The Regional Greyhounds as Pets program started in 2018 as Shoalhaven Greyhound Adoption Program, when the Committee of the Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club decided they wanted, and needed to be more active in finding homes for the retired greyhounds in their local area.
One of their first initiatives was at the club’s monthly markets, which are held at the racetrack, to introduce greyhounds to the public. This was the perfect opportunity for the general public and those outside the industry – many who had never met a greyhound before – to see first-hand what placid, loving, and wonderful animals greyhound are.
Once people got to know this amazing breed and their nature, the program flourished with many greyhounds finding their new forever homes.
The program’s success started to filter throughout the industry, and almost immediately the Shoalhaven Club was contacted by other clubs seeking assistance on how to set up their own regional rehoming program.
It was at the this point the idea of regional programs had grown to such an extent that GRNSW stepped in with the initiative to join forces with the Shoalhaven Greyhound Adoption Program and turned it into a Regional Greyhounds As Pets program.
With this ongoing support we have been able to grow from one track to many, with Southern NSW GAP now covering Shoalhaven, Goulburn, Bulli and the ACT and in late 2019 we expanded with Northern Rivers GAP (encompassing Grafton, Lismore and Casino). 2020 saw a further two Regional Programs set up in the Western Districts and the Hunter. Further expansion into New England and the Riverina is planned for 2021 to complete our Regional coverage with 6 programs.
Regional GAP runs slightly different to one of our Greyhounds As Pets Adoption Centres as the dogs are not at a GAP kennel where you get to meet the dog. Instead we have prospective new owners fill in the GAP application and we then match a greyhound to the specific needs of the applicant from our list of greyhounds which have been listed with us.
This has proven to be amazingly successful given our strong local community relationships in the regional areas.
With this system we really get to know you as an adopter and have a large group of adoptive families on hand to help you with anything you might need to know before or after you adopt. Our extended family, as we like to call them, meet up regularly for group walks, catch up on social media via our adoptive family facebook group and help out where possible at regional events. We also have regular play days so the greys can spend time with other greys.
The hundreds of dogs that have been, and will be, rehomed via the new Regional Greyhounds As Pets program will forever be grateful to the Committee of Shoalhaven Greyhound Racing Club who took a great idea, and gave it legs to really run.