Two greyhound adoption groups, one based in Canada and the other in North Carolina, have been named winners of the American Greyhound Council’s (AGC) Greyhound Adoption Program of the Year (GAPY) Award for 2014. They are S.O.S. Levriers de Quebec, Shirley Smith, Director; and Project Racing Home Greyhounds, Kimberly Jewell, Director. Each organization will receive a $1,000 donation from the AGC.
S.O.S. Levriers de Quebec is based in Montreal. The group was founded in 1999, and has placed over 800 greyhounds in adoptive homes since then. Director Shirley Smith devotes her full-time energy to greyhound adoption. She and her husband, Ernest Montreuil, along with about twenty volunteers, host weekly “Meet and Greets” to provide prospective owners an opportunity to get acquainted with the available greyhounds.
“I fell hook, line and sinker for greyhounds after I adopted my first one back in the 90s,” said Smith, “and I’ve been working in greyhound adoption ever since.” She keeps in touch with new pet owners long after the adoptions have been finalized to offer support and make sure that the greyhound’s transition into family life has been successful.
Project Racing Home (PRH) Greyhounds, based in Randleman, North Carolina, was founded in 2002. The group has placed more than 2,000 greyhounds in homes over the past twelve years. Although PRH has a capacity of 54 greyhounds, they have handled as many as 89 in emergency situations.
PRH Director Kimberly Jewell said one of the organization’s goals is to educate future greyhound owners about their greyhound’s previous life as a racer. “We have seen people go from not caring about their greyhound’s racing career to asking if they could watch replays of the dog’s races. That is what we want for the breed. It helps people understand, and opens their minds in the process,” she said.
In 2007, the AGC began recognizing outstanding individuals in the adoption field with a plaque and a $500 donation to their organization. In 2013, the program was changed to honor two outstanding organizations instead, and the award donation increased to $1,000 for each of the winning organizations.
Nominations for the 2015 Greyhound Adoption Program of the Year Award will open in early April.