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Greyhounds make great pets – Q & A with Dr. Alicia Fuller

In these unprecedented times, a time of great uncertainty and anxiety, many have turned to man’s – and woman’s and children’s – best friend, with interest in dog adoption and fostering on the rapid rise, and one of the breeds racing ahead, is the greyhound.

While generally known for their ability and prowess around the racetrack, it’s now in the loungerooms and on the couches where the greyhounds are building a reputation as endearing family pets.

To find out a little more, we spoke with Dr. Alicia Fuller from Greyhounds As Pets NSW.

Why do you think you have seen so much demand in recent weeks? 

Time was a significant barrier for people who wanted to adopt a greyhound. Now that many households are in isolation, and people are working from home, with no travel and no need to drop the kids at school etc. – they have the time to spend welcoming a new pet into their new home. 

Are there anxiety and mental health benefits from owning a greyhound? 

Yes, that’s right! Their personality profile makes them the perfect companion animal. Given the current climate, greyhounds can bring much-needed comfort and offer unconditional love, especially during these times where we are all feeling a little anxious. Going into isolation (as many people are) heightens those feelings of anxiety. Research shows dogs provide a sense of purpose and even social support (with similar effects to human-human relationships).

Is it possible to contract COVID-19 from a dog? 

Based on advice from the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association, the answer is no! To date, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be contracted from dogs.

Why are Greyhounds known as great pets? 

Greyhounds are known for being gentle, good-natured and very low maintenance. This means; that they are generally happy to walk beside their owners (without pulling on the lead), are great around small children and rarely bark. They’re also known as ‘couch potatoes’ because they kick back on the couch and have a nap, and they only need a 20-minute walk daily.

Given the current government restrictions, how can people safely adopt a greyhound today?

We have taken great care to protect the health and safety of our staff and the wider community. In keeping with the advice from the Australian Government, we have implemented strict measures to ensure that the process is easy and as contactless as possible. You can adopt a greyhound in just four easy steps:

  1. Visit our website www.gapnsw.com.au to view all of our greyhounds looking for their forever home. When you find one (or more) you like, fill in our simple application form. 
  2. You will receive a phone call within 48 hours of your application, where we will discuss your ideal pet, and get a better understanding of your lifestyle. Based on your responses, we will match you with a greyhound that fits your needs.
  3. We will invite you for a one on one session with your potential greyhound. This session will be undertaken outdoors with strictly one team member only. The session will provide you with an opportunity to interact with your new pet, as well as bring any existing pet(s) you may have.
  4. If you’re ready, you can take your new greyhound home on the day or arrange a time for your dog to be picked up. We also offer a support hotline to answer any questions you may have once you have taken your new pet home, as well as check-in with you, numerous times throughout the first 3 months. 

During this challenging time, we are so glad to see that kindness can prevail. If you have been waiting for the perfect time to adopt a new best mate, wait no longer. Invite unconditional love into your home, and make a positive change in your life and the life of a greyhound.

*This article appeared exclusively this morning in the Sunday Telegraph.