THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­pond. com

MORE than half of all pets are given a per­son’s name or nick­name. Max, Jessie, Molly, Sam and Jack re­main fi rm favourites for our Aussie dogs.

In­ter­na­tion­ally, the name Char­lie tops a list com­piled by web­site dog­gien­ames.com, which uses data from the US, UK, New Zealand and Aus­tralia. The most pop­u­lar name for fe­male dogs is Bella, which trans­lates as “beau­ti­ful” in Ital­ian. The sec­ond favourite fe­male dog name is Molly.

Pet dogs’ names refl ect their sta­tus as part of the fam­ily and work­ing dogs are re­ceiv­ing re­spect­ful monikers too.

A ris­ing star in the work­ing dog world goes by the name of Missy, a springer spaniel who is train­ing to sniff out the in­va­sive hawk­weed plant in high coun­try in Vic­to­ria, New South Wales and Tas­ma­nia.

As far as canine names go, nowhere are they more smart- alecky than for rac­ing greyhounds.

Spare a thought for th­ese an­i­mals of­ten sad­dled with ir­rev­er­ent names and caught up in an in­dus­try where horror sto­ries of abuse and mis­treat­ment abound. Names like Ard Boiled Egg, Bag of Sand, Big Boy on Air, Boozed Mi­randa, Hoy Hoy Hoy and Wham­bam- thank- u- mam are the least of the prob­lems for rac­ing greyhounds.

The sit­u­a­tion is es­pe­cially dire for the hun­dreds ex­ported by Aus­tralian breed­ers to race­tracks in Ma­cau and main­land China each year.

The ma­jor­ity go to a race­track in Ma­cau known as the Canidrome, where the pol­icy is to eu­thanase any dog that doesn’t per­form on the race­track.

There is no safety net, no grey­hound adop­tion pro­gram.

The only way to pro­tect th­ese dogs is to leg­is­late against their ex­port.

Dr Sam Long, ve­teri­nar­ian and se­nior lec­turer at Univer­sity of Mel­bourne’s Ve­teri­nary Hos­pi­tal has mounted a pe­ti­tion call­ing on the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Barn­aby Joyce, to ban the ex­port of greyhounds to over­seas race­tracks.

Find the pe­ti­tion by en­ter­ing the words “greyhounds” and “Barn­aby Joyce’ in the search bar at www. change. org/ pe­ti­tions/ and add your name in sup­port.

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