We want to share a story with you today about greyhounds that have been racing far away, in the Canidrome at Macau. Greyhound breeders from Australia sent their slower dogs here without much regard for their welfare. The ground on the track was hard, the facilities for the greyhounds were poor. Many were injured, many were put down if they weren’t fast enough. Animal welfare campaigners have been raising their concerns for years. Finally, in 2016, the decision was made by Macau officials that the Canidrome had to close. The owners were given two years’ notice. They were obliged to arrange a suitable rehoming programme for 650 dogs. When the Canidrome closed its doors in July 2018, 532 dogs were left inside, in urgent need of rehoming.
Local charity Anima (Society for the Protection of Animals in Macau) appealed for help to save the dogs. Volunteers began pouring into the Canidrome to help clean the kennels and care for the animals. An international rehoming programme was launched with the help of Pet Levrieri (Italy) for Europe and GREY2K USA Worldwide for the USA and Canada.
We are sponsoring a kennel for the Macau dogs at the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary. This weekend five of the six dogs (aged between 5 and 8) arrived at Heathrow airport and are now safely recuperating from their long journey in their foster homes in Scotland. One more dog, aged 13 (Hong Kong Ace in the photograph above) will arrive in March. There are several other senior dogs still to be rehomed in Europe of which six will go to Italy, five to the UK and one to France.
The key to the success of this programme is the help and goodwill of many people working together. Every positive contribution has played its part, however small. Watching video footage of Heathrow’s Animal Team handlers walking through the sliding glass doors and handing dogs over to volunteers from various greyhound charities has brought tears to our companion’s eyes. Tears of joy. After everything these dogs have been through, some were smiling and wagging their tails. It’s as if they know that a happier life is ready to begin. The kind of life that every dog deserves. With walks in nature. A loving place to call home.
For up to date information about the rescue and rehoming operation you can visit Save the Macau Greyhounds’ Facebook page.
The National Greyhound Adoption Program in the USA has taken one hundred of the Macau hounds in for rehoming in the USA. If you are in the US and interested in adopting or offering help, please contact them in the first instance.
Pet Levrieri in Italy have been co-ordinating the rehoming of the hounds throughout Europe and currently have dogs in foster and waiting for rehoming.
Several UK charities are taking in fifty dogs rescued from the Canidrome between them, of which Celia Cross Greyhound Trust is helping to rehome twenty.
Forever Hounds Trust is taking in three and have set up a Just Giving page.
We are supporting the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary who are taking six dogs in total. They have a special sponsorship programme for the Macau greyhounds which remains open until April.
Some of the other UK charities involved are Erin Hounds Sighthound Rescue, Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre, the Greyhound Awareness League (GAL), Greyhound Gap, Greyhound Rescue and Co-ordinated Emergencies (GRACE) and Makants Greyhound Rescue North West.
If you know anyone who might be interested in helping or adopting, please share. The remaining greyhounds are scheduled to arrive by the end of March.
Please help us say a prayer that they will all arrive safely in their new homes to enjoy a happy and loving retirement
With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx
Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.
Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/125 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 160 and f/2.8 – 1/400 s – ISO 160.
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