Organization seeks homes for retired racing dogs

September 13, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

RANSON, W.Va. - Leslie Meacham was still setting up her display table Saturday promoting the adoption of former racing greyhounds when she got her first "customer."

Pat Arbuckle of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., saw the signs for Personalized Greyhounds Inc. set up on Lancaster Circle, parked her car and ran over.

"My daughter is 18 and wants a big dog," Arbuckle said excitedly. She became even more interested when she learned how big the problem of adopting ex-racers is in some states.

"I have adopted three greyhounds and I'm fostering another," Meacham said. She works with Personalized Greyhounds Inc., a nonprofit rescue group from Camp Hill, Pa.


The organization takes in ex-racers that are subject to being destroyed once their racing days are over, Meacham said.

A recent transplant from California, Meacham now lives in Kearneysville, W.Va., and has become an active advocate for the breed, which she describes as an ideal pet.

"They are quiet, affectionate and intelligent," she said. All are kennel-broken, which means they need to be let outside several times a day.

An enclosed yard is nice, but unnecessary. Greyhounds need daily play or a walk to keep them in good form. Three to four cups of regular dry dog food are required to feed the large dogs.

Meacham said the adoption process is very strict and is designed to match the new owner with a dog whose temperament and traits are compatible.

An adoption fee of $240 covers the costs of transportation to the Harrisburg, Pa., area, all immunizations, worming, spaying or neutering, collar and lead, health records and booklet.

Meacham explained that while many states, including California, have made dog-racing illegal, others such as Florida, New Mexico and several New England states have many tracks.

Efforts in the mid- to late 1980s to pass a law allowing dog racing in Maryland were defeated. A track was proposed for the Hagerstown area prior to the bill's demise.

The next scheduled greyhound adoption demonstration is planned for Oct. 18 on the lawn in front of McMurran Hall at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., Meacham said.

She hopes to match up people and dogs at every event.

On Saturday, Arbuckle went home with her application form, hoping that her daughter would be able to get one of the dogs who desperately need loving homes.

For more information on greyhound adoption requirements, call 1-717-761-3317.

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