Greyhound as pets
Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) is a registered charity established by Greyhound Racing New Zealand to find pet homes for retired racing greyhounds as part of its greyhound adoption programme.
GAP aims to find loving homes for as many ex-racers as possible and is working to inform the public about the true and wonderful nature of greyhounds. Certainly in the past greyhounds have not been considered when choosing a pet and while many racing owners have tried to rehome their dogs there has been a definite lack of good homes. Since the programme was launched in 2006 there has been a marked change in attitudes and with around 850 greyhounds now settled into family homes throughout New Zealand many people are now far more familiar with their endearing nature.
The programme has expanded rapidly and now has two kennel bases, one in Sanson, Manawatu and a second in Amberley, Canterbury. As well as the Programme Director who manages the business side of the charity there are also three part time Regional Co-ordinators who look after volunteers and manage events, home checking and fostering in the regions.
Each greyhound goes through a comprehensive programme before going to live with their new family. While at the kennel base they undergo a temperament assessment to ensure their suitability for rehoming, and determine the type of home that will suit them best. While greyhounds have been trained to chase, their desire to please means that many can be retrained to live very contentedly with small animals. The programme specifically likes to identify cat friendly greyhounds for those adoptive families who love both. GAP also ensures each greyhound is in good shape health wise so after the assessment each dog is health checked, de-sexed and microchipped.
The dogs are then ready to leave for their new life as a pet. Depending on each dog's need and the homes available they may then go either direct to their new home or to foster care where they will learn about pet life with an experienced carer before going to their permanent home.
Once their greyhound is settled in new owners invariably get involved in the GAP community and help in whatever way they can to find more homes for greyhounds leaving racing. The success of the programme is largely due to the passion and commitment the greyhounds inspire in their new owners.
For more information please visit - www.greyhoundsaspets.org.nz
REtired Stars - Stories about greyhounds in retirement