After losing Ajax, their beloved Groodle last year, David Johnson and Deborah Garland were on the lookout for a new fur baby.
They hadn’t really thought about having a greyhound as a pet, but when they discovered how many ex-racing dogs were in need of homes, they decided to adopt.
Zac has settled into the Milton family after being taken in just before Easter.
The three-and half-year-old greyhound raced under the name Mister Spaceman on tracks in the Central Coast before he was retired from the sport.
Deborah said a greyhound seemed like a good choice for their family.
“We started to research breeds for friendly, gentle dogs that enjoyed walks but wouldn't be too active and would be happy to sleep if we were working without becoming anxious and destructive,” she said.
“Zac seems to have picked up our household routine very well and has become more affectionate and trusting.
“He likes to lie on his back hoping for pats and scratches.
“He loves his toys and bed, enjoys walks and bounds to the gate waiting, he likes car rides and outings.
“He zooms around the garden, races inside then crashes out on his bed asleep for hours.
“It's lovely to be greeted by Zac and play with him- we are all walking more and he makes our house more like a home.”
Zac was adopted through the Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) program run by Greyhound Racing NSW to improve animal welfare in the racing industry.
Deborah said she would encourage others to give a greyhound a home.
“Greyhounds have a very short time racing, usually from 18 months to four years, yet their natural life span can be up to 10-12 years,” she said.
“There are so many greyhounds that are not quick enough or suited to racing.
“Sadly this means there's so many looking for homes and they make good pets.”
She said the adoption process was easy, with plenty of help from GAP.
“As new 'dog parents' there's lots of information provided to help care and understand the nature of greyhounds,” she said.
“There's always someone to phone to discuss any issues.
“By adopting a greyhound through GAP, dogs are desexed and vaccinated and vet checked before they arrive.
“Zac also completed his Greenhound training assessment - and wears a special greenhound collar to show he doesn't require a muzzle and is a pet”.
She said there were lots of greyhounds like Zac pictured on the GAP website, waiting for homes.
The GAP program aims to provide families with a pet that is ideally suited to their needs, while giving those Greyhounds not suited to racing, or ready to retire from their life as an athlete, a new home.
GAP describes greyhounds as “gentle, highly affectionate dogs that are more likely to walk away from over enthusiastic children rather than snapping or growling at them”.
“They are known for being docile, placid companions that thrive on being by your side, giving you all their love, all of the time.”
The greyhounds that go through the GAP program have been behaviourally assessed for suitability as a pet and have undergone a minimum six weeks of foster care
For more information on greyhound adoption phone 1800 696 377 or go to:
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