Hope For Hounds was created by Janet Shaffer in November of 2005 as a way to honor greyhounds that have been lost to osteosarcoma and raise funds for Dr. Couto’s cancer research at OSU through an annual online auction. In 2016, Hope For Hounds officially became part of The Greyhound Health Initiative.
The Miss Nellie Auction, held every Fall, has raised roughly $10,000 every year since its inception. Here is Janet’s story of how, and why, she created Hope For Hounds…
In 2004 I found a lump on my almost 10 year old Greyhound Foxy’s front leg. The lump was removed and we were told Foxy has cancer. There was a 70% likelihood of the tumor returning in the first three months. Foxy remained cancer free until her journey to the bridge on August 5, 2008. We had 4 wonderful years with no return of the tumor.
I know we are truly one of the very lucky ones. Since facing the stark reality of cancer, I watched others lose their beloved greys to cancer, in particular osteo, I had always wanted to do something to help.In June, 2005 one of my favourite greyhounds, Clover, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. By July, she was gone. I had to do something to help!
Since I make jewelry for hounds, it made sense that using that skill would be the place to start. I created an Awareness Collar Bling for Hope, something all dogs and their humans could wear.
My intent was to raise a couple of thousand dollars. How little I understood the greyhound owner. Within months I was run off my feet, and quickly recognized that I needed other fundraising methods. Miss Nellie was the first greyhound I introduced on the Inspiring Stories page when Hope for Hounds began in November 2005. She captivated our hearts and took a piece of it with her. She brought people together to fight a common cause and we will continue that fight in her honour.
Very quickly after Miss Nellie left us, a group of Grey Talk members decided they wanted to help me raise money for Hope for Hounds. Tricia Olson asked for a few donations, with that and with the generous offer by Alisha, of 2 Hounds Design, to host the auction on her website the “Miss Nellie Auction” was launched on May 15th, 2006. As days passed, items were still being added and add-ons were offered to sweeten the pot. I am never surprised by the abilities or the determination of greyhound owners. They always rise to the challenge. But, this auction truly humbled and at times overwhelmed me. At the close of the auction we were at $8,887.00. Many generous bidders made extra donations to bring our final total to just over $9,000.00. Since then, many other wonderful greyhound owners have joined the fight, creating their own products or fundraising events.
All monies raised by Hope for Hounds go to support the vital work Dr. Guillermo Couto and his colleagues do on behalf of our greyhounds. Through the Greyhound Health Initiative we continue the difficult work to conquer cancer in greyhounds.