Every dog has its day – and today, it’s all about the greyhounds.
Today marks the third annual Yorkshire Greyhound Day, an event created by Sheffield’s Owlerton Stadium to raise awareness of these loving canine companions.
Away from the racing excitement at Owlerton, the stadium is also committed to making sure that greyhounds have a happy life once their racing days are over.
They therefore support the Sheffield branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust, which is based at Rotherham Gate Lodge in Wortley, Sheffield.
Vicky Hurley, senior marketing executive at the stadium, said: “Yorkshire Greyhound Day is really important because it’s difficult to get across to people that greyhounds don’t just stop racing and then that’s the end of their lives – they make great pets after their racing days too.
“They only need two, 15-minute walks a day and they’re gorgeous.
“They can live with cats and kids and they’re just beautiful.”
The Retired Greyhound Trust aims to provide fully-vetted and loving homes for as many retired greyhounds as possible, so the animals can continue to live a full and enjoyable life at the end of their careers.
Greyhound owner and trainer Troy Bedford keeps 22 dogs at his kennels in Mansfield with support from wife Carmen and daughters Nicole, aged 21, Jasmin, 23, and twins Jamie-Lee and Ellie, both 12.
Troy, who was joined by four-and-a-half year old greyhound Slaneyside Heany for a recent outing to Owlerton, said: “We’re best mates. He knows why we’re here, he wants to race.
“They love it, they live for racing.
“When Heany has retired I already know where he is going and there is a home waiting for him. But if that wasn’t the case, the Trust would be a huge help.
“What’s most important when a dog’s racing days are over is that they are going somewhere safe. The Trust makes sure that the dog goes to a good home and is treated like a proper member of the family.”
Yorkshire Greyhound Day was first celebrated in 2012 to mark 80 years since the sport of greyhound racing was introduced to the region via Owlerton, and to raise awareness of the loving dogs.
For more information about the Trust, to help give a dog a home or to volunteer, visit www.sheffieldretiredgreyhounds.co.uk or call 0114 288 8300.
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE AT TROY’S KENNELS
6am - Dogs come out of their kennels for breakfast. They’re cleaned and given fresh saw dust and drinking water. Breakfast is usually Weetabix with powdered milk, warm water – and a drop of vanilla essence!
10am - Troy and the family brush the dogs, wash their feet and clean out their ears. The dogs racing that day are kept in small paddocks to keep clean but the others roam free.
11am - Injured dogs are taken to the kennels’ hydro pools and their injuries are checked with an ultrasound scanner.
12 noon - The ones that aren’t racing for 48 hours are taken for a run on a big field. Troy throws toys for them and treats them like pets.
1pm - Dogs are bathed with ‘Wash & Go’
2pm - The dogs eat their main meal which tends to comprise special greyhound biscuits, beef, chicken, fish, pilchards in tomato sauce and mixed vitamins, all washed down with a Yorkshire favourite - gravy.
3pm - Troy enjoys a couple of hours with his family
5pm - The dogs are taken to play out in the paddocks for a while before bedtime.