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Minister Peters to launch new adoption programme

MEDIA RELEASE
20 March 2006

Minister Peters to launch new adoption programme


Greyhounds As Pets (GAP), a new independent charitable trust set up to place retired racing greyhounds into caring homes, will be launched next week by the Minister for Racing, the Rt Hon Winston Peters, at an evening event in Wellington.

The new adoption programme has been established by Greyhound Racing New Zealand and is the only adoption programme to currently operate within the New Zealand racing industry.

GAP is run out of a kennel facility in the Manawatu and relies heavily on a dedicated group of volunteers who help with both foster caring and promotion of the programme. A central location has been chosen to provide easy access for all those who require GAP services throughout the whole of New Zealand.

GAP Chairman Kerry Marshall says that the programme has widespread support from the industry and the kennels have already received numerous requests from the public seeking information on adopting a pet greyhound.

"Everyone who has been in contact with the programme at these early stages is really interested and enthusiastic about what we are doing, which is fantastic.

"With a goal to re-home 50 greyhounds in our first year of operation and to increase this to 250 by our third year, we have a lot of work in front of us but it will be extremely rewarding to see these greyhounds, who work so hard in their racing careers, be retired to loving homes," he said.

Once submitted into the programme, the greyhounds are put through a detailed assessment programme to ensure that the best possible match is made with their prospective homes and are then placed in a 'foster home’ for around 4 weeks to prepare them for life in a family household, before releasing them to their new adoptive families.

Greyhound Racing New Zealand Chief Executive Lance Bickford said that the programme will be extremely beneficial for the greyhound industry and provides the perfect opportunity to correct many misconceptions about the breed.

"Greyhounds are perfectly suited to life as a pet in a typical busy family household. People will now be able to see what the breed is actually like - good-natured, affectionate and a perfect household companion. They also require very little exercise in comparison to other breeds," he said.

"As an industry we would like to thank those involved in helping to set up the programme and to encourage all those who are potential pet owners, to consider having a look at the programme and taking home a greyhound," he said.

ENDS

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