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Wanted: Greyhounds as Pets

Once upon a time there weren’t enough homes for greyhounds no longer racing.

This is not the case anymore.

The supply of greyhounds going into the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) simply isn’t keeping up with the increasing demand of the Victorian public wanting to adopt these beautiful animals as pets.

Greyhounds have always been a practical pet option, and they are now becoming increasingly trendy, particularly in designer Melbourne suburbs such as St. Kilda, Brunswick and Richmond where they adapt perfectly to apartment living.

After all, compact apartments aren’t much different to the comfort of a racing kennel, and a daily stroll via a local cafe is enough to keep any retired greyhound happy.

Whether a greyhound won 50 races or didn’t to make it to the track is irrelevant – these animals are a wanted species in the pet world.

And, while it is hard to believe, their increased popularity has led to a sudden shortfall of dogs entering the GAP.

“In recent months we have been receiving an average of between 6-8 brand new applications for adoption every day,” Greyhound Adoption Program Manager, Larissa Darragh recently announced.

The 2013/14 financial year saw a record 536 adoptions take place in Victoria, and that record is set to break again with the GAP on track to record its first ever 600+ result this financial year.

As wonderful as that is, the huge shortfall remains.

Up until mid 2014, entering a greyhound into the GAP often meant being placed on a waiting list for up to six months or more.

However, with the increasing demand for these dogs as pets and the recent introduction of a new intake process, the wait has been slashed to just four weeks.

While some in the industry have embraced the new process, it’s time everyone jumped on board.

GAP is more accessible than ever, holding regular pre-assessment sessions at various locations across Victoria (Bendigo, Geelong, Lang Lang, Sale, Sandown, Seymour & Warrnambool).

The assessment locations will be expanding in 2015 to encompass more regional centres, and so eager is GRV and GAP to bring more greyhounds through its system that the number of pre-assessment sessions will also double in 2015.

Twice a week GAP will be on the road testing and collecting greyhounds.


This is a three-step process:

1. Your greyhound must have received a C5 vaccination within the last 12 months, but not within the last 10 days. A vet will do this for a cost of around $35-$150 (greyhound vets are generally less expensive).

2. Your greyhound must undergo a free pre-assessment test. Should your greyhound pass the pre-assessment test, he/she will be collected immediately and transported to the GAP property in Seymour, be put into foster care and then adopted into a loving home.

3. A $100 entry fee is required should your greyhound pass the pre-assessment test. For the months of February and March, the Board of Greyhound Racing Victoria will be subsidising the fee meaning it will be FREE for you to enter your dog into GAP during this period.

Upcoming Testing Days & Booking Times:



- The calendar for pre-assessment sessions is published in GRV Informer every month, with bookings for each session taken via phone on a specific day, approximately four weeks prior to the session.

- The pre-assessment tests take approximately 10 minutes, and entail introducing the greyhound (while muzzled) to a small, domestic ‘test’ dog in a controlled environment. Greyhounds are expected to be curious and show some interest in the test dog, but as long as they don’t try to latch on, they will generally pass.

- If your greyhound passes the pre-assessment test (84% do), he/she will be accepted into GAP immediately, with a $100 fee required.

- If your greyhound does not pass the pre-assessment, you will be required to take him/her home with you. However, you can re-book your greyhound in for another pre-assessment test. Many greyhounds pass the second or third time around, particularly if you make arrangements to walk them at a park with other breeds.

Watch: How GAP’s Mobile Pre-Assessment Testing Days Work.


- There have been hundreds of examples of trainers believing their greyhounds wouldn’t pass the GAP pre-assessment test because their greyhounds chased the lure with so much intent, only to be proven wrong.

- All greyhounds are invited to undergo a pre-assessment test, as long as they are sound (not injured). The GAP accepts greyhounds with missing toes and limbs, and even those with pannus.

- Up to 20 greyhounds can undergo a pre-assessment test at each session, however often these sessions are not fully booked.

- The $100 entry fee will be waived during February & March, 2015.


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