Victoria Minister for Racing Denis Napthine
Coalition Delivers $1 Million For Greyhound Adoption
Victor P Taffa
The Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) will receive $1 Million in funding over the next four years as the Victorian Coalition Government confirms its election commitment to the highly successful initiative that finds new homes for retired greyhounds.
Officially announcing the funding at GAP’s headquarters in Seymour today, Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said the program had been a great success story, so far adopting out more than 4,000 retired greyhounds.
“The Greyhound Adoption Program is an important part of the greyhound racing industry. It provides good homes for retired racing dogs and provides local jobs here in Seymour.” Dr. Napthine said.
“These greyhounds make fantastic pets because they are quiet, lazy and gentle dogs that thrive in the family home environment. All dogs spend time with a volunteer foster carer who helps them adjust to life off the track before graduating from kennel life to their new home.”
“Adopting a greyhound is a great idea for people thinking about introducing a new pet to their home because every dog that passes the GAP program has been thoroughly temperament tested, desexed, wormed, microchipped and vaccinated.”
“In the past the program has operated on a very limited budget and relies on around 100 volunteer foster families and carers. The Coalition Government’s $1 Million budget commitment will ensure this program is adequately funded into the future.”
Chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria Nick Caley said Greyhound Racing Victoria had achieved a lot in terms of the welfare of greyhounds over the past decade, but it was now time to take animal welfare initiatives to the next level.
“This very generous $1 Million contribution will enable us to fulfil a wish list of projects, which we will announce in the coming months. We sincerely thank Minister Napthine and the Baillieu Government.” Mr. Caley said.
“A working party will be formed to establish the specifics about how this money will best be spent. This money will enhance the offerings of the Greyhound Adoption Program by way of promotion and infrastructure. We won’t be letting it get absorbed into overheads.”
Manager of the Greyhound Adoption Program Larissa Darragh started out as a foster carer for greyhounds in 1996 and said a significant proportion of this money would go towards increasing the public awareness about greyhounds as pets and the Greyhound Adoption Program.
“We want to address the misconceptions of greyhounds. The facts are that they are beautiful lazy animals that don’t need a lot of exercise, they are great with kids and make exceptional companions.” Ms. Darragh said.
The four-year commitment to GAP is part of the government’s $79.5 Million Budget package for the racing industry to help it grow and continue to be a major economic driver for the state.
Dr. Napthine said funding for GAP had been identified as a key priority for the Victorian Racing Industry Fund, through which unclaimed wagering dividends and on-course wagering taxes will be returned to the racing industry.
“The Coalition Government is committed to maintaining and developing racing as a significant industry in Victoria and ensuring that not only do thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing continue to flourish, but the welfare of animals remains a top priority.” Dr. Napthine said.