Five new gardens have been opened at 'Greysland' Greyhound Rescue's Rehabilitation and Rehoming Centre in Bargo.
Greyhound Rescue's president Nat Panzarino said the unique gardens were a major component to enable staff and volunteers to rehabilitate greyhounds.
"The more that we can do to rehabilitate them, the more easily they can be rehomed. More hounds rehomed means more hounds saved from euthanasia," she said.
The gardens were opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Michael and Kim McTeigue, the founders of SavourLife, who donated $50,000 to make the gardens possible - the biggest single grant the company has made.
SavourLife is a family-owned Australian company that donates 50 per cent of profits to pet rescue organisations.
Among the guests were Greyhound Rescue's sponsors and supporters, members of local community groups, as well as media personality and Greyhound Rescue Ambassador, Ash London.
The five purpose-designed gardens were created at Greysland by Great Southern Landscapes; three sensory gardens, one training garden and one 'Buddy Garden' named after Michael and Kim's rescue dog who was the inspiration behind the SavourLife brand.
The three Sensory Gardens - Splash, Explore, and Adventure - were designed to gently expose the hounds safely and slowly to new things while unlocking their problem solving and critical thinking skills, which have often not been activated in their previous lives.
Ms Panzarino said that it was key to build a greyhound's confidence in themselves and in humans to succeed as a family pet.
"These spaces are also used for de-sensitisation and counter-conditioning with other dogs, as many greyhounds have only been socialised with other greyhounds," she said.
Greyhound Rescue's kennel manager Kira Booth said a study published last year revealed that dogs that were given more opportunity to forage and use their sense of smell became more optimistic and confident.
"These sensory gardens will provide greater 'nosework' opportunities for our kennel kids as well as opportunities for them to use and boost their other senses in a safe environment," she said.
The Training Garden will further Greyhound Rescue's education programs and support the community and their dogs.
Ms Panzarino said that Greyhound Rescue ran a greyhound obedience class (GO!) to educated new adopters n how to work with their new dog using positive and force-free techniques.
"Having recently launched the GO! courses in the uncertain times of a global pandemic, we have been impressed by the number of people wanting to attend and we now have an extensive waiting list of participants and a mountain of positive feedback from attendees," she said.
The 'Buddy Garden' where rescued greyhounds are first introduced to their forever family and the beginning of their incredible new life.
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