More dogs dying under COVID-19 – industry dumps greyhounds on Victorian charities

News Release, 22 April 2020
Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds

More ex-racers in Victoria will die because Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) is diverting owners to charity rescues, the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG) said today.

GRV’s rehoming arm called GAP (Greyhound Adoption Program) have recently stopped taking new greyhounds for rehoming due to COVID-19 and a canine diarrhoea outbreak, but rescue groups are struggling on.

“If GRV can keep racing, it can keep rehoming. Charity rehomers are small, volunteer-run groups that are always running at full capacity and can’t handle this extra load,” said Ms Julia Cockram, CPG’s Victorian state director.

She said GAP’s ‘passing of the buck’ means rescue charities are not only facing a bigger burden, but are doing so without the type of assistance provided elsewhere.

“In WA, greyhounds must be de-sexed and their dental neglect treated before they are re-homed, but in Victoria these are not mandatory. CPG is calling on GRV, as well as all other state racing bodies to urgently shift to the WA approach,” said Mr Cockram.

She said the situation is made even worse in Victoria due to a GRV rule 7.1 which requires racing dog owners to desex their dogs unless a rehoming group will do it.

‘This part of the rule should be changed. Some owners use it to say to rescues – ‘if you don’t take my dog and de-sex it, I’ll kill it’. Unless GRV takes urgent action, more greyhound suffering will occur,” Ms Cockram said.

“Charity rehomers run on the smell of an oily rag, while racing industry bodies have millions. At Melbourne rescue charity Gumtree Greys, there are 56 dogs in foster care, most of which needed desexing, shots and dental work, so donations are badly needed right now.”

Ms Cockram said despite the Victorian government giving many taxpayer dollars to the greyhound industry, the burden is now being passed to charities funded mainly by the public.

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