The Greyhound Adoption Program’s (GAP) recent introduction of FREE Pre-Assessment Days are a terrific initiative according to Michelle Westerveld.
Michelle and husband Paul Westerveld operate Wizard Kennels, a very successful breeding & training
operation at Devon Meadows, an hour east of Melbourne, that has produced many group winners such as Path To Power, Star Witch, Witch Magic and Meticulous.
The abovementioned greyhounds showed enough brilliance on the racetrack to be kept for breeding but, of course, not all greyhounds experience such a destiny.
Over the years the Westervelds have placed several of their greyhounds into the Greyhound Adoption Program, to give them a chance at life as a household pet.
However, knowing that the wait to get greyhounds into GAP can be several months, Michelle decided to take up the recent offer by the GAP to attend the inaugural Pre-Assessment Day, held on August 18th. Michelle was one of six industry participants taking a total of 15 greyhounds to attend the session, which involved having the greyhounds temperament tested in a controlled environment with the GAP’s resident testing dog, a jack russell named Stumpy and a cat named Alice.
“The Pre-Assessment Days are there to test the level of interest greyhounds have in small dogs and cats. Most pass the dog test, meaning they are suitable for adoption, but only about 10% pass the cat test”, said arissa Darragh, Manager of the Greyhound Adoption Program.
“Amazingly, all four of Michelle’s greyhounds passed the cat test, so they ave moved up the pecking order and will be accepted into GAP in a ouple of weeks because we have a big demand for GAP dogs that are cat riendly.”
“Michelle’s dogs were presented in magnificent condition and it was obvious that they had received a lot of handling and attention from a young age”, Larissa added.
Michelle hinted that another reason her greyhounds showed little interest in the testing animals was because it wasn’t something that was new to them.
“We have a couple of little fluffy dogs at home and a couple of cats. As a rule, we keep the dogs away from the greyhounds and the cats know to stay away. However, in the situation where we feel that one of our greyhounds would make a good pet, we introduce them to our fluffy dogs and the cats in a controlled situation (muzzled and on a lead). It may take a couple of tries, but their interest generally wavers pretty quickly”, she said.
Upcoming dates for the monthly Pre-Assessment Days are Saturday September 13th & Monday October 13th. Bookings are essential and can be made by phoning Larissa or Melanie on 5799 0166.