A tremendous day, amazing weather, and a wonderful result, was how Sunday’s NSW event of the second annual National Adoption Day has been described.
Just a week after hosting one of the calendar’s big racing events, the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg, Wentworth Park was again the scene on Sunday for a significant annual event, this time off the track.
A total of 41 greyhound were available to the public, and at the end of the four hours, 38 had found new homes, representing a 93% success rate, surpassing the rate of 12 months earlier at the inaugural National Adoption Day.
The day was again a huge success with a total of 207 greyhounds around the country finding new homes, with great results around Australia: Victoria 71 dogs, South Australia 25, Western Australia 48, Queensland 17 and Tasmania 8. The national figure was just shy of the 212 adopted last year at the first National Adoption Day.
Wentworth Park was awash with colour for the day, with a vast cross-section of people attending, many wandering in before the official 10am start. Families, couples, and individuals all provided new homes for the greyhounds on offer.
“It’s a fantastic day, and the turnout has exceeded expectations, and we are looking at exceeding last year’s adoption on the day of 92 per cent,” Greyhound Racing NSW Chairman, the Hon Morris Iemma said during the morning.
“(Adoption Days) are fundamental to the industry having a long term sustainable future. The industry will get judged on two very important things, integrity and welfare, so this is about letting the public know that greyhounds are very sociable, and a very good companion, and it’s also about letting the public know that there is a pathway for them to be able to do their bit in adopting a greyhound.
“It’s also a very strong message to the industry that there is a program and a charity in place for those participants who are unable to look after their dogs when the dogs have retired from racing. This program assists them to get the dogs looked after, it’s lifetime care, and that’s fundamental to the industry’s future.
“(Greyhounds as Pets (GAP)) is a registered charity, it’s a formal organisation and its main purpose in life is to ensure that greyhounds have got a home when they are either unable to race or they have retired from racing. It’s fundamental to greyhound racing and it’s just as important as the actual racing itself.
“It’s one of the areas that the greyhound racing industry will be judged on, by the government and by the general public, as to how greyhounds are cared for and whether the industry has a long term future, We get a licence from the government to run the racing program, and for the industry to exist, and for that licence to continue to be renewed, we need to ensure that greyhounds are cared for when they are not racing, every bit as much as they are cared for when they are racing.
”It is about the racing program but it’s also about days like today in letting the public know that you can adopt a greyhound, they are a wonderful sociable animal that doesn’t require a lot of care, they are very friendly - they’ll give you a kiss - they are very good around kids, and it's very well worth adopting a greyhound.”
The figures for GAPNSW adoptions have continued to rise over recent years, something which Mr Iemma said he felt “immensely proud” of, adding that it was “heartwarming” and “a very good indication we have got a bright future, we just have to keep going on the right track.”