Dogs Trust Manchester are holding a special Greyhound awareness week to help change the public perception of the breed and help them find their forever homes.
They are appealing for homes for six greyhounds who they believe are being overlooked purely because of their breed and coat colour.
Most greyhounds retire from racing between the ages of three and five, so they are still relatively young dogs with a long life ahead of them.
Due to the nature of the breed they are usually low-maintenance, gentle and laid back which means they are often comfortable in families and homes with children.
I spoke to Andrew Gillon, Head of Operations and Welfare at Greyhounds Trust who said “Over 8000 greyhounds retire from racing every year, and Greyhound Trust find homes for around half of them. At any one time the Greyhound Trust has a waiting list of around 1,000 dogs needing to be homed, so demand far outweighs our ability to find homes for all the greyhounds retiring from racing. Raising awareness about the breed, and how great they are as pets, will allow many more of these retiring dogs to find homes.”
He also went onto says that “There are thousands of greyhounds out there that desperately need a home. Our Vision is for a day when all racing greyhounds retire to loving homes and are treated with compassion and kindness. There is a lot of evidence out there to say that once you have homed a greyhound, it will be your choice of breed for life.”
I spoke to Elisha Holt who is proud owner of Sonic, an Irish retired greyhound, about her experience with taking in a Greyhound:
“We couldn’t decide which dog to get and were in the process of saving up when we visited the farmers market at the beginning of December and visited the Retired Greyhound Trust stall. After a week or so, someone from the charity came to do a home check to ensure our house and garden was suitable for the dog. Because of the timing, during December, we had to wait a little longer to get a dog as they don’t allow anyone to adopt before Christmas, but it was roughly the second week in January we were able to meet him and then he came home to us the week after.”
Describing Sonic, Elisha said “He’s only young for a retired greyhound, at 3 he was retired from an injury and therefore he’s still really puppy-like. Since getting him, we’ve encouraged him to play with different toys and now he really loves playing with a ball. He’s also very loving and despite his huge size, he still loves sitting on our knees”.
She also went on to say that “I think the main thing people should know about adopting a greyhound is that you have to be committed. When we got Sonic, he had spent very little time inside a home with a family and so even things like mealtimes were difficult but with a little training he’s settled in perfectly and we couldn’t imagine him not being here, happily jumping at the windowsill when the car pulls into the drive.”