On June 9th, hundreds of greyhounds and their owners will be walking across New Zealand as part of the Great Global Greyhound Walk (GGGW).
In Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and points in between, these sleek, speedy dogs will take to streets, waterfronts, paths and parks to raise awareness of the greyhound breed and promote greyhound adoptions.
The Great Global Greyhound Walk is an annual celebration of one of the most historic and recognizable breeds of dog, famed as much for their incredible athleticism and noble stature as for their gentle nature, calm temperament and legendary laziness. Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) will be hosting 12 events in New Zealand as part of a global initiative of mass-synchronised greyhound walks held around the world.
In 2018, there were over 200 walks globally with a recorded total of 6387 hounds. New Zealand accounted for 460 hounds and Auckland ranking as the 6thlargest walk in the world.
“It has developed into a huge outing across the world and been taken up amazingly well in New Zealand,” says Diana Anderson, General Manager of Greyhounds as Pets.
Starting out in the UK ten years ago, the walk went global in 2014 with last year’s event seeing walks as far afield as the United States, Europe, and even Abu Dhabi.
New Zealand has become a world leader in the Great Global Greyhound Walk movement with some of the largest walks, global winners for best individual greyhounds and best event and significant media coverage. GAP is nationwide charitable trust that helps find homes for greyhounds after their time in racing, adopting out hundreds of hounds each year.
We already organise a lot of GAP walks each month around the country to give our owners and hounds a chance to catch up and socialise, but the Great Global Greyhound Walk is next level, Anderson says.
Many of the participating greyhounds will be dressed in outfits and costumes in tune with an annual theme. This theme for 2019, which will help to promote GAP’s re-homing programme, is ‘Celebration.’
“This will be a celebration of all things greyhound,” Anderson adds. “These aren’t just fast dogs. They are the sweetest pets and owners like to celebrate them and tell the world!”
“There is certainly strength in numbers and it’s hard to miss 50 or 100 greyhounds in a public place. This colourful event is a great way to make sure this beautiful breed gets seen and gets the attention it deserves.”
The greyhound ‘Celebration’ will be paraded around the world on June 9th. Other countries to celebrate their greyhound citizens this year include United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Venezuela, Germany, Canada, Philippines, and the Czech Republic to name a few.