‘Good trainers are not the exception’

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THE greyhound industry is being defended by Advertiser readers following last week’s front page on heartless dog owners.

Last week Mandy Hooker, trustee of Northants Greyhound Rescue (NGR) charity, said good dog owners are the exception and many dogs are abandoned after their racing careers. She said some even have their ears cut off to hide their identities. She urged district residents to oppose plans for a dog track at Towcester Racecourse.

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This week Towcester greyhound trainer Robert Liddington responded to the story and said: “I’ve been a greyhound trainer for 26 years and I have never encounters this at all.”

Mr Liddington has around 10 dogs, two of which are around 10 years old and added: “I had them since they were puppies, they’re retired from racing now, but I will keep them until I find a suitable home.”

Tony Marriott, a builder based in Hinton in the Hedges, is working for dog owners Douglas and Sue Fagg near Oxford who are spending more than £400,000 on new kennels and endure long days to care for their animals.

Mr Marriott said: “Obviously there are elements in the dog world where dogs are unlicensed and there is some truth to what Mrs Hooker is saying. but only in some cases.

“I don’t think the whole industry is cruel.

“The people I work for are of retirement age, they should be selling up and taking it easy, but because of the love of their dogs they are up at 7am feeding and taking care of them and carry on until midnight.”

Mr Marriot said the couple are inspected regularly and that all but a handful of their 50 dogs are racing, the rest have been kept after retirement.

He added: “If there’s the slightest thing wrong they’re down the vets, no hesitation, It has really opened by eyes since I’ve work there.”

We have been asked to point out the cost of the new NGR kennels in Whittlebury is around £150,000 and not £350,000 as stated in last week’s paper.