Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive officer Rob Macaulay described the Pathways to Rehoming workshops held over the past week as among the organisation's most important initiatives.
Participants were invited to three workshops held between September 19-21 in Goulburn, Casino and Dubbo. The aim was to bring everyone up to date about what GRNSW is doing from a rehoming perspective and listen to what participants had to say.
GRNSW has completed another record year of rehoming with 2202 greyhounds rehomed in FY 2022-23, a growth of more than 200 per cent from the FY 2018-19 figure of 729 greyhounds. In 2023, GRNSW successfully explored and initiated new programs with the Police Association of NSW, the Australian Federal Police Association, the 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 success; they were intended to inform participants of how they can play a role in preparing their retired racing greyhounds for life as a pet and avenues for finding homes.
"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.
... rehoming ... must continue to be one of the most important focus areas of our sport.- Rob Macaulay, CEO, GRNSW
"Each of the three workshops was 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, but it was equally pleasing to be able to listen to the participants, hear their ideas and concerns, what they believe we can do better, and where possible provide answers.
"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 look at all opportunities to find loving homes for our animals, and our participants must, of course, also take responsibility."
The initial feedback from participants was that the workshops were extremely beneficial, and answered many questions they had about rehoming. More workshops are being planned, with Wagga, Richmond and Newcastle among potential locations.
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.