Guam – After weeks of voting, loyal Guam greyhound fans and GAIN supporters celebrated as Cartier, one of Guam’s rescued greyhounds, won first place in a nationwide PetFinder.com contest, awarding Guam Animals In Need with a much needed $10,000 grand prize.
Cartier was one of the hundreds of abandoned greyhounds that resulted from the closure of the Guam Greyhound Racetrack in 2008. Sick and emaciated, he was rescued one evening in a torrential rain storm in December of that year while he was roaming the streets, trying to nourish himself with whatever he could find.
Luckily, a guardian angel had been sent for Cartier and he was placed in GAIN’s Greyhound Rescue Program, a special project for the abandoned greyhounds of the track. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think the rescue effort would result in being awarded a $10,000 prize from one of the hounds,” stated Cindy Bartels, GAIN President.
Through the rescue effort, several greyhound rescue groups around the world came together to help find homes for the abandoned Guam greyhounds.
Cartier found his forever home with Dana Provost, a greyhound rescue volunteer from Las Vegas who owns several other greyhounds. The 11 months he was with Dana was probably the happiest he has ever been before he gave in to an illness and passed away.
In August 2010, PetFinder.com conducted the World’s Best Pet Parent Contest, which Dana entered with Cartier. For the next six weeks, Cartier supporters from around the world voted for him. Dana had selected Guam Animals In Need as the non-profit organization to benefit should Cartier win. Cartier racked up more than 7,000 votes to win first place.
“I have to say that Cartier lived it large,” Dana said. “I hoped for the best, but I never knew too much of his background in Guam and he was already 8 years old with this medical issue, so there was no guarantee of his lifespan. With his demeanor he easily took on with full grace the role of Greyhound ambassador.”
Dana added, “Whether it was costume contests or car rides, Cartier was able to experience life as it was and he loved and participated in everything. He may have known he was sick for a long time and didn’t show it. I had no reason to think otherwise. I believe he wanted to go out on his terms. And that he did.”
In the short time since his rescue, Cartier touched the hearts of several people, from the lady who rescued him off the streets, to the children he would play with while in foster care and finally with Dana.
“His passing has empowered me to keep doing what I do best,” Dana said. “The greatest gift he gave me was that he left this world on his terms. I did not have to make the decision.”
GAIN is extremely grateful for all the support from all of the greyhound rescue groups and animal advocates who voted tirelessly to help Cartier win the contest. The prize money will go toward the GAIN Second Chance Program, which helps animals like Cartier, who require extra care and are otherwise adoptable.
“What one greyhound did by just being – to bring people together from all walks of life from virtually all over the world is an absolutely amazing feat,” Dana said.