GRAI is an association of Irish animal rescue organisations and individuals dedicated to promoting greyhounds as pets and acting as advocates for the breed in Ireland. Our focus is on education and awareness of the plight of racing greyhounds, so we do not home dogs directly. All member organisations are involved with the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of abused and abandoned greyhounds. They take in greyhounds from dog pounds, members of the public and veterinary surgeries. They also help responsible trainers and owners re-home their greyhounds when they are no longer used for racing or breeding.
GRAI promotes best practice in greyhound welfare. Membership is open to Irish charities and not for profit organisations, who rescue and rehome greyhounds. If your organisation is interested in becoming a member, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A Noble History
The greyhound has a long and distinguished association with Ireland and played a major role in the life of the early Celts. The hound of the Celt accompanied his master to battle and fought at his side. He was his faithful companion known as the Cu Dilish in Gaelic. After battle, the Celtic greyhound shared the victory feast and lived with his master. Sadly this is no longer the case and the downfall of the Irish greyhound began in the 1920s when betting turned the greyhound into a profitable business.
Today Ireland produces and exports more greyhounds than any other country in the world, and every decision in an Irish greyhound’s life is conditioned by economics. Greyhounds are treated as disposable commodities. Each year thousands of Irish greyhounds retire from racing. While a few live out happy retirements, many thousands are cruelly abandoned or destroyed at the end of their racing careers.
Racing greyhounds retire at an early age, usually between three and five years old. Greyhounds like other large breed dogs can live up to 12-14 years of age. Retirement from racing may be due to injuries sustained at the track or because they are too slow to win prize money. Although young, fit and healthy these dogs find themselves of no use and surplus to requirements. Additionally, thousands of greyhound pups never make it to the track either due to lack of keenness, pace or early injuries during training.
Where Do They All End Up?
Some are kept for breeding, a few kept as pets, a small number re-homed in Ireland and abroad, others exported to countries such as Pakistan and Spain for racing. However a great many are either abandoned or destroyed when they are no longer of use. We are working to change that through greater public awareness and education, as well as pressure on industry and regulatory bodies who are in charge of legislation and enforcement of the Greyhound Welfare Act of 2011.