Enjoy ‘walkies’ to mark Yorkshire Greyhound Day

Yorkshire Greyhound Day launch
Yorkshire Greyhound Day launch
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Dog lovers and their canine companions donned their walking shoes to celebrate 2016 Yorkshire Greyhound Day.

Scores of volunteers turns out at the Sheffield branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust, based at Rotherham Gate Lodge, in Wortley, to walk the retired track stars, for the fourth annual awareness day.

Yorkshire Greyhound Day was first launched in 2012 to mark 80 years since the sport of greyhound racing was introduced to the region via Owlerton Stadium and to raise awareness of the athletic prowess of greyhounds. To celebrate the day, volunteers took greyhounds on walking trails around the grounds ranging from one to five miles in length.

Roy and Lynda Cattlin run the Sheffield RGT branch with their team of volunteers and dedicate their time to finding homes for retired greyhounds when their racing days are over.

Roy said: “It was great to see such a big turnout of volunteers helping to walk the dogs on Yorkshire Greyhound Day.

“There are some beautiful trails around Rotherham Gate Lodge and the greyhounds love nothing more than a 20-minute stroll on one of our walking routes.”

Greyhounds are one of the most ancient breed of dog. They are the fastest dog breed, reaching speeds of up to 45mph over a short distance. Despite this, greyhounds don’t need hours of exercise and a few short 20 minute walks a day is enough to keep them happy.

They are used as therapy dogs because of their gentle nature and go into prisons to help inmate-handlers gain new skills and an opportunity to explore a better way of living before being released into the community.

Greyhounds have a special blood type which enables them to be universal blood donors, helping to help save the lives of other dogs.

Owlerton Greyhound Stadium supports the Sheffield branch of the RGT, which, since opening in 2006, has found loving homes for more than 1,000 retired greyhounds.

John Gilburn, managing director of Owlerton Greyhound Stadium and chairman of the Sheffield RGT, said: “Greyhounds really are wonderful animals and, when they reach the end of their racing career, they make the most wonderful pets. They are very easy going – in fact, you could say it’s just like owning a very large cat!”