Allow Retired Greyhounds to Run Free in Bonnet Bay

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Bonnet Bay Baseball Club has very generously offered our greyhounds the use of their fenced fields at times when they are not being used. To date, Sutherland Council have opposed this proposal as they are still unsure if it will have negative ramifications. We are currently waiting to hear Council’s latest decision on this matter and are calling on the public to help us persuade the council to reverse their current position.

Greyhounds are loving, gentle dogs. Many rescued hounds bear physical and emotional scars from their miserable time as racing dogs. But they don’t become angry and feral as a result of early experiences. They are very forgiving and seem to redouble their efforts to make friends with humans. They deserve a wonderful life after racing.

Why we have a problem
The State Government supports greyhound racing where dogs are trained and forced to run. They don’t lose the urge to run just because they are re-homed. Instead they need large, flat, unobstructed spaces in which to run. Adoptions of greyhounds are increasing, so the need for safe running areas is also increasing.

Why current provision of off-leash areas are unsuitable.
Sutherland Shire’s off-leash parks are all unsuitable. Some of the flat areas are unfenced. This is out of the question for greyhounds. Greyhounds have very thin skin and large groups of dogs at a dog park causes much excitement amongst all dogs. All dogs, when out together, are usually playful, and greyhounds are easily injured from normal dog play  /rough and tumble, where thicker skinned dogs wouldn’t get a scratch. Our group is large with lots of dogs and for some people who are not familiar with greyhounds, a whole pack of larger looking dogs arriving at once can be intimidating for both them and their dog.

Why sporting fields are a good solution
Some other councils provide fenced off-leash areas that are suited to the needs of greyhounds. Where these are not available, fenced sporting areas are an ideal solution. They don’t cost anything and they don’t endanger or inconvenience the public, if five simple rules are adopted: 1. All gates must be securely closed. 2. All off-leash dogs must wear muzzles. 3. Limit the number of off-leash dogs running together at one time. 4. Keep noise levels down – which is reasonably easy to do because greyhounds rarely bark. 5. Clean up thoroughly after the dogs

The State Government has contributed to this problem of ours by supporting an industry that reinforces greyhounds’ need to run and makes many of their lives miserable. We believe it is only fair that the State Government, via local Councils, assist us with finding ways to enhance the lives of greyhounds, providing them with venues where they can finally just run for fun.