Young hero saves two rescue greyhounds

Polish-born Sydneysider, Magdalena Legowska, who adopted two dogs from the charity Greyhound Rescue, encourages people to open their hearts and homes to this lovely breed.

Magdalena getting some hound love from Bernie. Photo supplied.

She adopted greyhound Bernie (now aged six years) last year and Elsa (aged three) this year.

“I’d never heard of this breed before. These dogs aren’t raced in Poland. I was shocked how poorly many of them are treated. I wanted to help out,” said Magdalena.

As well as having adopted, Magdalena volunteers at Greyhound Rescue’s rented kennels near Camden. This involves feeding, exercising, grooming the dogs, cleaning their kennels, on-leash training and showing them the face of human kindness.

“The greyhounds’ trust in volunteers is wonderful. I never worry they are going to hurt me when I enter a kennel. They can only lick you to death,” she said.

Magdalena said once she and her partner adopted Bernie, they had wanted to adopt a second greyhound: “They’re like chocolate. You can’t stop at one!”

“We finally did it and now have only one wish – that we had gotten Elsa sooner! Elsa has settled into the house so quickly,” she said.

“Bernie’s benefited a lot. He’s never played, run or socialised with other dogs before. He’s come out of his shell so much now as he has a friend to play with.”

She said Elsa encourages Bernie to enjoy himself at the park: “They keep each other company on the couch when we’re at work. She has even taught him to sleep in.”

Magdalena said greyhounds are low maintenance and by nature are very gentle. She said greyhounds are great pets because they have so many different personalities.

“Everyone can find one to would match their lifestyle and home, even a small apartment. These wonderful dogs need permanent homes or fostering in temporary homes,” she said.

“I’d especially ask the public to consider adopting a boy as they are often overlooked, yet they can be even more laid-back than the girls. All of them need love and affection.”

Janet Flann, Greyhound Rescue founder, said the charity’s volunteers are the life-blood of the organisation.

“We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers. People like Magdalena are angels sent from heaven. We have so many dogs needing care,” she said.

Magdalena walking Bernie. Photo supplied.

Greyhound Rescue (GR) always has over 50 dogs needing adoption or foster care.

“Greyhounds make great pets for all ages. They are 70-km per hour couch potatoes. They need only a 20 minute walk each day, unlike most other dogs, but will enjoy more. They have no doggie smell, shed little hair and seldom bark,” she said.

Adoption costs $350. This goes toward the cost of de-sexing, vaccination and a full health check. People interested in adopting should complete an application form on GR’s website –

Janet said the charity is always looking for foster carers who are willing to take greyhounds into their own homes. Basic training is often needed for rescue greyhounds, many of which haven’t been a pet before.

“Foster carers help these dogs learn about being a pet and being part of a loving household. We’d love to hear from anyone who’d like to take on this role,” she said.

Janet said because greyhounds are not used to being inside, they require time to get used to new situations, including household appliance noises, slippery floors and glass doors.

“Some foster carers decide to adopt which is fine. It allows people to ‘try before they buy’. Some foster carers have lost a pet and aren’t ready to adopt permanently. Some just want to help out with teaching these gentle dogs how to adjust to life at home,” she said.

Janet said the charity pays the full cost of necessary vet bills while a dog is in foster, while foster carers cover food, shelter and flea treatments.

“We’ll supply muzzle, coat, collar and lead. We can help with costs if necessary. How long a hound stays with carers depends on the number of adoption applications we get, but foster carers should be prepared to accommodate a dog for at least six months,” she said.

Carers are also required to meet and greet potential adopters: “They can always adopt, but carers tell us it’s great to see a foster find a home. Anyone who’s interested should complete a form on our website.”

GR’s greyhounds are de-sexed, vaccinated and heart-worm tested. See available greyhounds here

 Greyhound Rescue, a registered charity, relies on tax-deductible donations and fundraising to continue its work. GR is not affiliated with the racing industry.