Save the Greyhounds! Gentle, Love to Sleep. Best Pets Ever!

Save the Greyhounds! Gentle, Love to Sleep. Best Pets Ever!

The Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Dog Track Is Closing Next Year

650 Greyhounds Need Homes

Arrangements for the adoption of the dogs need to be made as soon as possible, says Anima.

In the ‘80s & ‘90s, Macau’s gambling industry began to blossom. The successive completion of dazzling casinos and hotels led to the flourishing of soccer betting, horse racing and dog racing, which has a history of nearly 85 years, and saw the development of the industry.

However, with the emergence of e-gambling, new games with higher entertainment value were introduced, and dog racing is now going to be phased out.

It was recently announced that the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Club (known as ‘the Canidrome’) was to move to another site by 21st July 2018.

Upon hearing the news, animal rights activists became concerned about the fate of the 650 greyhounds at the racetrack. The dogs could be put down if no arrangements were finalised before the closure.

The Canidrome must move out before July 2018. The fate of 650 greyhounds remains uncertain. (Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

As the dog racing industry is in decline, the number of visitors to the Canidrome keeps dropping. (Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

The Canidrome staff walk the greyhounds in the paddock area. (Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

A staff of 5 to 6 assistants walk about 30 greyhounds at a time. (Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Most greyhounds have scars from racing. (Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Edith and her husband Roberto are both dog lovers. They are also among the few people who have successfully adopted a former racing greyhound in Macau. They are working with Anima Macau to rescue those 650 greyhounds. “We have a close relationship with Anima. Roberto has worked at Anima, and has known Mr. Albano Martins, the president of Anima, for a long time. Albano has put every effort into the rescue mission, but has received no response from the Canidrome,” said Edith.

Albano (1st from left), president of Anima, has tried his best to work for the well-being of the greyhounds in Macau, calling for them to be adopted around the world. (Photo: Interviewee)

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Once Edith met greyhound Garlic at the Municipal Kennel, she stood firm in her resolve to adopt her, regardless of how many difficulties she would face.

“We are ready. We are only waiting for a response,” says Anima

Albano has contacted the Canidrome countless times since the announcement about the move. He has submitted different proposals which aimed to provide humanitarian assistance for the greyhounds. Hopefully, Anima could take over or assist in the running of the Canidrome for one year, and thus have enough time to send all 650 greyhounds to other countries for adoption. Many other animal charities agree that this would be the most practical solution. “We are ready. However, we still waiting for a response from the government,” said Albano.

Anima has contacted several foreign animal charities to prepare to transport 650 greyhounds to their countries, for example, GREY2K USA Worldwide (USA), Birmingham Greyhound Protection (UK), Pet Levrieri (Italy) and LED (France), etc. There are about 170 countries with a high awareness of animal welfare, including Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Albano hopes the greyhounds will be able to have a happy future in those countries.

Some people believe that greyhounds are ‘fierce’ dogs, but this is actually a false impression created by the dog racing industry. I suggest getting to know them in person, especially those who want to give greyhounds a home,” said Edith.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Edith has had Garlic for nearly half a year now. She described Garlic as a Chihuahua, with a gentle personality, and she loves her owner.

Every dog for adoption has its own license.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Each racing greyhound is tattooed with a number.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)


Garlic was adopted by a good owner. She gets her own room now! (Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Garlic gets along well with Edith’s other dogs, 2 Border Collies.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Edith’s son loves Garlic, and they are used to sleeping together at night.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

As well as sleeping, Garlic loves snacks.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Garlic feels comfortable in her bed. Maybe that’s why she loves to lie down all day!

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Other greyhound owners sent their handmade gifts from overseas after Garlic was adopted.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

A doll version of Garlic made by greyhound owners from overseas.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

An Ideal Pet with a Gentle Personality

It’s costly to send greyhounds overseas. It would be better if more Macau residents came to adopt them. A greyhound is an ideal pet as it is quiet and can get along with children or other dogs. It often sleeps for 20 hours a day and needs very little time for outdoor activities. These factors make greyhounds easy to keep as pets” said Edith.

Dog Racing Leads to Misconceptions about Greyhounds

Greyhounds originated in Egypt. They are known for their speed. They can catch their prey with astonishing speed and dexterity. That is why people think greyhounds are ferocious animals and would attack people. In fact, greyhounds are the most gentle dog breed who enjoy sleeping a lot, as we have seen.

In the nearly half a year (that they have had Garlic), Edith and Roberto both agree that a greyhound is the ideal pet. Besides their gentle personality, they don’t need much care either as they just want to lie down. “Garlic is a 5-year-old girl. She was still on the racetrack until April. Their greatest strength is that they are extremely friendly to humans, unlike what outsiders think. They know what is prey, and what is not. They may chase small animals, so owners should keep an eye on them. They are also called ‘Sofa Hounds’ as they are super lazy and could lie on sofas all day. Garlic gets along with my son very well. She sleeps with my son every night. I feel it is unfair that these well-behaved and clever dogs are often misunderstood. My husband and I will do our best to help them out,” said Edith.

Magic (black) and Honour (fawn) are greyhounds at Anima.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Anima is the largest volunteer organization for animals in Macau.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Edith visited Magic and Honour with Garlic.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Honour and Magic love playing and always welcome people with enthusiasm.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Magic and Honour were referred to Anima from the Municipal Kennel.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

Honour and Magic have been adopted by families in France and the UK respectively.

(Photo: Huen Wang Chun, Vincent)

An Adoption Programme that Exists in Name Only

Besides Garlic, we visited 2 greyhounds, Honour and Magic, at Anima. They were referred from the Macau Municipal Kennel. Like Garlic, they were ex-racers from the Canidrome with tattoos on their left ears. Although these 3 greyhounds seldom met strangers, they still welcomed us with enthusiasm like other dogs. They are good at understanding what we think. The Canidrome is obviously responsible for the low number of adoptions.

The Canidrome has its own so-called ‘Macau Greyhound Adoption Programme’, but it is useless. In the past 4 years, only 4 greyhounds have been adopted. So we inquired at the Canidrome about their adoption programme. Their staff said that the adoption process takes 1 to 2 years in order to domesticate ferocious retired greyhounds. He added that the adopter should provide adequate space for greyhounds. Edith believes that these misconceptions make potential adopters step back.

The procedure for adopting Garlic was very complicated. Since I met Garlic at the Municipal Kennel in January, I decided to adopt her. When I asked for details, the staff replied that greyhounds are not suitable for all families. I didn’t give up, and I handed in a long application letter. My application was under review by several departments. Finally, I could go home with Garlic after 3 months.” said Edith.

Edith added that although the Canidrome has its own adoption programme, applicants have never received any response at all.


We have heard that a few greyhounds have been referred to the Macau Municipal Kennel. Those greyhounds have a far higher chance of being adopted. However, the Canidrome has not disclosed which greyhounds would be referred. People are guessing that they were referred because of their suitability as blood donors, and that they might therefore be used to donate blood for other dogs in need.

In any case, the Canidrome’s tracks are closing within 1 year. Finding homes for over 600 dogs is not an easy job. We hope that the Canidrome, Anima and the Macau Government can cooperate and finalise the arrangements for the greyhounds soon.

Original source: Article and photos by Huen Wang Chun, Vincent

Translation from Chinese by Edith Lam and Cammy Man

English version edited by Isobel Deeley