Greyhound rescue supporters in the Tampa Bay area are mourning the loss of one of their heroes, but vow to continue with the dog rescues he devoted his life to.
Bill Sharpstein, 65, founder of GoldCoast Greyhound Adoptions passed away on July 16, after battling with colon cancer.
However, Sharpstein’s legacy extends far beyond the greyhounds he rescued and found “forever homes” for. Many of the people who adopted greyhounds from Bill also called him a friend who changed their life.
Angela Desthers said on GoldCoast Greyhound Adoptions Facebook page, “The greyhound community lost an amazing man. I will miss Bill so much! He did a lot for me and encouraged me to be and do better…”
Although Sharpstein started GoldCoast Greyhound Adoptions in 2003, and placed thousands of rescued dogs during his time with the non-profit organization, his supporters have no intention of letting his work fade away.
In addition to saving Greyhounds from unsuccessful racing careers, which often lead to cruel and inhumane forms of euthanasia, Sharpstein was instrumental in creating the Greyhound Advancement Institute. This program pairs incarcerated individuals with rescued greyhounds. During their time in “prison” the greyhounds got time to adjust to life off the track, and even learn a few doggy tricks in the process. Their incarcerated caretakers also benefited by using their time to learn new skills, build self-esteem, and often fall in love with their four-legged cell mates.
The highly successful Greyhound Advancement Center was a source of great pride for Bill Sharpstein, and it will continue to serve both greyhounds and inmates in the years to come.
Pairing “greyt” dogs with great people is what Bill Sharpstein was all about. And although those who knew Bill will miss him terribly, all can take comfort in knowing that GoldCoast Greyhound Adoptions lives on.
For information on adopting a rescued Greyhound, click here.