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Greyhounds ready for life after the track

Posted at 9:39 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 01:18:43-04

As live dog racing comes to an end in Tucson, local adoption groups have been busy finding homes for greyhounds.

Saturday, June 25th will be the last day of live races at the Tucson Greyhound Park. Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation last month to make live dog racing in Arizona illegal.

Since the beginning of April, Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption has been coordinating the efforts to move the dogs from the track into new homes. 

Mary Freeman is with the organization and says in the past two months 175 dogs have been placed with adoption groups. Another 44 will head to Oregon this weekend to find their forever homes.

Freeman says it's been a massive effort to safely place greyhounds. They have to be taken to the veterinarian to be spayed and neutered, micro chipped and have other general health checks.

Some of the dogs have injuries, Freeman says, like broken hocks and toes, and surgeries can be expensive. In the month of May the non-profit spent more than $8,000 for medical expenses.

The group tries to put the dogs in foster homes before adoption, Freeman says. Many of them have only lived in kennels and have to adjust to their new surroundings. Doing simple things, like walking on tile, can take some getting used to.

"Our first greyhound didn't know how to play with toys," Freeman said. "She had never had a toy before and that's something that's so amazing to watch."

"They're very smart dogs they learn very quickly," Freeman said.

To help offset the medical costs, Beading Divas has been raising money for SAGA. The non-profit is dedicated to raising money for animal groups. For the month of June the proceeds made by selling jewelry will go to S.A.G.A.

On Saturday, June 25, Beading Divas will be holding a party at The Shelter at 4155 E. Grant Road from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a silent auction, bead drive and donations, various drink specials, celebrity bartenders and other activities. 

On Sunday, June 26, there will be a Tea Tasting Fundraiser at the Seven Cups Tea House at 2516 E. 6th Street. It is $20 per person, and $10 will go to the greyhounds.