What is a Lurcher?
Lurchers are Greyhounds that were bred to hunt and their bloodlines are not pure--the hunters in West Texas tend to breed Greyhounds with Salukis and smaller breeds. The hunters in the area around Lubbock typically let their dogs loose to hunt rabbits and coyotes. In 2016, a large pack of dogs that were rescued in the Abilene, TX area were notably larger and it is believed that they may have been used to hunt pigs. To date, the group has rescued Greyhounds mixed with Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, Borzois, and Whippets. Non-sighthound breeds that have been present in DNA tests have included: American Staffordshire Terriers, Pointers, German Short-haired Pointers, and Mastiffs. Many adoption groups will classify any Greyhound that is not registered with the NGA, and that was bred to hunt, as a Lurcher. Although most Greyhound adoption groups that were established to find homes for retired racing Greyhounds will accept Lurchers into their adoption programs--some may not be able to help them or are unaware of them.
The Life of Lurchers...
is not an easy one. They are often left outside in pens and live in a pack. Caring owners make sure that everyone gets their fair share of food while uncaring owners just toss the kibble on the ground. The Lurchers are taken by vehicles to "hunt", chase, and catch their prey. It's a hazardous terrain filled with many obstacles and conditions that can cause injuries. If the dog doesn't come back with the pack-they are often left behind. The sociable ones will wander up to a farmhouse for help--that is, if there is a home in the area, and no one is out to shoot stray dogs. Many of the hunters are not land owners--while some of them will get permission to "run their dogs"; many will not. This act of trespassing increases the risks to the dogs and to the property owners.
When A Place for Us Greyhounds reorganized in Lubbock, in 2008--the directors were unaware that Lurchers existed and that these dogs would need the group's help and placement. At that time, the focus was to find homes for retired racers and "racing school drop-outs". Very early on, APFUG became acquainted with and responsive to the plight of the Lurchers and has evolved to help them as well as Greyhounds that are from the racing industry.
Lurchers are rarely in good physical condition and are almost always rescued from a perilous situation. In a few cases, hunters have planned and coordinated the relinquishment of a dog and delivered it to the rescue kennel. However, for every case of a planned transfer, there are dozens that are not. In 2009, an animal cruelty case resulted in charges/criminal convictions against the owner of seven Lurchers. Sadly, that same person is still able to acquire Greyhounds and Lurchers for hunting since the criminal charges for animal cruelty are classified as a misdemeanor. Most likely, many of the dogs that the group continues to take in from shelters, off the streets, found loose in the rural areas, on Craigslist, etc. can be tracked back to this evil person. APFUG has had to treat an alarmingly high percentage of Lurchers for illnesses, injuries, and infections--worms, malnourishment, muscle wasting, tick fever, and heartworm disease--just to name a few. They are always intact--hunters never spay or neuter. For the past several years, over 50% of the dogs in the group's adoption program are Lurchers.
BOTTOM LINE--A PLACE FOR US GREYHOUNDS IS DEDICATED TO HELPING ALL OF THE SIGHTHOUNDS, INCLUDING LURCHERS. WE LOVE THEM ALL...
A Place for Us Greyhounds
Updates--Marty got adopted on December 23, Winston got adopted on December 28, and Lloyd got adopted on January 4, 2018. Margaret found a home during January.
Thankfully, the group was notified about two situaions involving 8-month old Lurchers that needed re-homing. Thanks to decisive action by the interested families, new homes were found right away. Max and Ruby found a home in Lubbock with the Mendez's, and Gracie moved to ABQ with the Scarberry's. Max and Ruby are littermates originating in Oklahoma, and Gracie was raised to hunt in the Carlsbad, NM area.
Ivy was also rescued in Mitchell County. Linda and Jim Baum rescued her directly from animal control services. Her DNA: Greyhound 37.5%, American Staffordshire Terrier 25%, Borzoi 25%, and Airedale Terrier 12.5%.
Tula got adopted by her foster family!
Alice was rescued as she was running along the interstate frontage road. Her DNA is 75% Greyhound and 25% mixed breed. She has a home!
Frankie was left behind by hunters in a rural area--he is only about a year old. His foster family adopted him!
Max and Ruby
Boris was rescued from an animal shelter in the Permian Basin. He is a Huskey/Whippet mix and was treated for heartworm infection. He has been adopted!
Brooks was rescued from Lubbock's shelter. His DNA results: 50% Greyhound, 37.5% Saluki, 12.5% Borzoi. He has been adopted! We believe he is Lloyd's littermate.
Atlas was left behind by hunters in Lamb County. He has been adopted!
Photo Gallery Featuring Lurchers from 2016-17
Follow the highlighted blue and orange links to learn more about the dog's history and background.