The Greyhound racing industry has faced a lot of scrutiny over the years for its treatment of dogs. Last year a report found more than 300 dogs were putdown in one season after failing to be re-homed.
Greyhounds as Pets is a charity created to ease these dogs into retirement and help find them a new home.
April is Adopt A Greyhound Month, and Daniel Bohan from the programme joined Jesse Mulligan to talk about why they make a good addition to the family.
Greyhound Racing created the charity and it’s now its own individual entity, the idea being that the two work together to find a positive solution for the dogs when their racing careers finish.
“Racing exists in New Zealand…and when the greyhound’s racing career does come to an end, the trainers do want to have a happy solution for these dogs - so in order for that we need to find them homes.”
The racing career of a greyhounds is surprisingly short, says Bohan.
“I adopted my own greyhound when he was still 3-years-old, he was finished racing by the time he was three and a half.”
Bohan wasn’t even looking for a dog when he met his greyhound.
“As pets, greyhounds are amazingly wonderful… they’re sweet, gentle, loyal loving, incredibly lazy, they’re really easy going.”
The are surprisingly lazy, he says.
“They’ll happily sleep all day long, I’m not joking, literally all day long.”
Despite their size, they’re often thought of as apartment dogs because they’re clean and don’t have a big impact on a house, curling up in a ball like a cat, he says.
“When I look into my dogs eyes, I see a real soulfulness, an emotional aspect to him that I don’t often see in other dogs and that’s really what got me, was how beautiful their eyes are and when I saw my own dog looking at me like that for the first time I was done. Two weeks later he was home with me.”
They do however have an instinct to run and chase, he says.
But Greyhounds as Pets matches the dog with the owner - the dog that will best suit someone’s lifestyle and personality. The dogs are also temperament tested.
“Trainers proactively register their dogs with us when it’s coming to the end of it’s career so we can get it on the list and give it a place on line to adopt.”
It currently has 131 dogs on the waiting list, with 280 dogs adopted out in the last financial year.
People apply for a dog and wait until there’s a good match, he says.
If an owner falls on hard times or illness, the charity will take the dog back in and take care of it.