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Wanted! Superheroes for special hounds

Marvellous Murphy needs a super fosterer

Could you be a superhero to a special hound? ‘Super fosterers’ are being sought by a rescue charity in an innovative scheme to give some of the dogs in its care ‘that little bit extra’ while they wait for their forever homes.

Greyhound Rescue Wales is looking for the right people to help rehabilitate a handful of hounds in a three-month pilot project. The scheme is a unique opportunity to learn excellent dog training and behaviour skills, with full support from the organisation’s team of experts. Fosterers will gain an invaluable insight from GRW’s Behaviour and Training Consultant during phone calls and Skype sessions and will follow weekly training schedules to help bring out the best in each dog. And for the three-month period, fosterers will receive a small daily allowance of up to £10, in addition to ongoing food and vet fees.

Greyhound Rescue Wales re-homes around 300 ex-racing greyhounds – some of whom are badly injured or have been ill-treated – and lurchers each year. Many find their forever homes soon after coming into the charity’s care but some, through no fault of their own, are overlooked by prospective adopters. Their particular needs have been caused by mistreatment, poor socialisation or a high prey drive, yet spending time in the right foster home is more likely to lead to a successful adoption

Dog Behaviour and Training Consultant Kerry Sands said: “Super fosterers will need a basic grounding in positive, force-free dog training methods and be prepared to follow a pre-designed training plan to help the individual hound learn about life in a home. Sighthound experience is not essential, but fosterers will need to be calm, confident, adaptable and resilient to the ups and downs of rehabilitating dogs with specials needs and/or challenging behaviour.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone wishing to boost their dog training skills and to improve the lives of these wonderful hounds, who have been overlooked by prospective adopters through no fault of their own.”

To find out more about becoming a super fosterer, please contact Kerry on 07980 853672, email or visit

The dogs:

Wonderful Wilson, a six-year-old black greyhound, is a dog trainer’s dream. Smart, motivated and sociable, he loves to be in on the action and is happy when he has problems to solve! He responds well to impulse control training and this would need to be continued in his foster home. Wilson needs to be in a home with adults or adults and teenagers.

Marvellous Murphy, five, is another beautiful black hound with a calm and gentle nature. He is a fabulous assistant to GRW staff and volunteers when it comes to training other dogs, often acting as a ‘stooge’ to help moderate reactive behaviour. He would be best placed in a home with children over 10 and ideally with another medium or large dog.

Super Cooper, a black lurcher, is thought to be about five and is a big hit with staff and volunteers at GRW’s Hillcrest sanctuary - in fact, he’s even had ‘Cooper’s Field’ named after him! Smart, happy and eager to learn, he’s a dream companion for anyone learning about dog training and behaviour. In need of a slow training pace with a gradual introduction to life in a home, he needs to live without children or cats but gets along well with other dogs.

Sassy Sasha, approximately four, is a three-legged lurcher following an early-life amputation. Her breeding is not quite known, although she shows some terrier traits! Sasha can be quite reactive to other dogs and needs an experienced and confident home, probably with no children, where her fosterer will be rewarded with lots of fun and her big personality!

Fabulous Fern, also thought to be about four, is a sweet and lively lurcher although, due to possible abuse and neglect in her early life, she can be cautious and hand-shy. She responds well to a calm and consistent environment and to boundaries, proving she is smart and quick to learn. She would fare best in a home without other dogs but would possibly be fine with calm teenagers.


Photo: Marvellous Murphy, by Jonathan Baker Photography
* Photos of all dogs available on request

Notes to eds:
Greyhound Rescue Wales was formed in 1993 and has grown from rehoming around 60 dogs every year to around 300. This is partly due to the success of its Hillcrest sanctuary near Ammanford, which opened in 2013 following a large bequest.

GRW raises much-needed revenue at numerous street collections across Wales as well as at its four shops in Cardiff, Blackwood, Ruthin and Llandysul.

Please contact Rebecca on 07950 060613 or for interviews with the GRW team and photos of each dog.