Brushing your dog’s teeth

A great little video we found on YouTube showing how to go about brushing your dog’s teeth to help maintain healthy gums and prevent peridontal disease.

Italian Greyhounds should have their teeth brushed every day to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. See the Grooming and Maintenance page for more info about the basic grooming required by our beautiful breed. You may also find the Caring for an Italian Greyhound section useful.

The Italian Greyhound Cash Cow

With the news that Consumer Direct reported a concerning 40% increase in the number of complaints they have received related to the purchase of pets, largely dogs between 2006 and 2008, and 5,000 complaints in 2008 we are not surprised. Live puppies and dogs whether bought from a person or trading establishment are covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

The reason? The advent of the internet in the late 1990’s, prior to this breeders advertised their IG puppies in certain publications and these breeders were generally known and discouraged by responsible IG breeders. Sadly for the poor IGs it is now so easy for these breeders to sit in the comfort of their own home and advertise puppies or stud dogs on the internet, whilst some of the poor dogs being used to breed from are being kept outside, or confined to wire cages with no life other than producing puppies.

The Internet provides a false front, a flowery advert, directly aimed at making the IG into a ‘must have breed’ – miniature whippets, as delicate to look at as a piece of porcelain, if that is what you want, have the porcelain on your mantelpiece, all you will need to do is dust it occasionally, without the true commitment of a life with an IG.

On average 18 new adverts per week appear on the internet, common sites such as Epupz, Preloved, Classified Ads and many others, featuring pictures of barely dry puppies or only a few weeks old, being held up legs a straddle, fearful tiny eyes. Really loved puppies look happy and relaxed, but not these poor little mites and there are so many of them.

It doesn’t stop at puppies, adults who don’t have a useful purpose are advertised too, without breeding restrictions, inciting other unscrupulous people to buy an IG and use them for their own gain, with no thought as to their welfare. Even sick dogs with a fractured limb have been sold, better to reduce the price and let someone else have the problem and the vets bills, and even worse with inherited life threatening diseases, where an obviously ill puppy was advertised on the internet three times over and eventually the last advertiser said she was depressed, realising that this was the third time this 9 month old puppy was up for sale, we were able to do something about it and save her life, but we can’t save them all.

Of course the real reason for all the IG’s being bred is nothing other than money, puppies are being sold regularly for anything up to £2,000, money does not ensure a permanent loving home for the IG.

The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity reject as unsuitable many homes at the initial enquiry stage and a number each year fail the essential home check for suitability for an IG. Before much longer our delightful breed is going to become the must have accessory which past breeders and owners have always fought so hard to ensure this doesn’t happen with all the awful consequences that ensue.

We would like to see an amendment to the animal Welfare act to ban the advertising of dogs on the internet; you too can help by spreading the word to never consider buying an Italian Greyhound advertised on the internet and by informing admirers of an Italian Greyhound’s true needs and what they are like to live with.

Of course for the breed to survive we will always need dedicated breeders who really care about the offspring they produce and always keep in touch with their new owners to give any help and advice, not people who breed teens of puppies, how can anyone possibly keep track of 90+ puppies and be able to help if there is a problem if their only concern is producing yet more for money?

Our Used Stamp Appeal has raised £750 but we still need more stamps!

used-stampsFriends of the Rescue Charity have been sending in used stamps collected from mail sent to them and so far we’ve raised £750!

A huge thank you to everyone who has collected their stamps and sent them to us! Keep up the good work!

If you would like to get involved it’s really simple – collect the used stamps from your post (if you are cutting them out please make sure that you leave enough paper around the stamps so that they’re not damaged) and send them to us at:

The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity
Yew Tree Cottage
Near Orrest
LA23 1JT

Thank you!

Italian Greyhound Breeder Prosecuted Under the Animal Welfare Act

We are rehoming more and more Italian Greyhounds every year. This increase in the number of Italian Greyhounds that need our support is largely due to the increase in the number of home breeders and commercial breeders who take a less than responsible approach to homing their Italian Greyhound puppies.

Sadly we see puppies and adult Italian Greyhounds coming from the same ‘breeders’ over and over again – their lack of consideration for the home that the Italian Greyhound is being sold into results in the Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity picking up the pieces – and that is only if the dog gets lucky.

One breeder who has bred large numbers of Italian Greyhounds for sale is Susan Thomas, Francole Italian Greyhounds, based in Heol y Bryn, South Wales. Susan Thomas and her husband were successfully prosecuted by their Local Authority under the Animal Welfare Act in 2012. Read the official statement from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

The Thomas’ admitted to breeding 89 puppies in just three years. On the first day that the authorities visited their house there were 38 dogs kept on the premises, including 10 puppies. There were 12 dog crates in the kitchen area, which usually contained 2 dogs, that were crated over night and also confined throughout the day.  Conditions were found to be unhygienic and the number of dogs kept in the crates and the time within which they were contained was deemed unacceptable by the court.

It has been reported to us that Susan Thomas is still actively breeding dogs for sale and advertising them on the internet.

