More people are travelling for the first time since COVID restrictions were lifted, leading to a serious shortage in greyhound foster carers and adopters, said Melbourne’s oldest rescue group Gumtree Greys.
“We desperately need volunteer foster carers from the Banyule region. While the lock downs saw a huge number of greyhounds adopted, there has now been a slow down. Many people want to travel and can’t commit to fostering or adopting,” said Ms Julia Cockram, lead volunteer with Gumtree Greys.
“Pounds and shelters, as well as rescues, are nearing capacity or have already reached it. This is a serious situation. Without foster carers, dogs are often unable to be rescued from their current situation in racing kennels.”
Gumtree Greys believes a foster program is a crucial part of the rescue process.
“This can mean the difference between life and death, particularly if a trainer is not prepared to wait for a home to become available,” said Ms Cockram.
“Fostering allows us to match the right dog to the right household. Not only can the greyhound adjust to domestic life, but we can advise potential adoptees on the temperament and suitability of the dog, based on what our foster volunteer says.”
Gumtree Greys pays for all reasonable vet costs while a dog lives with foster carers who pay for food and provide inside accommodation for the greyhound.
Ms Cockram said so far the racing industry is not taking any steps to address the situation and is still breeding six times more greyhounds than it can re-home across Australia.
“Fostering is a great opportunity for people who love dogs – but don’t want the responsibility of one permanently – to enjoy having one for a few months. There’s also the joy of watching an ex-racing greyhound relax and realise it’s safe and loved,” she said.
“We encourage Banyule locals to fill out the application form for foster carers on our website where they’ll also find lots of info about fostering. We’re all volunteers and really need the community’s help to save these dogs.”
The application form for foster carers is here, plus helpful info about fostering.
What is the regulatory situation in Victoria?
There is no independent greyhound industry regulator in Victoria, unlike in NSW and Queensland – for more info, see here.
Why are there too many greyhounds to rehome?
Currently, the Australian greyhound industry breeds six times more greyhounds than its rehoming arm in each state (GAP) has the capacity to rehome.
See p3, CPG white paper – A GAPing hole in the industry. (Note to editor – your upload window wouldn’t allow me to include the chart, but you can see it at this link.)
Why don’t state governments do something about the situation?
Every state government in Australia wants the betting revenue generated by racing and gives millions of taxpayers’ dollars to the dog racing industry. This reveals the wide gap between most Australians who don’t support greyhound racing, and our state governments which do support this activity (except for the ACT which banned it).