Passionate greyhound adopter Judy Wilson was “blown away” by yesterday’s Greyhound Community Day.
Around 660 people and 200 greyhounds attended the free event at The Meadows – at which there was no racing – but instead included merchandise stalls, food and coffee vans and the chance for people to learn about the docile greyhound breed by listening to educational vet talks and tours of the racetrack.
“There was so much positivity to come out of the day. There were vet talks explaining about dental care and basic first aid, which was fantastic, but my favourite part was the racetrack tours,” Wilson said.
Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Molly Haines took several groups on tours of the racetrack, explaining what happens on race days.
“The racetrack tour was so interesting and a real eye opener. Molly explained that all greyhounds had to be identified upon arrival at the track by scanning their microchips, and that they have to be checked by a vet and weighed before they race. She explained that greyhounds need to weigh within one kilogram of what they weighed in their previous run or they aren’t allowed to race that day,” Wilson added.
“It was so interesting to learn that the temperature in the kennel block, which is where the greyhounds are kept before and after they race, always had to be 18 degrees. We walked to the starting boxes, and Molly explained that in a race the odd numbered greyhounds get loaded into the boxes first followed by the even numbers.”
“We then went to the finish line and then the catching pen, which is where the greyhounds are collected after they race. Then we saw the wash bay, which is where the dogs are cooled down at the end of a race, as they all get a big drink of water and are thoroughly cooled down by washing their face and their feet.”
“It was all so fascinating and it highlighted how professionally greyhound race meetings are run, and that the welfare of the greyhounds comes before everything else.”
“It was all so fascinating and it highlighted how professionally greyhound race meetings are run, and that the welfare of the greyhounds comes before everything else. People were hanging off every word and not one person walked away.”
Wilson actively promotes and manages the Geelong Greyhound Walking Group, which has grown to around 200 members.