Adopted greyhounds make great companions for Roseworthy vet clinic
Harry, Barrett and Lilly have been playing an important role in the Companion Animal Health Centre at the University of Adelaide's Roseworthy Campus.
They are Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) dogs - the first such dogs adopted by the centre under an agreement with GAP.
GAP is an association that rescues "retired" greyhounds (they may be as young as two years old) from racing careers.
GAP usually fosters out greyhounds to homes after assessing their behaviour and suitability for households.
The Companion Animal Health Centre has developed an agreement with GAP to house up to four greyhounds per semester and use them for non-invasive teaching.
"In the time they've been with us, Harry, Barrett and Lilly have quickly become clinic icons," said the Centre's Practice Manager, Diane Whatling.
"Harry is a black-and-white inquisitive greyhound with a larger-than-life nose; Barrett is a brindle, sensitive new age greyhound; Lilly - the only female - is blue in colour and is a truly excitable girl.
"They're like our mascots in a way, but they also serve an important purpose: helping to train the next generation of vets."
For non-invasive teaching purposes, Vet School students can check the greyhounds' femoral pulses or heart rates and also listen to their respiration rates. Many students also enjoy social interaction with the dogs.
"Our students are rostered to socialise with the dogs and are often seen walking around the campus with them morning and night. When we first asked the students if they would like to be added to the roster, we were inundated with requests," Ms Whatling said.
"In the future, our adopted greyhounds will also be used as emergency blood donors in order to support animals with blood loss, due to haemorrhage or diseases. Greyhounds make great blood donors due to their easily recognised anatomy and stoic nature."
Ms Whatling said the Companion Animal Health Centre was pleased to be able to provide a good, temporary home for the greyhounds, but they will all move on to new homes.
"At the end of each semester our current greyhounds will become available for adoption. This is only fair - we don't want the dogs to become institutionalised but to find a caring home in the community for the rest of their lives. After all, we want the greyhounds to have long, healthy and happy lives, which is why we're working with GAP.
"Our greyhounds are micro-chipped, vaccinated, desexed, treated for heartworm and intestinal worm and vet checked - that's all done in-house at the Companion Animal Health Centre.
"Greyhounds make great pets and require little exercise, contrary to belief. If anyone is interested in taking on a GAP dog, please contact us at the Companion Animal Health Centre and we can arrange a visit."
The University of Adelaide's School of Animal & Veterinary Science runs a Companion Animal Health Centre (for cats, dogs and other pets) at the Roseworthy Campus. Open to the public, the Companion Animal Health Centre is a commercially run part of the Veterinary Health Centre.
For more information, please contact the Companion Animal Health Centre: 08 8313 1999 or firstname.lastname@example.org