Page 4072 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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Lastly, I would like to make note of an upcoming end-of-year event, a production called Imagine, which is to be held on Saturday, 12 December. I urge all members of the ACT Assembly to support this great charity service provider and view the skills and the passion that are on show with all involved in Kulture Break.

Greyhound rescue

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.44): On Sunday the ACT Greyhound Support Network had their second birthday. I want to congratulate Gabby Openshaw, who set up the network. It is to rescue greyhounds that have been abandoned or are ill, and they have done a great job.

Let me give some of the stats from the weekend. They had a get-together at Weston Park opposite the train. Forty-three greyhounds attended. Tammy Ven Dange from the RSPCA attended and judged two competitions—the barest bum and the greyest muzzle. I will read in a bit from Tammy later. Pups4Fun donated a pamper session to each of the winning greyhounds as well as a massive birthday cake. Dallas, a photographer from Dog Tog, attended and took photos.

Let me turn to some of the achievements of turning two. In that time members of the ACT Greyhound Support Network have re-homed about 200 greyhounds, which is a pretty extraordinary effort; they have raised well over $20,000 for charity to support dogs that have been abandoned or dogs that are retiring from racing and have uncertain futures; and they have been very active in promoting greyhounds as pets in the community. Something that I note Gabby is particularly proud of is the establishment of a blood donor program at the Animal Referral Hospital. Often greyhounds are hooked up and give their blood and this allows plenty of blood to be available for other dogs who come in as patients as well as saving greyhounds from being permanently hooked up in these facilities.

One of the interesting rescues involved a couple who had lived in Gordon but now live in Bonner who had to go out and buy a bigger car because they took not one but two greyhounds. They found what turned out to be a brother and a sister, Kadan and Lizzie; they have now got both those dogs and absolutely love them. You really have to congratulate that level of commitment to such a good cause.

Let me read a bit from the article by the CEO of the RSPCA, Tammy Ven Dange. It is headed “The lean, bald bums and other amusing things about greyhounds”. It says:

Today I attended the second birthday celebration of the ACT Greyhound Support Network. Like so many other not-for-profits, this group of people formed together because they saw a need and decided to do something about it. In this case, a few people in Canberra had big hearts for rescuing greyhounds from the racing industry that might have been put down otherwise. They realised that these animals had special needs because of where they came from, and formed a group to help local owners and foster carers. Today I understand that there are about 200 people engaged in this local network.

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