Greyhound rescue brings dogs and families together

Joseph and Danielle Gangestad can't own just any pet.

"We want a dog that's good with apartments, doesn't need a lot of attention," Joseph said, noting that because of his allergies a cat won't do, despite Danielle's love for them.

PHOTOS: Grey Save showcases greyhounds at Centinela in Burbank

That's when owning a greyhound became an option for the Torrance couple. After researching the lean, popular racing breed for a year, they decided to meet a few.

The pair attended the monthly "Meet and Greet" event Saturday, hosted by GreySave, at Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies in Burbank. The Southern California-based nonprofit organization takes in retired greyhounds and readies them for home adoption.

GreySave has placed about 860 greyhounds into homes, said organization president Cathy Kiburtz. Most of the greyhounds raced at the Agua Caliente Racetrack in Caliente and the Tucson Greyhound Park in Arizona.

The organization lists details of each adoptable dog's temperament, and former racing name on its website.

Couples and small children trickled into the pet store that afternoon. The six greyhounds rushed to the edge of their kennel, bowing their heads for rubs and pats. Two of the greyhounds, Eddie and brindle-colored Dasher, are owned by organization volunteers Scott Atwell and Rich Pisani.

Atwell said the meet and greets are designed to educate the public about the breed and clear any misconceptions.

"They're bred to race and some people think they're high energy," Atwell said, as he soothed a whining Eddie. "They actually sleep all day. They're like big cats."

Volunteer Janet Harvey owns four greyhounds, three of which are spotted-colored sisters.

The organization also conducts home visits to match greyhounds with owners, based on personalities, children and interactions with other home pets. Atwell said. Gordon Prend and Madeline Ryan of Studio City, smiled at the greyhounds lying on their brown blankets. Both are in between adopting a golden retriever or a greyhound, but need a breed that will get along with their two cats.

"They're beautiful dogs," Prend said. "You don't get to see them a lot."

Danielle watched as the greyhounds took turns licking water from a metal bowl, splashing it on the floor. It was her first time attending the meet and greet. And it's not just the breed she and Joseph are fond of, but the adoption organization itself.

"There's a community aspect to this such as making sure personalities match," Joseph said. "I'm attracted to it. I commend the volunteers."

For more information about GreySave and its greyhounds, visit the website at


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