Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) / Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) has announced plans for the introduction of at least four new regional facilities across the country for the preparation and rehoming of retired racing greyhounds.
The Greyhound Care Centres, which are expected to be operational by March 2022, represent a significant expansion of RCÉ’s care centre programme.
RCÉ today commenced a tender process for the delivery of at least one Greyhound Care Centre in four separate regions, namely West Coast (Connacht), Munster & South Leinster (Munster, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow), Metropolitan (Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Meath, Wicklow, Louth) and Midlands/Ulster (Westmeath, Offaly, Longford, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal).
The expansion of the care centre programme comes on foot of a record year for the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT), which, in the year up to 30th November 2021, assisted in the rehoming of 2,000 greyhounds compared to 1,578 for the same period in 2020.
Philip Peake, Interim CEO of RCÉ, said the purpose of the new care centres will be to prepare retired greyhounds for rehoming and enabling members of the public to view dogs before adopting them.
He continued, “The welfare of greyhounds is at the core of everything these care centres will provide for as evidenced by RCÉ’S tender specification for prospective operators. All facilities must abide by strict security, hygiene, and welfare standards, including maintaining exercise paddocks, food preparation areas and kennels to the highest standards consistent with the RCÉ’s recently launched ‘Code of Practice on the Care & Welfare of the Greyhound’.”
Mr. Peake said a specific focus of the new care centres will be to promote greyhounds as pets through use of social media and on-site visitor rooms.
“Each of the proposed care centres will feature a visitor room to facilitate engagement with potential adopters, to show DVDs of greyhounds which have been rehomed, to complete paperwork and to allow potential adopters sit with greyhounds for a period of time,” he added.
“Operators will also be obliged to use social media to promote retired greyhounds for rehoming, to provide regular updates and show photos/video of any training being provided to the greyhounds, to promote successful adoptions and to show photos/video of greyhounds living in their new homes,” concluded Mr. Peake.
Further details are available from www.grireland.ie.