GREYHOUNDS are too often left abandoned and forced to find new homes after their racing days are done.

But Oxfordshire’s newest greyhound kennel is doing its bit to change this and nearing its first year anniversary has already rehomed 21 retired racers.

The Oakes family, from Abingdon, opened Fairview Kennels to create an Oxfordshire presence for rehoming the breed which is often kicked to the sidelines once retired.

Now, with the help of Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust (LGT), the kennels in London Road, Milton Common, is working with trainers to ensure the dogs have a place to go.

Bob Oakes, who has ‘fallen in love with the breed’ and has two greyhounds himself, said its been ‘incredibly satisfying’ to have helped rehome so many dogs since opening in November 2017.

The 63-year-old said: “There are a lot more dogs racing now that are owned by trainers, so they don’t have a guaranteed home when they’ve finished racing.

“The other problem is people still don’t have an idea of what greyhounds are like.

“They see them race with a muzzle and presume that’s what they are always like but they’re absolutely not – they are really easygoing.

“Greyhounds are actually incredibly easy to rehome and live with, as they don’t need great amounts of attention and are happy with a couple of walks a day plus food.”

He added: “We always say they are the sprinters of the racing world, your Linford Christie, not Mo Farah. They are not on the go all the time.”

The LGT has rehomed greyhounds for more than 10 years and, before opening the kennels, the Oakes family often fundraised for the charity.

It was this connection which sparked the idea of working together to open the Oxfordshire kennels.

Mr Oakes, who also runs an accountancy firm in Wallingford, said: “It’s been marvellous.

“They only have to be in a couple of weeks and we get attached to them.

“Every home we find is a real cause for celebration and we thoroughly enjoy it.

“My wife, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter all get involved – it is a real family affair and we are all invested in finding them new homes.”

The kennels currently have about five dogs to rehome with more on the way – including five-year-old Billy who has been with the kennels since June.

Mr Oakes added: “I would love to find a home for our black-and-white greyhound Billy. He is a big dog and would probably need to go to a house where he is the only dog. But he is lovely and just looking for the right home.”

All dogs from the kennel are neutered and spayed, and have had all the relevant vaccinations.

For details search LGT on Facebook or call 07879844972.