Lifestyle

Adopt a Greyhound? Let me sleep on it for a while

By Vivienne Duck

A NAME like Aunty Mavis doesn’t connote much fear.

Nor should it considering she is an 11-year-old Greyhound and a ‘‘couch potato’’.

But when Amanda Oman and her family adopted her she was three, had to be muzzled when she was taken out of their backyard and was registered to race.

From January 1, 2019 non-racing Greyhounds will no longer have to be muzzled under new laws by the Victorian Government.

And Mrs Oman said most Greyhounds will benefit from it.

‘‘We think she would not have been committed enough to be a successful Greyhound racer, thank goodness, as she gives up too easily,’’ Mrs Oman said.

Now known as Mavis, the old girl likes plenty of love from her family and sleeping as often as she can.

‘‘Our family adopted Mavis in 2010 from Greyhound Safety Net a not for profit group who rescue greyhounds and re-home them,’’ she said.

‘‘Mavis was the feature dog in the Herald Sun.

‘‘I had researched greyhounds and thought their temperament would be ideal for our house — they were also able to tell us about her nature and if she would be suitable with small children.

‘‘I believe any dog that is aggressive should be treated with caution and making the public aware of such dogs nature is important whether that be with a lead of some colour or a muzzle, but most greyhounds are not.’’

Mrs Oman said Mavis was irresistible.

‘‘She was such a pretty dog that we couldn’t resist,’’ she said.

‘‘Mavis is now a bit greyer and slower but still just as lovely.

‘‘Greyhounds are referred to as couch potatoes — they have bursts of energy that can last ten minutes where they race crazily around the backyard then sleep for the rest of the day.

‘‘They generally need at least half an hour to an hours walk every day, but as Mavis is ageing, every second day is fine for her.’’

When the Oman’s adopted Mavis the law was that she had to wear a muzzle.

‘‘There is an arm of the Greyhound Racing Victoria called Greyhound Adoption Program and they assess dog’s temperaments and if they are deemed suitable, they issue Greyhounds who are not registered to race, with a green collar with a serial number,’’ she said.

‘‘This allows them to go out without wearing a muzzle.

‘‘We did this with Mavis which required her to board with them for one week to be assessed.’’

Although non-racing Greyhounds will no longer need to go through this assessment to be un-muzzled they will still need to remain on a lead when outside their own environment.

They are sight hounds so their instinct is to run.

Mrs Oman recommends Greyhounds as a household pet for those wanting a quiet and gentle dog.

‘‘When we adopted Mavis, our youngest Lulu was the same height as her tail so would often cop a whack in the face,’’ she said.

‘‘But they are just so gentle and loving without being obnoxious and boisterous — they fit in to most houses.’’

The government has also approved and released the final Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds.

The new code sets minimum standards which provide flexibility to greyhound industry participants, while prioritising the ongoing welfare of racing greyhounds.

Both decisions were made following extensive consultation with industry and the community.

The new code was a key recommendation from Victoria’s chief veterinary officer Dr Charles Milne in his report titled Investigation into animal welfare and cruelty in the Victorian greyhound industry.

■For more information about adopting Greyhounds visit gap.grv.org.au