News from the Kennels.
( The kennel team )
The most exciting event of the last quarter of 2019, not only for the kennels but also for the branch, was seeing the 4,000th greyhound since our branch was founded, leaving the kennels for a loving home and a happy retirement.
This is a marvellous achievement, was made possible by the dedicated work of our volunteers, past and present, the kennel team and the previously homed greyhounds, who show what great pets they make on a daily basis in their local community.
Ofcourse, greyhounds will continue to retire once their racing career comes to an end and we will continue to find homes for all of them that come into our care as we move into the new year.
So how did we do in 2019.
During the year we found homes for 205 greyhounds, that is an increase of 15 from the previous year, bringing the branch total to 4046. These of course are only numbers. The main thing is that another 205 greyhounds are enjoying their retirement in loving homes and giving their love to their new owners.
During the last quarter of the year, we welcomed Philip King to the kennel team as he joined us as ‘ Bank Staff ’ to help cover for staff holidays. As a regular weekly kennel volunteer, he quickly fitted into the kennel team routines, many that take place before our daily volunteers arrive.
Also during this period, we had kennel visits from members of the head office welfare team, whose feedback was very positive for the future of our charity. We were also joined at the last two branch meetings by Andy Gillon, the Trust’s Head of Operations and Welfare and then Annie-Jo Poole who is the Operations and Welfare manager. It was good to hear their ideas and share ours with them and we look forward to working with them in the future.
Another development during the last quarter of the year, was the kennels going live with the national computerised ‘ Anilog ‘ system ‘ which allows the kennel team to record all the hounds in our care, produce all the necessary homing paperwork electronically and produce monthly reports and statistics . We have had to purchase a new computer, as the old one did not have the necessary hardware to support the new system and due to the kennels location, update our router to a commercial one.
The portable transporting cages for the hounds in the van, that had served well for numerous years, were rapidly coming to the end of their serviceable life, so the decision was taken to replace them. With the help of volunteer Barry Pine, new lighter cages were produced that allows the safe transportation of our greyhounds and will do for many more years.
The kennel team would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy new year, as we look forward to continuing to find homes for our beloved greyhounds during 2020 with your help and support.
Roadshow and Awareness Events.
Stephen and Jane ( Awareness Coordinators )
Roadshows continued to take place throughout the end of the year.
On Saturday 5th October, we took the trailer to Stafford town centre. The event was successful in raising awareness with the town being really busy and lots of people making enquiries about the hounds. It was good to see a number hounds rehomed from our kennels, coming to say hello together with their new owners.
On the 12th October, we paid our second visit of the year to Walsall town centre. Large crowds turned out on a sunny Saturday with the trailer attracting a lot of interest. This year was the first time we had been to Walsall for sometime and the visits were really worthwhile.
We took the gazebo to Hilton Green Environmental Centre, the venue is only a five minute drive from the kennels. We decided it would be good to support another local charity and we would benefit from putting in an appearance. The event was well organised, but the turnout was a little disappointing. However, we were able to distribute a number of leaflets and raise our profile.
Heavy rain prevented us making our second visit to Cannock town centre on the 26th October.
Unfortunately the Roadshow planned for Bilston town centre on the 2nd November had to be cancelled because of lack of volunteers available that day.
On Saturday 9th November, we took the Roadshow to Rugeley town centre. Despite having to move the trailer three times during setting up, because of other events taking place in the town, we enjoyed a good day with the regular visitors coming to say hello. Prizes for our tombola were generously donated by local shopkeepers.
On Sunday the 17th of November, we took the trailer to the Hollybush Garden Centre. The event had been successful the previous year, so we were hopeful of a good day. Despite a decent weather forecast and having setup the trailer in a slight drizzle, this soon developed into a heavy downpour. After a couple of hours we decided to call it a day, we followed the ice cream van off the site with the £26 donations we had collected.
Finally, at the end of November we took the gazebo to the Penkridge Victorian Market. The market was extremely busy and we had a successful day with lots of interest in our hounds and a queue at our tombola.
In January we are going to review arrangements for the forthcoming year, looking for new venues and making application to existing locations.
Carole ( Walk Coordinator )
Our final GT Wolverhampton Greyhound Walk of 2019 took place on Sunday 15th December at Cannock Chase and was our Christmas walk.
Sixty one hounds and their families took part in the walk and enjoyed a cold but beautifully sunny and dry morning. We were so lucky with the weather as the previous days had been very wet and windy. On the morning of the walk the ground on the Chase was still extremely wet and muddy so we decided it was safer for hounds and humans to do the Parade Ground walk which is on tarmac. It was still very enjoyable as we had the beauty of the Chase all around us.
On the walk we had two Kennel Hounds, Punky and Crystal who are currently looking for homes. Their behaviour was impeccable as was the behaviour of all the hounds. It was wonderful to see them striding along so confidently – there were some who had only been adopted recently and it was lovely to hear from their families how well they are settling into their new homes. After the walk there were the usual sausages for the hounds with much lip smacking going on. As it was our Christmas Walk there was also Mulled Wine and Mince Pies for the families.
People were very generous and our raffle and sale of Greyhound Trust Merchandise raised exactly £300. A big thank you to those who have provided raffle prizes and to all who have participated and made our walks so successful this year.
As I have said previously the walks are in part a social event but they do help us to raise awareness about these amazing hounds and the superb companions they make. There is no doubt that with their gentle and loving nature Greyhounds really do steal your heart. Please keep an eye on our Website where the Greyhound Walk dates for 2020 will be advertised by the end of January both on the Events Page and on Facebook. Thank you again for supporting our walks - we look forward to seeing both familiar and new faces next year – you will all be most welcome. Have a very Happy New Year.
Alison ( Volunteer Coordinator )
So goodbye 2019 and welcome 2020!
As always the branch is successful due to our happy band of volunteers who help the hounds in numerous ways.
A few of our registered vol's have left during the year due to a change in location or personal circumstances, but as folks leave we welcome people into the branch.
If anyone knows a family member, friend or colleague who would like to join us please pass on our details.
Thanks as ever for all your support
Joanne ( Supported Hounds Coordinator )
Our supported Hounds scheme continues with Luigi, Holly and Murphy still happily benefitting from your kind sponsorship donations. All dogs are still happily in their forever homes enjoying life and all doing well.
All our supporters hopefully received their Christmas card and a little gift as a special thank you for your kindness this last year. The sponsorship renewal letters will be on their way again mid-March as another year draws to a close and another starts for our 3 supported boys and girl. The donation remains at £25 for the year and is so appreciated by both us humans and Hounds alike!
Chloe ( Social Media Coordinator )
Thank you to everyone who already keeps up with us on social media.
If you don’t, please follow us on Twitter @GTWolverhampton and follow us on Facebook at ‘Greyhound Trust Wolverhampton’.
We love keeping you up to date on the day to day goings on at the kennels as well as posting pictures of our lovely hounds! It’s also a great way for you all to share photos of your greyhounds happy and settled at home, we love to see them!
If you would like your photo included in our ‘Happy Homed Hounds’ gallery on the website then please email one photo of your hound to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short caption.Back to News