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International Dog Day: The benefits of adopting greyhounds as pets

By Grace Crivellaro
It's a common misconception that greyhounds don't make good pets, says the General Manager of Greyhounds as Pets program, Dr Alicia Fuller (pictured).

And they are pets in high demand, with an increasing amount of people seeking to adopt greyhounds through the program during lockdown.

"There's only one greyhound on the books at the Nowra shelter at the moment, we've had an increase in uptake for them," said Dr Fuller.

"I think particularly in the last sort of two to three years and even more during these lockdown periods, people have just suddenly realized what great pets they make.

"People in the southern region have especially embraced owning greyhounds as pets."

The Regional Greyhounds as Pets program started in 2018 as the Shoalhaven Greyhound Adoption Program when the Committee of the Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club decided to be more active in finding homes for retired greyhounds in the area.

Dr Fuller said the program's success started to filter through the industry and the Shoalhaven club was contacted by others seeking assistance on how to set up their own regional rehoming program.

From here, Greyhound Racing New South Wales and Shoalhaven Greyhound Adoption Program joined forces to create the Regional Greyhounds as Pets Program.

Dr Fuller said the program benefits both the dogs and owners.

"The athletic career of greyhounds does come to an end and we get some greyhounds that never race at all," she said.

"These greyhounds absolutely make great pets. Bringing them into your home and getting them used to what pet life is like can be really rewarding for you and the dog.

"There are a lot of health benefits around the reduction of stress. It's really just a fantastic thing for a person to have a relationship with an animal, and particularly dogs, because of their real desire to be your companion."

Each greyhound up for adoption in the program has its own profile outlining their personality type.

The application process requires filling out a long form, necessary to suit greyhounds to their new owners as closely as possible.

"What we aim to do is match the greyhounds and their personality and energy level with your lifestyle," said Dr Fuller.

"We work out what the greyhound is like and whether they're happy in apartments or whether they need a backyard, because they all have different natures. Some are high energy, some are low.

"Then we try and look at your situation and make sure they're going to be relaxed and really enjoy living with you as much as you're going to enjoy having them."

While only one furry friend is up for adoption at the Nowra shelter, the program runs statewide and greyhounds can be matched with the right owners across the regions.

"We operate as a whole program. If you see a greyhound that is in another area, but we think that it fits perfectly to you, we will move that greyhound so that you can adopt it."