Gaye Ann and Ron Weaver are no strangers to greyhound adoption. For over twenty years they have volunteered in all aspects of finding forever homes for the greyhounds. They have fostered dozens of greys, participated in meet & greets, home visits, and fund raising events. For five years they coordinated transportation for incoming hauls and parked in numerous dimly lit parking lots in the wee hours of the morning anxiously waiting the dogs arrival. Many times the greys were driven to the Weaver's home/yard to be processed and picked up by their foster parents. Their neighbors never could figure out what was going on and why people were coming and going in the middle of the night!
In 2006, Gaye Ann became involved in the arrival of the first
Greyhounds to enter the Prison Program in Coldwater MI.
In 2007 she became Regional Director for prisons in Michigan (Florence Crane, Camp Branch, Lakeland) and Indiana and worked diligently through April 2011, when due to budget cuts the greyhounds housing facilities were closed and the program was terminated. Within a few months the greyhounds were invited back into the Lakeland facility. There was not a moment’s hesitation on Gaye's part in terms of her willingness, the time and energy required to start a new program, although there would be the added challenge of funding the program.
Gaye talked it over with Ron and knowing how passionate she was, he agreed this is something they should do and thus the birth of The Greyhound Inmate Experience, a non profit 501 (c) (3) Michigan Corporation.
Ron and Gaye Ann bring their specialized business talent to the program as well.
Ron, as a Professional Technical Trainer, designed and developed the TGIE website. All of the design work and printing of certificates, greyhound profiles and adopter packets are done internally so nothing is outsourced.
As a motivational speaker and Corporate Trainer, Gaye provides inspiration to the handlers and encourages them to be positive, stay focused and remain committed. She teaches them teamwork and communication skills and her passion is evident in her upbeat, enthusiastic approach and devotion to improving lives...that of the greyhounds and those of the inmates.
It is the mission of The Greyhound Inmate Experience
(T.G.I.E.) to provide the best trained and socialized retired
greyhounds for family adoption and to demonstrate what a great
breed the greyhound is. We will accomplish this through
patience, skilled training, team work, and compassion from the
utmost trained incarcerated handlers. It is our sincere desire to be
part of the rescue process and to educate the public on the
importance of the redemptive qualities and rehabilitation benefits
of this program.
The mission statement was written in it's entirety by the TGIE handlers.