Back on track
A campaign has been launched to highlight the work of volunteers who help retired greyhounds transition from track to couch.
A campaign has been launched to highlight the work of volunteers who help retired greyhounds transition from track to couch and to promote greyhound as domestic pets.
The campaign is the brainchild of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) which was established by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB), and which is jointly funded by the IGB and greyhound owners.
The trust helps several private rehoming agencies in Ireland through direct financial assistance towards either their veterinary costs or their transportation costs.
Among those to benefit are PAWS and Great Hounds In Need in Tipperary, Clare Greyhound Project and Clare Greyhound Sanctuary, HUG in Kerry and All About Greyhounds in Belfast.
Many retired greyhounds are also rehomed across Europe and North America through charities supported by the IRGT. Campaign The trust’s Our People, Their
Stories campaign is now throwing a spotlight on the Irish volunteers who help greyhounds after their retirements.
Greyhound re-homer Bridget Murphy, who is also a member of Friends of Cork Greyhounds, was filmed with her own retired greyhounds Skylar and Paddy for the campaign.
Skylar first came into Bridget’s life seven years ago, when she was born as part of a litter of four-time winning greyhound Brogan Beetle. After four races on the track, Skylar retired due to injury. Bridget nursed her back to health in her home in Cork before Skylar gave birth to two litters of pups.
is from Skylar’s second litter and turned two in September. He never raced but was again cared for as a pet by Bridget and the Murphy family. Skylar and Paddy now spend their days roaming the fields at the Murphy’s home.
“Skylar and Paddy are just brilliant, they are together all the time,” Bridget said.
“Paddy is often seen making mischief amongst my cows at home. Skylar prefers to take a more relaxed approach to life.
“Skylar is very fond of children and she is more than happy to go up to people she recognises for a cuddle. She can often be seen in Curraheen Park greeting racegoers on busy nights and is always a hit with spectators.”
Friends of Cork GreyPaddy was formed a number of years ago after positive feedback from a greyhound stroll in Cork city.
They arrange regular walks around Cork City and county, including a recent Halloween walk around Doneraile Wildlife Park. They are now planning another outing around Christmas time. Members of the group and their greyhounds can often be seen on race at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium.
The IRGT has helped to rehome over 5,300 racing greyhounds since 2008, with 853 rehomed between January and October of this year.
The main source of funding for the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust continues to come from greyhound racing owners, through a 2% deduchounds tion of all winning prize money which is then matched by the IGB. The board contributed over €100,000 to the trust last year.
A further 58 greyhounds are on the IRGT’s rehoming list between now and the end of the year. The greyhounds will be rehomed as pets in homes in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Belgium.
Gerard Dollard, CEO, Irish Greyhound Board; Bridget Murphy with Paddy and Skylar; Agriculture Minister Michael Creed; and Frank Nyhan, chairman, Irish Greyhound Board.
The ‘Friends of Cork Greyhounds’ on one of their recent walks across Cork city and county. The work of Cork greyhound re-homers is to be highlighted in a celebration of the work of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust.
Bridget Murphy while filming her video for the ‘Our People, Their Stories’ campaign.
Bridget Murphy with greyhounds Paddy and Skylar from Ovens. Agriculture Minister Michael Creed launched the ‘Our People, Their Stories’ campaign in celebration of the work of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust at Curraheen Park. Picture: Gerard McCarthy