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The 2016 Run For The Animals is dedicated in memory of Ryder



By 2010 I had been doing greyhound rescue work as a volunteer for about 15 years - fostering dogs, doing transport, interviewing adopters, etc. and I was the treasurer of Greyhound Friends of New Jersey. A few days before a scheduled board meeting I got a call asking if I would take a foster - a 5 year old male dog had “bounced,” meaning that his adopter was returning him. Seems the young child in the house had provoked a snap from Ryder so he was returned. Since I had no children and no cats (Ryder had cat tested poorly), I was a logical choice.

What a surprise I got when I met him at the board meeting - whopping 80+ lbs and very active - he never lay down during the entire evening but was very social greeting all the board happily. I helped him hop into my Explorer (lifting his back half) and we were on our way home up the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. Suddenly, while I was doing 60 MPH, there was Ryder in the front seat with me attempting to sit in my lap! I spent the whole hour ride holding him back with an arm across his chest. First purchase the next day was a gate for the truck.


It didn’t take long - less than a week - before I called the board president and told her I had to adopt him even though I had 3 dogs already. The first time he sidled up to my chair, put his front paws on my lap and threw his upper body against my chest I was smitten. He was the most affectionate of the many greyhounds I have fostered and adopted. He was good with the other dogs, accepted “guests” happily both animal and human and was a pleasure for the short 5 years I had him. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of abdominal cancer with no real treatment options and I lost him in early 2015.

When I began doing greyhound rescue work in the 80s in Massachusetts more than 40,000 greyhounds were killed each year - many in terrible inhumane ways. Greyhounds make great pets, adjust well to living in the house and are gentle and affectionate. They don’t deserve the life they have been born into.

Today, with less tracks, committed rescuers and owners, and fear of bad publicity, the Greyhound Racing Association of America says 80-90% of racing greyhounds coming off the track find adoptive homes. It is a cruel industry with many injuries to dogs and too much breeding - and still too many deaths.

Yvonne LaChapelle

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