Racing Minister officially opens new GAP facility

Friday 22 May 2020

THE new home of Tasmania’s Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) was officially opened on Tuesday by Racing Minister Jane Howlett to usher in a new era for racing animals transitioning to pet life.

GAP relocated its operation to Tasracing’s first owned and operated greyhound re homing facility at Mangalore in January.

“Moving into the beautiful picturesque new adoption centre at Mangalore has been amazing with the dogs enjoying the new sights and sounds as they continue their transition to pet life,” said GAP Tasmania manager Susan Gittus.

“COVID-19 has meant we haven’t been able to open to the public in the way we had hoped to, but we are managing visitors by bookings.

“With strict hygiene and social distancing practices in place the process still works but we are eagerly awaiting the time when we are able to be open properly to visitors.

“The influx of interest in both adoption and fostering during this pandemic has been amazing with at one point almost all our available dogs finding a foster placement or forever home,” Gittus said.

The Racing Minister was impressed with the facility.

“I was delighted to see first-hand the important work Tasmania’s Greyhound Adoption Program is doing at the new GAP facility in Mangalore,” Ms Howlett said.

“As Minister for Racing, I will continue to advocate for animal welfare across all three codes of racing and I congratulate all those who worked together to make the GAP facility at Mangalore possible.

“The Tasmanian Government is committed to improving animal welfare across all three codes of the State’s racing industry.”

GAP Tasmania has been inundated with inquiries and applications to adopt or foster greyhounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, GAP received 47 applications to adopt greyhounds and 23 applications to foster while during that month 18 greyhounds found new forever homes which almost doubles the monthly average.

Included at the new facility is a dog lounge room where the greyhounds learn house rules and there is a station wagon on site dedicated for teaching the dogs how to get in and out of both the back seat and rear exit of the car safely and confidently.

The centre also has training stairs to help the dogs to deal with closed-in and open-back stairs and they spend time socialising with the various breeds of dogs and interactions with the resident sheep and chickens.

Tasracing’s Animal Welfare manager Belinda Lewis says Tasracing’s acquisition of its first ever dedicated re-homing facility for greyhounds is an important milestone in greyhound welfare in Tasmania. The facility will allow members of the public direct access to the program, and enable Tasracing to increase the capacity of the program and provide an emergency shelter option.

“There have recently been changes to the GAP entry process that came into effect on May 1, with the entry fee of $110 being waived.

“All greyhounds entering the program must now have completed the mandatory 28-day wind-down period from training, as per the new welfare rules introduced on March 1, and they must also have a current c5 vaccination.”