Greyhounds As Pets (GAPNSW) completed the most successful event in the history of the organisation on Sunday, with new homes found for 61 greyhounds through its Winter Adoption Day.
With the euphoria of the Matildas’ stunning World Cup Quarter Final win the night before on the lips of everyone at the event, football legend Tim Cahill spent part of his day talking Matildas and predicting the outcome of their upcoming semi-final, and the other part extoling the virtues of greyhound ownership, and the GAPNSW program of which he was the inaugural ambassador back in 2019.
“These events are special because people are showing up here from six months ago when they adopted a greyhound,” Cahill said.
“It's not about just adopting a greyhound it's about coming down and seeing the animals and touching them and joining the community here.
“I don't come home to Australia often and it's great to be home and go and visit my greyhound on my parents’ farm, to see the Matildas and what they are doing, and also for causes like this that are close to my heart.
“To see how far Greyhounds As Pets has come since I started with the organisation four years ago is just amazing.”
In scenes resembling the Boxing Day sales, prospective adopters lined up at the entry eagerly awaiting for the ‘doors to open’ at the Earlwood site at 10am, and once they did, many didn’t waste any time.
Cahill spoke to many adopters throughout the day – both about their decision to adopt and the Matildas – including the first adopters of the day Carol and Jude Smith from Wollongong who set a new adoption day record when they adopted Dallas in just under six minutes.
“We wanted to adopt a greyhound and this came up on my Facebook saying this day was on,” said Carol. “I thought that was a sign to get a greyhound because if I missed this day I might have had to wait another year.
“Because I knew we were coming to this day we looked at all the dogs online and he seemed the most suitable for us, so we put in the application two days ago, and got here early and we have managed to get Dallas.”
By the end of the day 30 greyhounds had gone home with new owners, adding to the 12 dogs which were adopted prior to the event, and another 19 applications for adoptions lodged on the day.
Rob Macaulay, Chief Executive Officer of Greyhound Racing NSW - who fund and run GAPNSW, their not-for-profit charity – described the day as one the best events he had ever attended.
“It was so great to see so many people come out to the day, not only to adopt a dog, but to pat a dog and find out more about the breed,” he said.
“To be able to unite so many people with a new pet for their home is so fulfilling for all of our staff who know what wonderful pets greyhounds make. I’m so glad we were able to make so many people happy by doing that on Sunday.
“The joy of people adopting, it's infectious, and of course everyone had a smile on their faces not just because they were surrounded by these beautiful greyhounds, but the Matildas winning the night before certainly put everyone in great mood.
“Tim was magnificent on the day, taking photos, signing autographs, giving of his time, and doing pretty much everything that anyone asked for him.
“But what is best about Tim is that he genuinely loves greyhounds. He has his own greyhound and he's not just an ambassador, he's totally invested in our programs, which is brilliant. He's a fantastic guy.”