There are many rescue groups that take in these pets from shelters or trainers and rehome them. “My advice is to put your faith in a rescue association and don’t source a Greyhound directly from a trainer,” he says. Rescue organisations put dogs through a transition program, get them socialised to the outside world, and work to match a particular dog to a particular family situation.
After reading this heartbreaking story, you might be thinking about welcoming a Greyhound into your family. Before you do, there are some things you need to know.
It’s not a good idea to let your happy hound off-leash in a public area — they pick up speed and momentum quite quickly. Greyhounds are taught to chase the fast-moving lure and they have good vision. It’s better to play it safe.
Keeping winter chills at bay
With their super-short fine coats and minimal body fat on their lean frames, Greyhounds feel the cold. They need a warm snug spot indoors to warm their toes by a toasty fire in winter, a cosy warm bed and a coat to wear outdoors in the cooler months.
Generally, Greyhounds have a clean bill health. Some may have issues with their teeth from chewing on bars; others may have pannus, a treatable eye disease. If your dog is diagnosed, they’ll need eye drops for the rest of their life.
A Greyhound’s nails need to be regularly trimmed as they grow quite quickly. Corns on foot pads are another issue that may affect Greyhounds. You’ll notice a small circular area that might be raised and your dog may limp. A vet check and various treatment options can fix the problem.
The muzzle puzzle?
The idea of muzzling greyhounds was introduced many years ago to stop them injuring themselves during a race and, sadly, it’s assumed that ex-racing Greyhounds will chase small animals. Some states and councils still require Greyhounds to wear a muzzle in public places, so check with your local authority.
Case study: Zoumi, four
Zoumi is a beautiful black Greyhound with a sweet gentle disposition. Her human, Ausilia Cristiano, has been in Zoumi’s life for a year. Zoumi was a failed racer, a shy, timid dog who won Ausilia’s heart the moment she laid eyes on her.
“She’s got such a sweet, gentle disposition,” Ausilia says. “When we arrived home that first day she walked straight past chickens in my yard and didn’t bat an eyelid. She’s so well-behaved.”
Ausilia also cares for her elderly parents and Zoumi goes with her every day to visit them. She also loves playing and zipping around on the beach — it’s her favourite pastime! “Zoumi is my constant companion. She’s a beautifully natured dog,” says Ausilia.
Case study: Patch, four
If Patch’s human, Kristal, could think of one word to describe her dog Patch it would be “bubbly”. “He’s just so fun-loving and smiles all the time,” she says. “Patch bounds out of bed, wiggles and runs around in happy circles in the morning, follows me around for a bit, then lies on the lounge.”
He also enjoys hanging out with Bella, Kristal’s Great Dane X. Patch’s happy-go-lucky nature belies his former life as a racing hound. “He’s almost blind in one eye, missing some teeth, and has ear injuries. I was told he was kicked,” she says.
Kristal says Patch has become a much-loved family member. “He’s brought me so much joy; I look forward to coming home each day.”