Articles from the GFNJ Newsletter -
N. J. Home Stretch
(Volume 8, Issue1 - Summer, 2005)
'Planet Day' picnic to kick off fall/winter season of GFNJ activities
Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc., will kick off its fall season with a Greyhound Planet Day celebration at our fall picnic on Sunday, September 18, at Duke Island Park, Bridgewater.
Once again, Irene Ullmann is coordinating this celebration of the greyhound and is planning some extra-special events for the picnic, which is scheduled for 11am to 3pm. (click here for link for directions and response form)
There'll be lots of vendors on hand to supply you with new collars and coats for your greys and new jewelry and clothing for yourself, family and friends.
Therapy dog testing will be conducted by Therapy Dogs International, so start your very basic training now. Most of the greyhounds are born therapy dogs!
The fee for testing your dog is $15. For the requirements go to http://www.tdi-dog.org/tditesting.html
Among the special attractions will be Blessing of the Hounds, a visit from The Star-Ledger pet columnist Joan Lowell Smith, and an opportunity to discuss your pet problems with stress therapist Teri Hyatt, who has worked so successfully with many of our greys. She will discount her rate for the day. Make an appointment for you and your problem child by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org
A pot luck lunch along with our usual super raffle and fun 'n games with the greys will round out the day. And if you're ready for a new grey, you might just find one among our recent arrivals.
What is 'Planet Day'?
Greyhound Planet Day is an international celebration of the greyhound aimed at increasing appreciation worldwide of the greyhound and related dogs such as Galgos and lurchers.
The goals of the observance are to raise public awareness of the greyhound's beauty and attributes, to educate the public about the status of greyhounds and related breeds and to honor those members of this remarkable breed who have passed on.
Join us at our fall picnic September 18 as we do our part to make this a momentous occasion and introduce these wondrous dogs to others who have not yet had the pleasure of a greyhound's companionship.
Craft Show to return to Bridgewater 4-H December 3-4
Plans already are well underway for the 2005 edition of our Craft Show/Pet Expo, to be held on Saturday and Sunday, December 3 & 4, at the Somerset County 4-H Building in Bridgewater, NJ.
Patty Comerford again is serving as coordinator of this ninth annual major fund-raiser, with Terryl Jackson in charge of the raffle and Chris Griffith handling vendor spaces. Donna Patt is signing up volunteers to staff the two-day event.
As in past years, the craft show will feature products for all your pets - not only greyhounds - as well as holiday gift items for family and friends. Food will be available, along with our ever-popular bake sale, providing delicious home-baked goodies for every taste. Rose Comerford and Mary O'Donnell once again will chair this event.
Of course, Santa Claus will be visiting with us throughout the two days to pose for photographers with your pets and/or kids for a nominal charge. Maria Lutz, who chaired this phase of the activity last year, will be Santa's once again.
To ensure that all booths are arranged conveniently with easy access, Bill Brouillard will take charge of the building layout.
This major undertaking, while it benefits our greyhounds, is not limited to greyhound owners. Tell your friends and relatives about it and encourage them to come and do some of their holiday shopping with us.
Meanwhile, help us gather raffle prizes and volunteer your time to help.
Further details can be found on our web page as well as in our next issue of NJ Home Stretch.
What you can do…(to help with the craft show)
Lots of help is needed to make the craft show a success. Here's what you can do to help:
- solicit raffle prizes from businesses and restaurants you patronize
- sign up with Donna Patt to volunteer your time for such activities as taking admissions, selling raffle tickets, helping at the GFNJ merchandise table, selling food, etc.
- make goodies for the bake sale
- sell (and buy) advance raffle tickets when the prize list is completed
- help with Friday night set up
There'll be an opportunity to sign up for time slots at our September 18 picnic. Look for Donna Patt and let her know when you're available.
Plainfield shutdown, Arizona crisis brings GFNJ influx of dogs; more track closings pending
The unexpected mid-May closing of the greyhound race track in Plainfield, Connecticut, brought a record 38 dogs (including one with a broken leg) to Greyhound Friends of NJ over a span of just a few short weeks.
Thanks to an outpouring of support from fosters and veterinarians, we were able to accommodate this surge of dogs and find good homes for them. Some 25 dogs were adopted or spoken for at our May spring picnic, all going to pre-approved adopters.
The spurt of publicity surrounding the Plainfield closing also raised renewed interest in our beautiful greys, and the resultant applications enabled us to take in and place 12 dogs from Tucson, Arizona, where two kennel owners had abandoned 250 greyhounds.
Meanwhile, we've continued to take in other New England dogs, plus some from Florida.
Now, as fall approaches, we'll be facing an even bigger crisis with three tracks planning seasonal closings, instead of the usual two. Again, there will be a need for foster homes, so get ready to pitch in and help once more. Let us know what you're able to do.
