Real Life

Thinking about adopting an ex-racing greyhound? Read Angela's beautiful story

I knew we had to help.

This is Angela's story:

A sea of dogs and their owners flooded onto the street.

"No excuse for animal abuse!" the crowd roared, holding up signs that read *let greyhounds run free*.

My partner Gary and I had always been animal lovers so when we found out about a rally to stop the greyhound racing industry we went along to show our support. I got chatting with a lady from Greyhound Rescue. [Greyhound Rescue is an Australian charity which was set up to find homes for the many greyhounds that don't end up as racers or who have finished racing. These dogs would probably have been put down if homes were not found.]

"We've rehomed more than 800 dogs," she said, as I gave one of the hounds a cuddle.

Gary and I had fostered 10 dogs over the years. We'd had everything from German shepherds and terriers to cattle dogs, but never a greyhound.

"Maybe we can foster one?" I suggested to Gary.

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As soon as we saw Billi we knew we had to save her.
As soon as we saw Billi we knew we had to save her.

The 300-odd ex-racers at the protest were all so calm and quiet.

I was sure they'd make an ideal pet.

At home, I did some research and uncovered some horrific stats.

I learnt that a greyhound's racing career only lasts an average of 363 days before they're either dumped at a rescue centre or put down. Most never see their fifth birthday.

It broke my heart to learn more than half would be killed as puppies because they weren't deemed fit to race.

But the most appalling thing I read about was the "live baiting" used in the industry.

It's a training technique where live animals such as rabbits are used to entice greyhounds to be faster and more energetic. They are often killed when their necks are broken from being spun around the track or are ripped apart by the dogs.

I was absolutely disgusted.

Knowing we had to help, I contacted Greyhound Rescue and told them we wanted to foster a greyhound. They said that a six-year-old named Billi needed a temporary home.

We've fallen in love with Billi.
We've fallen in love with Billi.

As soon as we saw the photos of the beautiful blue-brindle dog, we went to meet her.

"We've got to save her," I said.

Billi took to us and her new home immediately.

We take her for walks every day but she's happy to just laze around the house and nuzzle up to us when we watch TV.

I often tell people that greyhounds are just like cats!

Billi's still searching for her forever home and, though we'll be sad to see her leave, we know we've helped give her a second chance.

For anyone looking to adopt a dog, greyhounds are the perfect family pet.

Greyhound Rescue can provide more information about why this breed makes such a good pet. Go to greyhoundrescue.com.au

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