With their lean, athletic frame and breathtaking speed, greyhounds are majestic animals. Lots of people choose to have them as pets, and they make for great companions in addition to being the fastest dog at the park. This speed has made greyhound racing one of the most popular animal-participation sports in the UK, but that has led to a major problem.
Why Volunteer With A Greyhound Rescue Charity?
Around 8,000 greyhounds retire every year. When they are no longer needed for racing, whether it's due to age or injury, all too often they are often abandoned or killed. Sometimes there's a plan in place for when a greyhound reaches retirement age, but that's not always the case.
For this reason, greyhound rescue is hugely important. You don't need to be a dog owner to recognise that all animals deserve a healthy, happy life. Dogs aren't objects to be discarded when they're no longer of use, and you can make a difference by volunteering with a retired greyhound trust.
How To Help Greyhound Rescue Charities
ADOPT A GREYHOUND
Despite their all-action image, greyhounds are actually incredibly docile dogs. They are built for short, sharp bursts of speed as opposed to endurance. This means they're low maintenance and only need two short walks a day. And despite the competitive, harsh nature of the sport, these dogs tend to have friendly, affectionate and shy temperaments. If you can adopt one of these intelligent animals, you will gain a caring companion while giving them a happy retirement. Welcoming an animal into your home is never a decision to take lightly, but the Greyhound Trust usually has around 800 greyhounds that need rehoming at any one time.
SPONSOR A GREYHOUND
If you're unable to take on a greyhound yourself, you could sponsor one instead. Whether it's because of age, illness or injuries caused by abuse, it's not always possible to find a home for a dog. This can mean they end up staying with a greyhound rescue charity for an extended period, or for the rest of their life. Sponsorship is a great way to contribute to their care.
VOLUNTEER AT A RESCUE CENTRE
If you're mad about animals, then what better way to spend your time than surrounded by lots of dogs? Volunteering is great for building skills and you'll usually receive training in return for your time. Most charities wouldn't be able to function without volunteers, and this is certainly the case with those dedicated to rescuing greyhounds. From walking the dogs, to carrying out home visits and website/social media support, there are lots of different things you can help with.
With so many dogs to look after, rescue centres are always on the lookout for toys. Whether you've got a big treasure trove packed with toys for your own dogs that you need to slim down, or you'd be happy to get some from a shop, your efforts will be appreciated. You may also be able to find a home for other items, which could be donated for fundraising purposes.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
- You can be as hands-on as you like when you volunteer with a greyhound rescue charity. If you want to work in close quarters to the dogs then that's great, but you could also help out with things like admin work or driving.
- You usually need to be at least 16 years old to volunteer, while some organisations may require you to be 18.
- You may need training before coming into contact with dogs at a rehoming centre, especially ones that have been mistreated or abused.
Where To Get Started
There are some wonderful charities doing lots of great work to help greyhounds across the country, and they would love to receive your help. You can also help to support Postcode Animal Trust by playing People's Postcode Lottery - our players have raised millions of pounds for good causes since 2005.