Greyhound Pets of America is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation founded in 1987 for the purpose of finding homes for ex-racing greyhounds.
As of 2008, Greyhound Pets of America has 53 chapters and sub-chapters around the nation. In 2007, GPA placed more dogs than any single organization at approximately 3,500.

Greyhounds in the News

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Raynham Park Closes, Greyhounds Looking for Adoption Groups


In November of 2008, a Massachusetts Referendum passed that banned Greyhound racing state-wide effective Jan. 1, and symbolized the beginning of the race for Greyhound rescue groups throughout the United States. According to Dianne Shadel, president and founder of Keystone Greyhounds based out of Harrisburg, Grey2K - a Greyhound dog racing protection organization - was instrumental in getting the track in Raynham, Mass. shut down. Grey2K shut down the last one in New England," said Shadel. She also noted that there are two tracks remaining that are located east of the Mississippi - Wheeling Downs and Tri-State, both located in West Virginia. But as president of a Greyhound rescue organization that helps find homes for displaced Greyhounds in a three hour radius outside of Harrisburg, the closing of the Raynham track started a race for time for the Keystone organization, as well as some of the other 350 Greyhound rescue groups located throughout the United States. In Sayre, adoption representatives Hal and Janet Lambert were called for help just two days before Christmas. The last day of dog races at the Raynham track was scheduled for Dec. 26, with a closing on Dec. 31. And although the track will allow the dogs to remain for a period of 30 days, they were not willing to feed the dogs or care for them in the kennels. The number of dogs, according to Lambert, was 900, with 650 slated to be moved to tracks in one of the remaining 13 states that allow Greyhound racing. For the Keystone Greyhounds, this meant that they would be able to take in some of the 250 remaining dogs, and have already scheduled pick up dates of Jan. 23 and Jan. 30. With two vans scheduled to travel, including Hal Lambert of Sayre, the Keystone Greyhounds will be taking in 16 of the dogs displaced from the track and process them for eventual adoption. But another problem was presented to the Lamberts just days before Christmas. Because the track would not feed the dogs - they needed food. Dianne Shadel had acquired 16,000 pounds of food from a pet food bank in Harrisburg, but didn't have any means to deliver the food to the track for the dogs that were temporarily housed at it. This is when Shadel called the Lamberts for assistance in finding a truck - just two days before Christmas. It just so happened that Janet and Hal Lambert had met a woman at a recent meet and greet event and were able to call her for help that arrived quickly. The woman referred the Lamberts to Jerry Drake, an independent truck driver from Elmira, who volunteered his time and service to deliver the dog food to the Greyhounds at the track in Raynham, Mass. Jerry doesn't even have a pet," said Shadel. "God Bless him, he was a Christmas Angel at the track," she added.

On Dec. 30, Drake traveled to Harrisburg from Elmira to pick up the 16,000 pounds of dog food, and then traveled nine hours to Massachusetts where he dropped off the food at the track.

This food, according to Lambert, will help the dogs until they are picked up by the various organizations or transported by their handlers to other racetracks, whichever the case.

And the food, he added, is a mix of kibble combined with raw food to help with the transition of being displaced. "When they are racing," said Shadel, "they are fed a diet of raw meat, vegetables and pasta." "They are on the same diet as regular athletes," she added.

And while the Keystone organization is anxious to pick up the 16 dogs they will acquire from the track, they are also saddened by the track's closing.

"The track closing is not a victory," said Shadel. "Greyhounds were bred for 1,000 years to run or chase. Nobody mistreats them or forces them to run. Closing the track is sad, but these dogs are smart and resilient."

Shadel is also hopeful that none of the dogs will have to be put to sleep, and noted that they have one month to find the dogs a group that will take them. "The race is on to find them homes," said Shadel.

She did note that placement for Greyhounds is much better today than it used to be, with a 90 to 95 percent chance of placement through organizations like hers. Shadel compared this to 20 years ago when 80 percent of the dogs were put down when their racing careers were over - at an age ranging from 18 months to five years.

