Greyhounds the book
The fluid lines and quiet grace of the retired racing greyhound were the inspiration for Greyhounds. But these photos have an agenda that goes beyond simply capturing the unassuming elegance of this breed: It is my hope that the spirit of the breed paid homage to in my photographs will ultimately be instrumental in assisting with the rescue efforts of the hundreds of greyhound rescue groups across the country and around the world.

Each year thousands of young and healthy purebred greyhounds are in need of homes. Most have worked the first 2-5 years of their lives as fine-tuned athletes and then, in some cases, after leaving the racetrack, go on to be used for breeding. Female greyhounds generally range in weight from 50-65 lbs. and the males weigh between 65-85 lbs. The size spectrum is vast however, and you can see anything between a 45 lb. female and a 95-pound male. There are 18 “official” greyhound colors, however their color variation is remarkable as well as stunning. The life span of a healthy greyhound is 12-14 years.

Greyhounds rescue 1

Despite their rigorous pre-retirement routine, they remain easygoing, spirited and loyal. They are extraordinary in their ability to transition from life at the track to life in a home with seemingly very little effort. They have a loving spirit, as well as a humorous disposition which when nurtured can bring great pleasure to their human companions, both young and old alike. Most greyhounds are extremely sociable, possessed of an amazing intelligence sensitivity and gentleness. Some are independent; others choose always to be at your side, while others are shy and reserved. However no matter the temperament, they are completely dedicated to their guardians. As a breed, they are eager to please and infinitely trainable with a patient and gentle hand. Greyhounds are demonstrative and affectionate. They are very adaptable and although they share many similar qualities; there is as infinite a range of personalities among the breed, as the range of their coloration. No matter what a prospective adopter’s age, gender, family situation or other pets, there is sure to be a greyhound that can be found to be well suited for their home environment: urban, suburban, or rural.

Greyhounds rescue 2 There are approximately 450 greyhound adoption groups in the United States and many more abroad. They are all staffed by remarkably committed volunteers who work tirelessly to assist in the placement of these dogs into loving homes. Through the efforts of these volunteers approximately 18,000 of these wonderful dogs are adopted annually when their racing careers are over. However, there is always a replenished supply of dogs to take their place as active racers who will in turn eventually ”grade off” at the racetrack and then be in need of homes themselves. With greater exposure of the breed and a larger adoption base, the hope is that eventually all these dogs can be adopted after their tenure at the racetrack and the breeding farms is over.

Greyhounds rescue groups all have a diversity of policy, approach and politics but they are unified and can agree on one fact: the retired racing greyhound is one of the most remarkable dogs on the planet and that they are a fantastic option for anyone looking to adopt a life-long companion. Any of these adoption groups would be happy to discuss the merits of the breed and answer any of your questions. Whether you live on the east coast or west, in Canada, Europe or Australia you can find a greyhound rescue group who can help you find your new family member. If you live in a state that supports greyhound racing some of the racetracks also have adoption programs. If you live in a state or country with no racetracks there are always groups who transport the dogs in from a state that has racing and breeding and they can still assist you in finding a dog. The good news and the bad news is that greyhounds are plentiful and relatively easy to find.

Greyhounds rescue 2 If the time is not right to add a greyhound to your household please consider volunteering with a local adoption group. A non-profit organization can never have too much assistance. If that is not an option for you, please consider a donation. Most of the adoption groups can only survive through endowments, fundraisers and donations from the public and their previous adopters. There is a never-ending need for money to go along with the never-ending supply of dogs. If neither of the previous are within your ability, then please just tell the next person who tells you they are thinking about getting a dog that a greyhound is a wonderful companion opportunity and that they should consider a greyhound as an option. This is your opportunity to help the breed and enrich someone’s life in the process. Nothing can be more gratifying than that.

To find a greyhound adoption agency in your home state or country go to

To make a donation go to or

Copyright ©2008 Barbara Karant All rights reserved.