Meet rescued hounds – Interviews with owners of greyhounds with special needs or disabilities

One of our favourite things ever is stories of greyhounds getting rescued into homes where they can finally receive as much luff as they have to give – wanna hear some? (Hint: you do, they're beautiful).

Every year greyhounds and horses can experience injuries while racing that can disrupt their lives forever. We're also reminded that thanks to the inspiring compassion of our community, these doggos and horses can meet owners who care for them just as they are and help them live a full, happy life. We've interviewed greyhound parents and collected their stories of rescuing houndies with injuries and how their doggos made an immeasurable impact on their life, showing tenacity, positivity, resilience and a whole lotta luff.

This year, our "Nup to the Cup"We’re donating $5 of each Pets Not Bets and Rescued not Retired Hound-Tee sold, and giving it to Gumtree Greys, Greyt Greys, Amazing Greys & Elysian Fields Horse & Hound Sanctuary

Now, let’s meet the doggos


Meet Gracie


 Gracie the Greyhound with one eye in a pink Pets Not Bets Hound-Tee, lounging on her bed

How did Gracie come into her family's life?

Gracie was adopted through Greyhound Safety Net. She was missing an eye, her coat was in terrible condition and she’d just had half her tail amputated. She was a little under 2 years old, and in desperate need of TLC. We instantly knew she belonged with us.

Good food, plenty of exercise, and endless love and patience transformed Gracie into the gorgeous, happy girl she is today. Her high-speed zoomies are proof of how resilient, capable and fearless she is. Gracie's special needs have never held her back... There's a lot to love about our special girl. 

What are some of Gracie's quirks?

Gracie barks at us…a lot!She’s strong, boisterous, loud and demanding. She has 2 speeds- flat out and zero but flat out is definitely her favourite. She’s not your average calm, lazy greyhound!

What's Gracie's favourite spot in the house?

Gracie likes being outdoors, especially if it’s sunny. She also loves the couch and any human or dog bed inside!  She’s very food motivated and is always hanging around the kitchen. She’ll be there in an instant if she can smell sushi or a cake baking!

What are Gracie's favourite activities?

Gracie’s favourite place is the beach. She loves a good sniffari and is obsessed with car rides. A squeaky toy will start a chain reaction of digging and flat out zoomies in our backyard.

How has Gracie changed your life?

Gracie came in like a wrecking ball and turned our lives upside down but It didn’t take long to fall in love with her. Shes cuddly one minute and running amok the next. She brings so much laughter, love and joy to our house…there’s never a dull moment with Gracie.

What's it like living with a greyhound that has one eye?

Sometimes Gracie bumps in to things on her blind side. It doesn’t bother her, she just keeps going. If someone wants to pat Gracie, we make sure they approach her from front on, or her left side so she knows they are there. We are constantly in awe of how confident, happy and resilient she is despite her rough start. Missing an eye doesn’t hold Gracie back at all. She has an incredible zest for life and lives it to the full.

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

Do it, you won’t regret it, their love is loyal and unconditional. It’s so rewarding watching them leave their racing life behind, and to learn how to love and be a pet. We are strong advocates of ‘adopt don’t shop’, there are so many greyhounds waiting for a second chance. 

When choosing to adopt, we want people to consider the senior and special needs greyhounds. A greyhound’s age, colour or looks shouldn’t be a factor when you rescue. The ‘special’ ones will return the love tenfold. Every greyhound is precious and deserving of a loving home.

What's your stance on racing?

Gracie was raced with only one eye, it’s just so cruel. We are 100% ANTI RACING - SHUT OT DOWN

Which Hound-Tees does Gracie wear?

All of them, but we're yet to try Long Johns.


Meet Joshua


 Joshua the greyhound with low vision wearing a navy Pets Not Bets Hound-Tess

How did Joshua come into his family's life?

We adopted Josh through GAP Vic in May 2021 after seeing his very awkward picture on the website.

What are some of Joshua's quirks?

Josh loves to sleep with his head shoved into pillows and blankets to the point where we worry if he can breathe. He also likes to shove his head into every single bush we walk past and has given himself an eye infection on more than one occasion from doing this.

What is Joshua's favourite spot in the house?

Recently, he has been enjoying sunning himself to the point of overheating on our second couch in the living room.

What are Joshua's favourite activities?

