WGW’s aim is to relieve the suffering of greyhounds and other sighthounds who are in need of care and attention. In particular WGW provides and maintains kennel, refuge, rescue home and support facilities for the care and rehoming of unwanted greyhounds, and provides treatment for sick, injured or ill-treated greyhounds. WGW will never put a healthy dog to sleep. The specific objectives of WGW are:
- To promote careful and responsible rehoming of greyhounds and other sighthounds
- To provide a sanctuary for life for those greyhounds and other sighthounds who may not be suitable for rehoming or are not easily rehomeable because of medical or behavioural issues
- To provide ongoing support to our adopters, including facilities to care for their greyhounds or other sighthounds on a temporary basis after rehoming and, should the need arise, on a longer-term basis until such time as the greyhound or other sighthound is found a suitable home
- To educate the general public on the plight of greyhounds and other sighthounds, and to promote them as suitable pets.
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.