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October is a special month for Greyhound Rescue as the charity is raising much-needed funds for a new facility for rescue greyhounds. Here, the passionate and hard-working Greyhound Rescue President, Nat Panzarino, tells The Weekend Bulletin what led her to advocate for these special and magical dogs.

"My love of greyhounds began unexpectedly, as most infatuations tend to do. It was 2010 and I had been without a four-legged friend in my life for far too long. As my now-husband and I neared the end of our home renovations we prepared for the next major phase of life; dog ownership. Trawling the rescue pages over a quiet coffee one Sunday morning we kept seeing greyhounds come up over and again. Curious, as I’d never so much as seen a single one in the flesh in my lifetime. How come there are so very many?

As a person who needs to know the reasons why for everything, I did some research. Why were there so many if I never see them anywhere? Where are they all coming from and where do they all end up? The answer was nothing short of tragic. When they’re done racing there are precious few places for them to go. Many of them never get to know a life after racing.

So it was decided, we were on a mission to adopt a gorgeous greyhound. We found gregarious and gangly gentleman named Zac, who went on to inspire a whole lot! Not only did Zac serve as one of Greyhound Rescue’s ‘Ambassadogs’, introducing thousands of people to the breed and to the very idea that greyhounds can make incredible family pets, but he was my muse for my first children’s book “Pointy Pembleton Visits the Dog Park”.

Little did I know what that casual Sunday morning coffee while browsing the pet rescue pages would spark; a whole life revolving around greyhounds and Greyhound Rescue, my fledgeling family along for the ride.

Over the years as we’ve added more children – both two and four-legged - to our family, the passion to advocate for these incredible creatures has intensified. As anyone who has spent time in the presence of a greyhound can tell you, there is a certain magic about them that can’t quite be explained. Perhaps it is their calm nature, or their intuition to give quiet affection to those who need it the most? Maybe it is their incredible resilience and capacity to forgive, or their flippy flappy ears? I think the mystery of greyhound magic is an enigma.

What I do know for sure is that there are still so many needing homes. With animal adoption in general being way down as we begin to navigate this post-pandemic world that we find ourselves in, there are still more greyhounds needing our help. As the largest independent greyhound rescue organisation in the country we are facing a waiting list of over six months for hounds to come in to our care, and are getting calls daily not just from our industry participants looking to surrender their hounds, but also from other animal rescue groups struggling under the strain.

Whether it is at our Rescue Centre, Greysland scooping poop and walking hounds, or at my laptop raising funds, at an event at raise awareness, speaking in parliament to advocate, or running a workshop to educate; there is always more to be done. It is all-consuming in the best possible way. The truly incredible people that come together to help these hounds elevate and inspire each other. The time spent with the hounds fills your cup so that there is always more to give.

These amazing creatures really deserve to have the best life, and the love that you give them they return to you one hundred fold. I often say to people that adopting a greyhound is like inadvertently joining a cult. Their incredible magic permeates every aspect of your life, and you’re all the richer for having known them.

ABOUT: Greyhound Rescue finds forever homes for greyhounds no longer wanted by the racing industry. Relying on donations, fundraising, and a predominantly volunteer-run workforce, Greyhound Rescue plays an important role in helping hounds discover new lives as cherished family pets. It is a not-for-profit organisation with full charity status and all income is used to achieve its purpose of rescuing greyhounds. Every donation $2 and over is tax deductible

You can donate here: https://chuffed.org/project/noodles4noodles

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