City News

City slickers race for a greyhound

Nick, Monty and their greyhound Jack. Photo: supplied

Retired racing greyhounds are capturing the hearts of inner city dog lovers.

Burdened by a lack of space, locals are increasingly looking to the svelte, tidy and surprisingly low-maintenance breed. Sydneysiders adopted more than 70 greyhounds last year through Greyhound Rescue alone, a re-homing organisation in NSW.

Content with only a quick zoom around the park and a couch to relax on, greyhounds slip comfortably into urban life despite their lively reputations.

With busy lives and a small terrace house in Darlinghurst, finding the ideal canine was tough for Monty Marshall and his partner, Nick Lowman. Until they found Jack.

“When we first met Jack we were shocked by how big he was. We were concerned our house wouldn’t be big enough for him,” Mr Marshall said.

“After a few days we realised space isn’t an issue if you have a comfortable bed. Greyhounds sleep all day. They’re lazy!”

Four years later and with more Facebook friends than his humans, Jack has the neighbourhood wrapped around his paws.

“Until we had Jack, we hardly knew our neighbours…but it’s amazing how a dog breaks the ice.  Everyone walks away with a smile. I love that,” Mr Marshall said.

Adoption was a no-brainer for Leichhardt couple Michael Pfeffer and Amanda Stern. Conscious of the large number of greyhounds in need of a home but suspicious about their seemingly faultless temperaments, they adopted Jerry and Olive after months of research.

“To be honest they sounded a little too perfect on paper as they are listed as great in small homes,” Mr Pfeffer admitted.

“We attended a few greyhound social gatherings and were surprised to learn that what we had read was indeed true.”

The couple was drawn immediately to Jerry’s independent nature, while Olive first came into their lives as a cheeky foster dog. Barring some house training hiccups, both have adjusted to urban life.

“Our greyhounds are as much a part of the family as anyone else. We love their companionship.”

At the end of their racing careers, greyhounds like Jack, Jerry and Olive are finding loving families through re-homing efforts across NSW.

Advocacy group Greyhound Freedom will hold a rally at Martin Place on Thursday to raise awareness about greyhound welfare in the racing industry. It coincides with the final public hearing of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Greyhound Racing. Organisers expect a turnout of about 200 people.

Gone are the Dogs Rally, 6 February, Martin Place, 8am.

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