Shadel also talked about Greyhounds being utilized as blood donors, or for research because of their quiet and calm temperament. Her organization has also been working to get some of the Greyhounds out of these situations, and get them adopted out to families. In the meantime, the dogs scheduled to arrive from the Raynham, Mass., track will be available for viewing at within the next couple of weeks.If interested in learning more about adopting a Greyhound, you can work through Hal and Janet Lambert, the adoption representatives for the Sayre area and a 60 mile radius surrounding it. You can also call the Lamberts at (570) 888-9999. There is also information at the Keystone Greyhound Web site ( about the adoption process as well as an initial application.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dairyland Greyhound Racetrack Closing

An e-mail has been circulating recently with some figures and statements that to the best of our knowledge contain outright bogus or misleading information about the closing of Dairyland.

This is the information I can share with you all regarding this tracks closure from our volunteers heavily involved in assisting these greyhounds:

1) Currently the number of dogs at Dairyland (DGP) is unknown. A State official indicated they would have a list ready in 2 weeks. 900 was the number given in a recent newspaper article, but we anticipate that number is high and the realistic number is somewhere between 300-500 dogs.
2) There is confirmation from the track veterinarian, who is a State of Wisconsin employee, that no dogs will be left behind. The facility will stay open as long as it takes to find adoption groups for all the dogs that are left at DGP.

3) Hauls are being organized to move the pet dogs out of the track prior to the closing to relieve some of the burden. This is going smoothly. Racers can't be moved until January 1st, since racing will continue until Dec. 31st. A haul going east through Ohio is scheduled to leave Dec. 5th. Another haul is leaving for Canada around the same time. Both of these hauls are going to groups that are approved to accept dogs by the State of Wisconsin.

4) All of the regional adoption groups are all ready in communication with each other and are strategizing how to move the dogs and increase adoptions. Its a good team and confidence is high in their abilities to get the job done. The groups are from WI, IL, MI, MN, IN, OH and IA (the neighboring states), but we anticipate support from well behind that perimeter.

