The Greyhound Problem
Greyhounds and lurchers are used for racing or coursing. Welfare under these conditions is variable. After their usefulness has ended, their fate is very precarious and represents a significant welfare worry. In 2003, a study (The fate of racing greyhounds and working lurchers in Wales) found that up to 1,800 greyhounds/lurchers were abandoned in Wales after their racing careers had ended. A great many more are killed, with a varying degree of humanity. Unlike other breeds, racing greyhounds do not benefit from a nationally organised rescue organisation. There are, however, now several greyhound rescue groups operating around the UK.
Greyhounds are very intelligent, sensitive and people-loving dogs. However, they are born to the chase and can prove difficult to control off the leash, in open countryside. They are also natural and efficient killers, making them a threat to cats. Taking on a retired greyhound or lurcher can be very rewarding but it does demand a high degree of skill and commitment.
The major health problem we have encountered in retired greyhounds is with their teeth and gums. Unsuitable diets, throughout upbringing and early life, leaves the gums and teeth in a very unhealthy state, in many cases. This is not always reversible, leading to loss of teeth.
Greyhound Rescue does sterling work in finding homes for these sensitive, intelligent and charming dogs.