The work of an Offaly greyhound owner with special needs has been recognised in a new campaign highlighting the work of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust.
Our People, Their Stories is reminding people that greyhounds make fantastic pets who transition from the track to the couch with ease.
Thomas Garry, based in Tullamore, has Down Syndrome and always wanted a dog that could compete at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium in Dublin. They acquired his dog, Twitter, three years ago when he was still a puppy. Twitter has since won in Shelbourne Park – and Kilkenny, Mullingar and Newbridge too.
Thomas intends to keep Twitter as a pet after his greyhound racing career finishes.
Thomas’ mum, Marie Garry, says: “Thomas was attending greyhound racing meetings before he could even walk. It’s a huge tradition in our family. My own mother looked after greyhounds and I was reared on looking after them myself. It’s not about money and winning for Thomas, himself and Twitter have such a great bond. They’re the best of friends, they go out for walks four times a day. There’s never a sound out of Twitter until Thomas comes out into the yard!”
The IRGT has helped to rehome over 5,300 racing greyhounds since 2008, with 853 rehomed between January and October of this year. The Irish Greyhound Board contributed over €100,000 to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust in 2017.
The main source of funding for the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust continues to come from greyhound racing owners, through a 2% deduction of all winning prize money which is then matched by the Irish Greyhound Board.
A further 58 greyhounds are on the IRGT’s rehoming list between now and the end of the year. These greyhounds will be rehomed as pets in homes in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Belgium.