Have you ever met a greyhound? If you’re like most people, the answer will be “no,” and you’ll envision a dog racing around a track chasing a lure they’ll never catch.
But the reality is that greyhounds are gentle, passive, wonderful pets – a rare breed that’s capable of running short distances at more than 60kmh, and then lying down for a 16 hour nap.
And when a racing greyhound retires, all they really want is a loving home and a lap they can rest their head in. But the public’s perception of the dogs was preventing people from adopting them, with more greyhounds than homes to take them in.
Research found that when somebody interacted with a greyhound, their prejudices about the breed were almost instantly forgotten. Our primary audience was people who would appreciate attributes of greyhounds – adaptable, curious, low-maintenance and placid – in a non-racing environment – largely retirees and inner city couples.
Our guiding creative insight became “Every Greyhound Has a Story” – a way to facilitate that connection between potential owner and pet. We created a unique photographic exhibition tracing the greyhound’s journey from track to home.
A record 536 former racing greyhounds found new homes under GAP in 2013-2014, with the average number of greyhounds adopted increasing from 32 to 50 per month in 2014. 200 greyhounds were adopted in the three months following the exhibition.
Every Greyhound Has a Story continues to be the communications platform for all communications and the exhibition is now on a travelling roadshow around regional Victoria.
There are now more adopters than greyhounds in the program; in 2015 the program has now increased its intake of ex-racing greyhounds from 18 to 40 per week to keep up with the soaring demand.
See the video here: http://vimeo.com/95060878