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The Last Blog

Friends of Greyhounds is officially un-incorporated!! We are no longer a charitable organization, no longer a dog rescue, no longer needing volunteers or donations. Thank you all so very, very much! Jerry and I are very proud of our accomplishments and we owe it all to our volunteers and adopters and supporters. I want to mention certain people but I won’t because my memory is terrible and I would forget someone and hate myself forever!!

FoG was incorporated in 2001 and we soon picked up our first greyhounds from Florida Kennels. We lived and breathed for this organization and we are happy to know that we are no longer needed. I was very, very organized in the beginning but over the years of working a real job and handling FoG’s needs evenings and weekends, some of the organization slipped. To the best of our record keeping ability, we have placed (insert drum roll here) 2400 greyhounds.

We started out by putting up kennels in our garage and a keypad system on the door so our friends could get in to walk the dogs when we were at work. We did lots of paperwork, held yard sales to raise money and worked local festivals. Jerry Berlin, our adopter/webmaster made us look good online and he still does!! People began to find out about us. In 2001 we adopted out 7 dogs. In 2002, we adopted 38 dogs. We were thrilled. If we could do 38 or 40 dogs a year, we would be soooo proud!

In March, 2003 the track management asked us to come to a meeting at Flagler racetrack. There they offered to make us their official adoption group. We were not pro racing and they knew that. All they asked was that we take a stance as “neutral”. We accepted because it meant we would be able to care for and adopt a whole lot more dogs. It was not an easy decision and I lost a very dear friend over it. But we could see that the ability to have a kennel and someone to care for those 40 to 50 dogs in Hialeah while Jerry and I held down full time jobs in Broward would make all the difference. We met the manager of the compound, Luis Miranda and followed him to the Florida Kennels compound in Hialeah. We had never been there before and didn’t know it existed. He showed us kennel building #1 and gave us a key. There were already dogs inside and the kennel workers and trainers had been taking turns feeding and doing turnouts.

Florida Kennels provided the kennel workers and food. We were lucky to have that arrangement and it made all the difference in what we could do for the dogs. We explained many times that we were not pro-racing but the only way to get the dogs, care for the dogs, and adopt the dogs out meant working with the track industry. You can’t build a bridge without a foot on each shore. We were the neutral bridge. In 2003 we adopted 105 dogs and we were thrilled. Our best year was 2013 when we adopted 315 dogs in one year!! In June of 2014, we had a disagreement with the track management and we left Florida Kennels. We still adopted 180 dogs that year!

Now that dog racing has ended in this area, we are no longer needed because no dogs are coming from the track. We will always honor our commitment to help our adopters in any way we can and we will always accept any of our adopted dogs, and frankly, any greyhound, back. We won’t let a greyhound go to a pound (or worse) if we can help it. That is our promise to you and to the dogs.

It’s been a heck of a ride! Nineteen years and 2400 dogs! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Please kiss your dogs for us and maybe if there’s a spare cookie. . .

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle & Jerry