Rory Goree
Greyhound Pets of America - National
Phoenix Greyhound racetrack to shut down
by Amy B Wang - Sept. 26, 2009 12:00 AMThe Arizona Republic
Phoenix Greyhound Park, one of three remaining dog tracks in the state, plans to shut down by the end of the year.
In a letter to the Arizona Department of Racing on Thursday, track officials said the park would remain open for live racing until Dec. 19, continue to simulcast races until Dec. 31, then shift some of its simulcast operations to Apache Greyhound Park in Apache Junction.
"As you can imagine, it's budget time for a lot of businesses, and this is our budget time," said Dan Luciano, Phoenix Greyhound Park general manager. "Nobody's going to be happy."
The Phoenix park, near Washington and 40th streets, opened in 1954 and runs live races seven days a week. The business has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including increased competition from casinos, declining revenue and dwindling visitor numbers.
Attendance at the track dropped 14 percent last year to about 106,000 annual visitors and has declined 56 percent since 1998, according to its annual reports.
As attendance dropped, so did revenue. In 2008, Phoenix Greyhound Park's annual pari-mutuel revenue - the amount of total bets wagered on all live and simulcast races at the complex - fell by nearly 17 percent, to about $46.4 million. Just 10 years ago, in 1998, it was nearly $100 million.
"It's not much of a shock. The writing's been on the wall for a while," said Clifton Gray, head trainer at Arivada Kennels, adjacent to the racetrack. "You knew the way things were going this year, they were going to have to make wholesale changes."
One last-ditch proposal to state lawmakers to turn the track into a "racino" failed to gain traction during the Legislature's special session this summer. The plan would have allowed horse and dog tracks to operate slot machines, video gambling and poker tables on-site; in exchange, they would have given 45 percent of the proceeds to the state.
"It was part of a potential budget-helping exercise," said Gibson McKay, a lobbyist for the track. "I don't know that it garnered the support it needed at that time, but we remain open and will vigilantly pursue it, if need be. But that doesn't change the current situation."
The park will retain its racetrack license in case the racinos proposal passes in a future legislative session.
Track officials have "been trying to get us to stay positive about the possibility of slots next year, but that's a long way off," Gray said.
Calls to representatives at Delaware North Cos., which owns both Phoenix Greyhound Park and Apache Greyhound Park, were not immediately returned Friday.
Track officials broke the news Friday to its employees and kennel owners and operators. The closing would affect about 120 to 140 park employees involved in live-racing operations, as well as dozens of peripheral workers, such as kennel owners and dog handlers.
In addition to the layoffs, it may be difficult to find homes for the hundreds of greyhounds that regularly race at Phoenix Greyhound Park. Arivada Kennels boards 84 greyhounds, down from the usual 110 or so.
"We've been trying to keep our numbers to a minimum," Gray said. "We have not missed a chance to adopt a dog out in the last couple months."
Luciano said that the park would work with kennels to place greyhounds at other tracks, return them to their owners as pets or facilitate adoptions.
Gray said that "unless some sort of a miraculous injunction happens between now and then," he would use the opportunity to get out of the dog-racing business.
"I'm going to have to give up the only thing I've ever loved doing in my life," he said, "but there's no track in the country right now that is on stable ground."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Boonsboro couple honored for greyhound rescue efforts
BOONSBORO — Hettie Ballweber couldn’t have been happier when she learned that Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue Inc. was named Shelter of the Week by SPCA International.
The announcement means that Fast Friends will receive a $1,000 award for placing retired racing greyhounds into responsible and loving homes.
“It was our program called Craiger’s List that actually got us the award,” Ballweber said by telephone last week. She and her husband, Bill, co-founded Fast Friends and Craiger’s List.
Fast Friends “is an organization that thinks outside the box” and is willing to work with anyone who shares a desire to give greyhounds the kind of life they deserve, according to the SPCA Web site.
The Ballwebers have lived near Boonsboro for more than 12 years. One recent year, the couple found homes for 79 greyhounds, all from racetracks.
Together, they have run Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue for 4 1/2 of those years. Craiger’s List came about in April of 2008.
“The program is named for a young greyhound named Craiger in our care who died of lymphoma,” Hettie Ballweber said.
New homes are found for dogs that are selected for the list and, when adopted, the adoption fee is sent directly to the Morris Animal Foundation for its work in cancer research.
Since it began, Craiger’s List has found homes for 22 greyhounds and has donated $3,100, she said.
Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue Inc. stands out because it focuses on placing overlooked dogs — the ones who often sit in kennels because they are not attractive, not the right color, have medical needs or behavioral issues and/or are older dogs.
The Ballwebers have several greyhounds of their own and are fostering others.
“We will be plowing that prize money back into the Craiger’s List program,” she said.
For more information on Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, visit the Web site at To reach the Ballwebers, call 301-416-2028.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Racetrack owners push for casino-style gaming

