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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
On April 5, 2020, Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada (GPAC) published a shocking post on their website.
Jeanette Reynolds, President of GPAC, announced the pending dissolution of the organization. At the end of 2020, GPAC would no longer be rehoming majestic, retired greyhounds.
Reynolds has been the powerhouse behind GPAC for 30 years, and her announcement sent an earthquake throughout the rescue community, leaving many in disbelief. To think her dedication, involvement and championing with retired greyhounds was coming to an end was heartbreaking.
It took months before Reynolds made her final decision, with several factors affecting her choice to close. Florida closed its racetracks in the aftermath of Bill 13; Alabama racing tracks were slated to finish, and Canada-US borders were shut down as a result of the pandemic Therefore, Reynolds made the gut-wrenching decision that it was time to walk away.
But, as with every grey cloud, there is a silver lining, and the break in the clouds is Rhonda Martins.
Martins has been a staunch supporter, caring volunteer and extensively engaged with GPAC for the past 13 years. Her personality is ideally suited for animal advocacy, and with eight rescue dogs of her own, she knows what it takes to save and rehome dogs.
Martins puts her heart into everything, and she does everything with great passion and perfection, which will benefit her in her new role. She will be putting her name forward to become the president of the rebranded and recalibrated GPAC organization. The organization's new name will be Greyhounds Galgos Podencos Atlantic Canada (GGPAC).
GGPAC has a deep history and commitment to a well-run Spanish rescue for Podencos and Galgos, also known as the Spanish-greyhounds. This highly intelligent breed of dogs is used exclusively for hunting in Spain. Their long legs, eagerness to please, happy attitudes and agile moves make them great companions for hunters. Sadly, at the end of the hunting season, the dogs become useless to the hunters. Spain is behind modern times concerning animal rights, mainly because of bullfighting and the tourist dollars the fights bring in.
Martins has travelled to Spain many times in the last seven or eight years to work closely with the Spanish organization, Podenco Friends Rescue. During that time, Martins has been able to find forever homes for about 90 dogs in Atlantic Canada.
Dogs certified for adoption in Spain are exclusively brought to Atlantic Canada only when permanent homes are available. Martins works closely with Spain to bring well adjusted, vaccinated, trained, tested and socialized dogs to Atlantic Canada.
Few people can match Martin's moral compass and dedication. Her work ethic is impressive, and her focus at all times is on homeless dogs. They are fortunate to have someone of her calibre fighting on their behalf every day.
Please be kind to animals.
Tracy Jessiman writes the weekly column Recycled Love and is proud to be a “voice for those with no choice.” She supports various animal rescues. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org