Josh loves a walk at any time of the day and will wake us up at exactly 6 am every morning to ensure he gets his morning sniffari. He also loves to sleep and chase his ball for 10 seconds before collapsing from exhaustion.

How has Joshua changed your life?

Our house feels more like a home. It's the best thing coming home to a giant nose shoving through the door before we've even opened it. He brings so much joy and laughter.

 What's it like living with a hound that has scar tissue, low vision in one eye, and ongoing effects of a leg fracture?

It doesn't pose too many challenges. He is a little more conscious of people/dogs approaching him from his blind side and sometimes walks into walls and bumps his head, leading to the classic Greyhound Scream Of Death. He also has terrible depth perception – it took him 2 years of practice to be able to catch a treat.

His low vision can sometimes make him a little nervous, especially when we meet new dogs, and they come up to his blind side. However, usually the only side effect is entertaining: when he can't see his ball, even though it's right next to him!

What's your stance on racing?


Which Hound-Tees does Josh wear?

All of them! Sometimes, his leg will cause him discomfort in a Long-Sleeve, but we've developed a way to take his sleeves off without discomfort by putting a treat on the ground so he bends right down as we slip it off.

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

Just do it. They're the weirdest and most beautifully awkward animal and they are the best addition to any family. Don't let their size put you off; they're kind of like a giant cat!

 I could never own another breed of dog after this. He's so goofy and sweet and smoochy. Everyone who meets him loves him. Watching him go from being withdrawn and quiet to loud, weird and playful has been the best two years ever. 

Meet Beetlejuice


 Beetlejuice the greyhound wearing a grey & blue Rescued Not Retired Hound-Tee

 How did Beetlejuice come into his family's life?

Bee came to us through the amazing Gumtree Greys. They knew our situation and guided us to beautiful Beetlejuice; we had another hound with terminal osteosarcoma but also another hound who desperately needed companionship. It was a very chaotic household for a while there, but Bee has just been a beacon of joy and silliness for us.

We can't believe how fast the first year has gone and how comfortable she has made herself in our lives.

 What are some of Bee's quirks?

  • Bee has no concept of spatial awareness, she will step on, headbutt, charge, or jump over anything to get to food, cuddles or her lead. She literally cannot contain her excitement, and she usually does it with locked front paws!
  • She has the cutest little wiggle when she's excited. It starts in her butt and works its way up.
  • Bee has a little smile she does when she's excited and shows us her front teeth.
  • She opens the toilet door - yep, when she knows you're in there, she'll nudge the door open.
  • She has a judgemental stare. It's a head tilt and looking down her nose at you.

What's Bee's favourite spot in the house?

Where ever I am! Also when we move the beds into our room she loves the bed in the walk-in robe. Both hounds race to get there first.

What are Bee's favourite activities?

  • Cuddles. Of course.
  • Walks, oh my gosh, she is so excited when that lead comes out!
  • Hearing the laundry door open for snacks, racing to her bed for snacks, eating the snacks.
  • Car rides with her head out the window, destination irrelevant.
  • Zoomies in the backyard
  • Barking at the possums at dusk.
  • We've started daycare, and she LOVES that.

How has Bee changed your life?

We were struggling with the emotional toll of our other hound, Merlin, who had cancer, and we lost him a few months after we got Bee. Bee was chaos, energetic, joyous, laughter-inducing chaos! She barrelled into our home and hasn't for a moment let us forget that nothing should ever be taken too seriously. Honestly, she takes after her namesake, Beetlejuice – she is the cheekiest little thing, but that side eye she gives you let's you know SHE knows you'll forgive her.

What's it like living with a hound without a tail?

For us, it means being extra vigilant in using her other body language signs to note how she is feeling, particularly when meeting new dogs, people, and in new situations. Any jackets or coats need to be altered so they don't cascade over her bottom, otherwise, things get messy. We've also learnt that Long Johns aren't for her because she hates the feeling of it against her without a tail in between.

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

It is the most fulfilling thing you can possibly do for yourself, but also for dogs, who so desperately need love and kindness after being born as just a commodity for the racing industry. I think the stereotypes around greyhounds are shifting, there is so much more awareness now and it's clear they are just the most wonderful creatures. And great for such a range of family dynamics and households. If you can, do.

