26 September 2023

Prison’s greyhounds off to a flying start

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Tarrengower Prison in central Victoria is celebrating its successful rehabilitation of 500 retired racing greyhounds.

Congratulating prison staff and inmates, Minister for Corrections, Natalie Hutchins visited the minimum-security women’s prison on Monday (14 February) to mark the Greyhound Adoption Program’s (GAP) major milestone.

Ms Hutchins said the four-week Program was part of the Prison Pet Partnership between Corrections Victoria and Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) and taught selected prisoners valuable new skills to assist with their transition back into the community.

“For more than a decade, prisoners at Tarrengower have worked closely with retired racing dogs, taking them through a training regime to prepare them for adoption into new homes,” she said.

“The women take responsibility for feeding and exercising the dogs, as well as teaching them basic obedience skills.

“They train them to become familiar with stairs, noisy household appliances and being walked on a lead.”

Ms Hutchins said the GAP at Tarrengower Prison had been operating since 2009, two years after the Program began at Dhurringile Prison, near Murchison, in 2007.

The Minister said GRV provided food and veterinary care for the greyhounds and delivered weekly training for the prisoners, which had been moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Training and work programs play a vital role in providing prisoners with new skills to assist with their rehabilitation and help reduce their risk of reoffending, while also boosting self-esteem – giving them the best chance of being productive members of the community when they’re released,” Ms Hutchins said.

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