Rescued greyhounds learn to be pets in new sensory gardens

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rescued greyhounds
Building a greyhound’s confidence in themselves and in humans and human kindness is key to their success as a family pet. 

Five new gardens were recently opened at ‘Greysland’, Greyhound Rescue’s rehabilitation and rehoming centre at Bargo, NSW— and are considered a major component in enabling Greyhound Rescue staff and volunteers to rehabilitate hounds. 

“The more that we can do to rehabilitate them, the more easily they can be rehomed. More hounds rehomed means more hounds saved from euthanasia,” Greyhound Rescue president Nat Panzarino said.

The gardens were opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Michael and Kim McTeigue, the founders of SavourLife, who donated $50,000 to make the gardens possible—the biggest single grant the company has made. SavourLife is a family-owned Australian company that donates 50 per cent of profits to pet rescue organisations. 

Among the guests were Greyhound Rescue sponsors and supporters, members of local community groups, as well as media personality and Greyhound Rescue ambassador, Ash London.

Most rescued greyhounds have little experience of the outside world. The life of a greyhound in the racing industry typically involves training, racing, and lots and lots of hours left on their own with little stimulus. When they arrive at Greysland, they experience human kindness, often for the first time, and positive techniques to help them come out of their shell and prepare for adoption in their new forever home.

The five purpose-designed gardens were created at Greysland by Great Southern Landscapes: three sensory gardens, one training garden and one ‘Buddy Garden’ named after the McTeigue’s rescue dog who was the inspiration behind the SavourLife brand.

The three sensory gardens—Splash, Explore, and Adventure—are designed to gently expose the hounds safely and slowly to new things while unlocking their problem solving and critical thinking skills, which have often not been activated in their previous lives. “Building a greyhound’s confidence in themselves and in humans and human kindness is key to their success as a family pet,” Panzarino said. 

The Training Garden will further Greyhound Rescue’s education programs and support the community and their dogs, while the ‘Buddy Garden’ is a calm and wonderful space that sets the stage for a beautiful new relationship; this is where rescued greyhounds are first introduced to their forever family and the beginning of their incredible new life. 

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