Since adopting greyhounds, I've learnt so much about the racing industry and the horrors greyhounds endure. I've also learnt a lot about volunteering and advocacy for greyhounds and how hard people work to fight the good fight. For rescued doggos to be so loving and have so much joy is a testament to their resilience. I think it's also important not to romanticise the process; a lot of doggos come with trauma and it can be hard work, but I'll never have another breed. My houndies are one of my greatest sources of joy.

What's your stance on racing?

It's abhorrent. I never realised until we started adopting greyhounds the horrible world greys are saved from. We're very anti-racing in our house, and anyone who asks if they're 'ex-racers' we say they are RESCUED and living the good life away from that.

Meet Freddie


Freddie the greyhound wearing a grey & blue Rescued Not Retired Hound-Tee

How did Freddie come into his family's life?

We lost our dear older hound Masey Bean to osteosarcoma. Our remaining greyhound baby became very lonely, and we knew that Gumtree Greys desperately needed foster carers so we decided to foster a year ago. We obviously foster failed, and he's staying forever.

 What are some of Freddie's quirks?

  • He is an amazing hugger! When you kneel on the ground, he will walk right up into your chest and wrap his neck around yours.
  • He looooves going to bed. He will pretty much be in bed after dinner onwards.
  • He loves to play with a ball and is excellent at catching.
  • He has springs on his paws and loves to jump around like he's on a pogo stick!
  • He's a noisy breather and flubbers his lips all the time. 
  • Sometimes snores and does huge stretch farts in the morning.

What's Freddie's favourite spot in the house?

The very right corner of the couch and his bed in our room.

What are Freddie's favourite activities?

Playing with his rope ball and throwing his toys around the living room. And eating food!

How has Freddie changed your life?

Fred taught us that we can smile and laugh every day whilst being in the depths of grief after the loss of our first love, Masey Bean. He has been so generous with the love he gives us. There is something quite unique with the way he loves and we are sure Masey sent him to us.

What's it like living with a hound with a stump tail?

Fred's greyhound racing trainer surrendered him to Gumtree Greys with about 1.5cm of bone sticking out the end of his tail. It had been sprayed with purple antiseptic, but that is all the treatment he received. As his foster carers, we took him to the vet who immediately said his tail needed to be amputated. They took half of his gorgeous, swishy and waggy tail from him to avoid bone infection. We fostered him through his recovery, which thankfully had no setbacks.

Freddie's little tail doesn't cause many issues for him. It's a little sensitive to touch, and he will scream if he sits on it wrong. We find it quite endearing and think it suits his personality. We occasionally miss his beautiful, swishy tail that he had, but can't really imagine him any other way now. He wags his little tail furiously, which is adorable. It has also grown quite long fur on the tip, which swishes around gloriously when he zoomies and does his little cow jumps.

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

I would say that greyhounds are very special and unique. They do not suit everyone. But there is something just so special and wonderful about taking in a rescue hound and watching them blossom over the years. It's like your love, care and patience is the medicine to heal the hurts of their past. 

After losing Masey Bean, I wasn't sure if I would fall that deeply in love again. But Freddie has just blown me away and swept me off my feet. He's added another piece to my heart that I didn't know was missing. If you need the most special of friends, adopt a greyhound.

What's your stance on racing?

One million per cent anti-racing.

Meet Manny

Manny the greyhound with a stub tail wearing a red Rescued Not Retired Hound-Tee

 How did Manny come into his family's life?

We put an application into Gumtree Greys. In 2020, they advised us they had found us a suitable dog. Manny was just perfect for us.

When he was rescued by Gumtree Greys, his foster mother took a photo, and he wasn't in good condition. The first thing they had to do was to give him a bath as he smelt so much and was filthy. He was missing a lot of fur on his bum and rear legs.

What are some of Manny's quirks?

  • He keeps gentlemen's hours, doesn't get up and have a stretch until after 8.30am. 
  • They say greyhounds are couch potatoes; Manny didn't get that memo. We walk 4 km on the Diamond Creek Trail every morning and 1 km around home in the afternoon. He has a serious case of FOMO. Where we go, he goes.
  • He also thinks floor tiles are lava and has figured out a weird backward prance to get himself out of the kitchen prep area, which he shouldn't be in in the first place. 
  • We have a 6-metre-long carpet runner so he can get from the back of the house to the front door, which he uses with much gusto.

