Therapy dog targetted by council

Willow is a retired racing greyhound, advertised on gumtree as "free to good home".  When we picked Willow up 2 years ago in a petrol station just outside Geelong, she was neglected, frightened and anxious. To her credit, she now happily shares her home with small and big dogs, cats and chickens and only 2 months after her adoption became a certified Therapy Dog at her local hospital. 

Willow by nature is a docile and friendly dog who, after bonding with us and building her confidence, now looks forward to her daily visit to the local dog park to meander around with people and other dogs. Every morning and afternoon Willow along with our other dogs attend the off-lead dog oval in Princes Park, Caulfield South. 

Recently the  Glen Eira Council has taken upon themselves to trouble Willow and our family on a daily basis for the “offence” of having a Greyhound off-lead even at a designated off-lead dog area. This has led to two fines, to the sum of $500, for simply allowing our gentle Willow to exercise and socialise like any other dog.

We are now facing court because we refuse to accept Glen Eira Council's assertion that Willow is somehow dangerous.  We also believe that it is in the Council's power to declare areas where greyhounds are free to run.  We feel that we have done the right thing by liberating her from the racing industry and that it is wrong to condemn her to a life at the end of a 'lead, rope or chain' simply because she was born a greyhound.

We are seeking your support to help us defeat these charges and plant a flag for greyhounds everywhere.  Our legal fees are estimated to run to $5000 to defend this case.  We feel that if we can be successful here, we can assist other greyhound owners to seek equality for these beautiful dogs whose only crime is that they've been abused by the racing industry. 

The RSPCA has this to say:

“RSPCA Australia considers that any dog of any size, breed or mix of breeds may be dangerous and thus dogs should not be declared dangerous on the basis of breed or appearance. Each individual dog should be assessed based on their behaviour. RSPCA Australia does not support dog management legislation that discriminates against specific types or breeds of dogs.” - RSPCA Australia 

And the Greyhound Equality Society:

"The greyhound is well known for its gentle and loving nature. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has been effective anywhere in the world." - Greyhound Equality Society

We believe that no matter what breed, not every dog will behave well off-leash. Their owners are assumed to be responsible enough to decide whether it’s appropriate. As owners of greyhounds and various other breeds, we strongly believe that greyhounds and their owners should be given the same level of trust. New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania all allow greyhounds off-leash in designated areas. We don’t understand why Victoria is so behind. 

Together with our dedicated group of greyhound owners, we decided to start our own campaigns, and set up an online petition at:

As well as a facebook group for those wanting to support and follow our progress in our fight for justice: 

Willows's story is like that of many other greyhounds. Just another gentle, loving dog that wants nothing more than to play and socialise with other dogs and people. We felt strongly about giving her a new life and we know that all greyhound owners share the same passion for their dogs.

We are here seeking justice, not only to make Willow's dream come true but to support all greyhounds.  These beautiful dogs have already been damaged enough in the name of racing and gambling. We want all trained and domesticated greyhounds to be able to live life as a regular dog. NOT to be used for gambling, and NOT to be hidden from the community for the benefit of the racing industry. 

More and more Greyhounds are being introduced as rehabilitated dogs into our communities and these laws are now outdated and unethical. We are grateful for your support to help us stand up for the rights of greyhounds and address these issues now. 

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. Please join us in our fight.
  • Casini Tisseverasinghe 
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Lior Mileikowski 
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Caulfield South VIC
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Colin McEown 
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