Dapto Dogs turn 80

CELEBRATE: Garry Lynch and [inset] Dapto Greyhounds’ Katrina Novak, opposition leader Luke Foley and area MPs Anna Watson and Paul Scully. Pictures: Sylvia Liber

It was the 80thbirthday party that almost didn’t happen.

The Dapto Dogs was very nearly euthanisedbefore it could became an octogenarian.

In the end though, ‘the dogs’ survived long enough to make it to its own party, Thursday night.

There to lead the hip-hip-hurrays was NSW opposition leader Luke Foley, unable to contain his gleeful belief that it was the greyhoundissue that brought down his former opponent, former Premier Mike Baird.

“Last time I was here, people were angry, people were in tears:greyhound racing had been banned,” a trackside Mr Foley said.

“And what a difference six months makes. The Dapto Dogs are still here, but Mr Baird has gone.”

The government’s bid to ban greyhound racing was the result of it having “lumped everyonein the same basket, and treated thousand ofgood and decent men and women who loved their animals as criminals”, Mr Foley said.

Luke FoleyMercury.

“Dogs used to chase a live hare. Kids were not allowed. Alot of gambling went on in those days –now there’s only one bookmaker.

“But I come here, even if I haven’t got anything racing. It’s Thursday night out. It’s like going to bed with a woman every night if you’re married.

“I think it’s got a good future. There’s a lot of good people in greyhound racing.”

Trainer Bruce Gale welcomed Mr Foley’s visit.

But like many at Dapto, he credits Alan Jones and Ray Hadley –and Australia’s legal system –with saving the dogs.

He never believed the ban would go ahead, he said.

“I said from day one they won’t win. Because if they get away with it, the law’s gone out the door for forever and a day.’’

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