Instead of driving to an Indian casino, how about Vegas-style gambling at a Tucson racetrack?
There's a new offer on the table to help Arizona dig itself out of a giant budget hole. Racetrack owners have a plan that targets fun money to ease the $3.4 billion deficit.
Tom Taylor, CEO of Tucson Greyhound Park says not only will mini casinos bring in state and city revenue, but attract a new generation of horse and dog race enthusiasts.
Card games such as blackjack, Texas hold ‘em, and four card poker are a possibility, along with slot machines. Taylor says mini casinos are popping up at racetracks nationwide, they're nicknamed racinos.
"The horse race and dog racing industry as a whole is depressed and the racinos have resurged them all," says Taylor.
A recent study by some Arizona track owners estimates Arizona could generate $226 million this budget year if the bill is passed. In return, tracks will give the state, 45 percent of its profits.
The City of South Tucson will also receive a chunk of the proceeds, a half-percent of the track's revenue.
"You know a half-a percent of the revenue could be anywhere from a half a million to a million dollars," says Taylor.
Besides revenue, Taylor says mini casinos will generate 1,500 new jobs at Arizona's six tracks and provide work for contractors.
But officials for the county-owned Rillito Horse Racetrack aren't so quick to jump on board. A spokesperson says at this point, there's too many unanswered questions.
So how do Tucsonan's feel?
Bob Kreuzer tells News 4's Rebecca Taylor he likes the idea.
"I think it's a good idea as long as it's kept within reason," says Kreuzer.
But some critics worry racinos will take away from Indian gaming.
Tom Taylor says, "Obviously if you have a monopoly and then you lose it, you've lost something, I can see where they'd be concerned about that."
Dale Bell who works near the tracks adds, "South Tucson is a poor community, how come the Indians can have it? If they can't have it here, it doesn't make any sense. I'm all for it."
Right now, the bill is in its early stages. But if approved Taylor says it will take 120 days to get a temporary mini casino going Tucson Greyhound Park.
To be balanced, News 4 contacted Southern Arizona's Indian tribes.
Late Monday, Ned Norris Jr., Chairman of the Tohono O'Odham Nation released this statement:
"Once again, the horse and dog tracks are resorting to misinformation, innuendo and smear tactics to try to push their unpopular agenda.
This proposal is a slap in the face to the will of Arizona voters. In 2002, the exact same issue was addressed by Arizona's citizens. In that election over 80 percent of Arizona voters said ‘no' to casino-style gaming at dog and horse tracks, despite the millions spent on the campaign by the out-of-state track owners.
Horse and dog tracks' profits are frequently funneled to out-of-state owners. However, revenues from the tribal gaming facilities stay right here in Arizona. The argument that racinos will help balance the state's temporary budget crisis is absurd.
We implore the Governor and the state legislature to adhere to the overwhelming will of the people and reject this dangerous proposal."
The Pasqua Yaqui Tribe, which owns Casino del Sol decided not to comment.
News 4 would like to know what you think. Head to and click on "Your Vote" towards the middle of the Web site, and vote. Results will be given Tuesday, July 28th on our 5 p.m. newscast.

Fate of dog racing in RI takes another twist

Fate of dog racing in R.I. takes another twist
01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 28, 2009
By Katherine GreggJournal State House Bureau
PROVIDENCE — When legislative leaders decided not to return to the State House this week to override the governor’s vetoes, they cleared the way for the bankrupt Twin River track-and-slot parlor to suspend live greyhound racing in mid-season — as planned — on Aug. 8.
But that may not be the end of dog racing in Rhode Island.
The General Assembly’s Democratic leaders still seem intent on overriding Governor Carcieri’s veto of a bill requiring a full 200-day racing season at the track when legislators return in early September, and possibly as early as Sept. 2. The dog races would presumably resume at that point.
But there is a lot of time between now and then for the owners of the Lincoln gambling facility to file in U.S. Bankruptcy Court a long-anticipated — and possibly imminent — motion for relief from a contract requiring them to pay a $9-million annual subsidy to the current group of dog owners who have banded together as the Rhode Island Greyhound Owners Association. About $5.5 million has been paid so far. Asked what might happen if a judge voids the contract and the lawmakers subsequently require a full season of racing, Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle on Monday raised the possibility that the consortium known as BLB Investors that owns the gambling hall would resume the races with a less-expensive cast of dogs.
She offered no specifics, but dog racing has already effectively ended in New Hampshire, and will end in Massachusetts on Jan. 1, leaving dog owners across the region in search of new venues.
In Rhode Island, wagering on “simulcast” showings of out-of-state races drew $30.9 million last year, more than double the $13.2 million bet on the live races offered every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Simulcasting is offered every day except Tuesdays.
The owners blame their financial arrangement with the dog owners’ association for some of the money troubles, since the racing nets them only $1.75 million, not nearly enough to cover the $2.5-million expense or the $9-million subsidy they are currently obligated to pay the greyhound owners.
If freed from the contract with the owners association, but forced to continue the racing, Doyle said: “BLB, legally, would be within its rights to seek less expensive racing options — another ownership group — or to manage the dog-racing aspect themselves … We are talking about possible scenarios so, again, I do not have specifics … But certainly, there may be dog owners and dog-owner associations interested in racing in R.I., at a lower price.”
Twin River is operated by a subsidiary of BLB Investors, a holding company made up of Kerzner International Ltd., the Waterford Group LLC and Starwood Capital Group.
After defaulting on more than a half-billion dollars in loans, the owners filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month under terms that would require them to relinquish ownership to their lenders, which include the Merrill Lynch Capital Corp.
The 4,700-plus video-slots placed at Twin River by the state Lottery are the big moneymakers for the owners, the state (which gets close to 60 cents out of every dollar that Twin River wins away from its losing players) and a group of machine suppliers that includes Providence-based GTECH Corp. The Narragansett Indians and the Town of Lincoln also get shares.
Even if the racing comes to halt on Aug. 8, RIGOA spokeswoman Jennifer Bramley said: “Everybody will actually stay in place. So the kennel owners and the workers in the kennels will remain at the track and we are hopeful that when the legislature does convene in early September that they will see fit to override the governor’s veto … [and] we would continue racing under our present contract.” Governor Carcieri had this perspective: “The good news is the longer they leave the Twin River legislation alone, then perhaps the bankruptcy judge will sort this out and do what we had wanted to get done.”
House leaders have not responded to questions, since the General Assembly went on hiatus, about the vetoed bill sponsored by Sen. Frank Ciccone, D-Providence, to require a full 200-day racing season, while allowing overnight gambling at Twin River seven days a week.
But Senate Majority Leader Daniel Connors, D-Cumberland, said an override vote is likely regardless of events outside the legislature’s purview, such as the bankruptcy court proceedings. But Connors said the senators are less concerned about which dogs race than they are about the 225 jobs the greyhound owners say are at risk if live racing is eliminated entirely. Without the legislation, he noted, the Town of Lincoln would lose the extra $784,458 one-year shot of video-slot revenue that lawmakers promised last year as compensation for allowing overnight gambling, over town objections, on weekends and holidays only. Lincoln is in his district.
The next bankruptcy court hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 18. It remains unclear who will run Twin River after the lenders seize control. Harrah’s Entertainment has expressed an interest.
Doyle said the current owners “remain committed to Twin River and Rhode Island and if there is any feasible avenue available for them to stay involved, they would certainly welcome that.”
— With reports from Cynthia Needham

