My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Greyhound Adoption League of Texas Inc, Dallas, TX, USA
The Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT): I was first introduced to GALT in 2002 while exploring resources for a rare breed of Sighthound I had helped rescue on behalf of a national breed club. GALT volunteers kindly offered their input and valuable information whenever I asked. As it turned out, I adopted my own rescue, but began attending events and volunteering for GALT as a result of my interactions with them to that point.
While I still consider myself a long distance volunteer for GALT (having moved out of Texas), in the years I lived there, I fostered, did incoming dog procedures, transported, you name it. Throughout that time I was impressed by the teamwork within, as well as the teamwork displayed “outside” in their interactions with other groups. GALT would assist other groups in the area by helping them with their fundraisers. (Almost unheard of in animal rescue, I'm afraid.) To this day I often read that GALT has taken dogs (both purebred Greyhounds and Greyhound mixes, often referred to as Lurchers) overflowing from other groups, or those dogs whose needs were above and beyond the financial abilities and knowledge level of other organizations.
GALT has meticulously built up a comprehensive network of professionals and specialists who now regularly assist them with the dogs in a variety of ways. One such person is renowned Behavior Specialist and trainer, Mary Waugh Swindell, who is always available to help prepare dogs for adoption, as well as working with dogs after they are adopted. She has been featured on Animal Planet’s “Breed All About It” and is known for her success with dogs of numerous breeds that exhibit serious behavior issues.
I continue to be absolutely convinced that GALT provides the most thorough, comprehensive and specialized medical care of ANY Greyhound rescue group I have known! They do more [very important and often overlooked] initial health testing than any groups with which I've become familiar, and they follow only the latest and best medical protocols, refusing to be stuck with, “This is the way it’s always been done.” GALT works with top veterinarians and researchers involved in cutting edge treatments and diagnoses and will ALWAYS go that extra mile to save a dog! Some of these experts include Dr. Jeff Ellis and the staff at VCA Preston Park Animal Hospital; specialists such as Dr. Bob Radasch and his staff at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center, Dr. Robert Munger and the staff at the Animal Ophthalmology Clinic; and doctors, researchers and staff at the nationally recognized laboratory, ProtaTek. Located in Chandler, Arizona, they do the testing for tick-borne diseases on all in-coming GALT dogs. This lab is responsible for creating new diagnosis and treatment protocols used throughout the country.
My own very personal experience with this… the treatment/medical end, involved fostering a very sick, emaciated Greyhound that was rescued by GALT after being found as a stray near Fort Worth, Texas. Barbie was very anemic from parasite infestation, had Sarcoptic mange, was severely underweight (admitted weighing less than 40 pounds) – with skin and coat issues that made it difficult to even see how thin she was. She was also positive to Ehrlichia and Babesia, two of the tick-borne diseases for which GALT is practically the only adoption group to ROUTINELY test. Barbie’s treatment was expensive (GALT spent over $4,000 on my tiny girl in medical procedures alone, not to mention time, food and all the love and support), and lengthy (she was treated for almost a year before being declared free of the tick diseases). I ended up adopting this little bundle of spunk, courage and love, and had her for a wonderfully happy 3 years before she passed due to damage that had been done to her organs and systems PRIOR to landing in GALT’s loving care. She passed, surrounded by those who loved her, including several of the loving volunteers from GALT who were there with us personally at the end. They were ALWAYS there for us. The celebrated our victories, small or large, and they grieved with me when her all-too-short life ended.
While many GALT rescues have not come out of emergency or critical situations, this organization has been recognized and commended in both local and national media (local television, radio and newspapers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to the nationally renowned blog, “Life With Dogs”) for it’s efforts to help Greyhounds and Greyhound mixes in dire need of true rescuing. In June, 2010, they played a pivotal role in rescuing 28 dogs from a horribly neglectful and abusive situation in Fort Worth, Texas. Their positive interactions with numerous rescue groups nationwide resulted in their ability to place several dogs with different groups in order to lessen the load on GALT as they took the most severely damaged animals. In July, 2011, a starving mother dog and her 8 puppies were taken from that same Fort Worth property in deplorable condition. Due to GALT’s meticulous documentation of events, and continuous pressure for change in the legal system, prosecution was finally able to be brought against the owner of the property, in a place where such prosecutions are very rare. This has, in fact, spurred the legal and animal control system in that city to be more responsive and to take a more active role in prosecuting abusers. THAT is no small miracle in Texas! Just prior to my writing this review, (November, 2011) GALT again stepped up and took 11 Greyhounds and Greyhound mixes that were abandoned in a trailer in Wichita Falls, Texas and left for over 40 hours before anyone reported them. This speaks highly of GALT’s outreach efforts as they continuously work to foster good working relationships with law enforcement, animal control, city governments, media, and other rescuers throughout the state of Texas… a huge area… a huge responsibility.
All of this allows (or perhaps compels) GALT to take the most difficult or neediest dogs; be they elderly, seriously injured, sick, or behaviorally challenged. They are NOT kidding when they say, "No Grey Turned Away!" GALT takes the dogs no one else CAN take… the dogs no one else WILL take. They ABSOLUTELY do whatever is needed, go wherever they need to go, and they will do this at any time of the day or night. The volunteers, from Directors on down, are VERY personally involved with the dogs. They are all willing to muck out their Greyhound Hauler after a long rescue trip, bathe dirty dogs and clip nails, as well as helping to clean out kennels at the boarding facilities that take GALT’s healthy dogs until their foster homes can be arranged. They all celebrate the victories: adoptions, overcoming injuries and illnesses. They are there for us, for the dogs, to the end… lovingly caressing a Greyhound as it passes, surrounded by love, at the end of it’s life.
From it’s inception in May, 2001, through June, 2011, GALT has helped approximately 2000 dogs find their Forever Homes… their Forever Families. Please check out this wonderful group, pass the good word along, and consider donating while you are there: http://galtx.org
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
...adopting one of their wonderful Greyhounds, seeing my own foster dogs go to loving homes, and the wealth of knowledge I have gained. I have made contacts and friendships that have allowed me to help other dogs in need, and my own dogs at times.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Make sure several people know how Susie McQuade does what she does! She is such a dynamic person and is personally involved in every aspect of the organization, much to it's benefit, but some day she will need to slow down, Also be sure to provide respite/breaks for foster homes and other coordinators as needed. Remember to value the input from foster homes!!! They deserve (and need) to be primary sources of input on placing the dogs!
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?
Since so many of us seem to stay involved from afar after leaving Texas, perhaps look at a Long Distance Volunteer Coordinator? Not sure what they would do as the newsletter keeps us informed... Perhaps find and oversee tasks that can be performed outside of Texas to help GALT.
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
YES! I learned so much about sighthounds, and about how to DO IT RIGHT! I was able to pass my knowledge along to others in the field to help more dogs. Perhaps most valuable of all have been the friendships I have made through this experience.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
I experienced the highs and lows of rescue. From the thrill of successful rescues and adoptions, to the horror of finding dogs in deplorable conditions. The latter countered by the satisfaction of being able to remove them from their situation and place them with GALT where they knew love and care, no matter how long or short their remaining time was. From tears to smiles... most of all, as I take it all into account, it makes me heart smile every day.