Abbie and Albus were kept in awful conditions and severely mistreated. Thanks to your support, they have had the chance to recover at our Hillcrest center and are now thriving in their new homes.

Katie Murrell

Katie Murrell

Income Generation Manager

What makes a dog particularly difficult to rehome? The two obvious concerns for a new owner would be behavioural problems, and of course long term veterinary costs. The fact is that very few adopters walk into a rehoming charity with plans to adopt a dog with expensive medical bills that are likely to continue for the entirety of the dog’s life. This, of course, makes it very difficult to find the dog rescue space in the first place. Most rescues are already struggling to home dogs with expensive medical bills. I know many people will shout “the vets shouldn’t charge so much!” but the truth is, running a veterinary practice with expensive equipment, expensive medication, it’s not cheap. And there are so many rescue animals out there, there would be no vet practices left if they gave free treatment to every animal in need. 

This is where our permanent foster programme comes in. I must admit, it stood out to me when I first applied to work at Greyhound Rescue Wales. The permanent foster programme allows dogs that suffer with lifelong medical conditions the opportunity to go into a loving, nurturing family home for life with all their medical bills completely covered by Greyhound Rescue Wales. It also allows dogs that suffer with particularly challenging behavioural issues the opportunity to live in an experienced foster home with access to safe, quality behavioural support and guidance.

In the last year, we’ve expanded the programme considerably. In January 2022, we had 3 permanent foster dogs. This year, we have 12. Could it be a sign of the times? With 40 dogs on our general intake waiting list, the figures seem to point at that possibility. 

Abbie and Albus immediately come to mind when we think about the type of dogs we are taking in at the moment. Once upon a time, it was very unusual for us to take in welfare cases. But in the last year alone, we’ve been receiving far more cases of cruelty and neglect. Abbie and Albus recently hit the headlines with their sad story. When Abbie and another dog escaped from their home, resulting in Abbie being involved in a car accident, the police attended the scene and tracked down their place of residence. Upon arrival, the police officers found poor Albus locked in a cupboard with no food, water or natural light. He was skin and bone. They also found a litter of terrier puppies locked in a room and their mother locked away separately. When the police sought us to help, we obviously jumped into action. Abbie and Albus spent a week at the vets, receiving lifesaving treatment from the wonderful staff who cared for them.

It became clear early on that the neglect they had suffered would leave them both with lifelong health problems. There was no question that they would need to be a part of our permanent foster programme. They are both now in wonderful foster homes where they will live out the rest of their natural lives, happy and loved as they should be, with their medical needs taken care of. 


As you can imagine, permanent foster dogs cost a lot. And that’s where Sponsor a Dog comes in. Sponsor a Dog is a vital part of GRW, and gives our supporters the opportunity to help dogs live long and happy lives by contributing towards their monthly veterinary costs. When you register for Sponsor a Dog, you receive a lovely welcome pack that contains a certificate, a leaflet about the dog you are sponsoring, a fundraising pack, a welcome letter, a GRW official calendar, and some merchandise including our unique Sponsor a Dog keyring. If you commit to more than £40 a year, you also receive free membership to our organisation and will receive our newsletters and speedy news via email about things going on within the charity. 

Sponsoring a dog can be a great way to directly help dogs in need. It makes a great gift for a loved one for a birthday or Christmas present. To find out more about sponsoring a dog, click here.