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Team effort delivers 500th adoption at Baxter

The Greyhound Adoption Program’s centre at Baxter has re-homed its 500th greyhound, Deeds.

The three-year-old greyhound, previously known by his racing name Flash Deeds, has settled into his new home at Carrum Downs in Melbourne’s south-east, with new owners Matt North and Elizabeth Heaver.

Matt and Elizabeth were keen to add a dog to their household when they moved from the city to Carrum Downs. They researched different breeds, then rang the Baxter centre to find out more about greyhounds.

As they both work full-time, they wanted a dog that could cope with being home alone during the day. The Baxter centre’s manager, Michelle Fisher, invited them to visit the kennel where they meet Deeds and decided that he was the dog for them.

GRV CEO Alan Clayton congratulated Michelle and the GAP team for reaching the 500th milestone. Michelle is the only staff member at the small facility, which opened in 2015 as a 6-month pilot project, but she runs it with the support of volunteers and the GAP team.

“With the success of our GAP centre in Seymour, we felt that we needed a place for people on the south-east side of Melbourne,” Mr Clayton said. “Michelle has done a terrific job at Baxter to build it up to what we have today.

“We know there is a lot of interest in these wonderful dogs. In April we opened our GAP Café in West Melbourne to showcase greyhounds to people who live and work in the city, and our popular adoption days continue to attract hundreds of people.

“More than 2,600 greyhounds were re-homed in Victoria last year. It has been a tremendous team effort involving staff, many volunteers who are so generous with their time, racing participants and the efforts of several other re-homing programs that operate in Victoria.

“Participants have played a crucial part by either re-homing their own dogs or taking the time to prepare their dogs for entry into GAP. The industry has embraced re-homing and my aim is to get to a point where every greyhound that is suitable for re-homing finds a home.”

Now in its 22nd year, GAP has re-homed about 7500 greyhounds.

Michelle began her association with GAP as a volunteer about five years ago and has fostered more than 40 greyhounds to help prepare them for their new life as a pet.

“Although I work alone at Baxter, it is a huge team effort to get the dogs ready and down to Baxter to be adopted. Baxter could not have been such a success without the staff at Seymour and at our assessment centre at Ballarat,” Michelle said.

“Working with greyhounds is a dream.  I see so many smiles and happy people – what’s not to love about it?”