Retirement and re-homing your greyhounds
Greyhounds make great pets! Re-homing upon retirement is one of the key responsibilities of an owner. GRV have a series of resources to support participants in ensuring their greyhound is able to make a positive transition from racing to retirement as a pet.
Retiring your greyhound from racing starts with a Wind-down period and preparation for re-homing. This is especially important because it provides your greyhound with time to adjust to pet life after the activities associated with training and racing. This is also a good time to desex your greyhound.
Desexing greyhounds prior to re-homing is a requirement under the Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds. GRV has introduced a Desexing and Dental Scheme to support participants with compliance and to promote the health and welfare of our greyhounds in retirement. For more information and access to discounted desexing, visit Discounted De-Sexing Offered by Veterinary Clinics.
The Re-homing Guide – Information for Participants, provides important and practical information to assist participants with re-homing. This guide includes information about preparing your greyhound for re-homing, the wind-down period, and the requirements once a new owner is found.
GRV’s Re-homing Checklist will support you in ensuring you meet all the legal requirements under the Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds and the Local Rules of Racing when re-homing your greyhound.
GRV recommends any owner wishing to re-home a greyhound to a member of the public has that greyhound assessed for prey drive through the Greyhound Adoption Program. If you believe your greyhound has moderate or high prey drive, you must read the following information to ensure your greyhound is re-homed appropriately. Re-homing greyhounds with prey drive is possible but the greyhound must be retired to the “right” home with individuals who understand and can manage the greyhound’s behaviour. Re-homing greyhounds with prey drive is a great resource.
The Notice of Retirement as a Pet – Transfer to New Owner is a mandatory form that must be completed by the GRV-registered owner when they have found a new home for their greyhound. The form must be signed by both the GRV-registered owner and the new pet owner. A copy of the form must be given to the new owner and a copy submitted to [email protected].
The Post Adoption Care Guide – New Owner has been developed for participants to pass onto the new owner of the greyhound. The Post-Adoption Care Guide includes a form for participants to complete that will ensure that all relevant information about the specific greyhound (including any health and/or behaviour issues) is passed onto the new owner, along with helpful information about caring for a greyhound and all legal requirements relating to pet greyhound ownership.
For some further participant re-homing tips,
take a look at these videos.
Surrendering greyhounds to shelters and pounds
Section 6.5.1 of Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds (Code) details five approved options for participants wishing to re-home a greyhound. One option is to surrender a greyhound to a registered shelter.
In this section, the Code clearly states that greyhounds must not be surrendered to a (council) pound. Participants should understand that if a greyhound is surrendered to a pound, all participants connected to the greyhound (i.e. the racing owner AND the “person in charge”) will have breached the Code and, therefore, all connections may be subject to prosecution under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Some shelters also offer pound services for difference councils; for example, the RSPCA and Lost Dogs home are registered shelters but are also pound services for a number of different councils. It is easy for participants to unknowingly breach the Code when surrendering a greyhound to shelter, if they not aware that the facility also operates as a pound for local council(s).
To avoid making this mistake, both the racing owner and the person in charge should find out if their chosen shelter also offers pound services and, if so, which council(s) they service. This is important to know because where both of you live determines whether the facility is a shelter or a pound for either of you.
Further, participants should be aware of, and be sensitive to, community expectations and the reputational risk for greyhound racing when greyhounds are surrendered to RSPCA facilities, particularly those in metropolitan Melbourne, even when those facilities are considered a shelter for participants based on where they live.
What is a registered shelter? It is a facility registered as a shelter and offers temporary care to dogs and cats for the specific purpose of re-homing. Shelters can legally refuse to accept any animal.
So, what is a pound? A registered facility funded by local councils, on behalf of their ratepayers and residents, to temporarily hold stray, surrendered or abandoned dogs and cats until they can be reunited with their owners, or re-homed if there is no owner for them to return to. All animals surrendered by ratepayers or residents of the council(s) serviced by the pound facility MUST be accepted.
How do I find out who my local council is? For those who own their property, your rates notice is issued by your local council provides that information. Otherwise, identify the local council you live in by visiting https://knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au and entering your address.
How do I make sure I select a shelter that is NOT also a pound? For all participants connected to the greyhound, know which council area you live in. Ask the shelter if they are a pound for any of the councils lived in, or visit the council websites to search for the name and/or address of their pound service (look under the Lost and Found Pets area in the Pets and Animals section). If you are still unsure call the Council offices.
I’m the former trainer of a dog that the owner has asked me to re-home for them. I’ve found a place I can use because the pound service it runs is not for my local council and it is a registered shelter. Does it matter where the owner lives? Yes, because both of you are responsible for the greyhound’s surrender under the Code. You will need to find out what council the owner lives in, and then make sure the facility is not also the pound for the owner’s council before surrendering the greyhound, otherwise you will have breached the Code.