Almost 700 people and 300 dogs walked through the gates at The Meadows to take part in our third Greyhound Community Day.
They enjoyed a day of sunshine, entertainment and free activities.
Free dog washes, seminars about greyhound health, free dental checks and an insider’s tour around The Meadows facility were popular, along with a free barbecue and stalls stocking dog coats, snacks and toys.
Organisers said this was the biggest Community Day to date, drawing people from all over Melbourne and from regional Victoria including Ballarat and Geelong.
Eight GAP dogs travelled from Seymour for the event, seven of which found new homes.
Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Chairman, Bernie Carolan, and CEO, Alan Clayton welcomed guests and thanked those who had given a greyhound a new home.
Mr Carolan spoke about GRV’s “whole of life cycle” approach to ensure that racing greyhounds are cared for before, during and after racing.
He said the successful re-homing rates demonstrated that “racing and welfare outcomes can co-exist.”
“You are helping us achieve these outcomes,” Mr Carolan said.
GRV’s CEO Alan Clayton told guests he was delighted with the way the Victorian community had embraced the greyhound.
Mr Clayton expressed his appreciation to GAP’s volunteers and foster carers, racing participants and other third-party greyhound re-homing organisations such as Gippsland Greys and Greyhound Safety Net and the RSPCA, for their efforts in re-homing dogs.
“We have volunteers here today and they do so much work week in week out.
“And I want to say thank you to our foster carers who look after greyhounds before they are adopted dogs to help them get used to a household environment, things like stairs and everyday household noises.”
Their efforts contributed to an improved rate of adoption, Mr Clayton said.
A total of 2693 greyhounds found their forever homes in the last financial year through GAP and third-party organisations, with 1314 dogs adopted out through GAP.
Mr Clayton spoke of his experience of re-homing five rescue kelpies and then Zoe the greyhound this year.
As others have discovered, greyhounds provide terrific companionship and they “take over the house”, he said.
“Zoe is a terrific part of my life.”