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Getting Sirius about Greyhound Adoption Program

9 November 2023

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By Andrew Smith

Sirius Graham’s racing career was short-lived, but the greyhound is now enjoying a new life off the track in retirement, thanks to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) Queensland.

The Zambora Brockie and Molly Anne product is under the care of Cruise Ensbey and Tim Veltkamp as part of the program.

The Milton couple jumped at the chance to take in the dog now just known as “Graham,” and are currently in the foster-to-adopt stage of the process.

“We babysat our friend’s greyhound for about two weeks earlier in the year - we both work pretty long shifts and it was just a really good option,” Cruise said.

“He’s shy but as we are sort of learning who he is, he’s slowly coming out a bit more and getting a lot more energetic.

“He’s a bit cheeky sometimes and he can hide toys but he’s great.

“This is our first dog together as a couple - Graham’s been fantastic, he’s really playful and really just enjoying the experience.”

As Sirius Graham, the black dog started in 13 races with a single win in Ipswich to his name in March this year.

With his racing days now behind him, Graham is settling into life away from the track.

“He just fit in perfectly, he was so calm as well and it was just like the perfect dog for an apartment obviously,” Tim said.

“Once he gets out of his shell a bit more, it’d be nice to just go for long walks and explore the city with him as well.

“Everything has changed since he’s been here – it’s been amazing honestly, the extra energy in the house and just going out for walks with him, it’s been so good.”

Run by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), GAP Queensland is dedicated to finding suitable, loving homes for greyhounds that have retired from racing.

GAP Queensland behaviourally assesses retired racing dogs and helps to prepare them for life in a family home, matching them with the paw-fect owner.

Cruise and Tim were inspired to adopt after stopping in at the GAP stall at September’s Pride Fair Day at Musgrave Park.

Sirius Graham is enjoying post-racing life as part of GAP Queensland.

“Just sort of going there and feeling accepted, seeing everyone have a good time and just being really comfortable with who they are was great,” Cruise said.

Tim adds: “It was wonderful, there was two dogs there as well, and they were so lovely, they were friendly to everyone and we just figured it was the perfect opportunity to get a dog as well.”

They are keen to recommend GAP to anyone else thinking of signing up.

“The process for adoption was actually pretty easy, we just signed up online and we got a call a couple of days later,” Tim said.

“We’re fostering to adopt where Graham gets to trial the house potentially and see if he actually enjoys it.

“It’s just easier for the dog and for us as well honestly to see if he actually wants to be here first of all.

“It’s honestly a wonderful process, plus the dogs are amazingly lovely as well - they’re very calm and relaxed.”

All GAP greyhounds are health and behaviourally assessed, desexed, wormed, microchipped and vaccinated.

They also receive a dental examination and treatment and spend time at GAP or in foster care to prepare for life in a family home.

“With more than 6000 licensed greyhound racing participants, almost 5000 active and named greyhounds, and daily meetings across the state, our mission is to rehome retired racing greyhounds right around Queensland,” QRIC Deputy Commissioner Natalie Conner said.

“At our Churchable facility in South-East Queensland and our North Queensland facility in Townsville, our team behaviorally assesses every greyhound that comes into the program and works to prepare them for life in a family home.

“We’re focused on ensuring that GAP Queensland continues to grow.

“By exploring future partnerships that will help us to expand our reach across the state, we can match even more families with their perfect four-legged friend.”

Click here to meet greyhounds available for adoption and apply to adopt online.