Pet events: A Beach Party to help greyhounds

Greyhound Beach Party

A new rescue group has a new way of helping retired racing greyhounds, and it’s having its first fundraiser at a unique island venue.

The Victory Lap Greyhound Transport is calling it the Beach Bound Hounds Party at Neville Island at a beach, bar and bowling alley on the Ohio River. Greyhounds are invited to attend, but other breeds of dogs are not. 

The party is 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Paradise Island Bowl & Beach, 7601 Grand Ave., Pittsburgh 15225. The $20 donation gets you unlimited pizza, wings and soft drinks from 5 to 7 p.m. Live music starts at 6 p.m.

There really is a sandy beach, and people play volleyball there — and can drink at the bar. Also look for vendors, cornhole contests and bocce.

You can pay at the event or at in advance. Click on “events.”

“We Haul Tail!” is painted on the 32-foot bus that has been purchased by the new nonprofit. It has been specially retrofitted for drives to racetracks, where volunteers will pick up greyhounds whose racing days are over, explained Lisa Paulson of Cranberry, president of Victory Lap. Her husband, Mark, is vice president of operations. The dogs will then be transported to greyhound rescue groups. 

Their new organization is an affiliate of Greyhound Pets of America.

Volunteers have owned and rescued greyhounds for many years and are familiar with many in the greyhound community, its website notes.

Many greyhound adoption groups located in states that do not have racetracks “have difficulty obtaining retired racing greyhounds. ... Where an adoption group may be able to transport two or three dogs in a trip, we can transport 12-16 dogs at a time.

“We believe that if adoption groups have more dogs available to them ... more retired greyhounds will be adopted into loving homes,” the website explains.

The Victory Lap Greyhound Transport is making its first rescue run Saturday. Mr. and Mrs. Paulson and two more volunteers will drive 1,200 miles in 20-24 hours to pick up dogs at a track in West Virginia and deliver them to rescue groups in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  

“We charge a small haul fee,” Mrs. Paulson said. “We are just trying to cover our costs.”

The 20 seats used to transport elderly residents in a Florida community have been removed and replaced with eight large and four extra large dog crates that have been bolted to the floor for safety reasons. 

That work was done by 1st Out Specialty Vehicles & Equipment in Moon. The company usually specializes in customizing fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles to meet the needs of departments that operate them.

The personal pets of Mark and Lisa include greyhounds Indy, 11, and Tucker, 7, a pit bull named Mia, 7, and seven cats. 

The next fundraiser is the Victory Run for the Hounds on Sept 16. The motorcycle run and car cruise starts in Saxonburg. For details, check the Victory Lap website.

Greyhound visits

Adults and children can meet retired racers available for adoptions at Pirates Kids Day, including Sunday at PNC Park. Three Rivers Greyhounds Pittsburgh will have the dogs outside of Atria’s near the Clemente Bridge.

Joe Kubiak, who coordinates some of the meet and greets, says the hours are 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow and on Sept. 3 and Sept. 24. He’s also the volunteer who tipped the PG about the new Victory Lap group. You won’t see Mr. Kubiak at PNC Park on Sunday because he’s going to the Beach Party on Neville Island.

Cat Cafe

Animal Advocates is having a Garden Party & Butterfly Cat Cafe next Saturday at the West End townhouse that houses their thrift shop and rescue cats. 

Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 35 Wabash St., Pittsburgh, 15220.

Meet adoptable animals, including the ones “working” at the cat cafe. Also look for “doggie games” and other activities, giveaways and door prizes.

Many of the rescue group’s adoptable cats live on the second floor of the townhouse that houses the thrift shop. 

Go to the website and click on “events” to print out dollars-off coupons that can be used in the thrift store.