Inner West Courier – Newtown woman fosters greyhounds to redress family’s past in racing

The Inner West Courier, a News Ltd suburban paper, reaches 42,561 each week, covered two of our foster carers in Newtown.

Greyhound foster couple Laurina and Michael Chilcott are a familiar sight to anyone who walks their pooch around Newtown.

The Greyhound Rescue ambassadors can be found most days at Camperdown Memorial Park with their giant Japanese Akita Moggy and their latest foster hound.

Ms Chilcott’s father was a trainer so she had a front-row seat to the greyhound racing industry growing up.

“As a child I witnessed live baiting and heard stories of dogs being hit over the head with a shovel after a race,” she said.

“While we had pet greyhounds which were part of our family, hounds came and went all the time and now I realise what the term ‘went’ implied.”

The Chilcotts currently have Scooter — their twentieth foster hound.

Ms Chilcott said it is her way of redressing her family’s past in racing.

“I know what went on. I see foster care as my chance to give back and use my experience with greyhounds to help care and rehome them.”

“As soon as we got our first one we just wanted to keep doing it because of how amazing they are. They are so incredibly gentle, sweet and adaptable.

“It’s been incredible; we have loved every single one of them and we get to be greyhound ambassadors by spreading positive information about them.”

April is Adopt a Greyhound Month and more foster carers are needed.

Janet Flann, Greyhound Rescue founder, said the charity pays the full cost of necessary vet bills while a dog is in foster, while foster carers cover food, shelter and flea treatments.

“We supply muzzle, coat, collar and lead,” she said.

“We can help with costs if necessary. How long a hound stays with carers depends on the number of adoption applications we get, but foster carers should be prepared to accommodate a dog for at least six months,” she said.

The dogs come desexed, vaccinated, heartworm tested and cost $250 to adopt this month. Usually, it’s $350.

Anyone who’s interested should complete a form on GR’s website: greyhoundrescue.com.au

“Adoption costs $250 during April. Normally it’s $350.

The registered charity relies solely on donations which are tax-deductible, as well as fundraising.

Last week the Courier reported 701 greyhounds were euthanased in the nine months between April 12 last year, when the ban was repealed, and December 31.

That’s a death rate of almost three greyhounds every day and the figure excludes dogs put down due to illness and old age.

The Courier has been told the death figures are likely a huge underestimate of the real number killed as the Greyhound Racing NSW data relies on voluntary reports from trainers and owners.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Small Business and Skills John Barilaro and Minister for Racing Paul Toole officially opened the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission at Bathurst on Monday.

Minister for Racing Paul Toole said the Commission will promote and protect the welfare of greyhounds, and safeguard integrity and public confidence in the industry.

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