The GAC Story
Volunteers from the Greyhound Adoption Center have been saving greyhounds for almost four decades. Our organization has gone through several incarnations during those years, eventually settling on our permanent identity as Greyhound Adoption Center, and our Internet presence www.houndsavers.org.
We were granted our IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 1987, and our organization is in good standing with the IRS. Our federal ID is 95-4132021.
Since 1984, from humble beginnings in the backyard, house and garage of our founders, rented kennels, track kennels and even a disused veterinary clinic, we now own and operate a clean, state-of-the-art licensed kennel facility near San Diego. We can house up to 50 dogs, and sometimes an additional 20 dogs in local experienced foster homes. From this base we can service adoption requests throughout California thanks to a statewide network of dedicated, trained volunteers.
Our facility is different from a conventional kennel in many ways. It is configured to reduce stress for the dogs and to enrich their lives. Unlike for-profit kennels that utilize side-by-side dog runs for maximum occupancy, the GAC canine condos are less stressful by design, in part because they minimize line-of-sight contact between dogs. This reduces barking, eliminates hyper-arousal and reduces stress. The condos are climate controlled, double insulated, ventilated and designed for easy cleaning. Once accustomed to their condos the greyhounds awaiting adoption enjoy having a comfortable bed indoors and an elevated bed outdoors. They are often paired with compatible dogs with whom they share their space, interact, play and enjoy life. We have one condo that can accommodate up to five compatible canines. The use of muzzles and cages is eliminated for our condo dwellers. Instead, toys and treats, elevated feeders and TLC are standard parts of their everyday lives.
Our facility is subject to unannounced inspection by the County of San Diego. We always get a favorable inspection, and several Animal Services Officers have remarked that our Center is the cleanest, quietest and best-run kennel they inspect.
We attribute the success of our facility not just to its layout and design, but mostly to the everyday work of our fabulous volunteers and a small crew of dedicated kennel staff.
In addition to the dwelling areas, our 3.5 acre campus includes two fully-fenced running fields, a training center, and a memorial garden. We are proud of our facility, and grateful to the volunteers who helped build it as well as the many people who donated funds.
Our capable and experienced kennel workers and volunteers help to socialize the dogs and prepare them for lives as cherished house pets. Our strong, active support community includes an online family in the thousands who engage with GAC and follow our work through social media.
We are not a rich organization, but thanks to our members, sponsors and donors we manage to keep our books in the black. GAC owns our facility outright, and we have no outstanding debt. We have no paid executive staff and the all-volunteer Board of Directors receives no compensation.
With time comes knowledge and experience, and we have learned that the quality of our work is just as important as our mission of saving as many greyhounds as we can. To date we have directly rescued around 6,000 dogs from racetracks, animal shelters and farms, and we have facilitated the rescue of thousands more by working with other organizations who share our philosophy of matching greyhounds to good homes. For us it is not about the numbers, it is about helping people find a greyhound that’s right for them.
Our emphasis, and where we excel as an organization, is in our adoption program. We get to know each and every dog as an individual, and we help our approved applicants find dogs who fit their desires, lifestyle and home situation. We don’t pick your greyhound for you, unless you ask us to, but we do guide you toward good choices. We are advocates for the adopter as well as for the dogs adopted.
Although greyhound racing, along with its mass production of dogs, is in rapid decline, our work is not done. In fact, we know there will be a deluge of surplus track dogs for the next two decades and probably longer. That means thousands more greyhounds in need. Greyhound racing is growing in many parts of the developing world. Our hope is to be able to continue our work of saving greyhounds until the last racetrack closes forever.