Limerick Youth Service ha gone to the dogs, as it is the proud new owner of a greyhound pup.
Trainer Chris Houlihan, Ballyduff, has donated a greyhound pup to Limerick Youth Service so that young people can learn about the greyhound industry.
The children of Ballynanty Garda Youth Diversion will work with Limerick Youth Service and Chris Houlihan on this inaugural project.
Chris Houlihan of Cashen Kennels said it has been his goal for a long time to find a way of introducing more young people to the sport of greyhound racing.
“I have such a passion for the sport that it saddens me not to see more juveniles joining the training and ownership side of the business. I believe that this project will offer this group of young lads just that - an insight into all aspects of racing and training a greyhound,” said Mr Houlihan.
The Kerry-based trainer will train the dog and cover the cost of training and veterinary fees and Gain pet foods have donated feed for one year for the greyhound.
Louise O’Connor, who was previously involved with Limerick Youth Service during the initial stages of the project as an animal welfare tutor, said that the kids had their first visit to see their new dog last week.
“They have told me that the kids can go down as many times a possible to kerry to meet the dog and see him over his training.”
“The nights of the races one of the kids will be allowed to go behind the scenes with the trainer, where the vet will do all his checks and they will escort the dog out onto the track and put him into the shoot,” she said.
She also added that the kids have been tutored in animal welfare and will learn how to spot and care for injuries.
The project has been christened the Cashen project and the dog has been named Cashen Spirit.
“It gives the kids something to support, it gives them a night out where they can all come together with their families and support this greyhound,” she said.
Cashen Spirit has begun training and is expected to begin racing in Novemeber.
Profits made from the dog will go to Limerick Youth Service, with a percentage also going to the Greyhound Trust Board.