Urgent appeal – will you help us save the lives of more ex-racers like Monty?

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9.52pm on a cold November evening at a Greyhound Stadium in Western Ireland.

Six racers line up, ready to spring out of the traps for race 9 of the evening.

In trap 5 is Monty, a two-year-old black greyhound with good racing form. One of the favourites for this 550 metre sprint. Monty has finished in the top three of his last eight races and has won over €1,000 in prize money for his syndicate of owners. He’s young, fast and at the peak of his career.

31 seconds later and the race is over. Monty finishes last.

The race notes show that Monty was “slow away and faded”. He trailed in 13 lengths behind the winner.

Minutes later Monty is lying on a veterinary table in the treatment room. He has injured the hock on his back right leg. But instead of being given pain relief and treatment for his injury he is waiting to be euthanized.

Monty’s owners have decided his racing days are over. It is cheaper to have him destroyed than to treat his injuries.

For many, many racing greyhounds, this is how their career on the track ends. Along with their life.

More than 10,000 greyhounds from the racing industry are deemed surplus to requirements each year – many are abandoned, some killed crudely and others exported to countries with poor welfare standards and no regulations around racing.

Thankfully, for Monty, his story doesn’t end here.

At the stadium that night was a woman called Amy. Not a fan of racing, she’d reluctantly taken her elderly father who was. As she left the track, she noticed Monty outside the treatment room. Stopping to talk to his owners she was horrified to discover Monroe’s fate and his owners’ apparent indifference about the life they held in their hands.

Pleading with them for a reprieve, Amy was given just 24 hours to try and find a rescue space for Monty.

Conditions in Ireland are especially tough for sighthounds. Statistics show that some pounds still put 100% of sighthounds to sleep. Forever Hounds Trust work closely with Irish rescues to save greyhounds and lurchers in need and bring them into our protection in the UK. Without UK rescues like Forever Hounds Trust many more Irish ex-racers would die.

With time running out, and rescue after rescue turning Monty away, distraught Amy made one last desperate plea to a local animal sanctuary. She offered all of the little spare money she had to put towards Monty’s treatment.

With long waiting lists for kennel spaces, they pointed out that sadly Monty was just one in a never-ending tide of discarded racing greyhounds. Who would be at the track next week, and the week after to rescue and rehome the racers who don’t make the grade?

Incredibly Monty was one of the lucky ones and was granted a space! He arrived at the sanctuary with a poorly bandaged hock and just a meagre €100 from his owners to fund his rehabilitation.

Monty was immediately given veterinary treatment for his injury. It is clear from his notes that he had received no pain relief in the days since his race.

After x-rays, Monty was fitted with a splint, and then a support bandage. With care, gentle exercise and weight restriction, his leg started to heal. Now, three months later, he is back to full physical health, fully weight bearing on his injured leg.

Forever Hounds Trust will shortly be bringing Monty over to the UK and covering all his veterinary and transportation costs. As well as the cost of the treatment so far he is likely to need hydrotherapy and physio to full recover as well as behavioural support to get him ready for a forever home.

Monty has spent his entire life in a kennel or on the track. He’s never been shown affection or treated as anything other than a commodity.

Every week Forever Hounds Trust takes in ex-racers like Monty. Many come to us with injuries, or behavioural problems caused by lack of socialisation. Our teams work extra hard to provide the special care they need to adjust to life beyond the track and prepare them for their forever homes.

We can only be here to help dogs like Monty, with your support.

For every ex-racer like Monty there are countless others that we are unable to help. Their racing days may be over but right now they urgently need your help to have the second chance at life they deserve.

£7 will pay for pain medication for 3 days

£12 will pay for warm bedding and a long lasting chew

£25 will pay for a raised bed to keep a hound warm, away from draughts and ease pressure on joints

£100 will pay for a course of physio to ease the tired legs of an ex-racer

Please help us get more hounds across the most important finish line of their career – a warm and loving forever home.

Yes I want to help more unwanted racers like Monty