November 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

Rescue Results for October
We had 11 adoptions in October and  new arrival from Wheeling, West Virginia.

This makes our year to date totals 104 arrivals, 13 hauled for other groups, and 116 adoptions.
Bring a Hound Home for the Holidays
As supporters of American Greyhound, I feel it is important for you to know the status of our foster homes. We had made all preparations for taking a trip to Florida and bringing hounds in need back to Indiana earlier this month. I had foster homes on standby, and we were ready to hit the road...almost. I had made a preliminary list of open foster homes and was in the process of reaching out to everyone I could think of that would be interested in saving a hound. The dogs in Florida needed American Greyhound...and badly. Time went on and my list of homes was not growing, rather it was shrinking. Many of our devoted foster homes were not able to take a foster at this time for one reason or another. We also recently experienced an overwhelming number of greyhounds that needed to come back to American Greyhound through no fault of their own. 
Accommodating these situations took foster homes away from the dogs that needed them at the track. More time passed and in my despair, I realized we could not make this trip. The number of foster families willing and able to take a dog at this point did not justify the resources needed to make such a long trip. I was devastated and heartbroken. We did not make the trip to Florida and those dogs are still waiting. What can I do? What can WE do? We can bring hounds home for the holidays and make it a trip that will be better than ever.

Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away. Holidays are about spending time with those you love and cherishing the memories made. Where does this leave greyhounds in need? The holiday season is busy for everyone. This includes our foster homes. Many of our dedicated fosters have to take a break during this time of year. This means a greyhound that retires from racing over the holiday season will wait...and wait...and wait. Isn't it their holiday too? This time of year is supposed to be magical and enchanted, but it brings nothing but misfortune for the greyhounds that are on their way to retirement. What good are chestnuts roasting on an open fire without a greyhound curled up enjoying the warmness of your heart and home?

This holiday season, greyhounds from Mobile, Alabama are waiting to be part of your holiday festivities. Maybe you aren't sure where you stand with Santa this year. Fostering a greyhound is sure to get you on the nice list. We have North Pole connections! Traveling for the holidays? Don't let that stop you from opening your home to a greyhound. Our foster network provides volunteer sitting.

December 1 is the big day. We will be bringing in dogs for The Greyhound Inmate Experience program as well as newly retired racers. I urge you all to mark your calendars with a big heart on December 1 as a reminder that this is your chance to open your heart and make a difference.

Nicole Graves
Foster Coordinator
219-395- 4432
Holiday Shopping
Have you already started thinking about your holiday shopping?  Is online shopping your favorite way to beat the crowds?  If so, consider one of these options as a way to help American Greyhound at no cost to you!

Every time you shop at any of the 1,700+ online stores in the iGive network, a portion of the money you spend benefits American Greyhound. It's a free service, and you'll never pay more when you reach a store through iGive. Just make sure to start your shopping through the iGive website.  From the iGive website, you will then go to the websites of the stores where you would like to shop.  You must go to the iGive website first in order for your purchases to benefit American Greyhound.  There is also an iGive app that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet as well.  To get started, just create your free iGive account and Start iGiving at:

Does your office buy supplies through Staples, Quill or Office Max?  All these stores are part of the iGive stores and their donations range from 1.2% to 1.6% of your purchase.  I recently made hotel reservations for a business trip through iGive.  The benefit to American Greyhound was 1.6% of my hotel bill at a Hampton Inn.  I purchased some greyhound pictures through iGive and and my purchased earned 4.8%.

Amazon Smiles
When you need to shop on Amazon, shop thru Amazon Smiles (  You must choose American Greyhound as the cause you are supporting in order for American Greyhound to receive the benefit earned from your purchases.  You will not pay anything more for your purchases to shop through Amazon Smiles and American Greyhound will receive a percentage of the amount you spend.

Together we can raise money for American Greyhound without spending anything we wouldn't already be spending. And isn't that a gift in itself? 
Pet Anxiety and the Holidays
With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us will get very busy and may be gone much more than our 4 legged family members are used to.    There was a recent article in the NWI Get Healthy magazine that addressed this issue and here is some of the information I wanted to pass along.   

Dr. Jeff Wallis of the North Central Veterinary ER Center in Highland wrote that animals feed off of their owners' emotions, so when you are in a hurry, anxious or stressful, you pet picks up on that and is too.   

Jenna Jones, a behaviorist at Humane Society Calumet Area in Munster also suggests easy ways to help your new pet, or a pet that is sensing change or a busy season adjust to the changes going on within your home.    She said time, patience and consistency are what is needed to help your pet adjust. She suggested leaving a shirt in their crate that you have recently worn but not yet washed so it still smells like you to help your dog stay calm.    She also suggested working on the "sit and stay" command while gradually moving further and further away to help your pet master being calm even when you are not right near them. You should also avoid making arrivals a big deal but not immediately paying attention to your pet when you get home. Pets also learn their owners departure cues.    To help alleviate that, pretend you are leaving the house but then come back and sit on the couch.    Remember to ignore your dog until they are calm when you come back in. Once your dog is fine with that exercise, push it a little further but staying outside for several minutes before coming back in.    Just keep taking small steps, be consistent and be positive.   

