Nuzzling up with greyhounds

RESIDENTS at Bupa Bendigo aged care homes were treated with a visit from two greyhounds on Friday. 

Greyhound Racing Victoria spokesman Campbell Davies said he hoped the visit would challenge the idea that greyhounds were vicious. 

"We are seeking to change perceptions of greyhounds," he said. 

"Greyhounds might seem vicious because people see them wearing a muzzle.

"The dogs are actually incredibly docile."

Greyhound Racing Victoria has been running a greyhound adoption program since 1996. The program seeks to ensure greyhounds have a long life.

Mr Davies said not all greyhounds got a chance to race.

"Sometimes they are too slow to race," he said

"They may have been bred to race.

"We get people who love dogs to train the animals.

"The animal will stay in a foster home for three weeks and then be adopted.

"By the time the greyhound is adopted the dog is comfortable around people.

"The welfare of the greyhound is paramount."

About 4,500 greyhounds have been placed since 1996, with about 500 of the dogs going through the adoption program every year. 

Bupa Aged Care diversional therapist Kahlia Waters said the residents liked the animals visiting because animals were good for reminiscing. 

"We encourage visitors to bring pets in when they visit," she said. 

"For people who have aged animals bring back memories.

"I often hear residents talk about that they are reminded of the first pet they had.

"Our residents don't get visitors every day, so this is special."

Our residents don't get visitors every day, so this is special. - Kahlia Waters

Greyhound Adoption Program foster Carly Hercus has been training the dogs for the past five years. 

"I'm a vet nurse, so I know what happens to the greyhounds that don't get adopted," she said.

"That's why I keep doing it.

"Greyhounds are big couch potatoes."

Bupa Aged Care resident Lesley Pearce said she loved dogs.

"It's lovely that these people have come out here and shared these animals with us," she said. 

"I do think dogs are more of a man's animal though." 

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