Greyhound Adoption Programme

Thinking about adopting a greyhound?

Greyhounds make wonderful pets and many New Zealanders have welcomed greyhounds into their family homes and hearts. These super friendly, sweet-natured and intelligent dogs are hard to resist and easier to care for than you may think, with many becoming inner city apartment dwellers. But don’t just take our word for it – a 2022 survey of greyhound pet owners found over 99% of participants would recommend having a greyhounds as a pet.

If you're thinking about adopting a greyhound and want to know how? CLICK HERE Or if you want to find out more about New Zealand’s leading racing industry rehoming programme, then keep reading...

Modern greyhound racing puts animal welfare at the heart of everything it does – here are some facts that you may be unaware of:

- Since its Euthanasia Policy was implemented in November 2022, Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) has the NZ racing industry’s strictest rules on euthanasia which are closely monitored by the Racing Integrity Board.
- No greyhound may be euthanised unless recommended by a veterinarian on humane grounds.
- GRNZ is committed to providing the racing industry’s greyhounds with the opportunity to live out their lives on the couch as a pet – regardless of whether they are a retired champion or have never raced at all.
- GRNZ has found forever homes for more than 2,380 greyhounds since the 2019/20 racing year and, despite the cost of living crisis, this year has rehomed more hounds than last year.

 Racing year 2019/20 2020/21  2021/22 2022/23 2023/24
 Number of dogs rehomed 136 665 577 481 592*

* Provisional number as at the end of June 2024. Note - statistics on the industry are included in Quarterly Reports to the Minister for Racing and are available to read on this website for those who wish to know more here

GRNZ's Great Mates Rehoming Programme

A greyhound’s journey to the couch begins with the Great Mates Rehoming Programme - which GRNZ set up in 2019 to give every hound the best chance of success in their new home. With six Great Mates kennels across New Zealand; the programme helps guide greyhounds transition from racing careers to pet life by providing the care needed to fully prepare each greyhound for their new life as a pet including:

- full behaviour assessments
- health check ups
- training
- grooming
- dental care
- vaccinations
- worming
- desexing.

Every hound that enters the programme is behaviourally assessed to see if they need any help to adjust to life away from the track. At their first assessment 78% of greyhounds are ready for adoption without further training, with the remaining 12% receiving training until they are ready. 

The Great Mates Rehoming Programme turns out well-socialised greyhounds ready to be carefully matched to their new owners either directly from one of the Great Mates kennels or by GRNZ’s adoption agency partners. 

More information on the Great Mates Rehoming Programme can be found on their website.

Adoption Agency Partners

Once a greyhound is ready for adoption GRNZ will advise its greyhound adoption agency partners. These organisations are specifically focused on the wellbeing of the greyhounds and placing them in new homes that are a good match for both the hound and owner. 

This is the work carried out by the small number of specialist greyhound adoption agencies able to meet GRNZ’s high standards in welfare and experience. Naturally this results in a very low return rate in comparison to mainstream animal adoption agencies.

While the greyhound is waiting for adoption they are looked after in a foster home, Great Mates kennel or by their original owner and certainly not locked up 24/7 in a pound.

More information on GRNZ’s adoption agency partners can be found here.

Lulu and Tyson, who have found new homes after going through the Great Mates Rehoming Programme