SAYRE - Sunday proved to be a great day to enjoy the weather before colder fall temperatures will move into the area next month, and a group of Greyhound breed enthusiasts took the opportunity to meet at the Howard Elmer Park to allow their dogs to enjoy the weather too.

The Keystone Greyhounds, a Harrisburg based statewide non-profit organization, has numerous satellites including a presence in Sayre, headed by Hal and Janet Lambert.

Over the years the Sayre division has been responsible for finding about 70 to 80 dogs a home locally, Hal Lambert said.

Together, Keystone Greyhounds has been able to find adoption homes for over 750 dogs across the state.

The Lambert's take their responsibilities with the organization seriously, making a point to educate the public about Greyhounds, a rare and often misinterpreted dog that is bred solely for racing.

Greyhounds, Hal Lambert explained, can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour by the third step of a standing start and are arguably the second fastest known animal on earth, second only to the Cheetah.

Hal Lambert explained that there are over 350 adoption groups across the country, some of which vocalize dislike for the Greyhound racing industry. Keystone Greyhounds, however, holds no agenda and is simply dedicated to finding homes for the dogs after their racing career is over, Hal Lambert said.

He has deduced, after years of researching Greyhounds, visiting seven Greyhound farms and going behind-the-scenes at races, that there is no cause for alarm in the racing industry.

"I haven't seen any reason to terminate racing," he said.

At Howard Elmer Park in Sayre Sunday afternoon, the Lambert's met with Dr. Debra Moore and her husband Sam Moore. The Moore's currently own six Greyhounds and Debra can often be seen walking them around Sayre, a routine she completes every day.

"It's wonderful," Debra Moore said about owning the dogs, "It certainly keeps us busy. They are very sweet."

Her husband agreed.

"Sometimes it can be like having six 2-year-olds," he joked, "But really, it's good. I like it."

The Moore's are also foster "parents" to new Greyhounds in the area, meaning while potential owners are sought, they give a temporary home to the dogs.

Hal Lambert, who has fostered dogs in the past, said that the foster period is one of the most vital ingredients to having a Greyhound become accustomed to a home environment.

"When these dogs finish their career, homes are completely new to them," Hal Lambert said, explaining that most dogs don't even know what stairs are and it takes a while for them to get a grasp on the concept.

Hal Lambert said, "We don't have a shortage of homes for these dogs, however, there is a real shortage of people willing to foster."

He said he is always looking for potential fosters local to the area.

Hal Lambert described Greyhounds as a very docile breed that are easy to train and are content in home environments.

"They come from a place where they spent 22 hours a day in a cage." After coming home, Greyhounds usually stick to the same routine, being lazy for most of the day.

Janet Lambert described the breed as very cat-like and as great house pets.

If interested in adopting a pet, the Keystone Greyhounds have a diligent three-pronged profiling program for people looking to adopt a dog, for the dog's safety and their own.

Hal Lambert said first potential families are asked to submit an application to the Keystone Greyhounds and then a home visit will be completed by Hal Lambert, where he brings one of his three Greyhounds to give the owner a feel for the breed. The dog's biography is then researched to see if it meets the requirements of the potential owner.

"Just like people, these dogs have very different personalities," Hal Lambert said.

Some will be okay with cats and children, and others won't be, he said.

Hal Lambert said he will be receiving six new Greyhounds on Saturday that will be looking for new homes. He said that house training a Greyhound is typically very easy and able to be completed in a week or two at most. The Keystone Greyhounds holds a policy of not allowing dogs to be adopted in a home with a child under the age of 6-years-old.

Contact Hal or Janet Lambert at (570) 423-8262; or e-mail: halandjanetlambert@yahoo.com for more information on adopting or becoming a foster to a Greyhound.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: tzyla@thedailyreview.com.