Guest Contributor: Valerie Greene
Atlanta’s oldest greyhound adoption center burnt to the ground last year. A fire tore through the back building of Carl Viener’s home, where for over thirty years, more than 5,400 retired racing greyhounds have found homes. Only six greys were on the premises when flames started and, thankfully, none were hurt. Within eleven days of the fire, the greyhound community - breeding and training farms, racing kennels and racetracks, Greyhound adoption groups around the country, and Greyhound owners everywhere – came together and raised $48,000 through an online auction and personal donations. $48,000 in eleven days. That’s how respected Carl and Adopt a Greyhound Atlanta are in the greyhound community. The shelter re-opened this year and is bigger and better than ever!
Carl runs Greys’Land with a few volunteers and a lot of love. He only takes retired greyhounds from racetracks and invites them to live at his house during their period of transition, as a kind of “halfway home” for ex-racers fresh off the track. If the dogs don’t get adopted, although most find forever homes within weeks, they are free to live out the remainder of their lives romping around Greys’Land and relaxing on their dog bed of choice in the “Greyt Hall”.
Although the fire was devastating, Greys’land has come out the victor of the disaster. Carl decided to remain in a 750 sq-ft apartment, forego building himself a new home, and use all the money raised by the community to create a magnificent center for the greyhounds to become acclimated to off-the-track living. He was heavily involved in the planning and construction of the new facility, which includes: sturdy, attractive and roomy new kennels, a tiled shower for dog-washing, a large comfortable reception room for introducing prospective adopters to available Greyhounds, an efficient office, a modern, fully-equipped kitchen, and, most importantly, a large open "greyt room", furnished with piles of dog beds and dog-friendly furniture, in which the Greyhounds were free to roam. In addition to the regular turnout yard and an adequate parking area, the grounds of the new facility now boasted additional separate outdoor fenced areas for prospective adopters to interact with Greyhounds they were considering.
Greys’Land had a great swell of support when the fire happened, but they can always use donations.
Donations keep kibble in the bowls and dog beds on the floor. If you want to buy something for the shelter from stores like PETCO, BarkBox, or PetSmart, Goodshop will make a free donation on your behalf to Greys’land.
About the author: Valerie Greene was raised by vizslas. She grew up running around her backyard with the pack in downstate New York. When she moved to California, she wanted to do good, so she started fundraising for nonprofits with Goodshop. This story is very close to her heart because she has fostered dogs and been a part of finding great homes for them.
I would love to visit this wonderful place someday. That's definitely going on the Pet Blog Lady Bucket List!