Exercise and mental stimulation are key to preventing or treating anxiety. Bored dogs or dogs with a lot of energy tend to get into trouble.    Make sure they are physically exercised by playing with them, walking them or allowing them to play with other dogs. Mental stimulation is also important. Food puzzles or treat dispensing toys are a great options.    Don't be afraid to challenge your dog with puzzles or training because that is a great way to bond with them while giving mental stimulation and you may actually be surprised at what your dog can do!! Check our Dumb Friends League ( ) for ideas.
Freezin' for a Reason

Chicago Cubs being crowned 2016 World Series Champions! Check!

Participating in an event that helps support American Greyhound?  Check!

Starting 2017 off with a splash and possibly even earning your 15 minutes of fame on the news! Check!

Don't let the Cubs fans be the only folks to check things off their bucket lists this year! Greyhound fans can check something off their bucket list! On January 1, 2017, join American Greyhound's bravest volunteers for the coolest event of the year-our Tenth Annual Polar Plunge! 

Raise a minimum of $50 and you'll not only be able to check something off your bucket list, but you'll also receive a commemorative Polar Plunge long sleeve t-shirt and admittance to our memorable After Splash Bash at the Old Town Ale House!  American Greyhound has lots of tools to make the fundraising easy!  If you want to participate but not go all the way under, you can register as a Penguin or Walrus! 

No matter how long or short your bucket list, click here to register and check an item off your bucket list and make a difference in the lives of some very deserving hounds! These funds go directly to our operating expenses and help purchase things like crates, heartworm preventative, dewormer, and all the other things our hounds need to transition to life as a pet. So don't delay, sign up today the hounds are counting you!

If you have questions or need more information about the Tenth Annual Polar Plunge, give me a call at (219) 263-8742 or email me at

 Happy Plunging,

 Sarah Gasienica
American Greyhound, Inc.
Vice President
Polar Plunge Coordinator
My Name is Jeff, and I'm a Polar Bear
As a kid growing up in Michigan there were some things that I told myself that when I grew up, "I'm gonna do that". One of those "things" that I had thought I would like to do is run a marathon. In 2006, as I was becoming very active with American Greyhound, I took the opportunity to knock one of those "things" off my list, and raise some much needed funds for the dogs. I raised a little money to help out (only $365, but it was something), I had a relatively decent time for a 44 year old fat man, and most importantly, it got me on the road to marking "things" off that list and making a difference for the dogs.

Now one of the more unique things I saw as a kid in Michigan were Polar Bear swims. They would often hold them as part of local winter festivals. From late December, through January and February, you would see reports of these on the local news. I had witnessed one at the local Ice Carnival in my little hometown. They had cut a swimming pool sized hole in the ice, in water about 4 feet deep with chain saws and pulled a small shanty out on the ice next to it with heaters for Polar Bears to warm up and re-dress. The Polar Bears would come out and jump in, maybe once, maybe twice, then go back into the shanty, warm up and get dressed. I was probably about 8 years old and really wouldn't have cared to try it then (heck, the water was probably over my head), but I told myself, "I'm gonna do that someday."

In the summer of 2007, I suggested we hold just such an event (Polar Bears are always much braver in June or July) to help us raise funds. And, we actually got a handful of people to say they'd do it and set a January 1st date. As the days grew shorter, we began raising funds and just before Christmas had a total of 6 ready to jump in the lake.So, on that first frosty New Year's Day on the lakefront we raised a total of $1750. Maybe not a lot of money, but it sure seemed like a lot. And, more importantly, it got something started that has made a tremendous difference in how we are able to fund our operation. In the following years this event has grown like a wildfire (which would be very nice to have on the shore after exiting a brutally cold lake) raising over $114,000 in 9 short years! And, for every one of those 9 New Year's Days I've rolled my butt out of bed and been on that beach by 8:00 AM with the rest of American Greyhound's brave polar Bears, making a difference for unwanted greyhounds looking for a break. It's become a tradition for me and I've come to the point where it seems I've always been
there on New Year's Morning.

And what a difference that tradition has made. That total averages out to over $12600 each year. But, what's even more important is the fact that $114,000 covers the excess costs (those costs not covered by the adoption fee) of over 285 hounds. That's a warm fuzzy feeling that I can't get sleeping off the previous night's revelry. I can only find it in the icy waters of Lake Michigan on New Year's Morning.

