By Barbara Dornak Christian ~
When Susie and John McQuade founded the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT) in 2001, they knew they would have to find creative ways to cover expenses.
“We sometimes bartered with our Dallas Stars season tickets to pay for spays and neuters,” Susie said.
Looking back on the past 20 years, John and Susie are proud GALT has placed more than 3700 greyhounds and sighthound mixes in loving forever homes. But there’s no time to rest on laurels; the last few years have presented unique challenges.
“Who could have predicted that Florida would start phasing out greyhound racing in 2018?” John said. “And when you add a pandemic and Snowmageddon in the past year, you have to adapt.”
In 2019, GALT leased a facility to house the flood of Florida greys, incurring significant expenses. At times, more than 50 dogs have been boarded while awaiting foster homes. The pandemic ended in-person events, so GALT has held virtual greyhound meet-and-greets and fundraisers for the past year. During the February snowstorm, GALT volunteers delivered containers of water for the kennel dogs, and donors helped cover storm-related expenses.
The McQuades fell in love with this ancient breed long before they formed GALT. These “45 MPH Couch Potatoes” surprisingly require very little space or exercise. Daily walks and an occasional “zoomie” are enough to keep most greys happy.
The secret to GALT’s success is its army of passionate volunteers, fosters, and donors. Ask any of the long-time GALT folks why they are still involved with this “greyhound cult” after so long, and they usually respond, “I love these dogs!”
Fred and Diane Busche adopted GALT’s first grey in 2001. Since then, they have adopted eight other greyhounds. Fred is a Director on the GALT Board and has organized several fundraisers, including golf tournaments and the annual Birthday Party.
Debi Joynt helped organize GALT in 2001 and has adopted seven GALT greys, fostering 11 others. She currently supervises GALT’s kennel and a team of “TLC” volunteers who exercise and bathe the hounds. One of those volunteers, Suzanne Burke, adopted her first grey in 2003 — followed by 14 more. (Warning: Greyhounds are addictive!)
While most GALT greys are cared for by veterinarians at Dallas VCA Preston Park, GALT also developed a relationship in 2005 with Dr. Wick Culp in Amarillo, due to a rising number of strays there. Wick and his wife, Janet, have adopted eight GALT greys and help with short-haul transports.
GALT’s Honorary Chairman, Mark Followill, is also the “Voice of the Dallas Mavericks.” He’s a TLC volunteer who has adopted three GALT greys. He and his wife, Jennifer, are also fosters and regular donors at GALT’s biggest fundraisers.
GALT has recently opened adoption groups in Santa Fe and Austin. With all this to manage, it takes every volunteer, foster, and donor in the GALT “Village” to live up to GALT’s motto of “No Grey Turned Away!”
There is a long waiting list of adoption applications, but GALT, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has critical needs for foster homes and volunteers. See the GALT website for information.