A charity dog show with a serious message

Celia and Jimmy Fernie of Fife Greyhound Rescue
Celia and Jimmy Fernie of Fife Greyhound Rescue

A couple whose dogged determination has helped hundreds of greyhounds find new homes are to host a fund-raising event this weekend.

Celia and Jimmy Fernie, who founded Greyhound Rescue Fife 10 years ago, aim to highlight the plight of ex racers who are abandoned when their racing careers come to an end.

They’re holding a dog show at Caldwell’s Farm, near Collessie, on Sunday that promises to be a fun-filled event for both dog lovers and prospective greyhound owners alike.

There’ll be six classes - including best male greyhound, best non-greyhound and best ‘golden oldie’ - and the winner of each will go on to compete for the coveted title of ‘best in show’.

“The aim of our show is to promote the plight of the greyhound when it comes to the end of its racing career, whether due to age or injury,” explained volunteer Susan Mathewson.

“We currently have more than 40 dogs in our kennels near Kinross who are looking for loving homes.

“All proceeds from the show go to helping look after these magnificent dogs whilst they are in kennels.

“The show is a fun family day out - there are various stalls, including tombola, raffle and home-baking - but has a serious aim.

“We hope to educate people about greyhounds and introduce them to some of our homeless dogs.”

Celia and Jimmy founded Greyhound Rescue Fife in 2005, inspired by their own beloved Tiggy, who came into their lives as a stray.

The couple had never had a greyhound before, but soon grew to love him unconditionally and were distraught when he died of bone cancer just a few years later.

When they got another greyhound, it reinforced their view that they were wonderful dogs and Greyhound Rescue Fife was born.

At first it was based in Kinghorn but moved to Baltree Farm, Gairneybank, a few years ago.

In 2013, Celia was awarded a BEM in the New Year’s Honours list for her services to animal welfare.

Over the years, more than 500 greyhounds have been re-homed by the charity but there’s a never-ending waiting list of dogs needing homes.

It’s estimated that some 30,000 racing greyhounds become surplus to requirements each year, some as young as two years old.

The couple have a website, www.greyhoundrescuefife.com, featuring a gallery of dogs in search of homes as well as details of other ways of supporting the charity.

Sunday’s event, which is being held indoors, begins at 11.30am.