Race to the rescue

DOGS and their humans are invited down to Supreme Court Gardens this Sunday for Hounds Day Out to raise money for Greyhound Adoptions WA.

The dogs get bred for racing but up to 500 greyhounds get put down every year in WA because they get injured, aren’t fast enough, don’t feel like racing, aren’t obedient at the track, or can’t be rehomed.

Even the ones that don’t get put down can live in pretty sad conditions in kennels where they don’t get much human contact.

The money goes to help Greyhound Adoptions WA save more than 300 of these lanky pooches a year, but with the industry breeding at such a large rate they can’t save them all.

Fremantle’s Alanna Christiansen, a member of Free the Hounds, has had her greyhound Max for about two years.

• Alanna Christiansen and her rescued greyhound Max at Esplanade Reserve. Photo by Steve Grant

Racing

She saw an ad for him on Facebook when his previous owner from the racing industry was selling him.

“He really did not look healthy and I could not stop thinking about him,” Ms Christiansen says. “A few days later I messaged the owner and asked if I could buy him.”

The trainer had had him for three months “and apparently he had been pretty naughty at the track. He didn’t want to race anymore.”

Of his litter, only his sister is still alive. The rest were put down.

Ms Christiansen rescued him, and was planning to give him a temporary home until she could find something more permanent.

“But within three weeks I just couldn’t give him up.

“He was very shut down initially, because he’d been moved around so many times when he was racing. He can be a bit anxious, but he’s awesome now.”

While they’re speedy on the track, they’re not like kelpies which need a heap of exercise, and greyhounds are actually very lazy.

“They’re the easiest dogs!” Ms Christiansen says.

“They sleep about 20 hours a day.”  The campaign’s slogan is #couchesnotcages because the hounds nap so much.

The Hounds Day Out runs 10am to 1pm and there’ll be about 30 stalls and lots of doggy-based activities (including a competition to see which dog can catch the most food).

And all dogs are welcome, not just the leggy sort.

by DAVID BELL

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