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People Power: On the Right Track

Florida group finds homes near and far for retired racing dogs

  • Dennis Tyler, third from left, helps deliver dogs from Florida to members of the Philadelphia Greyhound Connection at a stop in New Jersey. Philadelphia Greyhound Connection

Dennis Tyler spends a lot of time at the dog track, but what he’s betting on is a happier outcome for the greyhounds who have run their last race.

As president of Greyhound Pets of America Central Florida (GPACF), Tyler helps find new homes for dogs who, due to age or injury, no longer qualify to race at a track.

His organization, which runs the adoption program at Melbourne Greyhound Park, evaluates the dogs’ fitness to become family pets, gets them spayed or neutered, then adopts them out either locally or by transporting them to partnering greyhound rescue groups in the United States and Canada.

Tyler and his wife Claire, who are both retirees from Kennedy Space Center, make the long-distance delivery runs themselves, driving a 22-compartment, stainless-steel trailer to such distant locales as New Jersey (21 hours) and Buffalo, N.Y. (23 hours). They typically don’t stop other than to refuel and drop off dogs with rescue groups along the way.

The drives are long, but the rewards are great: Since 1996, GPACF has helped move more than 7,200 greyhounds into homes.

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