Greyhound Racing NSW Chief Executive Officer Rob Macaulay has described the Pathways to Rehoming Workshops held over the past week as among the organisation’s most important initiatives.
Participants were invited to three Rehoming workshops held this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at Goulburn, Casino and then at Dubbo. The aim was to bring everyone up to date about what GRNSW is doing from a rehoming perspective, but also to listen to what participants had to say about rehoming.
GRNSW has just completed another record year of rehoming with 2,202 greyhounds rehomed in FY 2022-23, growth of more than 200% from the FY 2018-19 figure of 729 greyhounds.
In 2023 GRNSW has successfully explored and initiated new programs with the Police Association of NSW, the Australian Federal Police Association, and the very successful US Adoption Program, and its offshoot, the partnership with the Fraternal Order of Police in the US.
But the Pathways to Rehoming Workshops were not about preaching about the successes, they were intended to inform participants of how they can play a significant role in preparing their retired racing greyhounds for life as a pet, and the avenues available for finding homes for those dogs.
“All of the new rehoming pathways we have introduced over the past year play a vital role in our full life care of our greyhounds,” Mr Macaulay said.
“They are all very important but we believed these workshops were crucial for our participants and for us as an organisation, to engage with our owners and trainers and hear what they have to say about what is being done and what more can be done in terms of rehoming retired racing dogs.
“Each of the three workshops were well attended by trainers and owners, and it was great to get their input and ideas on what they felt needed to be done around rehoming.
“For me it was good to be able to let everyone know what we are doing and what our plans are for the future, but it was equally pleasing to be able to listen to the participants, hear their ideas and concerns, hear what they believe we can do better, and where possible provide answers to their questions.
“It was also satisfying to have a number of people come to me at the end of each workshop and tell me how pleased they were they attended and how much they got out of the session.
“As I said at each of the workshops, rehoming of our retired greyhounds must continue to be one of the most important focus areas of our sport.
“As an industry we must always be looking at all opportunities to find loving homes for our animals, and our participants must of course also take responsibility in that area.”
The initial feedback from a number of participants who attended was that the workshops were extremely beneficial and many questions they had about rehoming were answered.
Mr Macaulay said that more Pathways to Rehoming Workshops are being planned from other venues around the State, with Wagga, Richmond and Newcastle among the next potential locations.