Pet Lover's Story to be featured on Show

By Michael D. Pitman,
Staff Writer Middletown Journal
7:45 PM Sunday, July 26, 2009
FAIRFIELD — Fairfield resident Helen Johnson has a pet lover’s heart, and hers is one of six stories to be featured in a television special presented by Purina and Kroger.
Purina and Kroger sponsored a television special in 2008 called “Four Plus Two: Tales of a Pet Lover’s Heart.” The companies are again partnering for another “Tales of a Pet Lover’s Heart” special to air in October on WCPO-TV Channel 9 and on a national network.
“The ultimate goal is to really connect with Kroger shoppers on an emotional level,” said Dave Tornberg, Purina marketing manager.
Each Kroger division nationwide will get a portion of a $150,000 contribution to be made to a neighborhood animal shelter in the name of the show.
The hourlong show is “a celebration of pets,” Tornberg said.
“It features six stories of very normal people that have very extraordinary stories about what they do with their dog or what they do with their cat,” he said.
The 2008 special was nominated for nine local Emmy awards.
Johnson’s story starts two and a half years ago when she adopted Keeley, a retired greyhound. Two months later, she fostered her first greyhound. When that greyhound found a home, she adopted her second greyhound, Marisa.
Both of her dogs are retired racers.
Johnson is fostering her ninth greyhound since July 2007.
“If you told me two and a half years ago before I adopted Keeley this is what I’d be doing, I would have said, ‘You’re crazy,’” said Johnson, who was found by the show’s local production company.
Johnson is the director of events planning with the Queen City Greyhounds, an organization of volunteers who help greyhounds find good homes.
“It’s been a great experience,” Johnson said. “When you adopt a greyhound, you are part of the family. And we are a close group of people.”
The Queen City Greyhounds organization has meet-and-greets practically every weekend to meet the public.
“I’m an animal lover, always been an animal lover,” Johnson said.
For information, visit