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Crowds flock to biggest greyhound community day ever

Sunny weather, free activities and more than 250 greyhounds featured at GAP’s Greyhound Community Day, which was held at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Saturday, 17th March 2018.

This was GRV’s fourth greyhound community day and it was the biggest to date, combining the day of activities with an adoption day, as well as celebrations marking GAP’s 22nd birthday.

Organisers were delighted that all 22 greyhounds found their forever homes during the adoption session held in the afternoon.

Almost 1,000 people came through the gates, most of them with greyhounds.

The day included a free bbq, food trucks, music, activities for the kids and stalls selling rugs, collars and other merchandise for canines.

Greyhounds lapped up the attention and water from dog bowls to keep cool throughout the warm day. ‘Clamshell’ paddling pools were popular with the pooches, with dogs lounging around or splashing around, depending on their energy levels.

GRV’s CEO Alan Clayton welcomed the crowd.

“It’s a day to say thank you, whether you have adopted a greyhound or you work with greyhounds,” he said.

He remarked on the dog’s placid, loving nature.

“They are great companions, they are quirky and they want to be part of the family.”

He said GRV was aiming to get to a point where every greyhound bred for racing was re-homed.

“That means 3,000 greyhounds a year and that is what we are going to do. Last year 2,700 found homes, thanks to you,” he told the crowd. “Thank-you for coming on this 3,000-dog journey with us.”

Special guests Mel Tochner and Anita Smith, who founded GAP 22 years ago, were welcomed to the stage.

Mel said she was blown away by the success of GAP and Anita said she now sees greyhounds ‘everywhere’ as they become increasingly popular as pets.

Photographer Clint Anderson was raised to dizzy heights on a cherry picker in the centre of the track to take a wide-angle photo of the assembled greyhounds and their human families.

Later, there was birthday cake for volunteers and staff to celebrate 22 years of GAP.

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