QUIET, affectionate and gentle are probably not the first words which spring to mind when you imagine a greyhound, but in fact that is exactly what they are.
To coincide with April being Adopt a Greyhound month the MAIL spoke to a local organisation based in Cookstown who specialise in adopting greyhounds and helping to find homes for these loveable dogs.
Deborah Devlin, who set up the non-profit organisation ‘Greyhounds as Pets N.I in 2011’ wants to spread the message that greyhounds make great pets and that they are not the kind of dog that many people imagine.
Deborah rehomed her dog Chase almost four years ago and has never looked back since. She said: “After researching different breeds of dog, and reading about what great pets greyhounds make. I thought a greyhound sounded perfect for us and re-homed Chase, who was unwanted by her owner as she wasn’t suitable for racing.
“I soon became aware of the amount of misconceptions people have about these dogs when I would constantly be asked the same questions,‘I bet that dog takes a lot of walking?’ or ‘Has she won many races?’ etc. People assumed she was a racer and thought I was mad choosing to have one as a pet. They thought she would run round the house knocking things over but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
“In reality greyhounds are very placid dogs who make very low maintenance house pets, spending up to 18 hours a day sleeping! They are quiet, gentle, and very affectionate. They are even suitable for allergy sufferers due to their thin, low molting coats.”
The Adopt a Greyhound NI group on Facebook now has over 1,200 followers with a great network of owners all over N.I.
Deborah added: “Our volunteers bring dogs along to events to ‘meet & greet’ the public. We also hold group dog walks where we get the chance to chat to the public and answer questions they may have. Some people have only seen a greyhound racing on tv and can’t believe how laid back they are when out walking. We hold small walks all over the province but have an annual walk at Stormont in June, which attracted 52 pet greyhounds last year.
“We focus mainly on promotion work but work closely with charities who re-home greyhounds and will put people interested in re-homing a greyhound in touch with them. Unfortunately there are a huge no. of greyhounds and lurchers needing homes as they are often over looked at rescues and pounds.
“April is ‘Adopt A Greyhound Month’ and we would ask readers to contact us for more information either via facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”