Characteristics of ex-racing greyhounds in New Zealand and their impact on re-homing

Thomas, J.B., Adams, N.J. and Farnworth, M.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-6226-0818, 2017. Characteristics of ex-racing greyhounds in New Zealand and their impact on re-homing. Animal Welfare, 26 (3), pp. 345-354. ISSN 0962-7286

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A small proportion of greyhounds surplus to the racing industry are entered into specialist rehoming organisations to be re-purposed as pets. Records of 835 greyhounds, from New Zealand Greyhounds as Pets (GAP), were used to investigate whether pre-adoption characteristics (age, sex, racing record, reason entered) and management factors (temperament test result, foster and trainer effects) had a bearing on rehoming success, and comparisons were made with shelter studies. Rehoming greyhounds as pets is very successful with 85.5% ultimately successfully rehomed. Only 2.9% fail as a result of failed adoptions, 11.6% fail the initial temperament test. Greyhounds were more likely than shelter dogs to pass an initial temperament test and be adopted, and less likely to be returned after 1 month. However, adopted greyhounds were just as likely as shelter dogs to be returned after 6 months. Logistic regression revealed the youngest age group (< 24 months old) were more likely to pass the initial temperament test than older greyhounds. This age effect was not detectable when the adoption success of dogs subsequently available for rehoming was considered, but a sex effect was evident with females more likely to be successfully adopted than males. Whether or not a dog had raced had no significant effect on the likelihood of successful rehoming. Greyhounds passing the temperament test with a basic pass, were less likely to be successfully rehomed than greyhounds scoring a higher pass indicative of lower prey drive. Further investigation of the validity and reliablity of the temperament test is warranted.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Animal Welfare
Creators: Thomas, J.B., Adams, N.J. and Farnworth, M.J.
Publisher: Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Date: 1 August 2017
Volume: 26
Number: 3
ISSN: 0962-7286
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 22 Feb 2018 10:40
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2018 03:00

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