Irish Retired Greyhound Trust has rehomed more than 5,000 dogs
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed pays tribute to work of organisation
Minister Michael Creed and Bridget Murphy with Greyhounds Paddy and Skylar. Photograph: Gerard McCarthy
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has paid tribute to the work of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust as it emerged that the organisation has rehomed more than 5,000 racing greyhounds in the past decade.
Mr Creed said the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust, which is operated and supported by Bord na gCon, had done exceptional work in promoting a positive image of greyhounds as pets the entire family can enjoy.
He said he was pleased the Department of Agriculture continues to be in a position “to lend its support this noble cause” through the provision of free passports for greyhounds who are rehomed abroad.
“Welfare of greyhounds must continue to be the number one priority for the industry and I am glad to see this reflected in the industry’s five year strategic plan,” he said at the launch of a new campaign.
According to figures released at the launch of the new campaign at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium in Cork, the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust has helped to rehome more than 5,300 greyhounds since 2008.
Bord na gCon contributed over €100,000 to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust in 2017 and so far this year between January and October, the organisation has rehomed 853 retired racing greyhounds.
A further 58 greyhounds are on the trust’s rehoming list between now and the end of the year and these will be rehomed as pets in homes in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Belgium.
The main funding source for the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust continues to come from greyhound racing owners, through a two per cent deduction of all prize money which is then matched by Bord na gCon.
Mr Creed said that the new campaign, featuring a video “Our People, Their Stories” about how retired racing greyhounds have been adopted by families, highlights just how suitable they are to become pets.
Mr Creed’s comments were echoed by Bord na gCon Welfare Officer and Secretary to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust Barry Coleman who said greyhounds are docile dogs who make great pets.
“It never ceases to amaze me each time we have events to promote greyhounds as pets, we experience the same reaction from people who have never been up close and personal with greyhounds.
“They cannot get over how affectionate greyhounds are and conversations with greyhound owners help to convince them greyhounds can transition to the family couch after life on the track with ease.
“With greater public awareness we can ensure these prized athletes get the retirement they deserve and equally bring happiness to many people’s lives,” said Mr Coleman at the new campaign launch.
In addition to finding homes directly for retired greyhounds, the trust also provides financial assistance to private rehoming agencies to meet either their veterinary costs or their transportation costs, he said.