The fastest dog in America is a rescued mixed-breed and she lives in Crownsville, Maryland.
Wailin' Phelan The Bearded Lass, or simply Phelan, was crowned America's fastest pup after besting 116 other dogs in the 2020 American Kennel Club Fast CAT Invitational in Orlando, Florida, back in December.
The Fast CAT (Fast Coursing Ability Tests) competition is a 100-yard dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a lure. Each competitor runs three times, and its speeds are converted into miles per hour then averaged. Phelan's average speed? A heart-pumping 32.3 mph.
And that wasn't even her best performance. At home, Phelan has been clocked at 34 mph.
The runner-up, a Greyhound named Dagnabit, came in at 31.2 mph
"We knew competition would be fierce in Orlando. Phelan would be competing against the fastest dogs in the fastest breeds, namely Greyhounds, Salukis, and Whippets," co-owner Krista Shreet told the American Kennel Club (AKC). "We were honored to be there with our All-American Dog and had no designs on doing anything more than representing mixed-breed rescue dogs. But sometimes the wild card wins."
It's a paw-some accomplishment for the accidental athlete.
"We originally entered her in Fast CAT events to help keep her active and let her utilize her chasing instinct," Shreet told WJLA. "It was clear that she really enjoyed the sport, so we continued to enter her in events."
Phelan, who is thought to be a mix of Greyhound, Borzoi, and Scottish Deerhound breeds, was rescued from Texas about three years ago by Shreet and Ted Koch after they came across her photos on Sighthound Underground's Facebook page.
"Ted and I were both interested in co-owning a dog. He was instantly captivated by her unique look after seeing photos of her. She looked like a bit of a cross between Bill the Cat and a Deerhound who had been out on a bender," Shreet told AKC. "He suggested we foster her to see how it would go. One day in she fit like a glove into the pack and we knew she was a keeper."
You can say that again!