April is 'Adopt a greyhound month'
Belinda and Rosie help out during Adopt a greyhound month
While greyhounds make great pets, they're also therapy dogs and certified assistance dogs. One greyhound, Rosie, helps those living with disabilities to enjoy exercise despite the hard work, while her owner helps them keep fit.
Belinda Duddy, a personal trainer who lives in Tarrawanna on the NSW south coast, first fostered then adopted greyhound Rosie from Greyhound Rescue in 2014. Rosie, now aged 14, has been a big hit with some of personal trainer Belinda’s clients.
Martin Reed is a local who lives with schizophrenia. Greyhound Rosie has lightened his load, especially when it comes to his previously strong fear of dogs. "Rosie has helped me be less frightened of dogs because she is so gentle. She's a good helper in my fitness training too," said Martin.
Belinda Duddy said she'd been training Martin weekly for over two years. "Roughly every other week Rosie comes with me. Marty has overcome his fear of dogs due to Rosie. She's calm and gentle like so many greyhounds," said Belinda. “Marty loves to see Rosie. It's so wonderful to see people enjoying the moment and relaxing with a dog, without even realising it. That’s greyhound magic.”
Janet Flann, Greyhound Rescue founder, said during April is 'Adopt-a-Greyhound Month', the Sydney charity wants to celebrate these dogs and find them more new homes.
"Most people don't know greyhounds are low energy dogs. They are couch potatoes. They don't need a lot of exercise, don't lose much hair, don’t have a 'doggy smell' and rarely bark," she said. "It's important greyhounds are part of the family and live and sleep indoors due to their thin coat." Janet said in addition to adopting, the public can help save greyhounds by fostering: "Fostering allows people to try before they buy. Greyhound Rescue pays the full cost of necessary vet bills while a dog is in foster, while carers cover food, shelter and routine sundries.”
Co-founder Peter Flann said there are many ways the public can help unwanted hounds. "If you can’t adopt or foster, you can sponsor, become a volunteer, or provide a donation - just go to our website. We find once people have a greyhound, that's it. They're so beautiful, you're hooked. Some greyhounds have even been re-homed in aged care places and bring residents much joy, while others have been trained as therapy dogs," he said.
Peter said those interested in adopting should be aware that muzzling your greyhound in NSW is not needed if you obtain a Greenhound1 collar. Muzzle rules vary across Australia - but both the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association recommend against muzzles for pet greyhounds.
People who are interested in adopting or fostering from Greyhound Rescue (GR) should complete an application form – GR’s greyhounds are desexed, vaccinated and heartworm tested. See our greyhounds here