Greyhound Retirement Scheme
A greyhound’s racing career is only one chapter in its life.
Whilst greyhounds enjoy impressive athletic careers on the track, in retirement they love nothing more than lazing around on the sofa in a caring and responsible forever home.
As part of our Greyhound Commitment, we have pledged that, wherever possible, every greyhound leaving racing should enjoy a long and happy retirement. The Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) seeks to meet this pledge by ensuring the financial costs of homing a greyhound are met before their racing career even begins.
Under the GRS, a £400 bond – paid for jointly by owners and GBGB – is attached to each newly registered racing greyhound.
The full bond is unlocked when a greyhound enters an approved homing centre which means a greyhound’s future is safe and secure before they have even stepped foot on the track.
Please scroll down for answers to frequently asked questions or contact GRS Co-ordinator Paula Beniston.
How the scheme works
Under the scheme, which came into force on 1 September 2020, owners are required to pay a £200 GRS payment at the same time as registering their greyhound with GBGB. This is in addition to the GBGB registration fee.
This contribution is matched by GBGB who contribute £200 on the greyhound’s retirement to create a £400 bond that follows the greyhound throughout its career.
The bond will assist with associated homing costs when the greyhound moves to a homing centre upon its retirement.
To give owners time to adjust to the GRS, for the first year of the scheme up until 31 August 2021, owners are only required to pay £100 towards the GRS at the point of registration.
Without such payment, a greyhound is not registered and therefore not permitted to trial or race. The remaining £100 GRS fee can be paid any time up to and including on retirement.
What homing costs does the GRS cover?
The GRS bond goes towards the costs of kennelling, feeding and caring for the greyhound during its stay at the rehoming centre or charity until a home is found. It does not cover any veterinary costs associated with homing prior to the greyhound entering the centre or charity i.e. any neutering or dental work which may be required.
At what point does GBGB release the bond?
Owners are required to complete a Green Form and submit it to GBGB. On receipt of a correctly completed Green Form, GBGB will contact the homing charity listed to confirm that the greyhound is with them. The full GRS bond of £400 will then be transferred directly to the approved rehoming centre’s bank account. The bond can only be paid to rehoming centres which have been approved by GBGB.
What if I own a greyhound registered with GBGB prior to 1 September 2020, can I join the GRS?
Yes. You can join the GRS scheme by paying a £200 registration fee any time after 1 September 2020 and up to or on your greyhound’s retirement.
Where is the GRS bond kept until needed?
The owner’s contribution is kept in a separate bank account set up by GBGB. Any interest accrued is used by GBGB to fund their contributions to the GRS.
How do rehoming centres become approved?
To become GBGB approved, rehoming centres need to demonstrate their:
- Homing policy
- Returns and euthanasia policy
- Suitable kennel size, bed, bedding material, cleaning and disinfectant policy
- Daily exercise routine
- Environmental enrichment
- Food diet, preparation and food storage facility
- Sufficient monitoring practice of behaviour, health and welfare
- Veterinary healthcare practice linked to the rehoming centre
- Suitable temperature and weather condition control
- Emergency plan/Isolation facility
- Kennel security arrangements
A full list of approved rehoming centres is available here.
How can I help speed up the homing process?
Greyhounds that have been prepared for life as a pet will inevitably be homed more quickly than those that have not.
Homes are very different to kennel environments so the more work an owner or trainer puts into preparing for the change from kennel to sofa, the easier that transition will be and the quicker it will be to find a suitable home.
It is a good idea to introduce a greyhound to some of the sounds and experiences they would encounter in a home such as the TV, washing machine, hoover and stairs.
It is also advisable to have a greyhound neutered before going to a rehoming centre.
Can owners keep their greyhounds as pets and receive the GRS bond?
Many owners build a close bond with their greyhound and wish to keep them as a pet upon retirement. In this case, the owner will receive their £200 contribution once GBGB has received a correctly completed Green Form and a receipted veterinary invoice confirming that the greyhound has been neutered and received any necessary dental work.
Likewise, an owner or trainer may choose to rehome their greyhound privately and not through a rehoming centre. To do this, owners are required to satisfactorily complete the Green Form and provide a receipted veterinary invoice confirming the greyhound has been neutered and received any dental work. GBGB will contact the new owner to confirm that the greyhound is with them.
In both cases, GBGB will not provide its £200 contribution.
What happens if a greyhound is put to sleep before it retires from racing?
In the unfortunate event of a greyhound’s death due to natural causes, the owner’s £200 contribution to the GRS will be returned to them on submission of a Green Form and a vet’s letter confirming the circumstances of the death.
If a greyhound is put to sleep on humane grounds following veterinary advice, it will be up to GBGB to decide whether or not the owner’s £200 contribution can be returned.
GBGB is committed to eliminating euthanasia on economic grounds. As such, if a greyhound is euthanised on economic grounds, the owner forfeits their GRS bond and GBGB retains it in full.