Alabama Greyhounds Get the Ferndale Treatment

Alabama Greyhounds Get the Ferndale Treatment

(C. Proxmire, Nov. 18, 2012)

Julie Andrews and Kelly McKinstry worked late Saturday night giving free baths and nail clippings to six special guests at their doggie day care and salon Bubble and Bark on Livernois.

Apalala, Cupid, Dorli, Hush Sarah, JA’s Sum, and Tristram are greyhounds that have been rescued from a harsh life of racing, that are now up for adoption.  Motor City Greyhound Rescue picked up the emaciated pooches from one of their contacts down in Alabama.  Underweight, bitten by ticks, and some noses rubbed raw from excessive muzzling, the creatures were clearly in need of care.

With gentle hands and shampoo that had been pre-warmed and donated by the Bubble and Bark owners, each dog was cleaned and examined.  Ticks were picked off with tweezers and the numbers tattooed into their ears were checked against the paperwork for each dog.

First the dogs are placed in foster homes, while the organization does continuous work trying to find fur-ever homes.  Adoption applicants must pay the vet costs for the animals, and must demonstrate responsibility and the ability to provide a good home.

Ferndale resident Carol Jackson is a regular foster parent.  She’s shared her home with thousands of dogs and cats over the years and fosters on behalf of several organizations.  But this is the first time she’s ever fostered a greyhound.  On Saturday night she brought home Cupid, a friendly male greyhound with a light-brown and white coat.

“Cupid is such a sweetie,” Jackson said about her newest temporary house buddy.  “I hope he is good with the cats.”  She currently has another dog and two cats in the house, but she already has a big cage for Cupid until he gets acclimated.  Because of the work of fosters like Jackson, Motor City Greyhounds has more time to place them in quality homes.  It also helps them keep costs down, as food and shelter can be expensive.

Linda and Jim Strebarger from Troy adopted a greyhound three weeks ago.  They came to Bubble and Bark on Saturday to help with the dog washing.  “We were at an RV show, and my husband just loves dogs.  It’s like all the dogs in the neighborhood just gravitate towards him.  We saw the greyhounds at their booth and we just fell in love,” Linda said. Their greyhound, Larry, came to them underweight and with a tail disease.  The tail had to be amputated, but Larry has gained five pounds – going from 68 to 73.

Motor City Greyhound Rescue formed earlier this year when people who had adopted greyhounds in the past wanted to firm up a network for more rescues.  Vice President Jennifer Valdez and her boyfriend Ken Marten got their first dog in 2000, and since have fostered over 25.  Marten used to teach a class about greyhound adoption, and would take rescue dogs out to schools and events to introduce people to the breed in need.

“I was at a gold tournament and there was a rescue group there,” Marten said.  “I was touched by their story and when my old bulldog died I figured I should get a rescue.  It’s just grown from there.”

The organization’s website explains their motivation:  “Because dog racing is cruel. Some call it a sport, but the dogs have no say.  It’s not really about the dogs.  It’s about the wagering and the money.  Every year young and healthy greyhounds are killed because they are not fast enough or because they are injured during a race.  The conditions in which they must live are inhumane and they have few opportunities for normal, loving human interaction.”  To find out more about Motor City Greyhound Rescue, visit  For more on Bubble and Bark go to

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