On 30 May 2021 five new gardens were opened at ‘Greysland’ ; GreyhoundRescue’s Rehabilitation and Rehoming centre at Bargo, NSW. Nat Panzarino,Greyhound Rescue’s President, explains: “These unique gardens are a majorcomponent in enabling Greyhound Rescue’s staff and volunteers to rehabilitatehounds. The more that we can do to rehabilitate them, the more easily they canbe rehomed. More hounds rehomed means more hounds saved from euthanasia.”

The gardens were opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Michael and KimMcTeigue, the founders of SavourLife, who donated $50,000 to make the gardenspossible – the biggest single grant the company has made. SavourLife is afamily-owned Australian company that donates 50% of profits to pet rescueorganisations. Among the guests were Greyhound Rescue’s sponsors andsupporters, members of local community groups, as well as media personalityand Greyhound Rescue Ambassador, Ash London.

Most rescued Greyhounds have little experience of the outside world

The life of a Greyhound in the racing industry typically involves training,racing, and lots and lots of hours left on their own with little stimulus.When they arrive at Greysland they experience human kindness, often for thefirst time, and positive techniques to help them come out of their shell andprepare for adoption in their new forever home.

The five purpose-designed gardens were created at Greysland by Great SouthernLandscapes; three sensory gardens, one training garden and one ‘Buddy Garden’named after Michael and Kim’s rescue dog who was the inspiration behind theSavourLife brand.

The three Sensory Gardens – Splash, Explore, and Adventure – are designed togently expose the hounds safely and slowly to new things while unlocking theirproblem solving and critical thinking skills, which have often not beenactivated in their previous lives. Nat Panzarino says: “Building agreyhound’s confidence in themselves and in humans and human kindness is keyto their success as a family pet. These spaces are also used fordesensitisation and counterconditioning with other dogs, as many greyhoundshave only been socialised with other greyhounds.”

According to Kira Booth, Greyhound Rescue’s Kennel Manager: “A studypublished last year revealed that dogs that are given more opportunity toforage and use their sense of smell become more optimistic and confident,directly improving their welfare. These sensory gardens will provide greater‘nosework’ opportunities for our kennel kids as well as opportunities for themto use and boost their other senses in a safe environment.”

The Training Garden will further Greyhound Rescue’s education programs andsupport the community and their dogs. Nat Panzarino explains: “At GreyhoundRescue we run GO! (Greyhound Obedience) classes to educate new adopters on howto work with their new dog using positive and force-free techniques. Havingrecently launched the GO! courses in the uncertain times of a global pandemic,we have been impressed by the number of people wanting to attend and we nowhave an extensive waiting list of participants and a mountain of positivefeedback from attendees.”

The ‘Buddy Garden’ is a calm and wonderful space that sets the stage for abeautiful new relationship; this is where rescued greyhounds are firstintroduced to their forever family and the beginning of their incredible newlife.

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