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Greyhound foster care program brightens Sydney Covid lockdown

By Emma Blake Daily Telegraph

Greyhound foster care program brightens Sydney Covid lockdown

Ash D’Souza’s new pal Willa has brought some joy to his dreary lockdown and the pair have become instant best friends.

A month into lockdown, Ash D’Souza was feeling really low.

His work hours had been slashed and he was missing all the good times that people in their twenties normally take for granted.

“I was getting down,” the keen traveller and disability care worker said.

But then Willa arrived at the door.

“I always wanted a greyhound with a black coat,” he said. “When she was delivered I was so happy.”

Willa quickly made herself at home, sleeping on Ash’s bed and making friends with his housemates and locals at the park.

The retired racing dog was fostered during the current lockdown as part of a new 14-day trial program where charity Greyhounds As Pets delivers dogs to the doorstep.

Normally fostering is for at least six weeks but early in this lockdown applications were much lower than last year, said GAP NSW general manager Alicia Fuller.

“Nobody knew how long we’d be locked down so we decided a short-term foster experience would work well,” Ms Fuller said.

“The dogs gain the experience of living in a house and, even for two weeks, that’s really valuable. They need to learn about normal household noises like a boiling kettle, flushing toilet or vacuum cleaner,” she said.

They also practise walking on a lead, instead of the training they are used to, and learning about traffic and being with other people and pets.

The upside for foster parents is that greyhounds are already trained making them easier to look after than a puppy.

“The feedback we get from foster carers about the dogs is invaluable and all helps us match the greyhounds with their perfect forever home,” she added.

To foster a greyhound go to