If she could talk, five-year-old greyhound Libby would certainly have a tale to tell. This beautiful blue greyhound came to the UK on Valentine’s Day this year after escaping the horrors of the notorious Macau Canidrome, and has found a loving home with a family in Wellington, Somerset – and become an internet hit along the way!
Libby was one of up to 650 greyhounds left inside the Macau Canidrome when it was closed in July 2018. The closure of this greyhound racing stadium was a huge step forward for animal welfare worldwide. The stadium had become notorious for its ill-treatment of the animals that lived and raced there. No greyhound that entered the Macau Canidrome came out alive and they suffered abuse, neglect, exploitation and injury. Most of the greyhounds that raced in the Canidrome lost their lives there.
For Libby and the other greyhounds inside the Canidrome, the situation was dire. When the track closed there was no rehoming mechanism in place for these animals and it was an unprecedented situation that required a worldwide response.
Dog rescue charities around the world pledged their support and on 14th February 2019, which was also Libby’s fifth birthday, she joined two other greyhounds on a flight to Heathrow, where they were met by the greyhound and lurcher rescue charity Forever Hounds Trust and brought to Somerset.
Life for Libby improved immediately. She was given a warm and comfortable bed, good food and the veterinary care she needed. Volunteers at Forever Hounds Trust helped her to learn about life as a pet. Having spent almost her entire life confined to the concrete surroundings of the Canidrome, everything was new to Libby, from the feeling of grass under her feet to the car journeys and walks in the park.
Libby adapted quickly and on the 1st May she went to live in her forever home with her new owners, Saz and Rik Back. For Saz and Rik, it’s been a dream come true. Saz explains: “Rik and I followed the story of the Macau dogs for several years and supported calls for the closure of the Canidrome and rescue of the dogs. We had already adopted a dog from Forever Hounds Trust and when we heard they were going to be taking some of the dogs from Macau we got in touch with them and were matched with Libby – whose name is really Liberty.”
When Libby first arrived in her new home in Wellington, near Taunton, it was all a bit strange for her. She didn’t know how to go up and down stairs or get on the sofa, but has adapted well and settled into things over the last few weeks. In fact, now she has discovered how comfortable a bed is she is reluctant to leave it and a video of Rik attempting to make the bed with Libby refusing to move from it has been watched more than 80,000 times on Facebook this week! The video, along with Libby’s story, has reached such a big audience that well-wishers from all over the world have been in touch to send Libby their love. You can see it here: https://www.facebook.com/ForeverHoundsTrust/videos/448436162653878/
For Libby, life in Somerset couldn’t be more different from the one she had in China. Saz adds: “It breaks my heart to think of Libby in the Canidrome, and what could have happened to her if animal welfare group ANIMA and Forever Hounds Trust hadn’t been there to help her.
“But when you see her now you cannot believe she has spent all her life in the Canidrome. She loves to play and chases tennis balls and she has learnt how much fun it can be to go out for a walk. When she realises it is time for a walk she gets so excited and skips about! It is so heart warming to see her getting so much enjoyment from simply being a much-loved pet.
“We’ve been astounded at the outpouring of love for our special girl and the reaction to the video on social media has been incredible. Libby doesn’t care that she’s famous though! She just wants to enjoy her creature comforts and play!”
Could you offer a rescued greyhound a home? Please contact Forever Hounds Trust on 03000 111 100 or email email@example.com to find out more.