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Greyhound Adoption Program plans for growth after biggest year yet.

Victoria’s Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) achieved a record 895 greyhound adoptions in 2015-16, taking the number of dogs re-homed through the program since 1996 to nearly 7000.

However, Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) new General Manager for Animal Welfare, Dr Gavin Goble, said today that GAP, run by GRV as Australia’s largest greyhound adoption agency, needed to do more.

“Although GAP adoptions were up nearly 50% over the past couple of years, nearly 20 per cent of dogs submitted to GAP during this period were found unsuitable for adoption and were returned to their racing owners for further socialisation or to be humanely euthanased; a situation also faced by many other organisations working to re-home dogs and cats,” Dr Goble said.

“We are working with participants to better prepare their racing dogs early for retirement later in life and involving behaviour experts to work directly with each dog to make sure they only undergo GAP’s pre-assessment and assessment processes when they are ready.”

“We are also taking steps to expand GAP’s fostering program to give dogs more socialisation opportunities and partnering with other adoption agencies like Greyhound Safety Net and Gippsland Greyhounds.”

Dr Goble said GAP would be opening new kennels in Ballarat in August to complement GAP’s Seymour headquarters and its Mornington Peninsula facility.

“GAP Ballarat will house 50 more greyhounds on top of the 110 places at Seymour and eight at Mornington, allowing three weekly intakes of dogs instead of the current two,” Dr Goble said.

“We are looking at expanding GAP’s Green Collar assessments service, which conducted 119 assessments in 2015-16 for Greyhound Safety Net and privately owned greyhounds so they can go unmuzzled in public.”

Dr Goble said a new GAP campaign was also being developed to highlight why greyhounds made great company animals and to dispel myths about the breed.

“Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds don’t need much exercise and don’t require much grooming. They are quiet, loyal and very relaxed dogs at home in all kinds of domestic environments,” Dr Goble said.

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