New Greyhound Care Scheme

New Greyhound Care Scheme

This article was published in The Advertiser on 22 July 2022.

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) is rolling out its flagship Greyhound Care Scheme (GCS) following a successful pilot program.

General manager of Greyhound Development and Advocacy, Dr Alicia Fuller, said the GCS was a key part of the next phase of GRNSW’s plans towards no unnecessary euthanasia by 2023, which is a target under its operating licence.

“One of the objectives of the program is to protect and promote greyhound welfare while supporting stakeholders in the industry achieve their goals,” said Dr Fuller, who oversees GRNSW’s rehoming, GAP, welfare and education.

“This is an additional layer to the schemes already in place. The fact that we have a trained veterinary nurse in Hayley Weston looking after all those dogs in the program has been a major benefit too. During rehabilitation, having somebody who is trained at looking after the injuries is really important and it does improve the outcomes without a doubt.”

GCS includes a support network which provides transportation from track to treating vet on the night, a support system for post-operative care, and rehabilitation by dedicated foster carers if required. The scheme is the next step in welfare following the achievements generated by the Racing Injury Rebate Scheme, and improvements to that scheme include:

  • Providing increased confidence in the care and welfare of injured greyhounds
  • Post-operative rehabilitation procedure which provides oversight to ensure that subsidised veterinary treatment is effectively improving greyhound welfare, and
  • Focus on post-injury rehabilitation by rehab foster carers.

Under the GCS, GRNSW will subsidise the cost of surgeries and rehabilitation, and when rehabilitated greyhounds can either be returned to their owners or rehomed through GAP.

The wider implementation of the scheme follows a successful pilot program in Southern NSW.

One of those pilot cases was owner-trainer Randall Walter, whose dog After Simmo suffered a fractured hock in a race at Nowra back in March. “I reared him as a pup. He wasn’t a superstar on the track but he’s a beautiful looking dog with a wonderful nature,” Walter said.

“One of my close mates – Michael Simmons, we called him Simmo – died from cancer, and that’s how this dog got the name.

He badly injured his hock but the GAP support network assisted straight away and helped facilitate treatment and people like Lin McKenzie and Natalie Winter were exceptional through the whole process keeping me updated on how he was going.

“It’s wonderful that GAP fixed everything and take care of the costs, and that would have been a problem for some people in the past.

“I know I’ve been out of pocket that many times over the years, but I don’t think twice about having my injured dogs treated. I have always got them all fixed up even before the program came in, and apart from losing one dog to a snake bite, all of my others have either been rehomed or I have them still here on the farm.

“As for After Simmo, or Mickey as he is known, I contacted Simmo’s wife Kerrie Anne to see if she would like to rehome him. She loved the idea and he’s now living the life of luxury.”

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