Greyhound rescue mission takes off

April marks Adopt a Greyhound month


Pets
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: "You get hooked," say Greyhound Rescue founders Peter and Janet Flann, pictured here with Coco. April is Adopt-a-Greyhound month.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: "You get hooked," say Greyhound Rescue founders Peter and Janet Flann, pictured here with Coco. April is Adopt-a-Greyhound month.

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"And most people don't know greyhounds are low-energy dogs - they are couch potatoes!"

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When Sydney retirees Peter and Janet Flann took in two greyhounds who were about to be put down nearly 20 years ago, they had no idea it would lead to a lifelong commitment rehoming and rehabilitating dogs. 

"I didn't know a lot about greyhounds. But they are so beautiful, you get hooked," said Janet, 79.

"Straight from the beginning we found them to be very gentle and afffectionate.

They don't need a lot of exercise, have a short coat, don't moult, have no doggy smell and rarely bark.

"And most people don't know greyhounds are low-energy dogs - they are couch potatoes!"

Four years after welcoming Princess and Brittany into their home, Peter, now 78, and Janet set up the charity Greyhound Rescue on Sydney's northern beaches to rehome dogs no longer wanted by the racing industry.

Since then they have found homes for more than 1000 greyhounds, rescued from pounds, trainers, and breeders.

"It was accidental really; we never thought it would grow like it has," said Janet, who Peter describes as the "prime mover" behind the organisation.

"We initially had a dozen greyhounds looking for a home.

"We currently have around 60 dogs on the waiting list - often those dogs that are injured or not deemed fast enough for racing."

In that time, the couple has always been opponents of greyhound racing and their kennel has a no-kill policy.

"It was devastating when premier Mike Baird decided to overturn the greyhound ban," said Janet of the NSW government's backflip three months after announcing a ban on the greyhound racing industry in 2016.

"While racing exists people will breed greyhounds to try and get a champion," she said.

"Thousands are bred, but some are just not fast enough or are not interested in racing." 

Many of these dogs, she said, are unfortunately euthanised. 

"If athletes don't make the grade you don't put them down. It makes me feel sick to the stomach.

"There is just total disregard for these animals."

Peter said while taking on the greyhound racing industry has not been easy, it is heartening when the dogs go a good home. 

"It has taken its toll on us, but I will take them to the wall," he said.

"And it is wonderful to hear when our greyhounds go into a good home."

He said greyhounds are excellent pets for seniors because of their gentle temperament and the fact that they're a good height to pat.

"We've even had two dogs, who were going to be killed, who were trained as therapy dogs."

Greyhound adoption

Greyhound Rescue has declared April Adopt-a-Greyhound Month. "We want to celebrate these dogs and find them more new homes," Janet said.

During April the adoption fee will be reduced to $250. 

Anyone interested in adopting or fostering can complete an application form online and the charity will arrange a house visit.

"It is important greyhounds are part of the family and live and sleep indoors due to their thin coat," Janet said.

As well as adopting, people can also foster.

"Fostering allows people to try before they buy.

"Greyhound Rescue pays the full cost of necessary vet bills while a dog is in foster."

Details - For more information on fostering or adopting, visit greyhoundrescue.com.au

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