For over a decade, Kay Mills has been a Rescue and Foster Coordinator for Friends of the Hound, answering the call, “I’ve got this dog that has to go” more times than she cares to count.
With endless compassion, she has opened her home to hundreds of Greyhounds over the years.
Around 40-50 Greyhounds every year owe their lives to Kay’s determination to make a difference to their lives. While Gypsy was her inaugural greyhound, it was Chloe who carved a special place in her heart.
As Kay gracefully turns 74 and bids farewell to her role as our Newcastle/Hunter Rescue Coordinator, she leaves a legacy of unwavering devotion to these magnificent creatures. Originally from Newcastle, Kay now finds solace in the embrace of Lake Macquarie, where she plans to savour life at a gentler pace.
Kay’s memories include rescuing a dog from deplorable conditions, so malodorous that a pit-stop for a bath was necessary before continuing the journey home. She poignantly reminds us, “Once a dog steps off the racing track, the trainers often don’t invest in their well-being”.
With an unparalleled wealth of experience from taking in countless hounds, Kay developed a time-tested approach to ease their transition from the racetrack to a loving home. “I rely on my instincts to guide the process,” she shares. “Muzzles and leads are essential initially, ensuring the dogs stay close as they settle into their new environment. The muzzle comes off when I’m assured they’ll get along with the other animals in the house. They remain on a lead until trust is established.”
When adoption applications arrive, Kay meticulously studies the particulars, advising prospective families on which hound would fit best with their lifestyle, considering factors like environment, work hours, temperament, and the presence of children.
She imparts two fundamental pieces of advice to new adopters: first, allow the dog a few days to settle before introducing them to the neighbourhood, and second, respect their need for downtime, with their bed serving as a sanctuary.
Kay, driven by a profound commitment to the dogs’ well-being, has at times declined adoptions, as in the case of a hound destined solely for outdoor living. Kay ensured that each placement was a lifelong success for both the hound and their adoptingfamily.
In Kay’s eyes, the key to a harmonious Greyhound-human bond lies in demystifying their daily needs. She champions the understanding that owning a 60km per hour “couch potato” is a unique and enriching experience.
Kay attended many promotional events around the Hunter region promoting FOTH and Greyhound adoption, including educational speeches at schools and university campus open days.
As Kay prepares for retirement from rescue, she contemplates a future of occasional dog sitting and, more importantly, travel. Her culinary prowess will flourish as she crafts preserves, pickles, jams, and her signature creation—Prunes in Port. (Yum!)
Friends of the Hound extends profound gratitude and thanks for Kay’s tireless dedication, wishing her a retirement filled with contentment and joy. Kay leaves us with a playful warning: “Greyhounds are addictive—proceed with caution!”
Friends of the Hound will continue our presence in the Newcastle/Hunter region, on a smaller scale.
If you are interested in adopting a gorgeous Greyhound or helping FOTH by fostering or volunteering please contact us at email@example.com