Weekend conference to focus on greyhounds' wellness

In its 19 years, Going Home Greyhounds in Pine has found safe and loving homes for more than 2,000 former racing dogs.

On Saturday and Sunday, some of the group’s members are going to be involved in something different but still beneficial for greyhounds. The weekend event to illuminate the everyday life of racing greyhounds will be sponsored by Canada’s Greyhound Trust & Alliance at Wheeling Island casino and racetrack. The “Greyt Escape — Kennel to Kouches” is sold out, but volunteers are welcome from adoption groups.

“Anyone can go,” Going Home Greyhounds director Theresa Mitchell said. “It’s a volunteership.”

Retired veterinarian Guillermo Couto, Jonathan Dyce of Ohio State University’s reknowned animal clinic and Shelley Lake, an adoption coordinator in Abilene, Kan. — home of the Greyhound Hall of Fame — are among the scheduled speakers.

Others speaking Saturday include kennel owners and trainers Steve Sarras and Tom Ferris, breeder/owner Dean Miner, and Fred Metzger, a vet from the Metzger Animal Hospital in State College.

Among the topics of this educational event: greyhound wellness, advances in cancer genetics and a day in the life of the racing greyhound. There also will be visits to a puppy farm.

Saturday night events include a handicapping lesson and a silent auction at the casino.

Sunday’s activities include a blessing of the hounds and an open house conducted by the GPA Wheeling adoption center.

This is the second year a Greyt Escape has been held and one is planned for 2015.

Pohla Smith: psmith@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1228.