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PROVIDING MORE THAN A SECOND CHANCE FOR GREYHOUNDS

We are thrilled to announce that after a lot of meetings and a grant proposal submitted last year to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), Greyhounds As Pets has been successful in securing funding from the Australian Government's Innovation Fund to start a program at Hakea Remand Centre.

The Companion Animal Service and Employment Centre (CASEC) is an innovative program that links training our wonderful GAP dogs for life as pets with providing inmates at Hakea remand centre with the opportunity to learn valuable work skills, complete work experience and develop workforce participation skills in conjunction with job search and career planning.

This project is an 18 month partnership with Extra Edge Community Services, Hakea Remand Centre and Community First International. It will be the first ever major prison based project in the State to combine the well documented benefits of pet assisted therapies with workplace employment training opportunities to promote such positive outcomes for prisoners.

These employment ready training aspects mean it will be the largest program of this kind in the country, being operated at the largest Male Maximum Security Prison in the Southern Hemisphere.

CASEC has been created as a community service work site embedded within the prison confines. Each prisoner participating one of the six week CASEC programs will undertake components of companion animal training, workplace and employability skills development and will be able to apply these practical skills working in the kennels with the greyhounds. Participants will care for the dogs, assess and monitor them and complete a report on their dog's behaviours and responses which in turn helps GAP evaluate each dog before they are then adopted out as pets. Using this setting CASEC focuses on developing employability skills for the participants in a real workplace environment to facilitate, expand and increase employment outcomes upon release.

The objectives of the CASEC Program are to enable 80 -100 highly disadvantaged incarcerated job seekers to:
  • Develop an independent work history, employability skills and accredited training knowledge to achieve a sustainable employment outcome.
  • Foster engagement, hope and self belief to strengthen their abilities to participate in the labour market and community after release.
  • Build individual strengths by enabling successful achievements and formally recognising these.
  • Address complex barriers which prevent labour market and community participation.
  • Train foster greyhounds in obedience and thereby increase the dog's confidence in a new home environment and improving their adoptability as a wonderful companion and pet.
The prisoners were also involved in building the state of the art kennels. These were completed and fitted out in April and the first dogs entered Hakea on Monday 16 May.

Each six week program sees 12 different prisoners linked up with 6 dogs. At the end of the six weeks the prisoners and dogs will graduate with the dogs going back into the GAP fostering system to be adopted out as pets.

The six dogs selected for the first 6 week program were -

Name  Sex  Colour  DOB  Race Name  Trainer/Owner 
 Bazza  M  Black  8/3/08  Carnal Flame                  Ryan Levitzke
 Suzie  F  Black  1/3/08  Miss Suzie Sue  Christine Bennett
 Buster  M  Black  5/8/08  Did Not Race  Murray Worthington      
 Galway  F  Brindle  21/5/05  Spiral Tears  Lionel Hodgson
 Tom  M  Black  13/9/03  Wise Tom  Neil Gardiner
 Carlos  M  Black  19/5/06  Proven Chayse  Dan Biddle

After just the first week we have already seen huge levels of enthusiasm and engagement from the prisoners and the dogs are really responding well to the obedience training component of the program.


























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Facts and Trivia

Did You Know: Western Australia’s first official greyhound race was held at the Canning Greyhound Racing Authority in December of 1974 with over 15,000 people in attendance.