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Greyhounds waiting for new homes

A sad story in the news today is that more than forty Greyhounds are still waiting to be rehomed over a year after the track where they raced shut down. When Walthamstow Stadium was closed, the dogs who raced there for public entertainment suddenly found themselves out of work, and since then have been languishing at Whittingham Kennels, near Waltham Abbey, Essex.

Unfortunately the public perception of Greyhounds is that are very high-energy dogs. Actually nothing could be further from the truth - Greyhounds are at heart couch potatoes. They can reach very fast speeds very quickly, but once they have had that burst of speed and energy, that's it for the day, and all they want is a warm bed (or even better a warm sofa) and some friendly company. A twenty minute walk will suffice, although obviously off lead running will be welcome.

One of the problems that can sometimes occur with Greyhounds is that having been bred and trained to chase small furry fast moving things, they occasionally mistake small dogs and other mammals for prey. Of course this is a trait that we have bred into the dog, and is instinctive behaviour, not deliberate on the dog's part. It can easily be stopped by putting a muzzle on the dog, and is not typical of all retired racing Greyhounds. Sadly when it does occur it can have devastating consequences, so it does need addressing.

The real problem is whether such dogs should be bred simply to race for our enjoyment, when so many of them find themselves in rescue (or meet a far nastier fate) once their short career is over? I have only ever met one show Greyhound and he was huge, way bigger than any other I've met. He was obviously far too big too break any records whizzing round a track - but he still had that lovely typical Greyhound nature. No racing would mean no ex-racers needing to be "disposed" of.

You can hear a Greyhound profile in Episode 12 of DogCast Radio, as well as discovering all the work that the Retired Greyhound Trust put into rehoming this beautiful, good-natured breed. Let's hope those ex-racers soon find themselves in new loving homes.

Take care,

Julie x


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