Greyhound racing and cruelty has been a prominent subject of late with media coverage exposing live baiting and the short lives of those bred for racing.
Rescue groups, Friends of the Hound and Greyhounds New Beginnings were at the Big Adopt Out not only to spread the word on greyhounds and their ability to be great family pets, but also to find some lucky greyhounds new homes.
Friends of the Hound president, Lisa White was there with Gone are the Dogs to show people the good nature of these dogs she said were being used as products for gambling.
“Because of greyhound racing breeding so many dogs every year for racing and gambling, there’s mass wastage of greyhounds. Young healthy dogs that are retired at three years of age and are discarded or disposed of,” Ms White said.
Ms White’s foundation rescues and re-homes over 200 dogs per year, but she wishes circumstances were different.
“We don’t want to do what we do. We don’t want there to be a racing industry and to have to keep rescuing dogs,” she said.
She believes the industry should be shut down completely.
“We don’t think the welfare of the dogs is going to be taken into account if it continues,” Ms White said.
Ms White and her volunteers also spent the event walking around with dog leashes that had empty collars on them.
“Each one has a tag showing the reason why the dog’s gone. We’ve got ‘too slow’, ‘broken toe’, ‘fracture’, ‘sent to China’,” she explained.
Founder and director of Greyhounds New Beginnings, Buffy Ashley started the group in 2012 and has since re-homed nearly 300 dogs.
Ms Ashley created her rescue group after working in a veterinary clinic and seeing trainers come in to euthanise their racing dogs upon retirement.
“I watched these beautiful creatures getting put to sleep and I just decided one day that I couldn’t watch another one be put to sleep, so I started my charity,” she said.
Ms Ashley, her staff and a group of about 10 volunteers worked a booth at the Big Adopt Out, hoping to re-home the nine dogs they brought with them.
They managed to adopt one out before 9:30 am and Ms Ashley was excited and pleased to see it happen so quickly.
“We adopted out little Derek, our seven month-old puppy,” she said.
By midday another three dogs had found new forever homes, with one final dog being re-homed by 2:00 pm.