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First National Greyt Greyhound Gathering held in Hamilton

First National Greyt Greyhound Gathering held in Hamilton

The first national gathering of pet greyhound owners and their four legged friends was held in Hamilton this weekend (27th & 28th November).

75 people attended the function including about a dozen children and fifty Greyhounds with a few other breeds that were the greyhound’s best friends. Most of these were people who had adopted a greyhound as a pet and are now very enthusiastic owners.

This represents about 10% of all the people who have adopted greyhounds through GAP in the last five years since the program was started. Owners travelled from all over the north island to attend. There were some great demonstrations on things from teeth cleaning to nail trimming but the event was more about camaraderie with a big BBQ on the Saturday night with a lamb on a spit, fresh kingfish steaks, mussels and of course the customary snags potatoes and salads.

Ribbon winning categories included ‘most handsome dog’ and ‘prettiest bitch’ as well fun for the children with ‘best junior handler’ and a fancy dress competition for both hounds and owners.

Competition was fiercest for the ‘best black dog’ and the supreme winner rosette went to Auckland greyhound Stan who was voted the dog the judges would most like to take home.

The event was organised by greyhound rehoming charity Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) to celebrate over 500 greyhounds successfully rehomed throughout the country.

GAP was established by the racing industry to find pet homes for the hundreds of greyhounds which come out of racing each year.

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Programme Director, Jacqui Eyley says “Greyhounds are wonderful pets and being gentle and lazy they are ideally suited to today’s busy lifestyle.

When the programme was launched five years ago most people would never have considered owning a greyhound as a pet so this weekend’s event is a testimony to the programme’s resounding success.” However Jacqui stresses that there is still more to do with many greyhounds still looking for homes.
Some of the owners got their hound as a companion for their existing dog, as they were both at work during the day. They wanted a dog that would be low maintenance, not domineering to their pooch and fit in well with the family.

A few of the older owners chose a greyhound as the days of having high energy, high maintenance dogs were behind them and they wanted a quiet companion that didn’t bark much and loved affection.They are the biggest couch potatoes of all time.

They love a run but are then very happy to lie around resting. Owner Sam Barnes said “People who have only seen them racing sometimes think they must be vicious yet we had 50 dogs (most strangers) in one yard and not a single dogfight. How many breeds could you do that with? They are just big softies that normally get on great with people and other pets”

To view the greyhounds available for adoption go to the GAP website


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