Rásaíocht Con Éireann (RCÉ) / Greyhound Racing Ireland as part of its ongoing care and welfare programme has concluded a tender process for the operation of foster care centres. The expansion of its foster care activity in recent years has necessitated an open procurement process to create a panel of service providers. The panel now being put in place will result in foster care centres being available to RCÉ in Limerick, Carlow, Tipperary (2 no.) and Offaly.
Foster care centres are utilised to help provide the necessary care and welfare for retired greyhounds that are awaiting transportation to their forever homes in the UK and other locations. The preparation of these greyhounds ensures that the greyhounds at foster care centres are ready to enjoy a happy retirement in a domestic setting.
Foster care centres are also utilised by Rásaíocht Con Éireann where RCÉ forms the view that the care and welfare of greyhounds in a person’s control is not to the required standard. In such situations, RCÉ will seize the greyhounds and place them in foster care pending the permanent re-homing of the greyhounds. At the foster Centres, a comprehensive profile of these greyhounds can be built and a better understanding of a greyhound’s personality can be obtained by the fosterer which aids in the rehoming process.
Gerard Dollard, Chief Executive Officer, RCÉ stated ‘the roll out of the foster care centre model is a further expansion of the care and welfare infrastructure being put in place by RCÉ. The level of rehomings supported through our sister entity the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust continues to increase with 1,141 rehomings completed in 2021 to date. The foster care centre infrastructure complements other measures put in place by RCÉ including the care centre for domestic rehomings which has been in operation since July 2020. These as part of its priority focus to ensure that animal welfare remains at the centre of our industry’.
In 2020 RCÉ spent €207K in relation to the accommodation of greyhounds in care centres pending rehoming.