A retired greyhound is enjoying a slower pace of life in the Isle of Man, after arriving at her new home with help from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Aspen, a four-year-old brindle greyhound, is just one out of thousands that are born and bred for the racing industry in Ireland every year. After a short racing career typical of the breed, she was left in the care of a re-homing organisation in 2019.
Aspen stayed in kennels in Cheshire where she was spayed and vaccinated until she was ready for a home of her own. It was at this point that Greyhound Aid League Isle of Man stepped in, arranging for her to be brought to the Island to begin life with her new owners. The local family had enquired about adopting a greyhound earlier in the year and had been waiting for a suitable match to be found.
The Steam Packet Company assisted by offering discounted return ferry travel for the charity to travel to the UK and collect Aspen.
The Island-based charity aims to find loving homes for greyhounds that the racing industry has no further use for, of which there are thousands out of the 10,000+ bred each year. It works hard to spread awareness of the plight of ex-racing greyhounds, as well as raise important funds to support its re-homing work.
Sally McMullen, one of the League founders, explained: ‘Greyhounds are the only dogs bred for the human entertainment industry, with many being euthanised, abandoned or exported once their racing career is over. The lucky ones are taken into rescue centres and re-homed but sadly, there are never enough homes.
‘We fundraise throughout the year to support our welfare and re-homing work and are very fortunate to be supported by a fantastic group of like-minded people, many of whom have greyhounds themselves or simply wish to help. As a small charity, we appreciate all the support and assistance we receive as every penny counts, and it is amazing how the pennies add up.’
Ian McMullen from Greyhound Aid League Isle of Man thanked everyone involved in bringing Aspen to the Isle of Man.
He added: ‘There were many people involved in Aspen's journey to the Island and we are particularly grateful to Paul and Marian Siddall, our friends and greyhound lovers from Blackpool, who were kind enough to collect her from Cheshire and transport her to Heysham, alongside their own greyhound Figgy for company and reassurance. After a long drive they arrived at the port just in time to meet Richard Rose, a local greyhound lover who kindly volunteered to complete the return trip to bring Aspen to the Island.
‘Upon arrival in the Isle of Man, Aspen stayed in foster care before joining her new family, where she is now settling in well. We’re once again grateful to the Steam Packet Company for its help in making this possible, and are also appreciative to Paul, Marian and Richard for each playing a part in Aspen's long journey home.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘It’s a pleasure to support this dedicated charity as it works to find loving homes for abandoned greyhounds in the Isle of Man. We wish Aspen a happy life in her retirement and hope her new family and our special Island brings her lots of joy.’