While there are always greyhound race meetings happening around Victoria, June is usually one of our less busy months. And it’s also the start of winter when dogs are particularly susceptible to Kennel Cough, an infection caused by several upper respiratory viruses and bacteria which can last for several weeks. Victoria is currently experiencing outbreaks of this highly contagious disease in dogs, and participants need to be alert for its symptoms which include runny noses, sneezing and dry, hacking coughs. Infected dogs can continue to spread the disease for up to three months after their symptoms have resolved so they must be immediately scratched or withdrawn from racing, trialling and GAP Pre-entry Assessments and isolated. Trainers and owners should then to speak with their veterinarian about treatment, quarantine and vaccination options for that greyhound and any other dogs on their property. And if participants haven’t already vaccinated all their dogs against Kennel Cough, they should really consider doing it now, and preferably with the intra-nasal vaccine which provides faster protection. For more information, go to: greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/faqs/kennel-cough
On the subject of greyhound welfare, it’s now seven months until the new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds becomes operational and this month GRV is releasing another chapter of its Code Support Book to help participants transition to compliance. This and other chapters, along with other information and advice, can be found at greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/code-of-practice and you can call GRV’s Code Support Line on 1300 144 360 if you have specific questions that aren’t covered in the Support Book.
Another welfare issue is tracking inactive and retiring greyhounds. GRV has conducted a recent audit on this issue and I’d like to thank all the participants who responded, around 80% of those contacted. If you haven’t yet replied to the letters sent to owners in February and April please do so as soon as you can as this extremely important from a welfare perspective.
I’d also like to remind you about GRV’s Feedback Office, which receives complaints, suggestions and compliments. GRV values all feedback as it helps us to do our job better and improves the overall conduct of the sport in Victoria. The Office carries out transparent and accountable reviews of all complaints and passes on suggestions and compliments to the relevant areas within GRV. The Office can be contacted at: www.grv.org.au/feedback; firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +61 3 8329 1100.
Looking ahead, GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) is holding another Adoption Day on Saturday 22 June which will be hosted by Sandown Park Greyhound Racing Club and I encourage you to spread the word to anyone looking to bring a greyhound into their life. On this note, I warmly congratulate Michelle Fisher and all the team at GAP’s Baxter kennels on the Mornington Peninsula for now having found forever homes for 700 retired greyhounds since the facility opened. And in closing and speaking of GAP, I’d like to note the GAP Café at 477 King St, West Melbourne is under new management. Opened in March last year, the dog-friendly café is regularly visited by GAP greyhounds and welcomes many other dogs with doggie treats and a sheltered patio well stocked with dog cushions. It now offers an expanded breakfast, lunch and snacks menu and excellent coffee from 8am to 3pm and. I strongly recommend you stop by when you’re in the neighborhood, particularly if you’re visiting GRV’s head office just over the road in Chetwynd St, and feel free to bring your greyhounds with you for a puppychino.