Dog racing is big business. Whether or not you condone the enterprise, there’s no denying that it can take a toll on the racers. Not content to sit on the sidelines, this month’s featured grant recipient addresses the sport’s collateral damage, working to heal the bodies and spirits broken by years of circling the track.
Located in Los Angeles County, FastFriends Greyhound Adoption of California maintains a wide foster-home network. When it comes to their rescue, FastFriends has a one-track mind - to help transition greyhounds from racing careers to lives of companionship with adoptive families.
Until their rescue, most of these dogs have lived segregated lives, relegated to cages except for training and racing. If they sustain injuries, not uncommon in the sport, many times they are simply euthanized. While dog racing has been ruled illegal in many states, it is legal in Mexico. Nearly all of the greyhounds entrusted to the care of FastFriends come from one track in Tijuana, which, to their credit, treats their racers with more care than others.
In operation since 1995, FastFriends has exerted a phenomenal influence, placing thousands of retired greyhounds in loving homes. With no support from local or state government, they generate revenue through membership drives, fundraising activities, donations and grants like our own. Adoption fees are kept to a minimum and are calculated based upon the costs associated with a typical intake. Most of their funding goes towards veterinary care, medicine and food.
FastFriends depends upon the untiring work of dedicated foster-pet parents, some of whom have repeatedly opened their homes to greyhounds in need. Adopters witness time-and-again the transformation of these graceful creatures from socially awkward canines into affectionate, devoted companion animals. In their foster homes, they’re never abandoned in outdoor cages or runs, living their foster days indoors and in comfort. The typical fosterer usually has at least two track veterans in-home at any given time.
A true labor of love, at FastFriends not a single staffer takes a salary. Everyone volunteers their energies to make the venture a success. In 2012, they located homes for approximately 200 greyhounds. And this year, they fully expect to meet or exceed that number. Taken altogether, they’ve achieved a monumental benchmark, rescuing more than 3,300 veterans of the track!
They have an incredible success rate, placing nearly every dog they accept into care in forever homes. The only dogs who aren’t adopted out are those with significant health issues, like the one who has been most helped by our grant.
The financial assistance we provided helped to cover the costs of veterinary care for a special canine named Ranowski, ‘Randy’ for short. Among all others currently in their care, Randy represents the lengths to which FastFriends will go to provide the best possible care.
Randy retired from racing at age four with a broken hock (a joint in the hind leg, like a human’s ankle). His first four months of freedom centered on his recovery. Unfortunately, and likely due to the stress of the injury, he developed Pica, the persistent eating of non-nutritive objects (like the woman who ate her couch). Surgery was necessary to remove the ingested items. Around the same time, he was diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) after rapidly dropping 15 pounds. Not only did these setbacks put major stress on his body, they put him at death’s door on two separate occasions.
In the true race of his life, one to restore his health, Randy has crossed the finish line. FastFriends President Joyce McRorie says that now Randy is a “happy, goofy fellow” who “loves to give hugs”. After an extended period in her care, Randy now weighs a breed-appropriate 88 pounds and no longer suffers from Pica. Due to his medical needs and dietary restrictions, Randy will likely live out his days in foster care. Their expert knowledge of his condition coupled with their incredible devotion to his happiness will no doubt mean that he’s in for some serious pampering and loads of love. McRorie added, “The pleasure that we all get as we watch Randy run and play with toys, dogs and people, cannot be described … he will always have a home with us.”
Our grant will help with the continuing costs of his medical care, to give Randy the retirement befitting his spirit. After a career spanning 37 months racing, the only track Randy’s on these days is the fast-track to happiness.
We’d like to convey our heartfelt thanks to all of our readers and customers who, through their personal donations and continued business, make this and every grant possible. Each one of you has directly helped FastFriends to continue its vital work to make the world a better place for rescued greyhounds.
Remember, every time you order from Life’s Abundance, a portion of the profits goes directly to our foundation. If you would like to make an additional contribution to help ensure that deserving ventures like FastFriends Greyhound Adoption continue to receive much-needed financial support, please call us toll-free at 877-387-4564. Our non-profit will be thrilled to receive a donation, in any amount.
Check back next month for another dose of heartwarming news from our charitable foundation!