After winning the refernedum to ban greyhound racing in their state, Massachusetts greyhound rescues are giving a big push to get retired greyhounds rehomed.

The Worcester Telegram (USA) reports on their efforts and potenital difficulties in the light of the ban:

“Observers might expect that tracks and rescue groups would have a contentious relationship. Those in the rescue business have worked hard to make sure that is not the case, however, even as politically active animal welfare organizations have fought to end racing. To ensure access to dogs that are discarded by the tracks, many rescuers stayed out of the battle over Question 3, the ballot initiative that passed on Nov. 4, ending dog racing in Massachusetts in 2010.

Louise Coleman, founder and director of Greyhound Friends, spent years building a working relationship with owners and trainers at the Wonderland and Raynham/Taunton tracks in Massachusetts and the Belmont, Seabrook and Hinsdale tracks in New Hampshire. Greyhound Friends finds homes for roughly 350 dogs a year. The success of Question 3 will not end the need for greyhound adoption services, Ms. Coleman said. She takes dogs from kennels in the Midwest and abroad, where racing continues.

“Greyhound Friends sees our role as part of the adoption process and not political,” Ms. Coleman said. “We’re not a lobbying group. We’re an adoption group.”

Sandra L. Jepsen, kennel manager, brushes one of the greyhounds at Greyhound Friends in Hopkinton.

It costs $1,000 a day to run Greyhound Friends; all of the funding comes from grants and private donations. Ms. Coleman and Ms. Jepsen are the only full- time employees. Mr. Melhado serves as the volunteer coordinator of approximately 60 volunteers who, among other things, clean the facility, walk dogs, and conduct “meet and greets” at pet stores and events to recruit potential owners.

“They’re hounds; they’re lazy dogs,” Ms. Coleman said with a laugh. “They like to lie around a lot. They survive at the track because they’re used to lying around.””

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