Czech dog lovers offering former racing greyhounds from Ireland new life
A truck was due to arrive in the small west Bohemian town of Okrouhle Hradiste on Tuesday bearing a most unusual cargo; not a regular consignment of goods, but around 40 greyhounds from Ireland. The animals are being adopted by Czech dog lovers who want to save them from being (often brutally) destroyed - and help these greyhounds enjoy a dignified life in a loving environment.
"I learned last year how greyhounds are treated in Ireland when they are either too old to race or are injured. They're killed in a barbaric manner, either by shooting, hanging or - in the best cases - put down. I was so moved that I became the first person in this country to adopt a greyhound, and it really is a great dog, full of love. I began telling other dog owners about it and now many Czechs want to help and make such dogs happy."
"This is the fourth and biggest transport. Before we took, for instance, eight greyhounds - this time there are 40. All of them already have new owners, who have chosen a dog on the basis of photographs and profiles we've received from a shelter in Ireland. So we know which ones like kids, which ones don't, which ones are dangerous for cats, and so on."
"These dogs are really destroyed. They were used for racing, so many have problems with their joints and ligaments. Some are mentally unstable, but in 99 percent of cases such greyhounds settle in to living with families. It does take time, after they've been kept in cages two metres by two metres and been fed once a day. They have a reputation as bloodthirsty beasts which kill every little creature that moves - it's not true. Every dog we've adopted has adapted to its family - they're very adaptable."