By Whitley Rives, Community Development Coordinator
General Manager/Governor Ab Mattice, Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option Director Vicki Cohen, Clark Beverage Group-Southaven General Manager Jeff Brasher and Charlotte the greyhound, who is up for adoption, get together to celebrate the recent auction of the team’s Miller Lite warm-up jerseys. Clark Beverage is a Miller Lite distributor. The team wore the jerseys before every game and auctioned them off in the post-season at a party at Fox & Hound pub. The auction brought in $3,265, with a late additional donation of $200, for a total of $3,465.
When the RiverKings and Clark Beverage Group–Southaven (a distributor of Miller Lite) say that all their money is going to the dogs, it’s not a reference to a gambling habit. They mean it quite literally.
The two companies awarded the entire amount of the team’s final jersey auction for the 2010-11 season, the Miller Lite warm-up jerseys worn by the team before every game, to Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option. The grand finish: $3,465.
“As a long-term sponsor of the RiverKings with Miller Lite, our experience has been outstanding,” Clark Beverage Group–Southaven General Manager Jeff Brasher said. “Ab (RiverKings General Manager/Governor) and the team have done a great job with our partnership, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship going forward. We are very proud to be the Official Beer of the Mississippi RiverKings with Miller Lite!”
Brasher, whose two greyhounds Jersey and Betty are both retired racers from MSGAO, couldn’t be happier with the arrangement.
“Another good part of our sponsorship with the RiverKings is the fundraising for a charitable organization that is near-and-dear to my heart on a personal note – Mid-South Greyhound Adoption,” Brasher said. “I have had the good fortune of being a retired racing Greyhound owner since 2002, when we got our first Greyhound, Baby Girl. She passed away shortly after my family’s relocation to the Memphis Metro area in 2007, and we went to MSGAO shortly thereafter to see about another adoption. Vicky Cohen and her team do an outstanding job handling these wonderful animals.”
Brasher said greyhounds are a very unique breed of dog, and make unbelievable pets.
“These dogs are born and raised to chase prey and are a hunting breed, yet are one of the most gentle and loving dog breeds,” Brasher said. “They are, in my opinion, the ‘Ferrari’ of dog breeds, in more than just speed! When these dogs are retired from racing, they are leash and crate trained, generally between 3-5 years old (past the “puppy” stage), eat, sleep and go potty on a schedule, they generally do not bark, are not aggressive, great with kids, eat very little compared to their size – mine are over 70lbs each and eat less than 4 cups per day of dog food – and are great companions. They are also ‘professional athletes’ and are in GREAT physical shape, and are very well taken care of their entire lives.”
Brasher maintains, however, that in considering adopting a greyhound, folks need to keep some key points in mind.
“They are not right for every household,” he said. “They must be kept indoors, as they are low-body-fat animals and cannot regulate their body temperature well; so leaving them outside in the hot or cold for more than 30 minutes cannot be tolerated.
“Also, they are in a class of dogs called ‘sight-hounds,’ and they primarily use their eyesight to hunt, and can see movement up to a mile away. When these dogs ‘lock on to a target,’ they will take off, and can reach speeds over 40 miles per hour -– oblivious to anything but what they have locked onto -– therefore they MUST be kept on a leash or in a fenced area at all times to keep them from getting lost, or worse, running right into traffic at 40 mph.
“Also, they thrive on human companionship, so if the Greyhound will be left alone in the home for extended periods of time — consistently over eight hours per day, five days per week — then this is not the dog for you. It is simply unfair to the dog.”
MSGAO has dozens of adoptable Greyhounds at any given time, looking for good homes. Brasher said this fundraising event through the RiverKings raises enough money to care for these great dogs for about a month, and is a very big help to their organization.
“With the economy like it is today, the first charitable organizations to be negatively impacted are the non-human charities, and raising capital to fund the care of these great animals becomes very difficult,” Brasher said. “Any support is greatly appreciated, and we are proud to help them, along with the many other charities Clark Beverage Group supports corporately.”
Vicki Cohen, Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option (MSGAO) Director, said she was “thrilled” when Jeff Brasher named MSGAO as the jersey auction recipient.
“Being a non-profit we are always looking for ways to raise money, and with this I can promote the RiverKings and how they and the Maddox Foundation (the team’s ownership) give back to the community,” Cohen said. “I probably would never have gone to a RiverKings game if it had not been for the philanthropy of the RiverKings team and the Maddox Foundation. I have found out for myself and many of my adopters just how much fun the games are and what an incredible family experience the season can be.”
Beyond the philanthropy and entertainment the team offers, Cohen said one of the best parts about being involved with the team is the public relations opportunities for nonprofits.
“Being a recipient also allows us to showcase the greys and get the word out on our program and the ‘petability’ of the retired racing greyhounds,” Cohen said.
Contrary to popular opinion, says Cohen (a former racing greyhound trainer who has adopted greyhounds into her home for 30 years), most greyhounds aren’t hyper and don’t require a lot of exercise. They are sprinters and only have short bursts of energy. After a walk around the block or a nice romp in the yard, most are content to sleep for the next several hours.
Additionally, she says, they take up very little room in a home and cause little commotion. They are more than content with a soft bed to call their own, and will sleep there much of the day. Male greyhounds eat 4-5 cups of dog food a day, and females eat 3-4 cups a day. They can be fed once or twice daily.
Needed kennel donations include not only monetary gifts like that from Clark Beverage and the RiverKings, but also paper towels, Dawn dish soap, bleach, bath towels, new or unused toys, blankets, leashes, scrap carpeting, and large or small Milk Bones.
For details about Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option, contact the kennel at (870) 735-7317 or email@example.com, or visit www.midsouthgreyhound.com.