One of the best sights in the world is seeing Re-Homed Greyhounds playing; running at their full speed and playing with / running with other greyhounds; sadly however this is very rare sight. Greyhounds are bred to race; they are rarely seen as puppies unless they are rescued; and young, untrained or "useless" at racing greyhounds rarely appear.
What is seen, a majority of the time is 3 to 6 year old, professional and highly trained greyhounds that only know one thing; how to run as fast as possible in a race.
So when the Greyhound rescue centres get them; they receive many painfully shy; traffic afraid; racing weight (no fat, all muscle) Greyhounds who have never seen another breed of dog; in fact have never seen any other animals other than Greyhounds and humans.
Of the known 8,000 or so UK retired Greyhounds yearly, a great many will be left in kennels for well over a year; will be shipped around the country to different kennels in the hope of getting rehomed; and the ones that are lucky enough to find their forever home will be loved and cared for - but may never, ever be allowed to run free; off lead again.
Why?! Because they have been trained to race; to catch a "rabbit" and their instinct, albeit "learned" is to chase a rabbit; small dog; cat; etc. Retired Greyhound Rescue centres will regularily tell you - "do not let your dog run free; he may not come back; his recall if he is running is nil; he will eventually run out of steam but by then he maybe so far away neither he nor you can see or hear each other". If you have a large back garden, great but many Greyhound owners do not.
This is where you come in.
Kent is known for its love of Greyhounds. There are many Greyhound Rescue centres around the UK, but predominantly the South East of the UK has significantly more.
In quite a number of locations around the UK, plots of land have been leased, rented or purchased for the use of dog runs. Privately run dog runs, that are securely fenced off and dog owners pay to use them per 30 minutes. There are 2 or 3 in North Kent but none in the Mid or South of Kent.
As a Greyhound owner myself, our dog is 6.5 years old and for 6 years of his life he was racing, out to stud for 2 years and in 2 Greyhound rescue centres for a year until we found him and gave him his forever home. He is a beautiful, handsome boy. He wil never be able to run free because he has been trained by one of the best trainers in the UK to do one thing - win.
Living in Folkestone we have the North Downs as our backdrop and dotted around Folkestone we have 3 free, council run dog runs. The only problem with these runs is that they are usually in a state of dis-repair (not good for a recently freed Greyhound); broken fences (another problem); low fences (which a Greyhound can jump) and all dogs are welcome - so getting in there with just a Greyhound for 30 minutes (even muzzled) is an impossible task.
There is a predominantly large population of Greyhound owners in and around Folkestone; who can be seen walking the streets with their dogs; can be seen occasionally on the hills where I walk my dog and although I have not heard of late, used to frequent a council run dog run (Sunday mornings) by themselves (many greyhounds and owners) letting their dogs run as a pack - which they love (the noise of their feet is said to be akin to bulls in stampede) and is an amazing sight to behold.
I am proposing to acquire a plot of land in or around the Folkestone area; to be predominantly used as a Greyhound run (although other dog breeds will be welcome (just not at the same time as Greyhounds - unless they get on)) which will be securely double fenced (10 foot high) and will utilise a coded gate entry system (customer pays for use and code is sent to phone or pc).
The land would not be prime location land (high cost) but land that has been forgotten or is more rural (maybe on the edge of protected areas). The fencing would be acquired at a discounted (if not charitable rate) and erected by contractors / helping hands, expert in this field. The fenced land would require 2 gates - both with a coded entry system (that could be emergency overridden). The coded system would be very much like the system available on car jet wash systems (where an auto-generated code is provided).
With the funds raised the land could either be purchased, leased or rented; fencing acquired and erected (contractors or helping hands) and a professional team bought in to install a secure, coded gate system. A website would be set up to explain and advertise the service, with an ecommerce solution that would allow payments to be made and codes to be generated. The land to be acquired would have to be approx. 200ft by 100ft although larger plots would be considered.
The short term plan is raise enough funding fast enough to complete the project and to enjoy the benefits of the dog run. The long term plan is to expand the dog run idea across the mid and south of Kent, along the coast into east sussex and to integrate our idea into the current dog run projects around the UK.
Should sufficient funding be acquired in a short enough timescale and the subsequent idea becomes a success, then the idea would be to extend the scope of Greyhound dog runs beyond the Folkestone are into other areas of South and Mid Kent.