As another year rolls to a close we thought we would take a look back at some of the highlights of 2019 for Forever Hounds Trust.
The Macau Five
Without a doubt one of the highlights of 2019 for us was being involved in the rescue of some amazing greyhounds who had spent their lives in the notorious Macau Canidrome. In the summer of 2018 the Canidrome closed it’s doors for good and just a few months later the effort to find homes for almost 600 dogs remaining at the track began.
It was an effort that required an international response, and Forever Hounds Trust were at Heathrow airport to welcome first three dogs, and then another two, when they arrived in the UK.
Amos, Libby, Oyster, Sophie and Monty all spent time with our volunteers, learning about life outside a racing stadium.
They had a lot of veterinary needs from a life spent between concrete kennels and a racetrack. But, happily, each of them found their forever home and are spending their first Christmas as much-loved pets.
You can read more about the Macau Canidrome and the dogs that came to us here: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/forever-hounds-trust-to-rescue-three-greyhounds-from-the-notorious-macau-canidrome/
A New ‘Home from Home’ for our Rescue Dogs
We were thrilled to be awarded a Battersea Animal Partnership Grant while allowed us to purchase a portable building and create a ‘home’ environment to help our rescued dogs adjust to life inside a home.
Many of the dogs that come into our care haven’t seen the inside of a normal home before, nor will they have been shown love, care and attention. Our new unit has been furnished with sofas, tables, chairs, a kitchen unit with rugs, a vacuum cleaner and other everyday items that the dogs need to spend time around.
Dogs spend time in the unit with our expert homing, kennelling and welfare volunteers and staff, being trained and assessed, or just playing games and having fun!
You can read more about the unit here: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/a-home-room-for-hounds/
Always here for the dogs that need us most
We have had a few greyhounds come to us this year that have suffered terrible injuries on racetracks. Sadly this is not unusual and if Forever Hounds Trust and other rescuers aren’t able to step in and help the dogs – and cover their veterinary fees – their lives would be lost on the night of their last race.
Two of the greyhounds brought to us after suffering terrible injuries had to have a limb amputated. Both Amaya and Sienna are recovering well. Amaya has found a forever home with her fosterer and is doing brilliantly. Sienna is taking a little more time to get over her horrific injury but is on the path to recovery now and will soon be in a forever home of her own.
Just a few weeks after her surgery Amaya appeared on Jeremy Vine on Five highlighting what can happen to greyhounds in the racing industry. It was a heated debate on whether greyhound racing should be banned, but Amaya kept her cool and did a fantastic job of showing the audience what amazing dogs greyhounds are.
You can read more about Amaya here: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/amayas-story/
A year of wonderful events
Forever Hounds Trust simply wouldn’t exist with out the support of our many volunteers. Our programme of events is almost entirely run by our volunteers and, as well as raising vital funds, the events also assist us with finding homes for our dogs and showcasing what wonderful pets greyhounds and lurchers make.
We’ve been everywhere from street collections to the National Pet Show, Dogsfest to a Christmas Concert for Dogs and everything in between.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who has helped in any capacity at one of our many events, and look forward to 2020, which already has a calendar filling up with more events and activities for humans and hounds to enjoy!
To see details about some upcoming events, visit here: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/events/
A year of welfare work
We’ve been updating our blog this year with details of our welfare campaigns. We put together a film for BBC Politics Live, calling for a ban on greyhound racing, and have added our voice to other media campaigns as well.
2019 has had some positive news for greyhounds in the racing industry around the world. The RTE Investigates documentary, Greyhounds Running for their Lives was aired this summer and exposed the cruel world of greyhound racing in Ireland. Since then major sponsors have pulled their investment into the industry and there have been strong public calls for the Irish government to cease its funding of greyhound racing. Without this financial support the industry in Ireland will surely falter.
In December of 2019 there was another win for greyhounds, when it was announced that Belle Vue greyhound racing stadium in Manchester, the largest and oldest greyhound track in the UK, is to be demolished and redeveloped for housing.
But the fight to end the exploitation of greyhounds continues and we will be doing more in 2020 to bring and end to this cruel sport.
You can read more about our welfare work on our Blog, here: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/category/our-blog/
A year of volunteers
We’ve already said it, but it is true…..Forever Hounds Trust wouldn’t exit without our hardworking, loyal and dedicated team of volunteers. Our volunteers are involved in everything we do from walking dogs to organising events, fundraising to updating our website and social media. They go out at all hours of the day and night, in all weathers, to collect dogs and bring them into our care, sometimes travelling many miles to do so. They work with our dogs, help them learn about a life of love and care and how to be a pet. They help us to find forever homes for greyhounds and lurchers and then help new owners, encouraging them to attend events and walks and playgroups and social gatherings and become part of our Forever Hounds Trust family themselves.
We know our volunteers will be there to meet the challenges of 2020 and for that we are truly, truly grateful – thank you!
To find out more about the volunteering opportunities at Forever Hounds Trust, visit: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/help-the-hounds/become-a-volunteer/
A year of happy homings
Of course a look back at 2019 wouldn’t be complete without looking at some of the dogs we have helped and homed along the way. Without a doubt the best part of our work is seeing our dogs happy in their forever homes. We’ve had the pleasure of helping some remarkable dogs this year and met some wonderful new owners.
2019 also saw us celebrate the homing of our 10,000th hound! That’s 10,000 dogs rescued and found loving forever homes since the charity was founded as GRWE, Greyhound Rescue West of England 23 years ago.
Wishing all the Forever Hounds a wonderful and happy Christmas in their new homes, and a joyous 2020!
A year of generosity
It’s thanks to your donations that we are able to continue rescuing, rehabilitating and homing the greyhounds and lurchers that need us. Your generosity helped us raise more than £16,000 in this Christmas’s Big Give. Huge thanks to all of you!
Find out more about how you can help our hounds here: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/help-the-hounds/
If there is a hound-shaped space on your sofa, take a look at the dogs currently looking for their forever home: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/dogs/
Some sad goodbyes
We’ve been very sad to lose some of the wonderful dogs that have been part of the Forever Hounds Trust family this year.
One of these was our Sponsor Dog Freddie, who was known to many of our supporters and friends and a terrific ‘ambassadog’ for Forever Hounds Trust. He will truly be missed.
You can read about Freddie here: https://foreverhoundstrust.org/freddie-07-07-2007-28-03-2019/
Thank you to all our supporters, and best wishes for a happy and successful 2020.