The life of a racing greyhound is centered around training and racing around the track until it finally reaches the point it can no longer compete as a top athlete.
When that happens, the question becomes where do the greyhounds go and how are they placed into a good loving environment to live out the rest of their lives?
Lonnie and Marian Jones of Fritch play a big role in answering that question for several former racing greyhounds by serving as the West Texas representatives for the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT).
GALT assists all greyhounds, primarily those that are retired or affiliated with the racing industry, by trying to find loving, responsible, forever homes through their adoption centers.
The organization has adopted out around 1750 greyhounds since May of 2001 and is open to the public where they help potential adopters choose the greyhound that is right for their home. They also educate people about greyhounds and the importance of spaying and neutering as a means of controlling the number of unwanted animals.
The Jones started their involvement with GALT back in 2005 after falling in love with the greyhound their son had adopted. Marion said, â€śPrior to our son getting one, we had never been around greyhounds much and did think it was kind of odd that he would want one as a pet. But we quickly fell in love with his and found a greyhound shelter in Amarillo that we started helping out.â€ť
During their time with GALT, Lonnie and Marion have been busy with the organization by picking up retired racing greyhounds around the country as well as ones from shelters, strays and even old hunting dogs.
By picking up the dogs that have been involved in the racing environment, one of the questions that comes up for the Jones is what are their views on dog racing? M.Jones answered by saying, â€śHonestly we try to stay neutral on the subject because we do work with a lot of the tracks directly. So it is important to have that good relationship in order to make sure the dogs are taken care of.â€ť
Currently the Jones household is the home of eight greyhounds with each dog having a unique look from the others in the bunch.
When visiting the Jonesâ€™ home, a guest would expect to see a household filled with active dogs that make it hard to move around. However when entering the home, a couple of the greyhounds will acknowledge you enough to allow you to pet them but, for the most part all of them possess a calm demeanor that is a pleasant surprise.
Lonnie said, â€śBecause of their size, you probably wouldnâ€™t want them as pets if there are younger children in the home. But greyhounds do make great house dogs because they get along with most people, shed very little and are not constant barkers.â€ť
Marion went on to add that greyhounds are not really outside dogs, especially in the heat, and need to be kept on a leash or in a fenced area when they are outside because they are sight hounds. But overall the Jones family will be the first to tell you that a greyhound makes a great companion dog for a house and even people living in an apartment.
Thanks to their universal blood type, many veterinarians have greyhounds as pets or as part of their clinics in order to use the blood for procedures for other dogs.
In watching the Jones family interact with the dogs currently in their home, there is no question there is a passion from the couple to make sure each animal they bring in or pick up is able to find a good home.
Anyone interested in adopting a greyhound or making a donation to GALT can give Lonnie or Marion Jones a call at 806-397-0043 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about GALT, you can go to the organizationâ€™s website at www.galtx.org.