The National Greyhound Foundation Inc., a nationwide 501 ©(3) non-profit organization Adoption, Rescue, and Educational organization, The Foundation works with a national community of influential intermediaries including State Legislators, Adoption groups, Greyhound Owners and Kennel Operators, Educational facilities, Broadcast Executives, Law Enforcement Officials and people all over America to help spread the word about Retired Racing Greyhounds. In 2001 we were selected for membership in the prestigious National Federation, of ANIMAL CHARITIES OF AMERICA. Founded over 12 years ago, The National Greyhound Foundation mission is clear and simple: Rescue, Rehabilitate, Educate, Adopt and find "forever" homes for Retired Racing Greyhounds.
For twelve years, the nightmare of Founder and Executive Director, Beverly Sebastian, has been the problem of not having a place to put the thousands of Greyhounds retired in Florida every year until adoption groups can get them adopted. The NGF has researched Prison Pet Partnerships with other dogs and recognized the potential a Greyhound Prison Partnership can have for Greyhounds and Inmates. The NGF Board recently voted this new program as the most important program the Foundation has every embarked upon.
This unique Prison Program will be replicated in Department of Correction Facilities across the country giving Inmates the chance to learn compassion, team skills, vocational skills and to become human again while saving the life of a retired racing Greyhound. They will affect the lives of not only the Inmates but of virtually all the staff at the prison.
We can point with pride at our accomplishments over the years in saving the Greyhounds lives, we look forward to the goal of "saving every Retired Racing Greyhound from needless suffering or slaughter". With the continued help of our many donors and public support, the goal is in sight.
Second Chance at Life is a long standing Dream of Beverly Sebastian, Executive Director of The National Greyhound Foundation. The project was inspired by a young teenage boy, incarcerated in a local Juvenile prison which Beverly met five years ago. She had been asked to make a presentation on a possible prison pet program in that facility in Lecanto, Florida.
When she entered the prison, she was told by the guards to beware of one of the inmates, a surly, youth of about 15 years. He hated everyone and was a BAD dude!
During the course of the hour presentation to the inmates, Beverly noticed her Greyhound Jackie kept gravitating toward this really BAD buy. Ever watchful, she saw him push the dog away on Jackie's first attempt at friendliness; the second time he again shoved Jackie away; the third time, he let Jackie get a little closer and lay her head on his knee; and by the fourth time, Jackie, to the astonishment of the guards and other inmates was curled up in the boy's lap, as he hugged her close to his heart while she eagerly gave him doggie kisses. This kid had never experienced un-conditional love of any kind.
While the program did not come to fruition for several years, the image of the boy and Jackie remained in Beverly's mind.
Five years later, when she met up with a friend from Ohio, Nancy Schmidt, founder of Team Greyhound of Ohio, and was told about Nancy's Cell Dog Program with Greyhounds, Beverly recognized her DREAM in action. After much meditation and prayer, one morning she awoke with the DREAM and knew this was it! The chance to finally bring Animals and People together and show the animal/human bond in action!
An email to Nancy started the ball rolling. Nancy wanted to move to Florida and Beverly encouraged her to do say telling her, "come to Florida and I'll put this program in every state in the Union". Six months later, Nancy was in Florida and the program, SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE: Inmates and Greyhounds Prison Partnership was created.
Being a Film Producer before retirement in 1990, Beverly knew from experience that "A picture is worth a thousand words". The first thing Beverly had to do was put the program on film. She and their Team shot 9 hours of Video, interviews within three prisons, the inmates, the officials from the Deputy Director's Administrative Assistant, Wanda Suber, to three program directors, a professional animal trainer, training the inmates to become animal trainers, about 100 inmates in the programs and approximately 47 very happy ALIVE greyhounds.
"I never look at things with one in mind. I always see a wider vision." I don't think in ONE'S. The first year goal for the SCAL program is 6000 greyhounds lives saved in 20 states, in 5 prisons in each state.
The five year VISION is 5 prisons in every state saving 120-300 Greyhounds a year (in each prison. That is a minimum of 30,000 Greys a year. No more Greys put to sleep.). That would scare most people to death, but to me, I look at it as one dog at a time, one state at a time and one prison at a time. And so, the Collaboration was formed. With the team we're gathering together, working together we will accomplish the goal.
Teamwork makes the Dream Possible!
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|Contact the SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE GREYHOUND PRISON PARTNERSHIP
Beverly Sebastian, 352-628-2281, Executive Director NGF.
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