Chris Seed probably
never thought anything out of the ordinary would come from their
adopting a retired greyhound racing dog.
It has been about 12 years since the Seeds had Trippa, who has now
passed on, move north from her home in Florida to become part of their
family. And for 10 years they have operated Adopt-A-Greyhound of
Central Canada, a local organization that finds homes for retired race
“Little did we know that she was going
to completely change our lives,” Seed says with a laugh.
The Seeds came about adopting Trippa from a small
Southern Ontario, which focused almost solely on the adoption aspect
of these retired race dogs. Seed says she and her husband started to
think about the benefits of educating others about these wonderful
“We thought getting out there and letting people know
about the dogs would be the best thing,” she says. “This small
organization (in Southern Ontario) resisted the idea and so we started
our own organization in 1996.”
who along with her husband has worked tirelessly for the past decade
to place retired racing greyhounds in good homes, is seen here with
two-year-old Tattoo, a greyhound waiting to be placed with loving
The Seeds have worked tirelessly for the past decade to
help place as many retired greyhounds in loving homes as possible.
While they don’t like to count the number of adoptions, which are
irrelevant says Seed, the work they have done so far is tremendous.
even have five greyhounds, which they have adopted, living with them
currently in their home outside of
all five acting as the house’s welcoming committee whenever someone new
“Our goal is simply to see as many of these magnificent dogs
adopted as we can,” says Seed. “The reality is that there are tens of
thousands of greyhounds that are retired annually from racing.”
Seed says many people don’t seem to understand how extensive
dog racing is in the United States because in Canada it is not allowed.
Every state has at least one race dog track.
In Florida, from where the Seeds rescue many of the animals,
there are 16 tracks.
Greyhounds usually start racing at 18 months of age and are
only given a few chances to prove themselves. The majority of dogs are
retired within one to three years, with a handful lasting to the age of
five, the maximum age for a racing dog in the State of Florida.
With an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, these dogs are
still virtually puppies when they retire.
“These dogs have a longevity that you don’t see in larger
dogs,” explains Seed. “When they retire they still have a whole lot of
living to do.”
In the past couple years, more and more organizations helping
to find homes for retired greyhounds have been sprouting up in the United
States and Canada, with many openly condemning the dog racing industry.
This is not the case with Adopt-A-Greyhound, which works in co-operation
with many trainers in Florida who choose to turn dogs over for adoption
rather than being euthanized.
“There are a lot of adoption groups that are anti-racing. We
are neutral on the subject; we simply want to focus our efforts on finding
homes for these dogs and we don’t want anything to take attention away
Amongst their efforts of helping retired greyhounds find
homes, the Seeds have also tried to erase the common misconceptions that
people have about greyhounds.
“There is a misconception that they are high maintenance and
hyper, and just a whole lot of fuss all together,” says Seed. “It is
really not true, they make wonderful pets; they are gentle, lovable, quiet
and very adaptive. These dogs are their own best ambassador, no matter
what sort of dog you have had these dogs will have you coming back.”
As Tattoo, a newly acquired greyhound waiting to be placed in
his home, races around the Seeds’ backyard, Seed explains that although
these dogs come from a racing background, they are very docile.
“We call them the 45 mile per hour couch potato. They run and
play for a bit and then sleep for about 18 to 20 hours per day,” laughs
Seed, as Tattoo proves her point by dropping at her feet for a nap. “They
are like a cat in a dog suit.”
After adopting a greyhound, helping the new family member
adapt to the new surroundings can take a bit of time and patience.
Although they are quick to learn, racing greyhounds spend their days in a
crate, so they are unaware of the minutest details in a home.
It is for this reason that Adopt-A-Greyhound has limited
adoption boundaries, eastern Ontario, western Quebec and northern New
York, so that they can offer personalized support after an adoption.
“Greyhounds do not know the basics of everyday; you have to
teach them not to walk into windows, how to climb stairs, what a mirror
is, about other animals, how to walk on shiny floors.”
While they make great pets, Seed says they are not for
“These dogs should never be off a leash outside. If people
want a dog they can take to a park, a greyhound is just not that dog,”
For more information visit www.adopt-a-greyhound.ca or call