Interview: Norfolk Greyhound Rescue
Given that lots of rehoming charities like Norfolk Greyhound Rescue would normally be working with members of the public to find homes for greyhounds like Millie, I wanted to ask Hayley at Norfolk Greyhound Rescue how it’s going during this Covid-19 lockdown.
Bea: Hayley - what are you able to do given the lockdown across the UK?
Hayley: We’ve been able to get dogs off gumtree and also from the dog warden, as well as making sure the people who had been selected to re-home our rescue dogs are good to go when the dogs are ready to come over from Ireland. We’ve also been able to get all the dogs reserved that we did have on our list before lockdown. Next week we have three dogs coming over who will be re-homed which is great. We’ve also had 60 applications for rescues so we’re talking to those applicants and getting ready for when we can get on with finding the dog that’s the right fit for them.
Bea: Is there anything people can do while we’re in this situation that can help greyhound charities like yourselves? I know there are greyhound and sighthound rehoming groups all over the UK.
Hayley: They can always support their local rehoming charities - for instance, we’re doing an auction next week and still raising money as we have ongoing vets bills to pay so staying connected and helping remotely is all appreciated. We’re strictly anti-racing so we get all our money from our supporters rather than the Retired Greyhound Trust which is supplemented by the racing industry so depending on how people feel about racing there are lots of different groups who need help. If people are keen it would be worth them thinking about fostering. Fostering saves more lives - it’s the key to helping rescue dogs.
If we can get 2 dogs away from their trainers where they are no longer wanted (and stop them from being euthanised) in Ireland if we have places where those dogs can be fostered that frees up space to get more dogs away from the track. When a rescue dog is with a foster family, in a home - we can learn about their personalities and habits and be in a better position to match them with their forever home. If a dog's in a kennel - we can’t tell people about them - so their foster homes are absolutely the key.
Bea: If people want to find out more about rehoming a rescue where’s the best place to start?
Hayley: Quite a lot of people at the moment, because they’re in lockdown and at home a lot are looking at getting puppies - often from the internet or breeders. I would ask people to seriously consider if they are sold on getting a puppy please think about going to rescue groups - there are plenty of puppies that need homes.
We are getting ready for when Lockdown finishes because we know that there’ll be lots of puppies and dogs that will have been more work than people were prepared to commit to. Unlike someone selling a puppy for money - a rescue charity will always take back a puppy - because that’s what we do - we look after unwanted dogs.
One misconception that I’d like to talk about is that there are still some people who think that somehow rescue dogs are ‘damaged goods’. This is absolutely not the case - any dog who is bought home to be with a new family, if they’re a puppy or a 3-year-old ex-racer, needs to be worked with to become part of that family. Any dog can chase a cat, or a fluffy pet, some but not all, greyhounds just tend to be quicker so we make people aware of that. Dogs that have been in kennels take the same effort and care as any new pet - it all comes down to the individual personalities and needs of each dog.
From there you'll find that any good rescue group will help you in your choice and preparation and make sure you get a rescue that is right for you.
Thanks, Hayley, Richard and everyone at the Norfolk Greyhound Rescue - not just for your time today but for the gift of Millie. We’ve met so many people whose sighthounds (and of course non-sighthounds!) have enriched their lives more than they ever thought. You guys work so tirelessly and we really appreciate it!
To find out more about the work that Hayley and Richard do check out Norfolk Greyhound Rescue. Also psssst(!) we just sent them a parcel of Hiro + Wolf Hounds Collars to help them raise money through their charity auction so get ready to bid!