Successful First Day for GBGB’s Greyhound Retirement Scheme
Four retiring greyhounds become first to benefit from the GRS at the Greyhound Trust’s Hall Green branch
The Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s (GBGB) new Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) has got off to an excellent start with four retiring greyhounds signed up to the scheme on its very first day.
The GRS, which has been launched as part of GBGB’s Greyhound Commitment, seeks to ensure the costs of rehoming a greyhound upon their retirement are met before they begin racing.
Under the GRS, a £400 bond – paid for jointly by owners and the GBGB – is attached to each newly registered racing greyhound. The full bond, which is unlocked when a greyhound enters an approved homing centre, assists with associated homing costs.
Getting the scheme off to an immediate start today were four retiring greyhounds who have been registered with £200 GRS payments from their owners – payments which will now be matched by GBGB. These greyhounds, which all raced at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium, will be heading to the Hall Green branch of the Greyhound Trust this week to await their forever homes. Through the scheme, the branch will now receive £400 for each greyhound within five working days of welcoming the greyhounds – double the £200 per greyhound donation it usually encourages.
Any homing charity or centre who wishes to participate in the scheme can apply to become approved under the GRS criteria. All Greyhound Trust branches have been automatically added to GBGB’s approved list and GRS Co-ordinator Paula Beniston has been working with numerous other independent centres to approve their suitability. It is hoped that the scheme will encourage more centres around the country to work with greyhounds, by removing the financial barriers to homing these dogs.
Owners with greyhounds registered prior to the start of the scheme can join the GRS and benefit from GBGB’s match-funding by paying the £200 fee at any time up to or on their greyhound’s retirement. It is, however, not a requirement for these owners to participate in the scheme.
Tracey Parbery, Chair of Greyhound Trust Hall Green, said: “Hall Green Branch is one of many of the Greyhound Trust’s homing centres and is entirely volunteer-run whilst also virtually self-funding. To have four greyhounds come to us via the GRS scheme on its first day is really encouraging. The GRS for us will mean that, on average we will receive double the funds we usually receive per greyhound. This increase will go directly towards their welfare and care and will help us to continue to find forever homes for this amazing breed in retirement.
“The volunteers work closely with trainers and owners from a number of tracks who already contribute financially towards their greyhounds’ retirement but to know that a financial commitment is being paid at the start of their racing career gives security to the greyhound, helps everyone involved in the homing process and should be welcomed.”
Paula Beniston, GBGB GRS Co-Ordinator, said: “It has been a busy few weeks since my appointment but it is incredibly exciting to have the GRS successfully up and running. The response to the scheme has been overwhelmingly positive so far and to have had several greyhounds registered with the scheme and off to a wonderful homing centre on day one is particularly gratifying.
“I have been pleased to be in touch with a growing list of homing centres and charities that do wonderful work finding homes for our retiring athletes, who are keen to become approved under the scheme’s criteria. Likewise, we recognise that the GRS is a step change in our sport’s approach to homing so I welcome feedback from owners, trainers, tracks and charities as the scheme gets underway.”
For more information about the scheme, you can download a Q&A document here.