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Letter Sent to Adopters on July 23, 2014

new kennel enclosure
Dear Friends of Friends of Greyhounds,

As many of you know Friends of Greyhounds, a 501c3 charity, was asked to vacate the kennel location at Florida Kennels for reasons that are certainly still unclear. We had a decent 11 year relationship with the track, took no stand on dog racing in the state and just did what we did best, moved over 1900 dogs into homes all throughout the states. Some arrived at our kennel healthy and happy but many, many arrived with broken hocks, injuries of many sorts, tired or scared. But FoG always accepted them and found them homes. Sometimes the homes were lost due to foreclosures or jobs or divorce and we were still there. Our founders have tirelessly given time, tears, sweat and fortune to the dogs.

Now we are at a crossroads and we need to reach near and far. We need to keep Friends of Greyhounds on top of the greyhound rescue groups for the most important reason — the dogs need our help.

We have never written a fundraising letter, have never asked the Greyhound community as a whole to dig into their pockets and support this wonderful organization. This letter changes that.

We have found a property where we can continue our mission. It would allow Friends of Greyhounds the ability to care for and adopt out available dogs and be a gathering place for anything that has to do with the good of the dogs. As always we would be open for returns and retiring dogs. But we would also have the greyhound dog park, the student group visits and be a place for the community to continue to gather and honor the dogs that we have all come to love. We want to see a permanent place for the collars to hang and a facility where we can continue being one of the largest adoption groups in the country. And we want a special homeplace for the senior dogs who might have to live out their lives at the kennel – FoG’s own sanctuary for seniors.

We have found an ideal location. We need $750,000 to purchase, remodel and open the new facility. I know it sounds like a huge amount but its really not bad. We have placed almost two thousand dogs. About 25% went to homes through other groups. But if you will help us, working with just our direct adopters, if each dog owner was able to donate $350.00 per dog we could get the dogs into that property. We are searching for grants and we will certainly need some larger commitments from a few of you, but many people and organizations want to see that we have the backing of our own adopters. Please help us to show them that YOU realize how important this mission and FoG’s commitment is to the lives and well being of these wonderful, innocent dogs.

An immediate check in that amount would be the easiest and fastest way to help. FoG also has an online Paypal system. Please commit to this worthwhile effort today. Many of us work for companies that provide matching grants to non-profits (American Express, Home Depot, etc.) and FoG is eligible at every company match. That could double the impact of your donation. And we sorely need that money and any extra that you can spare.

If you are unable to make this commitment now a small amount now with a commitment of $20 or $25 a month on an automatic payment can accomplish this dream, too. Those kinds of payments will help keep the kennel going.

Friends of Greyhounds never said no to a dog- We always made room and we always took our returns. We will continue this mission with your help.

Please share this letter with your relatives, neighbors, coworkers, friends and with your other rescue friends. Post it in your facebook posts. Please honor the dogs that we have and those who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge by making a donation in their name .

My dream is that we can enable Friends of Greyhounds to never have to think about money again. Jerry and Michelle are giving up their home and everything they’ve built in Sunrise to commit all of their personal resources to this chance to provide for these dogs. Can you please pledge 350 dollars in the name of each of your dogs? We have enclosed a way to do this. It is not a lot of money for something so important. It is for the dogs we have loved and lost, for those we have with us now and for those who are still to come and do not know what their future holds.

With your donation, Friends of Greyhounds can continue to be their future. Please donate using the website link or send a tax deductible check to Friends of Greyhounds at 2621 NW 105 Lane, Sunrise, FL 33322. The dogs will thank you for it and so will we.

Thanks with love,

Maurice R Mizrahi
Fundraiser Chair
Friends of Greyhounds, Inc.

John’s Happy Tails Report
7/28/14 Mostly Happy Tales About Greyhounds, Some We Know, Some We Don’t And Other Related Events.

