners of the 2016 Greyhound Adoption Program of the Year (GAPY) Award. American Greyhound Council (AGC) President Fred Fulchino announced the awards today. Each organization will receive a $1,000 grant from the AGC.

Maine Greyhound Placement Service was founded by Scott Bruns nearly 25 years ago. After adopting a greyhound himself, Scott fell in love with the breed and began volunteering at a local greyhound shelter in northern Maine. He enjoyed the work so much that he decided to establish his own adoption kennel, later moving his operation to central Maine. His adoption program, now based in Augusta, has space for 50 dogs.

The Augusta facility includes a kennel building as well as a vet clinic. Scott, a veterinary technician himself, said the clinic provides services to greyhounds in his own kennel, and also provides services for other animals to generate revenue for the adoption program. More than 20 volunteers donate their time to the organization.

Bruns said the GAPY grant will be a welcome source of support for Maine Greyhound Placement Service. “We are very grateful for this unexpected support. Our volunteers work so hard, and they really deserve this special recognition.”

The other GAPY winner is Homes for Hounds of Waldport, Oregon. Founder Rayetta Holder and her daughter, Stormi Oldridge, started the group 26 years ago as a school project, and have been immersed in the greyhound adoption world ever since.

Stormi said Homes for Hounds has placed over 8,000 greyhounds since its founding, working with fewer than 20 volunteers. The volunteers manage an extensive screening program to ensure that every greyhound is placed in a suitable home. New owners must agree to bring their adopted greyhounds back to Homes for Hounds if finances or family situations make it impossible for them to continue caring for the dog. In this way, Homes for Hounds ensures that none of its greyhounds is ever without a proper forever home.

“This AGC gift is huge for us,” said Stormi. “We have worked very hard to keep our fees as low as possible, which means that we often pay for things like dog food and veterinary care out of our pockets. The GAPY award will help us offset some of those costs. Thank you, AGC!”

AGC President Fred Fulchino said both groups exemplify the dedication and commitment of the greyhound adoption community. “Greyhound adoption has become a national success story because of groups like Maine Greyhound Placement Service and Homes for Hounds,” he said. “The GAPY Award is our way of saying thanks for the amazing work they are doing.”

Nominations for the 2017 GAPY Award will open on April 1, 2017. The award began as a program of the American Greyhound Track Operators Association (AGTOA) in 2007, and became an AGC program in 2010. The AGC funds and oversees adoption and greyhound welfare programs in greyhound racing. It is a joint effort of the AGTOA and the National Greyhound Association (NGA).