Aussie ex-racing dogs to get new lives as therapy pets for US cops
Australian greyhounds retired from racing will be rehomed in the US to be therapy dogs for ex-police officers under a historic new partnership.
Greyhounds Australasia and Greyhound Racing NSW signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in Washington DC overnight.
The new partnership will see the greyhound bodies "immediately" begin a supply channel for greyhounds to be delivered to the FOP's members.
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The dogs will be coached to serve as companion animals, similar to programs underway in Australia with the Australian Federal Police Association, and the Police Association of NSW.
FOP national president Patrick Yoes said US law enforcement officers were regularly exposed to "harrowing and traumatic incidents".
"This naturally has a significant impact on their mental health, and sadly we see a large number of our members suffering from mental health conditions such as PTSD and acute stress disorder," he said.
"Therapy animals have been proven to have a dramatic, positive effect on people in these situations, and the case studies from the Australian programs show the impact they have had on police who have suffered from PTSD and similar disorders."
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Greyhounds Australasia chairman Rob Vellar said the agreement would have an "immediate" impact.
"This partnership between two great allies is the marriage of human welfare and animal welfare, and like their Australian counterparts, I know the members of the Fraternal Order of Police will also see the huge benefits of greyhounds as companion animals," he said.
The partnership follows Greyhound Racing NSW's work with Greyhound Pets of America to help fill a shortage of the breed in the US.
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