Over this weekend we held a ‘Meet & Greet’ event in Hertford. Here’s the feedback we received from the public….
Many of those who came up to pet the greyhounds were really enthused by them and commented how calm they are, and what wonderful pets they make. Lots of people knew about their reputation for being gentle, lazy and affectionate and said a greyhound would be their next family dog. Equally, the vast majority of the public seemed well informed about the ills of greyhound racing and wished the poor greyhounds did not have to race. One lady lamented, “I hate it, I hate it, I just wish they wouldn’t race them”.
Many of the shoppers in Hertford knew about the prevalence of injuries and the lack of transparency. They had seen last year’s Panorama programme, so were well aware of the instances of doping and the thousands of greyhounds who are simply not traceable post racing, not to mention those who don’t make the grade. One middle-aged chap stopped and told us that his father had been in the racing game in the days of Walthamstow, White City and Rye House. He said he was sad that the greyhounds he saw as a child didn’t end up as lucky as the greyhounds we had out this weekend.
Then we got onto the subject of the galgos and the vast numbers which are bred each year for hare coursing in rural Spain. People were horrified to discover that thousands of these gentle creatures are killed at the end of the annual coursing season and only the “lucky”
ones are discarded by their galguero owners to a few shelters in Spain or rescued from the “perreras” (dog pounds) before being put to sleep. We told many people about how Greyhound Compassion supports the Scooby shelter in Medina del Campo which, although financed on a shoestring, has about 350 galgos in residence at any one time.
The event was a good opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of the greyhounds and galgos and to see how much their reputation precedes them.