Greyhound adoptions will increase to more than 500 in five years thanks to a refurbishment of Seymour's Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) facility, Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Rob Hulls said today.
Launching the GAP redevelopment, Mr Hulls said it would allow an increase in the number of former racing dogs to be retrained and adopted out from 350 to about 550 in five years.
“Many greyhounds become available for adoption each year but misconceptions about the breed can deter people from owning them as pets,” Mr Hulls said.
“While these animals are born to run, they also make fantastic, affectionate pets.
“The Greyhound Adoption Program has the responsibility of giving racing dogs a second chance at life.
“The training provided through the program ensures the dogs learn basic obedience skills and become more comfortable in social and home-based situations.”
Mr Hulls said the Brumby Government had provided more than $480,000 through the Racing Industry Development Program (RIDP) towards the $1 million extension and refurbishment of the Seymour facility.
Member for Seymour Ben Hardman said the renovations had added a new kennel enclosure, which would allow for an increased number of racing greyhounds to be retrained for adoption.
“A new administration building will provide a practical learning facility for veterinary students and it includes a new ‘adoption room' where prospective adopters can learn more about the breed,” Mr Hardman said.
“The adoption program is having incredible success and last year a record 354 greyhounds were retrained and adopted out,” he said.
“More than 2,700 greyhounds since 1996 have gone through the program to find new homes.
“As the greyhound industry continues to grow, so must the ability to retrain and care for those dogs which are unsuccessful in a racing career or retired from racing.”
The Brumby Government has committed $20.6 million in 2006/07 and 2007/08 to support major capital improvements at racing and training venues across Victoria through RIDP.