10501907_777178752302428_9081623554479343774_nWell, we found out first hand that the letters have been mailed out. We will probably be doing a lot of time fundraising for the new kennel unless we find a few very generous sponsors in the immediate future. I am in Dade and the action is in Broward. I’d lean on Michelle to supply us with the information and updates straight from the horse’s mouth, but I’m sure she’s got her schedule full working on the new kennel. I originally wanted to just write some news because she was always busy and I enjoyed updating and filling in on what was going on in the kennel. Of course, this was back in the days when almost all the action was on the weekends and I was there all weekend. Now it’s a little different, so I must be content with mostly filler material until the real deal comes along.

Como Se Yama

Como Se Yama

We currently have eight dogs listed as available for adoption. The latest arrivals are Como Se Yama and Pinball Wiz. Como is a senior lady, almost eleven years old, she was found wandering the streets and is currently in a foster home waiting for someone to let her finish out her life in her own real home. She is cat and other dog tolerant, and is house trained; she just needs some love and attention. Pinball Wiz is a youngster, may have been good at pinball but not at racing. He is currently on home trial with his sister, which may or may not be permanent. He is a beautiful pup and he will definitely find a home pretty darn quick. For more information on them and any of the other dogs, you may contact Jerry or Michelle. One advantage we have over the other kennel, we’re not limited to weekends, you can set up an appointment to see any of the dogs anytime during the week.

In other less important news, we had four greyhounds running loose and wild at the Miami Springs dog park last Saturday evening. Diffy was ecstatic when he saw Lizzy and Trent enter, and even Joan O’Brien stopped in, so I’m glad to hear she was feeling better. There was a gathering up in Coral Springs this evening which I haven’t heard a report on. We missed it, got company in town and we had to take him to the airport this afternoon, but I will or Michelle will let us know how that turned out. I also have this happy tale from the new humans of Atascocita Degas, one of our up north girls who found her little bit of heaven on earth. I Will share this with you unless they edit it out. [Click here for Atascocita Degas happy tale.] Even though we’re temporarily almost running on empty, we are still making an impact throughout the land. Hopefully I will have more of these stories in the near future. Remember, we’re still open for business, we still have greyhounds and hopefully you will get some good news in the near future straight from the FOG’s mouth.

Atascocita Degas (AKA Koko)

Dear Michelle,

We would like to thank you and your organization, “Friends of Greyhounds” so much for rescuing greyhounds. We have been adopting rescued greyhounds since April of 1993 and always have two dogs to keep each other company. In March of this year, we lost our beloved Lilly to cancer. Our remaining dog, Rosie, was very depressed without a buddy to play with in the back yard. The group from which we have adopted our last two greyhounds, Greyhound Adoptions of Florida, were in the process of refurbishing their kennels and would not have any dogs available for adoption for 2-3 months. Our family, especially Rose, could not wait that long. During an internet search, we found Greyhound Pets of America with a Delaware chapter that was not far from our home in West Chester, PA (about 20 miles west of Philadelphia). On their website was one of the dogs you originally rescued in Florida called Atascocita Degas. She had been fostered by a very nice couple in Newark, DE for six months and was looking for a “forever home”, preferably with another dog. The fostering couple, John and Tracey, had been calling her Koko (much easier to say than her racing name), so we have kept that name.

We adopted Koko on April 12, 2014 and brought her to her “forever home”. We live on one acre of land with over half of that fenced in as a back yard. Koko LOVES her big back yard and enjoys running and playing with her new sister, Rose. The two get along very well. She was very skittish at first, especially with men. Gradually, Koko has become more trusting of people. She enjoys her walks and loves when someone chases her. We also have a vacation home in the Pocono Mountains in PA. This house has a fenced in back yard as well but also has a turkey mound. This is a buried but elevated septic tank that measures ~ 15’ x 30’ x 5’ in height. Koko runs around the turkey mound when Rose or one of her human family members chases her. She also likes to run on top to her position as “Queen of the Mound”. She just turned three years old on July 20th and still acts very much like a puppy. She is very mild natured, sweet and loving in addition to being a playful, silly nut. Koko has brought us much love and joy. We look forward to many years ahead with her. Thank you once again for starting her journey that has now reached a happy ending for Koko and our family.

