CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Tri-State group is hoping to rescue as many greyhounds as they can because thousands will need homes after states like Florida voted to stop dog racing by 2020.
Greyhounds actually peak in in their racing careers before they’re even three years old. 20,000 of them retire from U.S. tracks each year.
The president of the Greyhound Pets of America Greater Cincinnati Chapter says it was common practice to shoot and kill the dogs when their speeds dropped below 39 mph.
“Thousands of dogs a year were being euthanized when they were done racing, because, what are you going to do with them?” McQueen said.
The greater Cincinnati chapter rescues some greyhounds from southern tracks, but go mostly to the track in Charleston, West Virginia.
They’ve rescued 30 dogs so far this year and close to 50 last year.
Their targeted adoption territory includes northern Kentucky, eastern Indiana and southwest Ohio.
Greyhounds are affectionate and calm, thrive on human attention and interaction, and adjust well to home life.
"They’ve never seen glass before, when they come off the track,” said McQueen, who added, they had to put tape on their doors so the dogs do not try to charge through them. If not, there are problems.
"And they run into the door,” he said. “I mean, boom! Hard!"
Foster parents teach the greyhounds how to live in our world.
"And teach them how to be a pet,” he said. “It’s like dropping them on planet Mars, they just don’t know what to do.”
McQueen said some greyhounds have never felt grass, or walked stairs or landed on a soft couch.
14 years ago, McQueen’s first greyhound - formerly known as “Slick Trick Rick” - was renamed Conall after they adopted him.
He helped get McQueen walking after he was recovering from a medical issue.
Conall died this past January. Now, the McQueens have four greyhounds, two girls and two boys.
They’re now on a mission to save as many as they can.
"They saved my life!,” he said.
There is a meet and greet where you can learn more about what it takes to adopt a greyhound on Sept. 15 in Milford.
McQueen says GPA chapters across the country just last week surpassed the 100,000 mar on greyhound adoptions.