Greyhounds and Trainers Reunited at Special Event, Bonita Springs
March 25, 2014
By Fox 4
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - Sarah Kettlewell trains dogs that race at the Naples-Fort Myers track in Bonita Springs. She says that while the greyhounds love to run, they retire fairly young. "The rule of thumb that we pretty much go by is four years old," she says. "They've earned their couch at that point, and it's just time to find a home."
That's where Darlene Izzo of Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions comes in. Her organization works closely with the track to find homes for the dogs when their racing careers are over. "A lot of the trainers will hand their dogs over to me with tears in their eyes because they've bonded with the greyhounds," she says.
Because of that bond, Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions hosted a picnic at River Park in Bonita Springs to reunite the dogs and their adopters with the trainers. Debbie Traebing adopted her dog Congo just over a month ago. "The trainer, she's been great with her little helpful hints," says Traebing. "I wanted to see her views with him, and see if she had any input with him."
According to a Miami Herald review, 74 dogs died at a track or racing kennel between May 31 and December 31 of last year in Florida. But despite those numbers, trainer Jade Feise says that may create a misperception about dog racing. "Kennel life is not what everybody thinks it is," says Feise. "They're handled every day, they're loved on every day, they're getting treats every day. They're individually handled."
All of which makes reunions like these especially sweet for the trainers. "It's so hard to let them go," says Kettlewell. "But that's exactly why things like this are so important, because we get to be connected with them again."
Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions says they've placed over 135 dogs from the Naple-Fort Myers track in new homes. To find out more about how you can help, or to adopt a greyhound yourself, just click on the Big Red 4 on our Web site.
Guest Opinion: Expansion of Gambling a Bad Bet for Florida
September 18, 2018
HOT OFF THE PRESSES!!! FLORIDA DECOUPLING FAILS AGAIN