What's Manny's favourite spot in the house?

His favourite spot depends on the weather: his bed with his cuddle pillar in winter and at night, or lying on the tiles under the air conditioning in summer.

What are Manny's favourite activities?

Eating, playing in the local duck pond and socialising with other dogs.

How has Manny changed your life?

Manny is part of our family, and we adore him. Because of his background, it took a while for us to earn his trust but it was so worth it. We adopted Manny during COVID lockdown, and having him around made a huge difference – we had Manny to focus on rather than everything else that was going on.

What's it like living with a hound that has teeth ground down to the bone, a stumpy tail and a missing toe?

Manny can't eat super hard foods like bones or goat horn etc. That's ok we give him raw carrot instead.

His stumpy tail doesn't bother him, but he is very protective of this foot with the missing toe, so he doesn't jump up on anything, and it took a while to teach him to jump into the car. Since he loves going out in the car that trumps his foot with the toe amputated, so it's not an issue now.

One interesting thing is that he won't nose his way through doors that are a bit open, he is scared of having to go through small spaces. And you cannot tie his lead up to anything.

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

Many Greyhounds like Manny have no reason to trust humans, but they are the most forgiving, loving intelligent dogs. Once you look into their beautiful eyes, you know you have to do your best to give them the best life they can possibly have. They will bring so much to your life, teaching a rescued greyhound about pet life and allowing them to make their own decisions about where they walk, and when they sleep and seeing their reaction to everything new they have never been exposed to is a privilege and we will never regret that we adopted this beautiful boy.

Every day is a good day with a greyhound around.

What is your stance on racing?

We do not support greyhound racing and would like to see it stopped.

Meet Scout


Scout the greyhound wearing a pink Pets Not Bets Hound-Tee

How did Scout come into her family's life?

My friend who works for GAP, was looking for a foster carer that she trusted. My friend asked if we could foster Scout, and I said if she could get Scout to my house in two days I'd foster her (7-8hr drive and short notice). Lo and behold, two days passed, I had a knock on my door and Scout was standing there. She was only 4.5 months and freshly amputated.

What are some of Scout's quirks?

She nibbles fingers, watches tv with us, loves a cuddle, and has lots of 'tude lol.

What's Scout's favourite spot in the house? 

On the couch or in the sun.

What are Scout's favourite activities?

Definitely going to the park! She has to say hellos to everyone.

How has Scout changed your life?

I am a nurse, and she's the best medicine to come home to after a tough day. Her smile and cuddles make the best out of a tough day. She's also shown us how resilient and adaptable one can be.

What's it like living with a hound that has three legs?

I honestly don't think it's any different to living with a hound with four legs. There is very little she can't do! We are just a little more protective of her when we are out at the park or on a walk.

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

If you have the capacity to open your home and your heart to a rescued hound, you won't ever be disappointed. The community is one of the most inclusive and supportive communities we have been a part of.

It doesn't matter whom you foster with or adopt from. A hound in your home means another life saved from the racing industry.

What is your stance on greyhound racing?

We are firmly anti-racing. We believe that as long as a greyhound is finding their forever safe home, we don't care which adoption place they come from. Scout is from GAP, as well as our other dog, Peggy.


Meet Loki the greyhound and Nugget the dog


Lokie the greyhound and Nugget the crossbreed. Loki wears a red Rescue not Retired Hound-Tee

 How did Loki and Nugget come into their family's life? 

In 2019, we knew we were moving soon and desperately wanted to rescue a greyhound. The greyhounds were getting adopted so quickly there, but Loki was having lots of problems with his tail so wasn't able to be rescued. We knew we had to have him, so we put a deposit down on him as soon as we had a date to move and picked him up the day after we moved!

Nugget came to us in 2021 after being found starving in the bush. Nuggie was in shocking condition when we got him, lots of missing fur and callouses everywhere - so it's suspected he was treated poorly & spent a lot of time on concrete. 

Loki and Nugget are best friends and brothers now. 

What are some of Loki's quirks? 

Loki is so goofy and so cuddly. If you're sitting on his spot on the couch, he will ask you to move using only his eyes. If you don't move, he will climb behind you and push you off.

What's Loki's favourite spot in the house? 

The forbidden couch which is now his sleeping spot every night.

What are Loki's favourite activities? 