Sincerely,
The Siegerman Family (Brad, Julie, Nicole and Jacob…and Rose and Koko)

Koko gets adopted!

Koko gets adopted!

Koko and Rose

Koko and Rose

Koko in the Poconos

Koko in the Poconos

Boot Kamp Beast is Helping FoG!

Donation based Boot Kamp classes with 10% of the donations to be given to Friends of Greyhounds.

August 2 & 16 at 7:00 AM
RSVP – phone or text to 954-693-6333 or kwintle@bootkampbeast.com

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John’s Happy Tails Report
7/22/14 Mostly Happy Tales About Our Greyhounds From Where Ever We Can Get Them For The Near Future.

July 21st was a personal day off, not by choice but by sheer lack of time. Birthdays only come once a year (except for cats who celebrate nine days a year) and a visit by my big little boy pretty much took up the day. I feel that it’s very appropriate that my birthday falls on the anniversary of two great Civil War battles. Both battles of BULL RUN were on my birthday, and I have been known for bull run for some reason. There were no big events or news to miss however, so I don’t feel too guilty. We are still working on the new kennel; Michelle and Jerry are busy as bees trying to put this together. They have the dream, they have the motivation and about the five hundred thousand? Two out of three ain’t bad and they’re working on it. We met Joan O’Brien at the Miami Springs dog park on Sunday and she and Diffy put on a speed and agility demonstration that wowed the other dog people. There was a big bull dog there that was built like and actually looked a lot like Larry Csonka. The regular dog parks only remind us of how much we miss our play yard and our fast friends.

Atascocita Otto & Atascocita Sue

Atascocita Otto & Atascocita Sue

The available dog list is interesting as usual. We have nine dogs available on this list, but two have been delivered to homes already. However, we just received two nine year olds as returns. Atascocita Otto and Atascocita Sue are used to being together, and at nine, why separate them, so we’re hoping that they can go out together. They are well behaved and are ready to just walk in and be experienced pets, so if you have room in your house and room for a couple years of senior love in your heart, they would be glad to share the rest of their time together with you. Sue is cat tolerant but Otto is not. I think there’s a new puppy arriving also. His name is Tommy, racing name is either Pinball Wiz or Pinball Wizard. I don’t have the complete story, I want to say that he was the one that either ran backward (the wrong way, but not in reverse) or he tried to get the rabbit by going across the track instead of chasing it around the track. Either way, he doesn’t have a racing future, but he’s obviously pretty sharp, you might want him as a business partner as well as a pet. In the unusual but not necessarily useful news department, Michelle informed me that this August will be the only time in our lifetime that August will have five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It only happens every 823 years. We had our chance for a five weekend August and missed out because we had to close the kennel down two months before. So we missed out on a five weekend month, but it wasn’t entirely our fault. Ok, that’s the news on the fly as I have it for this week. Stay tuned, we hope to be giving some good progress reports as soon as we get some good progress to report. Remember, we are still open for business and we have greyhounds available for adoption. I may not always know the exact number, but check the website or call Jerry or Michelle and they will be glad to set up an appointment at your convenience. One advantage already being realized, we’re not restricted to five hours, two days a week, so we will be a lot more convenient for potential adopters. We’re rollin’ baby.

Walk Your Dog and Donate to FoG!

If you are reading this you probably have a dog. Also there is a good chance you have an iPhone or Android Phone.

Friends of Greyhounds has registered with WoofTrax for an exciting new application for your smartphone. When you walk your dog your smartphone tracks the walk and donates to FoG. The best part is that you walk your dog and WoofTrax makes the donation, not you.

You are going to walk your dog anyway. And you always take your smartphone with you on those walks. Now with every step you take Friends of Greyhounds will benefit and it will cost you nothing.

