For so many reasons, 2020 has been extraordinary. The degree to how it has affected the re-homing of ex-racers is unlikely to feature among global memories of ‘Covid year’. But for greyhound folk, the word ‘extraordinary’ wouldn’t touch the surface.

A combination of lockdown and the launch of a new retirement bond scheme by GBGB has seen greyhound re-homing go through the roof. Not only has the flow been quenched, the reservoir of old ‘uns, the so called ‘dog glut’ was wiped out in months.

Here are the view of three re-homing kennels at the front line.



This year has been the strangest of years for so many reasons with the awful disease killing so many worldwide and impacting on the lives of everyone.

While there have been many bad things that have occurred as a result of Covid it is true to say that it has had some positive effects on various areas of life and this would certainly include greyhound homing. As a result of so many people being furloughed or working from home combined with their already growing popularity we have seen a massive increase in the amount of greyhounds being homed this year.

While Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust has, to date, homed 196 successfully so far this year compared to our best ever previous year in 2018 when we homed 157 I would also be amazed if most greyhound groups and Greyhound Trust branches haven’t had record years judging by the chats I’ve had and the news on the homing grapevine.

All of this has meant that for the first time in my 22 years of homing instead of having to explain to owners and trainers that there is a long waiting list of up to six months to get a greyhound into us we are now saying ‘when they’re ready they can come in’ and most groups are the same.

This is a major positive for owners, trainers and everyone within the sport, but most important for the stars of the show themselves, the greyhounds.

The Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) has also been a real positive and although there are certainly arguments that it could have been done slightly differently to stop those registering larger litters having such a big initial outlay it is clearly a major boost for homing overall.

It is great to see the Greyhound Trust monopoly on receiving regular money from the sport has now been broken.

Most people within the sport and homing will certainly be happy to see a focus on the GBGB paying for results instead of just a blanket donation with ‘no strings attached’ as it was described by one senior Greyhound Trust Head Office employee a few years ago.

The introduction to the scheme of Dogs Trust and Battersea, who have both been openly critical of racing in the recent past, has certainly divided opinion amongst some racing and homing individuals.

I’m aware of some Greyhound Trust branches who have been frustrated having to deal with queries from owners who have homed their greyhounds from Dogs Trust branches and struggled to get breed specific information from them.

This is of course backed up on the excellent Your Greyhound’s History with Clare, Elaine and Viv having many enquiries about dogs that have come from their branches without any racing background being given. Support those that support the sport?

I heard this phrase on the Zoom call recorded by Floyd with Andy Pelley and Patrick Janssens. Talking about bookmakers Andy made the point about supporting Star Sports and other bookmakers who have supported the sport rather than those that haven’t.

While there are many wonderful owners and trainers who support those groups and Greyhound Trust branches (most of whom work closely with racing) there are also some who want to move their dogs on in the quickest and cheapest way possible even if it means the dogs go to anti-racing groups or those that are critical of the sport.

Who can condemn them when the option is there and they may not be in a financial position to do ‘the right thing’?

Quirky fact – we have in our Boston kennel at the moment a greyhound called Ballymac Eagle who trialled at Nottingham this September, but in January 2011 we homed Ballymac Eagle. Has any other homing group homed two greyhounds with the exact same racing name?

Obviously because of the rules re naming they’d have to be long established groups.

Kevin Stow

Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust


I have never known a year like this in terms of re-homing and I think we have re-homed more than 1,400 dogs since we set out.

A year ago we would probably have had 20 in kennels waiting to be re-homed and there was a time when trainers had to wait months on the waiting list. It was a bit of an old joke with Paul Young ‘is there any room at the inn.’

We will probably set a new record this year for re-homing but it would have been so much more because we ran out of dogs four times.

At the moment we have three in the kennel, one of which is a return, but like a lot of other re-homers, we are now phoning trainers to see if they have any dogs.

It has to be good news, including for some of the trainers who had old retired dogs in the kennel and costing them money. They should all be gone now. I only have two, old Swift Keith, plus another who I can never re-home because he has bitten twice.

But I do feel sorry for the long established re-homing kennels who have always done their best but might be struggling to get enough dogs to stay open.

John Mullins

Greyhound Trust Suffolk


Re-homing in 2020 has been testing for everyone. The year started well, with numbers up slightly on previous years, then of course came lockdown. Lke the majority of kennels, stopped all re-homing, but the enquiries kept coming in.

We actually noticed there was a huge increase in demand, this we feel was fuelled by people being furloughed and feeling this would be a great time to introduce a dog to the home, without realising, that eventually things we return to normal, and this will make it harder on the dogs. We asked prospective owners to complete a comprehensive questionnaire, and were assessing the dogs, so that we could find their perfect forever home.

As Lockdown eased, we went through our waiting list and with strict Covid rules, with kennels visits and home checks, we placed many of the dogs in homes. This resulted in a very interesting occurrence, when we put out the request for more dogs, we found there was a shortage across the UK! we reached out to many trainers, and received some dogs in, but we were well down on numbers, The Greyhound Trust, managed to locate some for us and we also received some in from other trainers, so we could assess them and place them with the owners on our waiting lists.

We have bene extremely busy during the second half of the year, and we will nearly match our best year for finding homes, there is still a shortage of dogs coming from the trainers, which is actually great news, as it means every dog that needs a place in a rehoming kennel, should find one, and can then find their comfy sofa. A dream that seemed so far away back in 1973, when a few special women, started the RGT, now with so many volunteers at independent and affiliated rehoming centres around the country, the dream has reached a reality, I for one are very proud of what we all have achieved.

Chris Redpath

Portsmouth Greyhound Trust