Robbie the Greyhound – Saved by Social Media

Robbie - LoungingRobbie - Facebook Call for Help


In a heartwarming story about the kindness of strangers, a discarded greyhound has been saved from certain death the day before he was scheduled for euthanasia.

Robbie, a three-year-old black greyhound, was dropped off at Renbury Farm Animal Shelter on 28 November 2015. He was given five days to find a home before being ‘due’.

Renbury is the impounding facility for four council areas in south western Sydney. With many dogs including Robbie facing death, they turned to social media to spread the word that urgent rescues were needed.

As many as 218 shares on Facebook later across Australia and New Zealand, Robbie was saved by Greyhound Rescue New South Wales just a day before facing the needle. He is now en route to Queensland, where he will be fostered through Gumtree Greys until he finds his forever family.

Robbie is one of the few greyhounds lucky enough to escape a premature death. Many others do not make it: the day after Robbie was rescued, another greyhound was advertised for sale online after performing poorly in time trials for racing. The brief post described him as a good dog, but stated that he would be euthanised if no one came forward because “need gone now”.

Tracy McLaren, director of the Gumtree Greys charity, said:

“We are so grateful we were able to save Robbie but sadly his story is not uncommon – many greyhound rescues get calls saying ‘take this dog by this date or he goes to donate blood’. The only way we can stop this from happening is to stop greyhound racing altogether – there will never be enough homes to adopt all the greyhounds at the rate they are bred and discarded by the industry.”

The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds is coordinating a nationwide rally against greyhound racing on 7 Feb 2016. Spokesperson and psychologist Dr. Eleonora Gullone says,

“Greyhounds Australasia estimates that the industry kills 13,000 – 17,000 healthy dogs every year. If this alone is not enough to indict the industry, there is a well-documented link between anxiety, depression and gambling. Gambling exacerbates these conditions, which ruin lives and families. Supporting greyhound racing is effectively encouraging problem gambling.

“We are holding this rally to give the public a chance to tell the government where they stand on this issue. It simply does not make sense to fight mental health problems and gambling addictions with dedicated programs funded by the taxpayer, while at the same time promoting these issues through the continued financial support – also funded by the taxpayer – of greyhound racing.

“It’s time for a strong injection of logic and social responsibility in government decisions.”

For more details on the Shut It Down – A National Day of Action rally including venue details, Like our Facebook page.



Author: eleonoragullone

I am an author, adjunct associate professor in psychology and have advocated for animal welfare for more than 15 years. On the basis of my extensive research, I can confidently argue that if we cultivate a culture of compassion toward all of our non-human citizens, including those currently exploited for human use (such as food, sport and experimentation), current and future generations will benefit through reduced antisocial and violent behaviour toward all sentient beings including humans. Over my 25-year career as an academic, I have published over 100 scholarly articles in refereed academic journals and have also conducted a number of projects examining the link between aggression toward humans and cruelty toward animals. In 2000, I founded a group within the Australian Psychological Society focused on promoting positive interactions between humans and animals. This work has resulted in several scholarly publications including a book published in 2012, titled Animal cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour and Aggression: More than a link.

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