How to get started:

  1. Click this link to go to WoofTrax
  2. Get the app from either the iTunes Store or Google Play.
  3. After the application is installed on your smartphone register and don’t forget to select Friends of Greyhounds.
  4. Now, every time you put the leash on your dog remember to start the application on your smartphone and FoG will enjoy your walk, too.

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The FoG is still Rolling!

I know that my “silence” has worried a few of you. I honestly did not realize I had gone so long without giving an update for the website. I am sorry. I have been talking to and emailing many of our people and I knew John was writing his wonderful blog and my updates just kept getting postponed. So let’s make up for lost time.

Please know that I am working every single day on the future for these dogs. Our home in Sunrise is our current base of operations but we are working on a new location and Jerry & I are hustling every single day of the week.

10553500_770750286278608_8950079589864840125_nWe are working adoptions from our home. Lelys and I drove Atascocita Fain and Atascocita Johan to Jacksonville where they are happily napping with Beverly & Robert. Of course Lelys posted great photos on Facebook. I hope you saw them. Don’t pay any attention to the video of me singing with the radio. (They tell me I can’t fire volunteers. Darn.) AtascocitaGabby finally went to her new home and I’ve gotten great pix of her napping in the shoe closet. Romeo (Chicks Love Me) is in a great home in Boca. And we have an app on Cindy Cee (Abby) as well as a potential (meaning I’ve gotten the call but not the paperwork) app for Benny of Ruckus. His delivery will have to be next month but we’re happy for him.

We have two dogs staying with adopters who live near the house. Both are older girls and the people have room to let them be part of the family until their real family comes around. And the foster parents are nearby. So if anyone is interested in Keltie or Yammy (Como Se Yama), I can get them easily. We needed the room because we have more dogs coming in tomorrow! (Stay tuned!)

But the big focus of our lives lately has been the need for a new kennel location. We want a place where we can live on site and care for the dogs. We’ll be able to see adopters any day or time we choose. When we started all of this, I used to write up notes about the perfect kennel compound we were going to build. I have lots of information about what I wanted in the space and on the property. But when we were offered the Hialeah kennel, it allowed us to adopt out lots of dogs right away and we tabled the idea of our own compound. That ride is over and we have dusted off our dreams.

Because of the economic atmosphere, those big dreams had to be adapted but we can still do a lot of it. We’ve been looking at property and the best options seem to be in Southwest Ranches. We’ve found a property with a good sized yard and a huge “rec room” that can be made into a kennel. We’re figuring on 25 dogs or so. That’s enough for us to give you choices and not kill ourselves or rile up the neighbors in the process. We will live in the house and there’s room for an office area, a shop area and a little room that will be nice den for people and possible new dogs to meet and get to know one another. Everything is under one roof so there’s no running out in the rain to get to the office.

And it will have something special. I have always wanted there to be a “little cottage in the back for someone to take care of the unwanted dogs”. Well this property has a “mother in law” suite and we will be able to make that our Senior Sanctuary. When we get the property, we’ll tell you more about that project but for now, we can say that our older or broken dogs will have a real home. Jerry Berlin has agreed to come aboard as our live in caretaker for these very special dogs. And in case you don’t know it, he also will be co-conspirator with our president Jerry in the ham radio room. And he will act as our in-house computer operations center manager. He’s already planning the in-house computer network so I can pull up data on the dogs from anywhere!

It is beyond exciting! I can’t begin to tell you our plans. But it’s going to take a village. We will need everyone to help with this purchase and with turning a house into a kennel. But we’ll have our own dog park and places for greyhounds to play anytime. We will need someone with the expertise to fill in a swimming pool. We’ll probably want to get an architect in there to double check that the changes we need to make aren’t damaging anything critical – and maybe to second guess our design ideas. We’ll need kennels and fencing in the right places. We’ll need to add some dog food prep area so we’ll need some cabinets installed and plumbing. There are no appliances in the house kitchen so those will need to be installed. We’ll definitely need help MOVING! And so will Jerry B. And of course, Jerry the President will need his riding lawn mower! There are so many details but nothing can happen until we put together some MONEY.

