THE phrase ‘lounge lizard’ may not come to mind when you think about greyhounds.
With their sleek bodies and long legs, you’d be forgiven for assuming they’re high maintenance in terms of their daily exercise requirements.
But according to local greyhound rescue worker, Verity Shiner from Freemans Reach, these pooches love little more than snuggling up on lounges with their owners.
“Greyhounds are like ‘velcro dogs’ - they like to be with you, and with their families who they love,” Ms Shiner told the Gazette.
“They do like to stretch their legs once a day, but they’re more than happy to curl up on a lounge, in a sunny spot.”
Ms Shiner has been volunteering for registered charity Greyhound Rescue, at its Rouse Hill shelter, for the past six years. She has three greyhounds of her own: Mac (8), Thunder Lee (5) and Crouton (5), all ex-racing dogs.
She has a lot of space for them to run on her property (she also owns horses) but said greyhounds can fit into most living spaces.
“We home a lot to inner city apartments. People take them for a walk once a day to the local cafe - it’s a social thing,” said Ms Shiner.
“Some are cool to be by themselves all day if it’s a working home, but some like company. Some are cat friendly and small dog-friendly. We’ve got a greyhound for everybody, basically.”
How you can help
The vast majority of greyhounds that come through Greyhound Rescue are those that have been rejected by the racing industry.
At any one time, there are between 20 and 30 dogs being cared for at the shelter, with many more being fostered-out with volunteers in their homes.
The charity is run entirely on tax-deductible donations, and around 40 volunteers like Ms Shiner pitch-in to help care for the dogs and help them find ‘forever homes’.
Ms Shiner got involved with rescuing greyhounds as she believed the dogs “had a really rough trot” and deserved some love in their lives.
“You can help by adopting, fostering, sponsoring, becoming a volunteer, or providing a donation,” she said.
“We’re always on the look-out for new volunteers. If anyone wants to volunteer, get in touch and let us know what your skills are - we always have a role.”
Ms Shiner runs the Greyhound Rescue sponsorship program, but volunteering could include coordinating social media, or ‘kennel shifts’ which consist of cleaning kennels, letting the dogs out and playing with them, and attending trade shows like the Hawkesbury Show.
Loyal and loving
Greyhound Rescue was founded in 2009 by North Shore couple Janet and Peter Flann, and has since re-homed more than 800 greyhounds.
Most of these have come from the racing industry, and the couple are vocal about their desire to end greyhound racing.
“Many greyhounds are simply killed because they don't win races or are too slow to start. This is referred to by the industry as ‘wastage’,” Ms Flann told the Gazette.
“These dogs deserve as much love as a poodle or a pug or a Chihuahua.”
Greyhound Rescue pays the full cost of necessary vet bills incurred while a dog is in foster, while foster carers are expected to cover food, shelter and flea treatments.
Individuals and families that adopt a greyhound will be rewarded with a low-maintenance, loyal and loving addition to the family.
"They are gentle, 70 kilometres-per-hour couch potatoes. They have no doggie smell, shed little hair and seldom bark, being quiet and calm in nature,” said Ms Flann.
"Greyhounds are gentle, affectionate, placid and sweet-natured. Our greyhounds are de-sexed, vaccinated, as well as heartworm-tested and treated, all for only $350 each. We are very fussy about where they go. They have to sleep indoors and be part of the family.”