In 2000, American Greyhound received its 501c3 status as an IRS recognized charitable organization. In the succeeding 17 years, our volunteers have worked their butts off to assure we were doing all we could to make life after racing, after the shelter, after the farm, after the “whatever” for the hounds we all hold so dear.
Well, my friends, yesterday, we took steps to assure that any hound that needs American Greyhound will have a place to lay his or her head, and place where he or she will be processed into our adoption program, a place where the trailer and van they were hauled to us in have a roof over their head to keep them in good condition, and most importantly, steps have been taken to assure that American Greyhound has a place to call HOME! Thursday, we closed on the sale of a 10 acre parcel of property in Liberty Township, Porter County, Indiana, (located between Valparaiso and Chesterton, not far from the home which hosts our picnic) where, come Springtime of next year, we intend to break ground and build a shelter for our long-nosed friends.
HOME. It has quite a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
And, after I left the closing, I felt it my duty to drive to the property and snap a few photos that I could pass along to you, giving you some idea of what the property looks like.
Well, when I arrived at the property, I was startled to see a group of surveyors hard at word creating a topographical survey of our land. Almost seven months have elapsed since we secured a sales agreement with the seller to buy the land. And yet, our surveyors just happened to arrive on the same day that we were closing. Seems like a good sign to me.
I would also like to give you a little background on how we got to this point, and throw some well-deserved accolades toward someone who has been instrumental in getting us here.
In early 2015, I began speaking with Sue Laatsch, a fellow greyhound lover, and a Real Estate Agent (and someone who had some level of experience in using a greyhound kennel with another group that she used to volunteer with in another city), about finding the right piece of land to build our facility. At this point, I had very little idea about how we would go about making this happen. But, what I told her was that I wanted it located in the Northern half of Porter County, near access to highways that we would be using to transport the dogs, and that I wanted ten acres, minimum. She quickly got me some listings that were available at the time and we began the search. Over the course of the last 2 ½ years we have been out in the woods on blistering hot days, slogged through mud, avoided poison ivy, been out in the rain and the cold, become frustrated, become hopeful, made offers, been disappointed when they were rejected, became hopeful again, only to be disappointed again, talked on the phone, looked at more parcels, made some more offers and then had some more disappointments. And then finally, we had an offer that was accepted. And, then we met with our lawyer, attended hearings, met with an engineer, met with our lawyer some more, attended more hearings, spoke with title company, and finally, yesterday, we attended the closing.
I had no idea when we started this process just how long (and at times frustrating) it was going to be. But, after every slog through some wetlands or muddy corn field, Sue was still smiling and staying upbeat. Without her, I don’t believe we’d be anywhere near as far along as we are today.
So, I want to extend my most sincere thanks to you, Sue, for your patience, your diligence, your hard work, and your resourcefulness. This past two and a half years of your labor has paid off for American Greyhound. And, very soon, it will start paying off for some long legged dogs who take up temporary residence in our new facility.
And, to top all of this off, after all of her hours of hard work, yesterday while leaving the closing, Sue handed me an envelope. Inside that envelope was her commission from the sale, which she very generously donated back to American Greyhound.
So again, Sue, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
More to Come!
I expect the coming months to be a whirlwind of activity. And, as new things happen, we’ll try to get the word to you in as timely a fashion as possible. I really look forward to seeing this building come out of the ground and create new opportunities for us to move those pups from wherever they came from into new homes with new families (and some old ones too of course).
Also, I want to thank each of you for your ongoing support of what we do and what we want to do. It is only through your generosity that American Greyhound is in a position to build a facility like this. So, thank you for your support. And thank you for making American Greyhound, YOUR organization, what it is today.
President, American Greyhound