Why Adopt a Greyhound?

Greyhounds as Pets – Why Adopt a Greyhound?

From the outside looking in, many wonder why these dogs are so loved. Many of us love dogs in general, others have a particular breed they prefer.  But why adopt a Greyhound?  Because none of that comes close to the emotional attachment the Greyhound owner has to his pet.

It’s important at this stage to make clear that we’re talking about those among us that have ex-racing Greyhounds as pets, rather than those who breed or keep them for racing.

Firstly, it should be emphasised that not all owners of racing Greyhounds are evil. There’s any number of small kennels that ensure their dogs go to a good home when their careers are over. In spite of their apparent love of the dog this does not mean that their Greyhound will be immune from the injuries and and long term damage that racing dogs incur. Unfortunately there are far too many others who view their dogs in monetary terms and not as sentient creatures.

Thousands of Greyhounds are slaughtered every year. In some cases it’s because they didn’t make the grade as a racer. Others are injured during racing or training and are killed. The remainder run themselves to a standstill, literally for their lives, and when they’re no longer able to win races, they are disposed of. Again, sometimes a loving home is found, some owners keep their dogs as pets, but sadly, most do not.

It must also be said that the racing industry contributes to the re-homing centres. The problem is there’s so many thousands of dogs involved and not enough money available.
Unwanted Greyhounds cost money to keep and are not earning anything. The heartless among the owners see them as a burden so they are no longer kept in ideal conditions and receive little food.


  • The methods of disposal vary according to the conscience of the owner:
  • Re-homed or kept as a pet.
  • Put to sleep by a vet
  • Shot or clubbed to death.
  • Turned loose, often with their tattoos removed by cutting off the ears that carry the tattoo to avoid identification.
  • Exported to other countries for hunting purposes.


The unfortunate dogs that end up in Spain or the Far East are a source of anguish for pet lovers everywhere as the cruelty in these places is beyond belief.

Spain has come in for particular censure as a lot of the dogs are killed at the end of the hunting season. If the dog has done well it is given a quick release by shooting. Less successful hunters are hanged in a particularly barbaric manner resulting in a long, slow agonising death. Another popular pastime is to throw the poor dog down a disused well, pour petrol on it and derive entertainment from the screams.

Other countries are also far from innocent in their treatment of Greyhounds.
Imagine having a pet that you love and care for in the knowledge that similar dogs, or even siblings of your pet, are being tortured in this way.

Once you get to know Greyhounds and appreciate what gentle loving dogs they are, you begin to understand the zeal with which afficionados try to help the rescue organisations in fund raising, fostering and trying to increase awareness of the Greyhounds plight.

In many ways the “Grey” is an ideal pet, being hypo-allergenic, gentle with children and quieter than most dogs. Being bred for athleticism rather than an arbitrary breed standard they tend to be healthier than other dogs.

So, if you can find it in you to contribute to your local or national rescue centre, you will be directly helping to save a dog from what could be a ghastly end.

Better still, contact us to either adopt or foster a Greyhound. If nothing else, pass on what you have read here – and even if you are unable to take on a dog at this time you might persuade others that keeping Greyhounds as pets is a really rewarding thing to do.


Author – Ray Davies