The welfare, as it is today, first opened kennels for retired racing greyhounds in February 1995. At that time the idea of opening a homing kennel was much ‘frowned upon’ by the establishment and those people supposedly in the know. But Pat knew what she wanted, and knew that this was the way forward in the effort to re-home more retired greyhounds, Suffice to say, Pat had to fight more than one battle to overcome the objections, and it is a testimony to her determination that others have now followed her lead.
In case you were wondering what happed prior to the opening of these kennels, this is how it worked. Pat Bannister had been re-homing retired greyhounds since about 1980, almost solely by word of mouth. Dogs were kept at kennels dotted about the country side and were largely ‘selected’ on behalf of potential new owners based on their circumstances etc. The dogs were then delivered to their new homes by one of the Welfare’s volunteer home-finders. Pat’s knowledge of dogs and people meant that very few Greyhounds had to be returned to the kennels to wait for their special person. Then, as now, it was a question of finding the right dog for a particular home, and the right home for a particular dog.
In 1995, these kennels were located in Godstone, Surrey and on start up there were only six dogs. However, this very quickly changed, and at one time there were seventy three dogs in the kennels with more waiting to come in.
Today, we have kennels in Hersham, Surrey, and at any one time we care for 80 plus greyhounds, the majority of whom are for homing. We also, in August 2008 opened The Sanctuary to provide a special home for our long term residents.