By Jordan Gerrans
Treating greyhounds like they are apart of the family has led a Townsville-based trainer to receive an award for her care towards dogs.
North Queenslander Jo Wooler was rewarded with the coveted Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Welfare Award at the 2020 TAB Queensland Greyhound awards on Friday evening.
Wooler was on hand after travelling from Townsville to accept the award.
The dogs in her kennel get treated like part of the Wooler family.
“We look after our dogs, not like they are just a pet, not just a racing animal either, they are part of our family,” Wooler said.
According to the QRIC, Wooler received the Welfare Award on Friday night for being a responsible greyhound trainer.
“Joanne and her husband Andrew have rehomed 12 of their racing greyhounds through the North Queensland Greyhound Adoption Program program in the past two years,” a QRIC spokesperson said.
“Joanne has had great success with her dogs in socialising them and winding them down prior to handing them over to GAP to rehome.”
Wooler loves racing her dogs, as well as finding them a “forever home” following their careers.
“We need to get the industry in a better light,” Wooler says.
“Previously greyhounds have been treated as a commodity at times, instead of an actual living animal.
“For me, it is very important the dogs have an after racing life.
“They are beautiful animals; you cannot fault them.”
Joanne has only had one greyhound race for her kennel so far this year, Blackened going around three times, while husband Andrew has a big team of dogs.
Sunshine Coast-based trainer Travis Elson is a previous winner of the QRIC Welfare award.
In total, Racing Queensland announced more than 20 award winners at Victoria Park on Friday night, acknowledging the remarkable achievements of greyhound racing participants across the state throughout 2020.
Click here to read more from the evening.