Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hound Haul

Today I finally reached a goal that I’ve had all year: helping with a hound haul!  Volunteers with Southeastern Greyhound Adoption (SEGA), my April charity, transport greyhounds from the racetrack to our kennel in Acworth, Georgia.  This is the first step for these newly retired greyhounds to find permanent, loving homes.

Hound hauls occur about every six weeks or so.  I’ve particularly wanted to go on one this year, but the scheduling has never worked out until now.  The hauls usually occur on Saturdays and are announced about a week in advance.  Every other time this year, I had already planned a century or other big commitment on hound haul days.  This time the haul was on a Friday, which is unusual, but I could finally make it work by taking a half day of vacation from work.  I’m so excited that I got in a hound haul just under the wire during A Year of Centuries!

Most of SEGA’s greyhounds come from Florida.  They used to come primarily from the Jefferson County Kennel Club in Monticello, Florida, but that track has closed within the last year or so.  Today’s greyhounds came from various unknown places in Florida, but they were processed through the adoption kennel at the Ebro racetrack.

There is a special place reserved in heaven for Pam and Glen Davis, two saints who transport the greyhounds on the first leg of their journey.  Pam and Glen live in South Georgia and pick up the greyhounds at the track.  They carry as many greyhounds as possible and meet other SEGA volunteers farther north in Georgia.  Today’s meeting point was near Newnan, Georgia at Summerwind Farm, the home of John and Laura Parker.  John is president of the Southeastern Greyhound Club (SEGA's parent organization), and both he and Laura are longtime, avid greyhound supporters.  Four other haulers and I gathered at Summerwind Farm for the greyhound handoff from Pam and Glen.

We unloaded the greyhounds one at a time and let them walk on leashes and take a nature break.  It was so fun getting a first glimpse at all of these new greyhounds up for adoption.  Today’s haul included four males and six females in a rainbow of colors.  I walked Superior Tally, a large, beautiful female:

Here are the other nine hounds:

This is Pam and Glen’s greyhound haul vehicle:

Today they carried the females in crates in the van and the males in the trailer, which has a separate space for each dog.

Because I was driving by myself and don’t have any crates, I was assigned to carry Dancin Tweety and Flying Stella, two pretty mellow females.  They were extremely sweet, despite not cooperating for this photo opp:

If the greyhounds aren’t transported in crates, they are muzzled to make sure everyone stays safe during the drive.  Riding in a car – along with just about everything else – is brand new to these greyhounds.  If only they knew all the good things in store for them!

Stella and Tweety did fairly well on the ride.  Tweety did try to climb into the front seat with me a few times, but I managed to keep her in the back.  Particularly when we were on the interstate, they mostly lay quietly on the dog beds that I had spread in the back of my vehicle.  Tweety also “tweeted” (barked) a time or two; she has a cute bark.

I had been listening to an audio book on the way to pick up the greyhounds, but I was too focused on driving safely and keeping an eye on the dogs to listen to it after the pickup.  Instead, I turned on the radio.  They liked Lenny Kravitz the best.

Pretty soon we arrived at the SEGA adoption kennel, which is located at the Lake City Animal Hospital in Acworth, north of Atlanta.  Additional volunteers were on hand to help unload the hounds.  A few at a time, the greyhounds were turned out into the fenced-in run:

Tomorrow morning, still more volunteers will bathe the new arrivals.  Dr. Toby Carmichael and his staff at the Lake City Animal Hospital will check the hounds over, spay or neuter each one, and provide any other needed medical care.

I don’t know what the plans are for these particular greyhounds, but some newly retired greyhounds go into foster homes.  By utilizing foster homes in addition to the SEGA kennel, we can bring in even more greyhounds.

As you can see, greyhound adoption is a multistep process that involves numerous volunteers.  I’m honored to work with such a great group as SEGA and to help these magnificent greyhounds find their forever homes.


  1. Thanks for the pictures and commentary. This was our first haul also and a thoroughly wonderful experience. It was a whole new world for the greys and fun seeing and being part of their transition. SEGA is an amazing group, highly organized and very dedicated. I can't say enough good things about the organization and the volunteers. Thanks again.

  2. Great post, Betty Jean! I wanted to add a plug for The Sunburst Project, the group that runs the adoption kennel these dogs came from. They are based at the Ebro track, but are an independent organization. They sent 988 greyhounds to homes in 2013!

  3. It was my first haul as well. Thanks for documenting everything Betty Jean! I was glad to read that they mostly occur on Saturdays as this "free" Friday was a fluke. The dogs were all so beautiful and has such distinct personalities! I transported two males - the big "cow" dog, Anubis, and a beautiful brindle boy whose name I just can't remember. They were the best travelers! I am so looking forward to the next haul!