Greyhound Pets of America – Northern Virginia (GPA-NoVA) began as a small group back in the late 1980s, when two or three people worked with Lou Batdorf of Greyhound Pets of America -Wheeling Downs. During those days, very few dogs were placed in homes and the organization was really just a casual agreement between Lou and the folks in Northern Virginia.
In 1990, Kathe and Paul Fritz adopted their first greyhound. Along with other first time owners, they began to volunteer to help with local adoptions. Over time, the number of active volunteers increased and the group began to take on a more permanent character, while still adopting greyhounds under the umbrella of Greyhound Pets of America – Wheeling Downs. As the 1990s progressed, more and more adopters became involved with the cause, and we began placing around 25 greyhounds a year in their forever homes.
In 1999, the group decided that it was time to become a chapter in our own right. As part of that goal, a more formalized structure to the group was adopted, including the creation of a Board of Directors and the appointment of officers. The adoption process was developed and formalized, and as the number of adoptions grew, so did the number of volunteers. Lou Batdorf, our friend at Greyhound Pets of America – Wheeling Downs, was instrumental in our search for chapter status. Lou acted as our official sponsor and mentor, guiding us through the necessary preparations and procedures along the road to chaptership, and acting as our liaison with GPA National. Lou’s leadership, training and friendship is a part of everything that Greyhound Pets of America – NoVA is today.
In April 2001, GPA-NoVA was officially granted chapter status. From those early days in the late 1980s when just a few people helped put a few greyhounds into homes, we have grown into a strong organization with over 200 dues paying members placing nearly 90 dogs a year. As we continue to grow, we hope to do everything we can to make sure that every retired racing greyhound has a home.
The current board members are:
Sarah van der Vate – President
Social Media Outreach, Event Organization, Strategic Partnerships
Angela Kummel – Vice President
Event Organization, Group Logistics
Regan Mahoney – Treasurer
Finances, Group Organization
Rashmi Venkatesh – General Secretary
Social Media Outreach, Event Organization, Meeting Agendas
Sriram Sridharan – Member at Large
Adoption Coordination/Logistics, IT, Event Organization