Loki loves to eat, snuggle and hang his head out the car window.

How have Loki and Nugget changed your life? 

Honestly, we couldn't imagine life without them now. As we work different hours, they have given us companionship and company whilst being home alone. Loki and Nugget are the best company.

What's it like living with a hound that has a stub tail?

Loki has a stub tail – he was dumped at the pound by a trainer. They didn't let the pound staff know that he had hurt his tail, and Loki was left overnight where he had chronic anxiety and chewed it off down to the bone. Loki then had to have three surgeries to get it to the right length as he continued to chew, and the tip died as there was no blood flow! 

When he first came home, his tail needed to heal, and we weren't able to go anywhere near it as he would get anxious and upset. We brought him home and cared for it once the stitches were out, and he now lets us touch it. It's just a cute "speed stick" now that wags when he's happy or doing wees! 

If you wanna know how Loki is feeling, look at his speed stick! Now we just have to watch out when he shakes that the speed stick doesn't whack our legs. 

What's it like living with a dog that has arthritis, cruciate ligament disease and suspected lumbosacral disease?

Nuggie had to learn to walk again whilst gaining strength back. We thought that it was just the infection and weight loss that made him unable to walk, but he actually had really advanced arthritis, hips were just bone on bone, cruciate ligament disease in both back legs, and suspected Lumbosacral disease. 

His teeth are also worn down to the gum from chewing on rocks. Nug had bilateral TPLO surgery in January 2022 & we went through that recovery with him. Following this, Nug has a funky walk & now requires a wheelchair on longer walks. We wouldn't have him any other way. He is on a comprehensive pain management plan.

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

Do it. It's the best opportunity for you and the hound. It will fill your heart with love.

Greyhounds honestly are one of the most precious breeds of dog you can ever meet. We truly are so lucky to have them in our lives. Plus, the community is second to none!

What is your stance on greyhound racing?

Absolutely ANTI-RACING! Hate it. Shut it down!! Animal cruelty at its finest.

Meet Fernando


Fernando the greyhound with a leg brace wearing a navy with blue trim Pets Not Bets Hound-Tee

How did Fernando come into his family’s life? 

Through a rescue group we had fostered with before; they take in all breeds of dogs. They knew sighthounds own my heart and when they showed me his sweet face, I couldn't say no. He was purely meant to be a foster, but he stole our hearts. We’ve had him for less than a year.

What are some of Fernando’s quirks?

Fernando has so much love to give, he loves a cuddle and will try to plonk himself on or as close to you as possible. We also call him the snappy turtle, snapping the air when he gets excited. I feel he has many emotions but doesn't always know how to express them. He also LOVES following other owners at the park, he doesn't care for the dogs or us. 

What's Fernando’s favourite spot in the house? 

The corner of our couch so he can watch us. A bed behind my desk (which is where he is right now) or our bed. 

What are their favourite activities?

Snoozing, eating and snuggling. 

How have they changed your life? 

Fernando has shown us that no matter how you are treated or whatever your past is, you can rise above it, be strong and love. It truly amazes me with his rough beginning how he still wants to love every human he meets. 

What's it like living with a hound that has a foot & hock deformity?

Fernando’s foot & hock were broken as a puppy and never treated, causing it to heal deformed. He now wears boots & a custom brace to give his hock support to hopefully prevent future damage. We found out there is a 5cm difference in his hocks but his bad leg has lengthened out in other areas, so this will probably cause more issues in the future. If the trainer had treated him, he would of been okay but now at the age of 2, he’ll forever have issues.

Adjustments need to be made, we cannot treat him like Billie. We need to be more patient, take our time, do less physical stuff and more mental. The boots and brace help but they'll never replace a fully functioning leg. It's also been very costly but so worth it to see him thrive. 

What would you say to someone considering fostering or adopting a rescue hound?

DO IT, there isn't a day that goes by that Fernando or Billie don't make me smile with their quirks. Its corny but I love it: 'With fostering you let your heart break a little, so their’s will never break again.” It’s so true and it brings me so much joy. 

Greyhounds have so much love to give and boy is there something special about saving a life, showing them all the good things and showering them with love.  

What is your stance on racing?

We are very ANTI racing!

Does Fernando have any special requirements with his Hound-Tees?

No, we just go slowly & I support him with my leg when we lift one of his. 

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