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Ex-racing greyhounds lapping up Gin Gin life

Colleen Collier with greyhounds Chill, Forge and Rommy.

Seven-year-old greyhound Chill spends his days lounging around his expansive Maroondan property, a lifetime away from the horrors he experienced in the Macau Canidrome.

Chill is one of three ex-racing greyhounds now living with Colleen Collier, a passionate advocate for the breed.

She loves the dogs so much her decision to relocate to the Bundaberg Region last year was made with her beloved pets in mind.

“We moved down here partly for the dogs,” Colleen said.

“The climate in Cairns was too hot and humid and wet.

“They’re just able to do more, they’re loving it.”

Now in her 60s, Colleen remembers developing a love for the animals as a child and said tales of their mistreatment in the racing industry had stayed with her throughout life.

“I’d been wanting one all my life and it just never happened.”

About 10 years ago Colleen adopted her first greyhound from a pound and began the arduous process of desensitizing and retraining the ex-athlete.

“Even though they end up being very good pets there’s a lot of work that goes in for them to be that way.

“It’s an adjustment for them.

“These dogs need to come to people that know the breeds who can get them ready and transition them to be pets.

Greyhounds Rommy, Chill and Forge are enjoying life on their new Maroondan property.

“Greyhounds are also working out as exceptional Assistance Dogs for children with autism.”

This underlying passion was what thrust her into the campaign to bring Australian greyhounds home that had been exported to Macau and exploited in the Canidrome racing stadium.

She became the Australian coordinator for the campaign which saw 21 dogs rehomed throughout the country.

Colleen was directly responsible for rehoming five of those dogs, one of which was Chill.

“Our boy Chill is actually our family dog,” Colleen said.

“Happy to just lay on the couch all day, have his ears scratched, eat and sleep.

“That's his life and what makes him happy.

“Of course, an occasional zooming around the backyard is not out of the question but after surviving what 20,000 others didn't he's just content to be that.”

She said Chill was overwhelmed with the amount of space on offer at his new home and since moving to the region was loving his Maroondan pad.

“That bought Chill’s personality out, was just having space.

“He just sits on the couch all day, he loves car rides.

“So many things that just make him such an easy, well-adjusted dog.

“He goes and plops on the lounge, he’s not in your face.

“Just quiet and placid.”

Chill lives with the almost ten-year-old Forge and nine-year-old Rommy.

Colleen loves to share stories about her greyhounds to “let people see that these dogs are wonderful companion animals”.

“They are real couch potatoes!”

While she has retired from greyhound rescue Colleen remains passionate about seeing the gentle animals find happy homes when their racing careers come to an end.

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