SHUG -- the Sighthound Underground -- is a multi-breed global rescue formed in 2013 in the Washington D.C. area with a goal of rescuing, rehabilitating, transporting, and supporting Sighthounds around the world.
Many breeds have dedicated rescue groups, including those that re-home ex-racing Greyhounds, and many of the volunteers with SHUG are also active in such groups. But SHUG has a broader mission. We are dedicated to filling in gaps in the canine safety net and providing a refuge for Sighthounds of all types. We take in dogs who can no longer be cared for by their owners or who have for a variety of reasons found themselves homeless.
We also work extensively to assist shelters and other rescues in the US and abroad that are overcrowded or who have dogs with special needs that can't be adequately addressed in a shelter environment.
We feel that Sighthounds have special needs and are just, well . . . special! The volunteers of SHUG are for the most part experienced Sighthound owners who have an affiliation for tall skinny dogs and an understanding of their peculiarities. In many cases they also have a large pack of Sighthound companions to help their fosters adjust quickly to being in a home environment.
A large part of SHUG's mission is transportation. We have an ever-growing network in place to move Sighthounds from where they have been abandoned – and where they often face obstacles to adoption due to cultural misconceptions or economic hardships – and bring them to foster and forever homes in other communities. Or other continents! This is generally the case with our Spanish Greyhounds, also known as Galgos, and our Salukis, who come from the Middle East. Their best shot at a new life lies an ocean away and SHUG's volunteers are waiting for them when they reach the other side.
In addition to Galgos and Salukis, SHUG also helps Greyhounds (both tattooed registered racers and non-tattooed), Italian Greyhounds, Borzoi or Russian Wolfhounds, Podencos or Ibizan Hounds, and Afghan hounds, as well as “lurchers” and other sighthound mixes usually bred for sport hunting in rural communities. Although we are headquartered in the MidAtlantic region, SHUG places dogs in homes throughout North America and we have foster homes in Ohio, New England, Georgia, and other areas.
If you know of a Sighthound that needs help -- call us! Many times even if we can't intervene directly we can point you in the direction of someone who can.
How can you get involved? Volunteer! Donate! Follow us on Facebook, share our blog and web page with others. Offer to be a foster family! And definitely let us know if you are traveling to Spain or the Middle East and are willing to be a flight patron! We’ll have more on flight patrons in a future blog post.