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21 TODAY: GAP growth stuns founders

The Greyhound Adoption Program celebrated its 21st birthday today with a gathering in Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens.

Among those in attendance were vet nurses Mel Tochner and Anita Smith, founders of the program, who are pictured above with greyhounds Dave and Gazza.

“We started the program in 1996 out of the Sandown Veterinary Clinic, which is where we were working as vet nurses, because we wanted to improve the image of the greyhound breed,” Ms Tochner said.


“My dad trained greyhounds and I found it really upsetting that people in those days would cross the road to avoid his greyhounds when he walked them in the street because they thought they were dangerous animals. This couldn’t be further from the truth.”

The program is on track to adopt out more than 1,000 greyhounds this financial year.

“We couldn’t believe it when we achieved 100 adoptions, so to think there will be 1,000 in a year is beyond our wildest dreams,” Ms Tochner added.

“You see so many pet greyhounds here in Victoria now, and every time I see one I feel really proud.”


GRV's CEO Alan Clayton and the minister for Racing the Hon Martin Pakula with GAP founders Mel Tochner and Anita Smith

GRV’s CEO Alan Clayton and the Minister for Racing, the Hon Martin Pakula with GAP founders Anita Smith and Mel Tochner.


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