Victoria’s Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) doesn’t only find homes for greyhounds that have finished racing or never quite made it in their racing carers; it also welcomes dozens of community groups who help out, or just enjoy spending time with the greyhounds.
Among the groups is Ivanhoe Diamond Valley, a centre for adults with disabilities based in Macleod which has been visiting the GAP facilities in Seymour on a weekly basis for over 10 years.
Denise McPhee, a carer at Ivanhoe Diamond Valley, said the community partnership offered many benefits and experiences for the clients, particularly those that haven’t owned pets before.
“It’s the highlight of their week… they are actually ready before I even start getting the bus and all the stuff ready to come here because the quicker we get here the more time they get to spend at GAP,” Denise said.
With sometimes 60 to 70 dogs at GAP at any one time, GAP Manager Jenny Layton fully appreciates the helping hand that Ivanhoe Diamond Valley clients provide.
“The Ivanhoe Diamond Valley clients are tremendous helpers; they’re enthusiastic and help with grooming, getting the greyhounds ready for adoption and changing their beds. Two of the fellows who are here routinely, Robert and Ian, have been tremendous. They help feed the dogs every week. They enjoy it and love it so much,” Jenny explains.
It’s not all hard work and no play for Ivanhoe Diamond Valley, with the day always culminating in a relaxing picnic lunch where they sit down and socialise in the backyard themed area for adoption and enjoy the country atmosphere.
Denise concludes it is “wonderful to see how excited they are with the dogs. It gives them a sense of pride with all the work that they’ve done.”
If you have an organisation that would like to help out at the GAP facility or would like more information about how to become a community partner, please contact the GAP office on (03) 5799 0166.
Watch: Ivanhoe Diamond Valley and the Greyhound Adoption Program’s community partnership.