What I Wish People Knew About The Greyhound Shelter

**This is the first post in the 'What I wish people knew about...' series.  A huge thank you to Sue from QCGA for taking the time to be a part of this series!**


What is QCGA?

Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Our goal is to find loving homes for retired racing greyhounds.  We bring them to our kennel where we get them vetted and take care of them until their forever family comes a long.  We give them a lot of love but there is also a lot of work.  The greyhounds stay at our kennel until they are adopted—sometimes it can take 1 to 2 years to place a dog with the right family, but the dogs are loved and nurtured by all the volunteers until they go to their forever homes.

Our QCGAkennel was established in 1997 in Rock Island, IL.  We moved the kennel to Maysville, IA in April of 2006 and we have been adopting greyhounds for 20 years!  Over the course of 20 years, we have adopted over 2000 dogs!


How does the shelter run each and every day?

Our facility is staffed completely with volunteers. We are funded by donations, fundraisers and and grants.  We have 2 shifts every day of the week with 2 to 3 volunteers on each shift. The morning shift starts around 8 am and is usually finished around noon and the evening shift starts around 6 pm and is usually finished around 10 pm.  The dogs are let out at 8 am in groups of 3 or 4 at a time, and while they are outside going potty, the volunteers make sure their crates are clean and if their bedding is soiled, they are given fresh linens.

They are given their first meal of the day at that time along with fresh water.  When all of the turnouts are done, the dogs are ready for their morning nap.  We let them out again starting around 11 am for their 2nd turnouts and when they are outside, we check their bedding again and they get treats and fresh water when they come inside.  In between the morning turnouts, we make sure that all of the soiled linens are washed, we take their empty food bowls and wash and dry them and fill them again for the evening shift.  We clean up the yard outside after every turnout.  And we make sure the floors are swept in the kennel.  When the evening volunteers come in at 6 pm, they follow the same routine as the morning, letting the dogs out at 6 pm for potty breaks and giving them their evening meals.  Around 9 pm the volunteers start the last turnout for the evening and when the dogs come in from outside, they get their evening treats and fresh water and are ready to go to sleep for the evening.  The greyhounds usually sleep about 20 hours a day.


How many greys can you hold at the shelter?

Our kennel can hold up to 30 greyhounds at a time, and we try and keep the number of dogs between 25 and 30. We are always in need of volunteers for the morning and evening shifts.



What part of the country to the greys come from?

We get our some of our retired racers directly from the breeders in Iowa or from the Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque, IA during racing season from May through October.  We also get some of our greyhounds from race tracks in Florida.


How old are the greys when they 'retire'?

The retired greyhounds that we receive range in age from 2 years on up to 10 years old. They usually retire from the track anywhere between 2 and 4 years of age.  We sometimes get injured dogs or dogs with broken legs.  We provide all of the vetting and care for the injured dogs until they are ready for adoption.  All of our greyhounds are spayed or neutered, shots are up-to-date and their teeth are cleaned before they are adopted.


Are there any misconceptions people have about greyhounds?

One of the misconceptions about retired racers is that they are aggressive dogs because most people have only seen photos of greyhounds racing with muzzles covering their faces.  The muzzles are used to help protect racing greyhounds from injury and to determine the winners of close races.  Outside of the racetrack, greyhounds are usually quiet, gentle, docile dogs.  If you are looking for a watch dog, you would need to choose another breed.  They blend well into families with well-mannered children. Most greyhounds love the company of other dogs and many live happily with cats as well.  

Another myth about greyhounds is that because they are bred to race, they need lots of room to run and need constant exercise.  But greyhounds are not marathon runners, they are sprinters. At the track, they only race once or twice a week.  In homes however, they romp for short bursts and then turn back into couch potatoes.  While a fenced yard is best, a daily walk or two is all of the exercise they need.

- Sue, Quad City Greyhound Adoption


A huge thank you goes out to the volunteers of QCGA.  They take really great care of all of the pups until they find their forever home!  If you'd like to see the greys available for adoption, please click here to go to their website! 

Stay tuned for more guests in the coming weeks on the greywoodmama blog!