When a greyhound leaves the track, it still has plenty of love and life to give.
On Saturday Tasmania’s Greyhound Adoption Program paid a visit to Mowbray Racecourse, with 12 retrained dogs all looking for a new start.
The meet and greet was an opportunity for people to learn more about the Tasracing program, which aims to ensure all retired greyhounds go on to find permanent and loving homes.
GAP program coordinator Susan Gittus said about 40 people attended the event, with five adoptions and two new foster carers signing up by the end of the day.
“We hold these events every month in Hobart, because that is where we are based. But we try to come to Launceston as often as we can for the people who don’t necessarily want to travel,” she said.
“It’s a chance for people to ask questions and to meet some lovely dogs – and maybe take one home.”
As part of the retraining process, greyhounds are placed in foster care by GAP for about six weeks to expose them to as many new experiences as possible.
With about 20 dogs ready to be adopted and a long waiting list to commence the GAP program, Ms Gittus said public awareness was a vital part of the process.
“Adjusting to being a pet – it is a very different lifestyle for greyhounds,” she said.
“Racing life is very routine and they know what is happening every day, nothing changes.
“Where as pet life can be very unpredictable.
“Some need a little bit more time and it can take up to three months to have them ready for adoption.
“But once they are ready, there is no time frame on them.
“If we keep them for 12 months or two years – whatever it takes, we will keep looking for the right home. And it does come up.”
Ms Gittus said considering their calm, adaptable and tolerant nature, greyhounds made for excellent pets.
“They are a fabulous dog. They are very laid back, so they are great in homes with children that don’t quite understand how to deal with dogs,” she said.
“You are getting a young dog who is past puppy stage, but still has plenty of love and life to give to you.”
- For more information on the GAP program, visit gaptas.org.au.