The history of GPA Northwest IS the history of Greyhound Adoption in the Northwest and we are proud to be a part of the rewarding, wonderful experience of finding homes for Greyhounds. You can be a part of the history too by adopting a Greyhound, contributing to our cause or volunteering your time.
GPA Northwest is the
original Greyhound Adoption organization in Oregon. We began in the
1980's, long before there was any support for adoption programs
and before we even had a name. It started with just one person working to find homes for Greyhounds that could
no longer race but had a long life left to share. By 1987 the
organization was growing and became a non-profit corporation with
501c3 tax-exempt status. We became part of the first National
Greyhound adoption system in the United States, called Greyhound
Pets of America. In 1993 our name became GPA
Since then, GPA Northwest has been the leader in Greyhound Adoption in Oregon and developed most of the formal procedures used by everyone working with Greyhound adoption in the Northwest, including many other Greyhound organizations in the area. Nearly every person working in Greyhound adoption in Oregon started at GPA Northwest or has been trained by someone that did.
GPA Northwest was instrumental in helping to establish the holding kennel formerly at the Multnomah Greyhound Park racetrack. Our volunteers established and staffed weekly walking days for the Greyhounds and monthly bath days. When the racetrack closed in 2004, GPA Northwest maintained our commitment to find homes for Greyhounds that could not race. Working directly with the owners and trainers, we continued to be the leading adoption organization in Oregon. These relationships with Greyhound racing owners and trainers means that every Greyhound that began it's life in Oregon can return to Oregon, knowing they will find homes through the GPA Northwest Adoption program. In addition to Oregon bred Greyhounds, we also find homes for Greyhounds from many other states where racing continues.
The photo to the left is from the 1987 conference, where the first
Greyhound adoption groups to affiliate met: (top row, left to
right): Joan Headland (Calif), Joan Dillon (Mass) and Roger Garland (Northwest). Bottom: Gloria Sanders (Midwest),
Carol Osborne (Calif), Pat Lewellen (Midwest), Kathy Feltich
The nine founding chapters were: California, Connecticut, Midwest, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, upper Ohio Valley (now known as Wheeling Downs), Texas, and Virginia with Northwest following later that year.
That organization wanted to take a neutral position toward the Greyhound racing industry. As a non-racing state but home to Greyhound rescue/adoption groups, they determined that California was the best place to incorporate. The interim president called on Joan Headland, who agreed to take on this task on behalf of the California chapter. Carol Osborne volunteered to head up the incorporation work.
GPA Northwest's growth has been dramatic. Since beginning formally in 1987 GPA Northwest has assisted in the adoption of over 4,900 Greyhounds and the numbers continue to increase as more people learn of the amazing pets that Greyhounds are. We will place our 5,000th Greyhound into a loving adopters home in 2012.
In early 2010, we decided to make our name more local and more descriptive of the work we do. We decided to change our name to Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest. This new name tells people exactly what we do and where we do it. We do Adoption of Greyhounds as Pets in the Northwest. Our new "Local" name matches our Northwest roots and makes it easier for everyone to understand who we are. Shortly after that change, we decided to become an independent organization so that we could affiliate with other adoption groups, Greyhound owners and Greyhound transporters freely and without interference from a national level. We resigned from Greyhound pets of america but our work has not changed and is actually growing to be even more inclusive for Greyhounds from all across the US.
Since the beginning of the Greyhound adoption movement, Greyhound adoption groups have been independent and worked mostly in their local area to find homes for Greyhounds. This is still true today but the alliances of like minded and high quality Greyhound adoption groups is nation wide. This means that we can assist adopters who move to our area seamlessly and if any of our adopters move to other areas, we can introduce them to an adoption support group in their new area that will provide the same high level of service and care that they receive here from Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest. We are Greyhound Pet Adoption in the Northwest.