Let one dog's death be a reminder: GFNJ continues to care even after adoption
Dennis was a beautiful, sweet-natured greyhound whose untimely death can serve as a reminder to all of our adopters and, we hope, prevent future needless tragedies.
Dennis' adopter who claims to be a "dog trainer" refused to heed the advice of Greyhound Friends and allowed his two greys to run in the yard unmuzzled. Even after an initial incident in which his other grey was bitten, the dogs apparently continued running together while muzzles were in the mail to him. It is not clear if it was the other greyhound or another dog who attacked Dennis, but he was badly ”not fatally” bitten.
The bill to repair the damage at the Atco Veterinary Hospital was estimated at $500. The adopter, without consulting GFNJ, decided this was more than Dennis' life was worth and he instructed the vet to kill this excellent dog less then a month after adopting him.
So the unnecessary and cruel death of this 4-year-old greyhound should not be in vain, we are reminding our adopters that our interest in the greyhounds does not end with their adoption.
In many instances we have loaned adopters money ”interest free” to help with exorbitant veterinary bills. In other cases we have taken dogs back in need of routine or sometimes extraordinary, veterinary care which we then have provided at our expense prior to re-homing the dog.
In Dennis' case we would have taken care of his medical needs and reclaimed him since this adopter was incapable of managing a multi-dog household.
We mourn the unnecessary loss of Dennis, but we hope his death can save the lives of other greyhounds whose adopters are unwilling or unable to provide the needed medical care they committed to when they made the decision to add a pet to their family and signed their adoption contract.
Dennis' photo can be seen on our Rainbow Bridge web page.
PETsMART offers holiday benefits
PETsMART'S "Wish Tree Program" a gift card promotion to aid homeless animals will be held again this year during the Christmas season.
Customers can choose to donate $1, $5 or $10 to participating groups, and at the end of the eight-week program (December 26, 2005) the donations will be totaled up and the designated groups will receive PETsMART gift cards in equitable amounts.
The list of stores where we participate appears on Page 2 and on our web page. Please patronize those stores and remember GFNJ with a donation. These funds help us buy supplies for our prison dogs.
Santa photo help needed
Photos with Santa at the PETsMART stores are a major source of funding for GFNJ, but lots of help is needed.
We're in the process now of setting December dates for our participation, and volunteers are being recruited to play Santa Claus, to take Polaroid pictures and to process the orders.
The more help we can get at each store the less of a burden it will be, so contact the coordinator for the store closest to you and schedule a time you can help. This is a fun way to earn dollars for the greyhounds, particularly if we have sufficient help.
GFNJ to increase adoption fee by $35
Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc. will raise its adoption fee from $200 to $235 effective October 1 as a result of increased costs, particularly in the area of health care.
The new donation still among the lowest in the area now will include automatic deworming of all dogs and a leash and martingale collar. Leashes and collars have been sold to adopters at a cost of $15 per set. Muzzles will continue to be provided at no cost to those adopters who have small pets.
Even with the increase, the overall cost of vetting and maintaining the dogs will exceed the adoption donation income, and outside fund-raising will continue to be essential. Donations are always welcome, and adopters are reminded that GFNJ qualifies for matching funds from employers who have charitable contribution programs.
We will continue to pursue grant opportunities as well as promoting our annual fund-raisers: the three picnics and the craft show. Your continued support of these events will insure the future financial health of the organization and our ability to provide for "special needs" dogs, especially those with broken legs requiring expensive orthopedic surgery.
Have you checked out our new web page?
Thanks to the efforts of Linda Lyman, Donna Patt and Patty Comerford, the Greyhound Friends of NJ web page has been redesigned to the raves of those who have visited it.
The web page was maintained for many years by Janice McDonald, and then taken over for an interim period by Laura Mease. Both have our gratitude for their hard work and dedication.
The new format is more interactive, and more easily updated. Donna Patt continues to be our chief photographer, posting pictures of our dogs available for adoption. Patty Comerford is keeping our events schedule up to date. Linda Lyman has overall charge of the web page.
Check it out at www.greyhoundfriendsnj.org we're sure you'll like it!
Cook books are still available
Our very popular cook books are still available for sale, so order yours today for holiday gift giving.
The picture and recipe laden books, at a cost of $10, plus $2 postage, may be ordered from Linda Lyman, 856 751-5134, or e-mail email@example.com. They'll also be on sale at our September 18 picnic.
They make great gifts for family and friends, and for yourself.
Fall cleanup time could help GFNJ and the greyhounds
Fall is a great time to clean out your garage, attic, cabinets, etc., and put your discards to use helping the greyhounds.
Yard sales are an easy and excellent fund-raiser for GFNJ, and you can call on other adopters, family and friends to join you in this effort.
Let us know what and when you're planning your sale, and we'll get the word out to others in your area who can help by contributing items for sale and being on hand to help price and sell.
Your junk is someone else's treasure, and the proceeds will help pay vet and board bills for the greyhounds.
