Look at that mug. This is the cuddliest breed of dog in the universe. And they’re generally not even considered pets, but commodities.
April is Adopt a Greyhound month. However, a representative from the awareness raising organization, Adopt a Greyhound, stated that, “really, every month should be Adopt a Greyhound month.”
So, CrowdInk sat down (virtually) to find out what this organization does, what they’re doing this month, and how others can get involved.
CrowdInk: So, how did Adopt a Greyhound get started?
Adopt a Greyhound: Well, we are greyhound owners and after the live baiting scandal that was covered on Four Corners in February of last year, we felt it was time to take a larger role in educating the public as to what is happening to these dogs within the greyhound racing industry.
CI: Can you give us a little more information on the plight of greyhounds in Australia?
AaG: Well, a Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry that followed the scandal last year resulted in up to 17,000. That’s how many healthy greyhounds are estimated to be killed every year in Australia in the racing industry. For perspective, there has been some major backlash against the greyhound racing practices in the UK with up to 3,700 dogs left ‘unaccounted for’ each year.
CI: How is it possible that this is allowed to continue?
AaG: I think it’s about the mainstream perception. The perception is that greyhounds are just there for racing. Most people think of greyhounds as a commodity, not a companion animal. Which is really awful, because can you imagine the general population letting another breed of dog, a golden retriever, be destroyed each year in these numbers? It’s estimated that 96 of every 100 greyhounds bred by the industry are destroyed each year.
CI: What exactly does Adopt a Greyhound do?
AaG: We are first and foremost here to inform the public. We are a grassroots movement that wants to arm the public with information that will lead to change for greyhounds. Last year, our cause was granted $15,000 by Voiceless – the animal protection institute, through their people’s choice award, and we are planning to use that money for an awareness raising billboard in Melbourne. However, we also work to support Gone are the Dogs and Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds in all of their endeavors and to promote greyhounds as wonderful companion animals.
CI: As a greyhound owner yourself, what are a few characteristics of greyhounds as pets?
AaG: They are very emotionally in tune with their owners. Some people say that greyhounds are dogs for cat people. They can sleep for up to 18 hours every day, are gentle and affectionate, and always want to be leaning on their owners. They are just such loving animals. Interestingly, a University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine study found the greyhound to be rated the most docile or least aggressive canine by breed, which most people wouldn’t expect.
Interview conducted by Sam Ferrante. Get involved in Adopt a Greyhound Month with the links below.