Waverly middle and high school students hosted some special guests on Wednesday - four volunteers for Keystone Greyhounds, along with five canine companions.

About 50 students packed Waverly High School's band room during ninth period to meet Bortz, Kid, Lanch, Gospel and Zack, all retired racing greyhounds. The dogs displayed varying colors and personalities, but all were gentle, well-behaved and receptive to the students' attention.

Volunteers Debra and Sam Moore showed the students photos of greyhound racing camps and asked and answered questions about the dogs, many of which participate in racing in the early parts of their lives.

To prepare for racing, the dogs train rigorously and live in crates or kennels until retirement, Debra Moore said. Often, retired greyhounds end up with one of the about 350 racing greyhound adoption groups in the United States.

Debra Moore, who currently has six greyhounds, told students that the dogs need love, praise and proper training while adjusting to life in a more relaxed, home-like atmosphere.

Making the transition from racing to retirement "is very scary" for the dogs, she said. "They've never been in a home before… they're crate-trained, but not house-trained."

Also in attendance were volunteers Hal Lambert and Larry Burns, who helped handle the dogs.

Debra Moore said she likes to make every presentation different. Wednesday's presentation highlighted the group's recent visit to a greyhound racing track in West Virginia and showed students what a racing greyhound goes through from birth to retirement and beyond. On the other hand, a recent historical society presentation addressed the history of the greyhound, which is the only dog breed mentioned in the Bible and has been part of history in many cultures, Debra Moore said.

Volunteers often bring the greyhounds to schools, nursing homes, and community buildings.

Keystone Greyhounds is an all-volunteer organization based in Harrisburg which is dedicated to finding responsible homes for retired racing greyhounds. According to the presentation, Keystone has placed over 600 greyhounds for adoption since 2004. In addition to facilitating greyhound adoptions, Keystone Greyhounds also utilizes foster families to care for the dogs until they find a permanent home.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or e-mail: arenko@thedailyreview.com.