Please do your research if you are buying an Italian Greyhound and make sure that you are not rewarding unscrupulous breeders and puppy farmers for abusing these beautiful dogs.

A difficult rescue: Albie’s story

from Helen Lister

Italian Greyhound Rescue brings many challenges, but none more so than a young dog with a hind limb injury, compounded by severe behavioural issues. The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity exists for the benefit of all Italian Greyhound and Italian Greyhound Cross breeds so we readily accepted the challenge to undertake to do our best for Albie.

Albie came to live with me as his foster carer, so that I could work with him to assess, and hopefully address, the behavioural issues and also take care of him while we worked out a plan to get him the best medical care possible. We have never dealt with such a disturbed Italian Greyhound, and one who was in very bad physical shape.

Albie’s fractured femur had been pinned and wired, however, despite regular veterinary check-ups confirming that all was well with the surgery, Albie refused to use his leg and rarely put his foot to the floor, preferring instead to use three legs. After three months, while progress was slow Albie’s psychological well being was improving as I was able to work with him under the guidance of a Canine Behaviour Specialist.  His leg however was not looking good and Albie still chose not to use his damaged leg which was withering with lack of use.

Fortunately for Albie, I  attended a breeders’ seminar at The Croft Veterinary Hospital, Cramlington, near Newcastle ( One of the presenters was renowned Veterinary Surgeon – Malcolm Ness, who specialises in Orthopaedic Surgery, a golden opportunity to mention young Albie to him.

Malcolm undertook to reassess the old injury and we forwarded all the information we had about the history of Alfie’s injury to him. His diagnosis was not good – Albie’s fracture had not healed and the cerclage wires were loose, causing the pin to protrude into Albie’s hip due to the collapse of the bone. It goes without saying that Albie must have had a lot of pain, yet he never showed any aggression towards me while I was his foster carer, although men were a completely different kettle of fish as far as he was concerned!

Malcolm told us that we had two options: (i) that Albie be put to sleep to spare further suffering; or (ii) that Albie underwent more surgery to remove the wires and pin; perform a bone graft and secure the fracture with a new plate, which might remove Albie’s pain but probably leave him with a limp, and there was a significant risk that the surgery would not be successful and Albie would have to have his leg amputated.

The first option of putting down and an otherwise healthy young Italian Greyhound (albeit with behavioural issues) was a non-option. While surgery was not without its risks and amputation was a possibility, Albie had shown us that three legs instead of four were quite manageable as far as he was concerned! So, the decision was taken to go ahead with the surgery in the hope that Albie would make a good recovery and be pain free for the rest of his life.

Before Albie was admitted for his surgery we had a consultation with Malcolm, who seemed unconcerned about Albie’s behavioural issues, but who was very concerned about the swelling from the pin’s protrusion and the withering of his leg. All the veterinary staff were warned that Albie would not miss a chance to ‘have a go’ at a stranger.

A lovely nurse called Jess was assigned to Albie he was settled into his pre-surgery kennel. A tour of the state of the art veterinary facilities at The Croft Veterinary Hospital featured at the seminar so I knew how lucky this little dog was and how well cared for he would be.

Albie’s surgery was complicated, the bone ends were tidied up and a synthetic bone graft and compression plate and screws were inserted to his femur. He remained in hospital for four days, each day; morning and evening I received a call from Jess who let me know how he was getting on.

On the day that Albie was discharged, I drove up to Cramlington wondering whether or not Albie bitten anyone during his stay! To my complete surprise I was told Albie had befriended one of the Vets, Carolyn, a young lady who was also a trained Canine Behaviourist. But true to form he did on one night leave his mark on a Veterinary nurse who had her head and shoulders inside his kennel to clean it out, whilst Albie was free to wander around outside. He walked up to the young lady’s bottom and gave it a nip!

What a joy it was to see Albie walking on all fours when he was led into the consulting room. He hadn’t forgotten me and was very keen to show me that he was able to walk on four legs again! His rehabilitation was going to be a long process with short, on-lead walks four times a day, gradually building up his strength and walking him for longer periods of time .

It was amazing that Albie did not once carry his hind leg or limp following his surgery and he stood four square, proving what a wonderful job Malcolm had done to repair the difficult fracture. Italian Greyhound’s bones are not the easiest to repair being fine and long, and even more challenging when there have been some months and a failed repair in between.

Albie carried on returning to the Croft Veterinary Hospital for regular check-ups until the X-rays confirmed what we could see with our own eyes – that his leg repair was finally healed. Four months after Malcom had operated and no one would ever be able to tell that Albie’s leg had been fractured or the pain and trauma he had endured.

The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity will be ever grateful to Malcolm who gave all his time and expertise along with that of his staff at The Croft Veterinary Hospital to treat Albie free of charge. It has been an excellent experience for The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity to work in partnership with The Croft Veterinary Hospital and the Charity would not hesitate to recommend this Orthopaedic Specialist Veterinary Practice to other IG owners/carers.

Happily Albie was formally adopted by the Vet whom he befriended, Carolyn, and those who helped him overcome a difficult time in his life have now become his family.

A happy ending for a gorgeous boy who had a very difficult start in life.