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Gippsland clubs remain open for bushfire respite

Gippsland’s greyhound racing clubs remain open to help those affected in the weekend’s raging bushfires.

The Sale, Warragul, Cranbourne and Traralgon greyhound racing clubs opened their doors to those in danger of being affected by bushfires, housing more than 300 greyhounds and other dog breeds as the fires burned.

Traralgon lure driver Andrew Inger took on a role well outside his usual duties, helping usher animals inside the club’s kennels.

“I’m only five minutes from the track so it was easy for me to get there,” Inger said.

“We’ve still got about 25 dogs there – all domestic pets, a bit of everything really. It’s good that everyone’s safe and I just hope no one loses their house now.”

Sale held races on the Sunday but still opened their facilities to help those in need. As of Monday afternoon, six dogs were using the kennels with plenty more space available for those who need it.

Most dogs housed at Warragul have already returned to their homes thanks to an army of volunteers including GRV Board Member Rob Greenall who arrived on Sunday afternoon to roll up his sleeves for the cause.

GRV’s General Manager for Strategic Communication and Marketing Louise Martin praised the unity of the greyhound racing industry as participants come to grips with raging bushfires in the Gippsland region.

“Greyhound racing people are a community and they’re looking after each other,” Louise told ABC Radio this afternoon.

“A big shout out must go to our club managers who have been at their clubs 24/7, along with their employees.”

Louise said the clubs had housed up to 300 greyhounds and other dog breeds in their airconditioned kennel blocks, but there is room for more.

“We wish we could take in all animals. We are taking in greyhounds and other dogs as well, and we ask that people do stay with their dogs overnight. We have opened up our cafes and restaurants at our clubs and we’re feeding people as they’re coming along with their dogs,” she said.

Greyhound participants under fire threat can show up unannounced to their local club and take refuge or make contact in advance on the numbers below or, alternatively, by phoning 0428 032 234.

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