Thank you for considering your greyhound to enter the Greyhounds As Pets program (GAP) and appreciate your patience.
While waiting periods for dogs entering the program has significantly reduced over the last few years, GAP is committed to reducing this period even further to improve the program for participants. As such, GAP has decided to implement a new intake model. This model has successfully been used for twelve months by Victoria’s Greyhound Adoption Program to reduce initial waiting times for owners and trainers wishing to enter their greyhounds into the program.
Currently, greyhounds are placed on a ‘waiting list’ for a number of months in some cases. Once fully operational, the new intake model will mean that a participant will only have to wait approximately four weeks for their greyhound to pre-assessed. Initially, those that already have a greyhound/s on the GAP waiting list will have preference to be booked into a pre-assessment. After the backlog is cleared, new participants can book in their greyhound for a pre-assessment session up to four weeks prior to the desired date. It is recommended that the dog be given as much of a let-down period from racing/trialing/work as possible to enhance their chance of being successful in the pre-assessment session.
The pre-assessment process
GAP is proposing to conduct pre-assessment sessions at one of three proposed venues:
- the GAP kennels at Wyee;
- Newcastle Greyhounds; and the
- Richmond Race Club.
GAP will not conduct pre-assessments on race or trial days/times. While we understand that many people may not have a preference for their greyhound to be pre-assessed at a racetrack, Victoria has indicated that the venue of the assessment has no bearing on whether or not a greyhound passes the pre-assessment. As the implementation of the pre-assessment model progresses, GAP will aim to engage more areas within NSW.
The greyhound must present with the appropriate paperwork as well as their race papers/card, C5 vaccination certificate (to have been administered at least 10 days prior) and muzzle in order to be pre-assessed on the day.
The greyhound will be assessed on the day by GAP staff. If the dog is successful, it will enter the program and be taken into the GAP kennels on that very same day. If the dog is not successful on the day, GAP will provide immediate feedback to the owner or trainer on what sort of training the dog would need if there are opportunities for possible re-assessment in the future. The surrender fee of $100 will only be payable if the greyhound is successful and accepted into the program on the day of the pre-assessment.
There will be limited places available at any given pre-assessment session and owners and trainers are advised that once these places are filled, they will need to wait until the next session and book in where appropriate. Once the greyhounds on the current waiting list have been given preference, bookings will be on a first in, first served basis and bookings for a given session will open approximately four weeks prior to the date.
We appreciate that NSW is a large state and that, initially, these assessing venues may be a considerable distance for some owners and trainers wishing to use the program. In order not to limit access to the program for such participants, in such cases and with prior special arrangements, consideration may be given for a greyhound to be transported (via greyhound/dog courier etc) to the GAP kennels for pre-assessment. If the dog is unsuccessful the owner/trainer will be promptly informed and arrangements must be made for the greyhound to be collected within 7 days or kennelling fees will be charged. Each individual will be allowed to book up to three greyhounds per session.
Ways to prepare your greyhound prior to GAP pre-assessment
There are many things that owners and trainers can do to assist their greyhounds in retirement. You would not expect your greyhound to perform at their best in a race if you have not given your greyhound the best chance by way of ensuring their fitness and being free from injury amongst other training. This is the same in retirement.
Over the course of a greyhound’s life, it is important to prepare them for life outside of racing. This can be done in a manner which does not negatively impact upon the potential success of their racing career and may even assist in their performance. For example a well socialised dog that is not anxious is more likely to perform better as they are not frightened by the sights and sounds of the racetrack and can relax in new surrounds, allowing them to learn and perform better. Early exposure to many different situations may make your greyhound more likely to become a safe and trusted family pet one day.
Examples of things you can do to assist your greyhound in preparing for GAP assessment and life in a home environment include:
- Introduce him or her to other animals under controlled circumstances – cats, other dog breeds, horses, caged birds, poultry etc. This should be done on lead and with the greyhound muzzled.
- Have the greyhound used to spending time loose in the back yard – pet homes do not generally have kennels and runs.
- Have the greyhound walking nicely on lead by your side.
- Introduce him or her to strange people and particularly children under supervision.
- Take him or her out on street walks to the park, past the local school or shopping centre or beside busy roads.
- Bring him or her into the house for short periods.
- Introduce him or her to stairs and slippery floor surfaces like tiles, linoleum or polished floorboards.
- Decrease his exercise requirements. Most adoptive homes will not get up at 4.30am to walk the greyhound, so start getting the greyhound ready for this!
- Get some weight onto your greyhound as some dogs can initially be stressed at the changes they’re experiencing and may lose weight. The fatter they are to start with, the better!