Lots to do with your greys…come and join us
As summer vacations come to a close, it's time to think about bringing your greyhound(s) out to some of our very important meet 'n greets and to the special events where we introduce our wonderful dogs to the public.
This is a great way to socialize those special greys who are shy, to give the outgoing guys and gals a chance to make new friends and to help us find more homes for the many greyhounds in need.
These events also are an important means of fund-raising for us.
For our adopters, participation generally results in new friendships, so it's a win-win situation for all.
Check out our regular schedule and call the coordinator to make sure that there's no date change, and be sure to look at our newly-designed web pagewww.greyhoundfriendsnj.org for updates on our many events.
Please click here to go to the Events page
Used printer cartridges, cell phones can net us $$
Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc. has embarked on a new and easy fund-raising effort.
We're looking for your empty ink jet or laser jet print cartridges or old cell phones (working or not) to turn them in for cash.
The "Cash for Critters" program pays us between $1 and $12 for each empty printer cartridge we collect, helping us raise funds and protecting the environment.
Save your cartridges and/or phones, bring them to one of our events, such as the fall picnic, turn them in and we'll do the rest. Your items also can be sent to Jodi Arthur, coordinator for this project, at 449 W Kings Highway, Audubon, NJ 08106.
You can also put in a little extra effort and contact local businesses, libraries, veterinarians, etc., and ask them to save their spent used cartridges. Flyers and a letter along with a complete list of acceptable cartridges are available from Jodi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the most common cartridges that are not acceptable are all Epson products; HP C5010A, C5011A, HP #10, #11, #12; C4800A/02A/03A; Canon BCI-32; Brother LC21 CMYK; BCI-3 and BCI-6; HP 80; 51640 CMY (color); 51644 CMY (color).
If you're not sure about your cartridge, just turn it in and we'll sort them out.
For information contact either Jodi or Linda Lyman, email@example.com, telephone 856- 751-5134. And thanks for your help!
'Special needs' dogs can be very special indeed
If you've checked out our web page recently, you may have noticed that we've eliminated the "special needs" designation and all dogs available for adoption are in alphabetical order.
The reason: too many potential adopters were passing over the "special needs" dogs and not even bothering to read about them. As a result, many people deprived themselves of the perfect companion for their household and wonderful dogs were waiting too long to find the perfect home.
We will always have dogs just a bit different for a variety of reasons: returned because of divorce, moving, etc., or maybe a bit older than the average because they raced longer or were used for breeding. Some dogs simply take longer to place because they can't live with small animals.
Here's a sampling of the available dogs who might be considered "special needs" but just might be the ideal dog for you.
Rock, a stunning, affectionate brindle boy, is 9 years old and is in foster care but craves a permanent place of his own. He was returned because of a recurrence of Rocky Mountain spotted fever caused him to be a bit cranky. We treated him and continue to monitor the disease through regular blood work. GFNJ will take lifetime responsibility for this aspect of his health if someone will take the same responsibility for his happiness. No small animals for Rock.
Berry is a gorgeous black boy, 4½ years, with no other then a dislike for cats. He's a graduate of our prison foster program, is extremely well-behaved and loving, and simply needs a cat-free home. He's in foster care but needs to get settled into his own environment ASAP.
Chance, a sweet-natured red boy, is 9 years old and has settled nicely into his foster home since being returned because of separation anxiety. He's made great strides since he's been living with other greys and will make an outstanding friend for anyone who craves companionship as he does.
Blue is a stunning black boy, 4 years old, who has lots of energy and needs a healthy outlet for it, such as obedience, agility, or other activity to occupy his active mind and body. No small animals for him.
Richie is another 4 year old black beauty who had a conflict with the husband in his first home. The ideal adopter would be strong-willed and capable of being the "boss" of the family. Richie can't live with small animals.
Tanya is an adorable red fawn girl who came to us quite shy buy has come out of her shell in her foster home. She should be with other, outgoing greyhounds.
We frequently have dogs from our prison foster program ready to go to their forever homes, but those homes are lacking. Often these dogs are not cat safe, which can be deterrent. But, we've also found, some people are fearful that an inmate will come knocking on their door some day if they adopt a prison dog. This will not happen.
The inmates are never told where their dogs are going. While we encourage the adoptive families to send photos and updates of the dogs, these must be sent through GFNJ and not directly to the inmates. The adopters do not sign their names or put their addresses on the notes. All communications with the inmates are screened by the prison administration prior to the inmates receiving them.
It should be added, however, that some of our prison dog adopters have opted to visit the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility with their adopted dogs and meet the inmates who cared for and trained them. This has been a rewarding experience for all concerned: dogs, adopters and inmates.
Now, given this information, won't you consider joining our list of more than 100 adopters of prison dogs? These greys are well-trained, well-socialized and maintained in beautiful condition. What a bargain!
Please click here to go to our Greys to Adopt page