“How do we gather information about Greyhound adoption and share it with the rest of the adoption community?”Joan Belle Isle on the original goals of The Greyhound Project
The Greyhound Project was founded in 1993 by Joan Belle Isle and like minded, New England-based adoption group volunteers. Its mission was to “serve the common interests of greyhound adoption organizations, their volunteers, and others interested in the welfare of retired racing greyhounds on a national basis.” The organization was adoption group agnostic and neutral on the topic of Greyhound racing.
The 1996 closing of the Waterloo Greyhound Park in Waterloo, Iowa was a litmus test for The Greyhound Project. Could the project and its founders, including Joan, bring together Greyhound adoption groups in the spirit of breed welfare and volunteer coordination? The Waterloo closing proved that national networking could be a powerful force in the Greyhound adoption community.
The organization’s outreach began with a newsletter, Speaking of Greyhounds, as a means of starting conversations between different adoption groups around the country. The Greyhound Project also sought to raise funds for its operations and those of adoption groups. Its Celebrating Greyhounds Calendar became the centerpiece of this effort.
Sarah Norton became involved with The Greyhound Project in the late 1990s. She attended the Dewey Beach, Delaware meeting in 1999, organized by The Greyhound Project. Amongst 1000 Greyhounds and 1000 owners, she met Joan. They would become fast friends and collaborators within The Greyhound Project.
With the 2020 closure of Florida Greyhound tracks, The Greyhound Project entered a new era. Susie and John McQuade, of the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT), reached out and offered to take over the project. Their goal is the preservation of soul of the project, including its vast website content and calendar fundraising program.
In this episode, host John Parker sits down with The Greyhound Project’s founders and torchbearers to explore the past, present and future of the organization.