This year is the tenth anniversary of this wonderful event and I would really like this one to be special (not that they aren't all special). I'd like to see us raise more money than ever before, but just as much, I'd really like to see as many people out in the water on New Year's Morning as possible, making a difference for unwanted greyhounds. And, when they are all out of the water and in their cars, rolling up North Avenue to our annual thawing out party at the Old Town Ale House, like I've done every year since 2008, I'll buy the first one to toast our accomplishment. It is always great to have successful fund raising events, but it's even better when there are more people helping to make the difference.

So, won't you join me this New Year's Morning at North Avenue Beach and help make the tenth annual "Freezin' for a Reason" Polar Bear Plunge the best one ever? Just click on this link to sign up and begin raising funds: greyhound-polar- bear-plunge- chicago

Maybe you can start a new tradition for yourself as well. I'll certainly appreciate it, and so will those dogs waiting in the wings for our help!
Santa Claws is Coming to...Highland, IN Petco!
Again this year, Santa will be at the Highland Indiana Petco store for you to have holiday photos taken with your four leggers (you can be in the photos as well if you'd like). Santa will be at the store, located at 10235 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland, Indiana 46322, on Saturday December 3rd and 10th , from 11 AM until 4 PM. Dates and times are tentative and subject to change. If there are changes, you can be sure we'll get those new dates and times out to you. Cost for the photos and a holiday frame is $9.95.

As in the past, American Greyhound receives a substantial portion of the proceeds from this endeavor and others like it as part of our on-going partnership with Petco. Please try to make it out, get a very nice photo of your pups with Santa and support a very worthwhile cause.

PS-In case you weren't aware, the Santa at this store is the real one!
Zoonotic Diseases in Pets
A dog was recently returned, with her folder chocked full of vet records, due to her owner's declining health. Inside that folder was a sheet that I found very interesting and wanted to share that information with all of you.
Zoonotic Disease is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to people or more specifically, a disease that normally exists in animals but can infect humans.
Intestinal parasites are diagnosed by having a fresh stool sample, about the size of a milk dud, examined under a microscope by your vet. This should always be done as part of their regular yearly health exam and vaccinations. If parasites are found in your pet's stool sample, a dewormer will be prescribed and most parasites require two treatments, three weeks apart.  Stool samples should be checked again four to eight weeks later to ensure your pet is not being re-infested by his environment and fecal matter needs to be regularly disposed of to help prevent re-infestation also.
To help you better understand the serious problems internal parasites can cause and what signs to look for here is a short description of the six most common types in dogs in general, especially in our beloved greys.
ROUNDWORMS  are the most common type of intestinal worm. They are 2-4 inches long and resemble thin strands of spaghetti. They live in the small intestine, and may cause vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss. Larval worms also damage the live and lungs while migrating through these organs on their way to the small intestine.    Roundworms are transmitted via stools from other infected dogs or cats.    Entire worms can sometimes be seen in the stools or vomit of infested animals.
HOOKWORMS  are half inch long worms that attach to the lining of the small intestine, causing blood loss and diarrhea.   Animals acquire hookworms through skin contact with the stools from infected animals.
WHIPWORMS  live in the large intestine.    They are not as common as the other intestinal parasites but the disease they cause is very very serious. Bloody diarrhea and weight loss are the first symptoms seen.    Once in the outside world, the eggs require two to four weeks to form embryos and become capable of infecting a new host. That means contaminated soil is the source of infection, not fresh feces. Soil contaminated by whipworm eggs is contaminated for years.    It is virtually impossible to remove the eggs from the soil or be assured all are killed, so prevention is the best way to avoid whipworms.
TAPEWORMS  live in the small intestine, where the head attaches to the intestinal wall and produces a chain of segments.   Mature segments containing eggs are then passed with the stool, or may be seen around your pet's rectum and these segments resemble small grains of rice. They may be acquired by the ingestion of rodents or birds or most commonly through the ingestion of fleas. Flea control is essential to control tapeworm infestation.
COCCIDIA  are one celled protozoal parasites, more like bacteria rather than "worms"    They are treated with antibiotics rather than dewormers.
GIARDIA  are also protozoans. These are very difficult to pick up on a regular fecal check. Antibiotics or special dewormers kill them but they are difficult to eradicate completely and often flare up with stress or other intestinal problems.    They are contagious to humans and cause vomiting and diarrhea in both people and pets.
This is why it is very important to take deworming your pet very seriously and as listed here over and over, prevention is the best way to protect your pets.  Jeff and I have been doing greyhound rescue going on 20 years now and have dealt with each of these diseases with the over 200 fosters that have graced Casa de Coggins. I learned a lot from this sheet of paper and thought maybe you all would too.
If you want more information on Zoonotic diseases, visit

Do You Have a Story or Photo?
Do you have a story to share about your own experiences with greyhounds?  Do you have something you want to see in an upcoming newsletter?  Do you have a picture to share?  Please feel free to contact me at

I'd be happy to include pictures of your dog and share your adoption story.  American Greyhound is YOUR group and I'd love to feature your story.

-Corrie G.
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