GBGB is pleased to announce that it has contributed over £1 million to support retired racing greyhounds since the launch of its Greyhound Retirement Scheme (GRS) in September 2020.

The Greyhound Retirement Scheme is one of the many welfare initiatives launched as part of GBGB’s Greyhound Commitment – an eight-point agenda for ensuring greyhound welfare remains at the heart of British greyhound racing.

Under the scheme, owners are required to pay a £200 GRS payment at the same time as registering their greyhound with GBGB. 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 full bond is unlocked when a greyhound enters an approved homing centre which helps with costs associated with a greyhound’s retirement, such as kennelling, feeding and caring for the greyhound until its forever home is found.

To give owners time to adjust to the GRS, during the first year there has been a special dispensation allowing them to pay £100 at the point of registration. Many owners with greyhounds registered prior to the introduction of the GRS have voluntarily signed up for the scheme, meaning that their greyhounds will also benefit from GBGB’s GRS contribution on their retirement.

In the ten months since the scheme’s launch, over 2,500 retired racing greyhounds have benefited from the GRS and the vast majority have already settled into their new homes thanks to GBGB’s network of 130 approved homing centres. This includes Dogs Trust and Greyhound Trust branches, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and many outstanding independent charities throughout the UK.

As well as the 2,500 retired greyhounds who have already accessed their GRS bond, over 7,000  racing greyhounds are now registered for the scheme.

Paula Beniston, GBGB Greyhound Retirement Scheme Co-ordinator, said:

“We are delighted to have reached the significant milestone of contributing £1million of funding to the GRS. Combined with the owners’ contribution at the point of their greyhound’s registration, this funding has gone directly to homing charities to support their all-important work.

“With the popularity of the breed increasing and more people finding out what fantastic pets greyhounds make, we are now in the position where our retirees are moving very quickly through homing charities and into their forever homes. In some cases, homing charities have a waiting list of prospective families which is wonderful news for our industry.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in making the first ten months of the scheme such a huge success, including owners, trainers and homing charities who do an incredible job finding the perfect homes for our retired athletes.”