Start saving because we’re going to come knocking pretty soon. The doggies need a new home. We can do this! You’ll see! Make sure you are on our mailing list. Go to the bottom banner on any page of our website and find the yellow box. You can sign up in there. I’d rather have you sign up twice than get lost in the shuffle. Join our Facebook for more updates from Lelys.

The dogs will have their own place to play. I just can’t wait. Can you?


I want our blog to end on a happy note but I cannot close without mentioning the passing of a wonderful man, Bill Sharpsteen, founder of Gold Coast Greyhounds has succumbed to cancer. He is out of pain and he is now up there caring for greyhounds. Bill was a jovial, unassuming guy that we met in 2008 when he took a few of our “D kennel” dogs. He lived in Clearwater in a two story condo building with no elevator. He was on the ground floor but when we delivered the dogs, a small flurry of people descended on his condo and everyone left with one dog, many struggling to quickly teach their dog to walk upstairs! He had no kennel. He had volunteers. And every weekend and some evenings, they were over at the neighborhood pet store telling people about greyhounds. It was so neat. And he didn’t have a dog of his own. They were all his dogs but the condo would only allow you one dog per unit so if he had committed to one dog, he couldn’t have been the “backup” for all the others. That always amazed me.

He loved baseball and good food (BBQs was his hot button) and he ran a real business so that he could run the business he loved, Gold Coast Greyhounds. He took care of the non-profit paperwork and spun off Gold Coast Groups to Orlando, Gainesville, Sarasota and probably more that I can’t remember, and of course, his own group in Clearwater. In the past couple of years, he and I developed a regular routine of meeting in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel in Ft. Myers. I’d bring him vetted dogs for his group so they could move them more quickly. Our dogs got to be fostered instead of being in kennels. I kinda think some of them were spoiled a bit, too. I loved those trips and my visits with Bill. His groups will be a strong legacy for him and he can watch from above with great pride – probably from a Cracker Barrel rocking chair! He had a great life and has so much to be proud of. But he definitely will be missed by a lot of us.

John’s Happy Tails Report
7/14/14 Mostly Happy Tales From One Step Beyond.

The latest word on the ongoing AtascocitaGabby story is that she has finally been picked up and is in her new home. Three full months but she finally made it, so congratulations to her and her family and I hope they keep us posted on how she’s doing. The FOG kennel is fully functional and operating as always with the exception of the Hialeah kennel not being used and the number of dogs is and will be less than the old standard four dozen. Outside of that, we still have some great dogs available and you can contact Michelle or Jerry to come see them at the kennel in Sunrise, or I believe it’s possible if you have one or two in mind, that they will actually visit you with the hounds, possibly depending on how badly they need the kennel space. You can call and verify that, but I believe that’s how we are operating at the moment. At the very least the home kennel is located in Sunrise and it’s fairly easy to get to. If I can find it, anybody can. [Click here for our address and phone numbers.]

Atascocita Sue

Atascocita Sue

We are moving along with the new kennel. A location in the Southwest Ranches area is available and seems to be pretty close to what we have in mind. Next up, we have the financing of this huge project. Plans A and B are so far in place, but most likely we will have to go past that to Plan C, infinity, and even beyond. Estimated cost is around five hundred thousand dollars. Plan A is to sell 5 of my wife’s chocolate chip cookies at a hundred thousand dollars each. Plan B is to sell five hundred thousand chocolate chip cookies at a dollar apiece. Her cookies are always excellent but I think we’ll be moving on to Plan C and beyond. So, we have a possible location and we’re starting to work on ideas for financing the project. So, let’s get busy with some great fund raiser ideas or if you happen to have half a mil sitting around that you’re not going to use, FOG will be more than happy to make good use of it.

