A South Croydon dog-owner has established a new group to combine two passions: her pet greyhound and walking in the local countryside, with the Surrey Sighthounds Walking Group having its first meeting this Sunday, February 26, starting at 11am.
Sighthounds include greyhounds, lurchers and whippets, and the group organiser, Laura Fewell, reckons there will be at least a dozen dogs and their owners turning up for the three-mile, one-hour-ish amble through the Surrey countryside this week, starting from a pub in Mogador and finishing there for lunch.
“We will aim to meet at least once a month, maybe more often in the more pleasant months of the year weather-wise,” Fewell said.
“We’ll try to tag a pub trip on to the end of a walk where possible for some post-stroll refreshments and to extend the opportunity to socialise.”
The south London and Surrey-based group has arisen from an annual get-together of sighthounds and their owners, The Great Global Greyhound Walk, which tries to demonstrate what well-behaved pets greyhounds, many of them retired racers, can make. This year’s GGGW is to take place on June 11.
It is estimated that around 7,000 racing greyhounds retire in Britain each year, with homes being found for barely half of them through the charity, the Retired Greyhound Trust.
The need for homes for ex-racers is expected to grow rapidly in the next few months with the closure at the end of March of Wimbledon dog track, London’s last greyhound racing venue.
Many of the dogs that end their racing days in south-west London and need new homes will be entrusted to Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare, and several of those going for walkies with the Surrey Sighthound group this Sunday will have been re-homed from that organisation.
So if you own a sighthound, or are interested in the Surrey Sighthound Walking Group, visit its Facebook page here.
If you want to join in with this week’s wander, please let the organiser know so that she can provide the pub landlord with likely numbers.
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