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Photo Credit: r3v || cls via Compfight cc
A furor of the kind that followed 4 Corners’ February report “Making a Killing” is rarely seen in Australian public life, characterised as it is by largely civil and staid discussion. But shocking undercover footage provided by Animals Australia of the barbaric practices involved in the 4 billion greyhound industry resulted in an outcry that brought the industry into shame and disrepute and resulted in joint operations by the RSPA and police, culminating in the suspension of 22 prominent breeders and trainers who face the prospect of jail. Revelations of the widespread use of “blooding” greyhounds with live bait, including piglets and rabbits, in order to get a competitive edge by increasing their bloodlust, appalled the nation and brought an already dubious industry that had promised a clean act centred on the welfare of dogs under immense scrutiny. This follows years of denials from the industry about the mass discarding of dogs surplus to the industry’s requirements. 
Notwithstanding this sorrowful state of affairs, a host of volunteer, not-for profit groups have been tirelessly working to ameliorate the excesses of the greyhound racing industry, largely focused on “rehoming” at-risk hounds and preventing their deaths. Two such brave organisations include the Greyhound Adoption Program NSW and Friends of the Hound. Both organisations aim to counter the prejudice that greyhounds are “merely” racing dogs by instead showing that they are generous, adorable animals that make great companions and pets for family homes.

And you too can get involved their cause. Of course, one of the best ways to aid the plight of the greyhound is to volunteer. Greyhound organisations are always looking for a helping hand to support their educational mission by attending year-round promotional events. Alternatively, get involved in “rehoming” by offering to be a temporary foster carer or adopting the animal outright.

Foster carers help the animal transition from the world of its exploitation in gambling to a life outside by caring for it for approximately one-month stretches. Greyhound organisations limit these stints so that the animal can be exposed to as many different home environments as a method of preparation for eventual adoption, and so that they can evaluate its progress and suitability for rehoming.

If the greyhound is deemed to have “graduated” from this prefatory stage it is de-sexed, microchipped, vaccinated and tested for heartworm. After its convalescence from surgery, the hound is ready adoption.

If you would like to give a greyhound a new lease on life, the adoption process could not be easier. Simply apply online to your chosen organisation, and a representative will contact you to answer any questions you may have and to organise a home visit, where your home circumstances (including available yard space, ownership of other pets etc.) and suitability will be assessed. Once approved, your name is placed on a waiting list, and depending on availability, you’ll have a new beloved pet within a couple of days or at most 6 months.  

Please consider changing the life of a greyhound by visiting http://www.gapnsw.org.au/home/ or http://www.friendsofthehound.org.au/. As many of the testimonials online suggest, you’ll see how they will change yours.