Romford Greyhound Owners’ Association, based in North Ockendon, seeks new home

The RGOA rehomes greyhounds like this one

The RGOA rehomes greyhounds like this one - Credit: Archant

A long-established charity that finds new homes for retired greyhounds is looking for a new home of its own – and you can help.

The Romford Greyhound Owners’ Association (RGOA), currently based in the kennels on Ockendon Road, North Ockendon, has been asked to leave its home of eight years.

Now it needs about 25 double kennels to house its 45 furry tenants. Alternatively, it may be able to build its own kennel block if it can secure a piece of land and enough funding to do the work.

The charity, which was set up in 1977, is also willing to do up dilapidated kennels.

“We might be able to find some kennels that are a bit of a wreck and do them up,” said volunteer Caroline Mackenzie. “We did it when we came here and we’re prepared to do it again.”

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The RGOA finds new homes for about 130 retired greyhounds from the Romford Greyhound Stadium each year. Some will be stay with the charity for up to three years; some will find new homes within days.

But however long a dog stays with the RGOA, it won’t be put down if it’s healthy.

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“We don’t have them put to sleep because eventually we think they will find a home,” said Caroline. “Some of them just take a bit longer.

“A lot of the black ones, for example, get left behind.”

Greyhounds, which are fairly low-maintenance on account of their propensity to sleep, usually retire at about four years old – but the RGOA’s oldest tenant is 11.

Others retire early because, in Caroline’s words, “they aren’t interested in chasing you round”.

So what is the charity looking for in its new home?

“It’s got to be central to Romford as people come from Dagenham, Romford and Basildon to volunteer here,” explained Caroline. “We need enough space for 12 concrete paddocks, and it would be nice to have a little bit of a field to walk the dogs round.

“We have a kitchen and an office, because we can’t talk on the phone with all the dogs barking.”

If you can offer some kennels, or a piece of land, call the charity on 01708 640 895.

Alternatively, if you want to make a donation to help toward the move and any building work that needs doing, visit and click on the “Donate with Just Giving” button on the home page.

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