Atascocita Otto

Atascocita Otto

We have seven dogs available and they should be on the website, with two more returns coming in this week. Atascocita Otto and Atascocita Sue are their names I believe, and they are being returned because their owner is having surgery with a lengthy recovery and has to relocate to New England. The dogs have been in their home for around five years and they are both probably close to social security age, or around ten years old. I hope to have all the facts by next week, but this will put the total dogs available at nine by the end of the week. Atascocita Johan and Atascocita Fain were delivered to their new homes in Jacksonville and at last report were settling in. I have on eye on the website waiting for the real official word from Michelle, but it hasn’t happened yet, so we’ll have to go with my version, but that’s ok, if not totally correct, at least I’m pretty close. The new location will have a nice play yard where the alumni can gather and break wind together, but in the meantime we’ll have to go with what we can find. Diffy has been visiting the dog park in Miami Springs the past two weekends, and the big breed snob does miss his friends from the kennel. Hopefully we can get a little get together together in the near future. Ok, that’s all the news as I know it. Stand by, things should start moving forward in the very near future and remember, the kennel is still open and in full operation with real live breathing dogs available for adoption.

John’s Happy Tails Report
7/7/14 Mostly Happy Tales From Hialeah, But Not The Kennel, And News About The New Kennel.

Cindy Cee

Cindy Cee

Greetings Earthlings, much has happened in the past week. I don’t know how much I’m authorized to talk about, so we will keep it mild here, but it looks like plenty of stuff on the horizon. First off, the powers that be are back from the Alaska thing. Wet, cold, and wonderful, they said, which is about standard for that sort of thing. They didn’t waste much time getting down to work. The way I heard it, several sites have been looked at already; with plans being drawn up for exactly what they will require. I am hoping that Michelle or Jerry will put out an update with more complete details than I have to offer at the current moment. Things are moving forward however, and we’re trying to have a little get together for the FOG alumni so the old gang can get back together. It’s been almost a month and my Diffy for one, is missing the old weekend routine of seeing and playing with his friends. Dog parks are ok, but it’s not the same.

Acehigh Jessie

Acehigh Jessie

On the dogie scene, there’s been plenty of action for nothing going on. The more things change the more they seem to stay the same. Atascocita Johan and Atascocita Fain went out and were returned last week. Since then they have been readopted. Hopefully this works out for them, they will be living with two other greyhounds and I believe the humans are previous FOG adopters, so they look to be in good hands. AtascocitaGabby has been waiting seemingly forever to get into her new house. As usual, not the dog’s fault, or even her humans this time. The new house inspection was causing the problem and I heard that she will be home free this week. From what I’ve seen of the potential adopters, Gabby, it will be well worth the wait. Returnees Acehigh Jessie, Chicks Love Me and Cindy Cee are currently available in the temporary Sunrise Kennel and you are welcome to visit them, but call Michelle or Jerry first. Cindy Cee used to be the spin queen of the kennel, she would spin upon command. It will be interesting to see if she still does that little trick. Benny of Ruckus is also awaiting his forever home. He went out with another dog, but proved to be a little more Alpha, so he will have to find a home without other dogs or cats most likely. He loves people, so he’s got that going for him. Keltie was picked up from a shelter, and I have no information on her, except that her name is Keltie, and a senior was picked up from the street and will be joining us this week, I think her name is Como Se Yama, which is all I have as being facts at the time, but don’t bet on it. No pun intended. So, we do have some dogs currently ready to be adopted. We have kennels waiting for us to make room to give us replacements. The best we can hope for now is speedy construction, but we have already started, so hang on to your poop scooper, you may see nothing but dust and tail feathers as we gain momentum. So that’s all the news I have for the moment that’s fit to print. Stay tuned, and hopefully a new update or better update will be posted, but things have started to move, so keep us on the front burner.

Would You Like to Donate Your Dime?

Whole Foods Market in Coral Springs (Atlantic Blvd. & University Drive) will donate 10 cents to FoG if you use your own bag from July 7, 2014 through September 7, 2014.

Click here to share on Facebook.

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