DOG OF A PRIZE NOT THE TICKET
A SEVEN-month-old puppy has landed at the centre of a political fundraising scandal after plans to raffle her to raise campaign dollars for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers were put on hold following intervention from the greyhound regulatory body.
Greyhound breeder and trainer Vicki Prest had put the female puppy up as a prize to raise funds for local Shooters Cootamundra candidate Matt Stadtmiller for his support of the industry.
The prize winner was to choose a puppy from two available females. However, the Greyhounds Welfare Integrity Commission (GWIC) were not amused, last week emailing Prest with a request to “reconsider” the puppy prize. “The giving away of a greyhound puppy in such circumstances does not send a positive message to the broader community,” it said. The GWIC claimed it had also received several complaints about the raffle.
The email triggered an uproar from the Shooters with state MLC Robert Borsak, describing the request to remove the prize as “insane”. “Does this mean parents can’t give their kids a puppy for Christmas?” he said. Prest, who owns 40 greyhounds — “20 are pets” — said the raffle was a chance to bring people into the industry. “It was a way to raise some funds for Matt and also get people in to the industry,” she said. “I was going to offer to break it in and provide advice on trainers. I love my dogs — I look after them better than I look after myself — and I would never let them go to someone who didn’t.” The puppies — one red fawn, the other black — will remain on Prest’s property as the Shooters seek further advice.