Betty Rosen, 66, well-known dog breeder

January 02, 1996|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Betty S. Rosen, founder of the Greyhound Pets of America/Maryland Chapter and a well-known Maryland dog breeder, died Sunday at her Lutherville home of cancer. She was 66.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mrs. Rosen attended Western High School, graduating in 1946. As a child, she developed a passion for dogs that would shape her future.

In 1971, she became one of the founders of the Tibetan Spaniel Club of America. In the mid-1970s, she started Bet-R-Kennels, a breeder of top-winning dogs that included Tibetan spaniels and miniature pinschers.

"She had a great love for dogs, especially stray dogs," said Herbert Rosen, her husband of 28 years.

In 1984, after hearing that thousands of retired racing greyhounds were being euthanized, Mrs. Rosen organized the Maryland chapter of Greyhound Pets of America to find homes for the dogs. More than 1,800 greyhounds have been rescued and placed in homes in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania through her organization.

"That was her most consuming passion," said her stepson Steven Rosen of Cockeysville. "She was absolutely aghast when she heard that the greyhounds were being euthanized."

Mrs. Rosen was careful in choosing potential pet owners, her stepson said. "She didn't just give people dogs," he said. "You had to understand how to take care of a greyhound.

She found such people as Verna Minardo of Dundalk, who now owns five greyhounds.

Mrs. Rosen "cared about her dogs, and she cared about the people who owned the dogs," said Ms. Minardo, who first became a greyhound owner four years ago. "She would take a phone call morning, noon and night. She was just the sweetest, kindest person there was."

For her work, Mrs. Rosen was awarded the Gaines Medal in 1987 by the Baltimore County Kennel Club, WJZ-TV and the Greyhound Pets of America's national office. She also was recognized for the breeding of Tibetan spaniels and other prize-winning dogs.

In addition to her husband and Steven Rosen, Mrs. Rosen is survived by her mother, Goldie Leberstein Banks of Pikesville; two children, Marc Rosen of Phoenix, and Linda Brager of Baltimore; four grandchildren, Joseph Brager of Baltimore, Rebecca and Jeffrey Rosen of Cockeysville and Ryan Rosen of Phoenix; and a sister, Harriet Rosenbaum of Baltimore.

Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Home, 6010 Reisterstown Road.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that all contributions in Mrs. Rosen's memory be directed to the Greyhound Pets of America/Maryland Chapter, 8518 Drumwood Road, Baltimore 21286.

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