Greyhounds are known for their lightning-fast speed, but a group of rescuers in the region want more people to know about a greyhound’s ability to win your heart as well.
American Greyhound will host its third annual “Winning Hearts, Not Races” charity auction at 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville.
Proceeds from the event go to the organization, which rescues more than 100 dogs each year from racetracks around the country and places them in loving homes in the Northwest Indiana and Chicago regions.
The majority of the group’s rescues now come from racetracks in Florida and Alabama — where tracks are more prevalent than in other states.
“(The organization) was founded by a group of greyhound supporters that recognized the need to rescue these dogs after racetracks deemed them useless after their racing career was over,” said Nicole Roth, chair of the auction committee this year. “Greyhounds have calm temperaments and make wonderful family pets.”
This year’s charity event will include an extensive silent auction with hundreds of items, a heads or tails 50/50 raffle, a gift card frenzy and a live auction. Tickets are $50 per person and include an open bar, champagne fountain and seated dinner. Reservations must be made by Nov. 2, so contact the organization right away.
Some of the items that the group will auction off include Chicago Bears and Bulls tickets, gift baskets, original art and limited edition prints, sports memorabilia, pet-themed items, accessories such as jewelry and purses, and trips to Ireland, Las Vegas, the Florida Keys and the Wisconsin Dells.
Since the first auction in 2010, the event has grown in size, and organizers say they hope this year will be the biggest yet.
“The impact of these efforts has made a tremendous difference for the better in the lives of greyhounds,” Roth said.
The need for volunteers and donations is even greater now due to several racetracks closing across the country.
“The transportation costs have increased since we travel farther and wider to rescue these greyhounds,” she said. “And unfortunately, veterinary costs have increased as we are finding these dogs in need of much more medical care.”
Roth said the rescue group anticipates seeing more track closures in the future, and due to breeding, continues to see a need for its services locally.