Ex-racing dogs to star in opera

GREYHOUNDS Holly and Dexter are coming under starter’s orders for a role with a difference.

The former racing dogs will be appearing at The New Victoria Theatre in the lavish opera Rigoletto on Friday 9 February.

Award-winning producer Ellen Kent’s productions have a reputation for lavishness, spectacle and grandeur and her latest one will be no different.

It features two elegant greyhounds and a magnificent golden eagle to add to the opulence and extravagance of the Mantuan Ducal Court.

Charlotte with Holly and Sheilagh with Dexter

Ellen has long been an animal welfare campaigner and she got talking to someone from a greyhound charity outside her supermarket. She learnt how these beautiful dogs, the “companions of kings”, can be cruelly abandoned once their running days are over and  decided to help to raise awareness of their plight.

Greyhounds 4U, which rescues and rehomes ex-racing greyhounds in Surrey and other counties in the south, is supporting the initiative.

Debbie Buxcey from the charity, said: “We take time getting to know each greyhound and we take great care in matching greyhound to adoptee and adoptee to greyhound.

“We want every homing to be successful first time round and our motto is that we would prefer to home one greyhound properly than ten badly.”

“We rely solely on donations from volunteers and supporters. We receive no financial help from the racing industry to home the greyhounds once they have retired.

“Holly, who is owned by David and Charlotte Stockley, and Dexter, owned by Sheilagh Shaw from Greyhounds 4 U, will be making their debut on stage.”

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