by Debra Bell
of The Weekly Staff
When we adopted our seven-year-old greyhound Laura on Dec. 27, 2008, (one day before my 30th birthday) I had no idea the journey I would take with the amazing folks at Maine Greyhound Placement Service in Augusta.
We did a lot of research before adopting Laura and MGPS was the leader in local information. We met their representatives at a Bangor meet and greet demonstration, talked with an adoption counselor before making the big appointment, and met with the executive director to meet our perfect match.
And in the four years since we adopted Laura, our lives have changed dramatically.
For the better.
That’s why I’m always so excited to be part of the organization’s annual open house and reunion. It’s a chance to talk with other greyhound owners, meet new people and best of all, help raise money for the organization.
This year’s open house, celebrating MGPS’s 20th anniversary, will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, rain or shine, at 231 Old Belgrade Road, Augusta. Admission is $5 per carload of people and pups. The open house is open to anyone and any pup provided dogs are on nonretractable leashes and well-behaved.
As a nonprofit, MGPS relies on funding from adoptions, donations from supporters, boarding fees and fundraising events to operate its kennel and rescue organization. The kennel can house approximately 50 greyhounds at a time and adoptions are by appointment only.
According to open house organizer Sue Sprague, there will be lots to do for people and pups alike. Vendors at this year’s open house include The Tally Ho Shop, Classic Hound (Saturday only), Truman’s Collars (Sunday only), Bell’s Furry Friends Photography, Greyhound Hats, Jamie Giles Embroidery, Scentsy, Linda Evans Art, Rose Marie, Best In Paws Nail Care, Patty Pepin Animal Communicator, Laurie’s Make-Your-Own-Memory-Stone and Bormans Great Food.
In addition to the vendors offering dog-related goods, visitors can take advantage of the doggie spa, release some energy in a supervised canine playground, and take part in raffles and silent auctions. Information about greyhound adoption will be available for first time adopters. Previous MGPS adopters can adopt a greyhound during open house. First-timers are invited to come back.
MGPS opened in 1993 with $70 in the bank and space for two dogs in the kitchen of Executive Director Scott Bruns’ Bridgton home. Today, it has found homes for 4,000 greyhounds.
For information on the open house or Maine Greyhound Placement Service, visit greyhoundplacement.com.
Debra Bell is a special sections writer at the Bangor Daily News. She is also a professional photographer specializing in pet photography. She is owned by Olivia, a Maine coon cat, and Laura, a greyhound. Debra is the author of the “Critters” Blog located at critters.bangordailynews.com.