The future of a worthy animal charity which offers homes to unwanted racing greyhounds is secure thanks to a significant donation from Maxi Zoo Ireland.


In a year that has pushed charities to the brink, Maxi Zoo, Ireland’s largest pet retailer, has given a critical lifeline to Homes for Unwanted Greyhounds (HUG) through its Friendship Connects campaign which was run throughout its 20 stores nationwide.


HUG is a national charity that provides loving homes for the gentle giants of the canine world –  greyhounds that have been bred for racing and retired young due to injury or underperformance which would otherwise be destroyed.


Through Maxi Zoo’s Friendship Connects campaign, over €27,000 was raised for the charity to secure its future which was in jeopardy and allow it to purchase a new vehicle to enable more greyhounds to be rehomed and ensure the continuance of its responsible rehoming and due diligence processes for fostering.

Maxi Zoo has raised much-needed funds for Homes for Unwanted Greyhounds (HUG) via their Friendship Connects campaign which raised €27,194. The donation will ensure the survival of the charity and allow it to secure a greatly-needed new vehicle enabling more greyhounds to be rehomed around Ireland. The funds will also allow the charity to continue its responsible rehoming with the necessary fostering and due diligence processes in place. Pictured at the cheque presentation was Margaret Moran, volunteer for HUG.

Noelle Long from Maxi Zoo said: “Charities need our help, now more than ever as they cannot fundraise like they would have pre-Covid. As part of our on-going commitment to support and work with animal charities, we ran our Friendship Connects – Together for Pets campaign which allowed customers to purchase a bracelet in any of our 20 stores with 100% of the profits donated to HUG. It’s an amazing charity that works tirelessly to find loving homes for retired Irish racing greyhounds. We have the most generous customers who dug deep and we are delighted to have raised over €27,000 in our 20 stores for HUG. We’re incredibly proud of the impact this funding will have for HUG.”


Jessica Reid from HUG explained how, as a key link between unwanted racing greyhounds and the hundreds of people who wish to adopt the breed, its service was severely stunted due to a lack of funding.


“We were quite concerned as to how, if, we could survive this year with the challenges faced with fundraising so this donation puts us in a much healthier position. We’re incredibly grateful to Maxi Zoo who have supported us over the last two years – it’s not just the company but all the staff who have been so supportive of our charity. All our greyhounds come from trainers who no longer need them and might otherwise have them destroyed. We have a long waiting list of applications for adoptions and we can now focus on good quality rehoming.”


Thankfully perception has and is changing in relation to greyhounds which were unfairly thought of as ‘hard work’ rather than being excellent pets for their gentle, affectionate and friendly nature. This is why HUG was established to cater for the speciality breed, particularly those that have been bred for racing, that deserved an equal right to a new and loving home.


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