Victorian Minister for Racing Dr Denis Napthine has officially launched the newly-named Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) facility, the Wilson-Gannon Centre, and pledged over $350,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government to upgrade infrastructure at the centre in Seymour.
Dr Napthine said the venue would be known as the Wilson-Gannon Centre in honour of former Greyhound Racing Victoria Chairman, the late Jan Wilson, and the founder of the Greyhound Adoption Program and greyhound veterinarian, the late Dr James (Jim) Gannon.
“The memory of these former greyhound racing leaders, Jan Wilson and Jim Gannon, is going to be kept alive by a centre that is synonymous with selflessness, hard-work, integrity, and the upmost love and care for greyhounds,” Dr Napthine said.
Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish said the Greyhound Adoption Program, based in Seymour in Central Victoria, was a brilliant success story.
“Seymour‟s GAP centre is the most successful greyhound re-homing facility in Australia, finding homes for more than 3,600 retired race dogs since opening in 1996,” Ms McLeish said.
“The efforts of those who work at the centre, both professional and volunteer staff, are to be applauded.”
Greyhound Racing Victoria Chairman Peter Caillard said the importance of the Greyhound Adoption Program to the industry was reflected by the renaming of the facility to the Wilson Gannon Centre.
“Jan Wilson and Jim Gannon were two of the most prominent people in Victorian greyhound racing history and made animal welfare and the Greyhound Adoption Program cornerstones of Victoria’s vibrant greyhound racing industry,” Mr Caillard said.
“They shared a commitment to ensuring that greyhounds are properly cared for beyond their racing careers and their importance to the industry is reflected through honouring their names in this way.”
Dr Napthine said the Victorian Government funding boost, through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund, would help to further the vision of Jim Gannon, Jan Wilson and others who have helped make the centre a success.
The funding will go towards:
- construction of 28 new greyhound day yards, improving the animals’ access to outdoor areas;
- construction of a simulated “backyard” area including backyard furniture to enable GAP staff to better prepare greyhounds for future living arrangements;
- signage upgrades to assist visitors to the facility;
- realignment and widening of the entrance gates, including new security measures;
- removal and replacement of damaged areas of kennel fencing; and
- landscaping, drainage and paving works around the large site.
This important infrastructure funding follows the Victorian Coalition Government‟s announcement in May this year that the Greyhound Adoption Program would receive $1 million over the next four years to further improve the GAP and find even more new homes for retired greyhounds.