WHEN two-year-old greyhound Jazzi was introduced to Bev Ryan from Woombah a little over three months ago, she was underweight and in poor condition.
Having been caged for much of her life she didn't even know how to play, let alone what to do with a juicy bone.
"Now she's a real circus," Ms Ryan, Jazzi's new owner and head trainer with the Yamba Dog Obedience Club, said.
Last week, Jazzi and Bev travelled to Tweed Heads to have her assessed for a special "green collar", which would give Jazzi an exemption from wearing a muzzle in public. Jazzi passed with flying colours.
In fact, Jazzi is the Clarence Valley's first certified "greenhound" to have graduated from the retraining program since it started in October last year.
Greenhounds administrator Tracey Boyd said although the breed was rarely aggressive to humans, hundreds of years of breeding meant greyhounds could be a safety risk for small animals and, as such, they were required to wear a muzzle at all times when in public.
"In October 2011, the NSW Government amended the legislation for the Companion Animals Act to allow qualified assessors to retrain greyhounds in order to exempt them from the requirements of wearing a muzzle in public," Mrs Boyd said.
"We've seen 190 dogs enrolled since the program began and they are all at varying stages, with 66 of those animals now having been awarded a muzzle exemption," Mrs Boyd said.
Ms Ryan describes Jazzi as a gentle and adaptable dog.
"I haven't owned a greyhound before but Jazzi is the most gentle dog I think I've ever handled," she said.
But she said not all greyhounds were suitable to be pets and they must go through a strict assessment before they can be rehomed.
"People who want to own a greyhound should not go into it without doing their research," she said.
Ms Ryan adopted Jazzi from the not-for-profit organisation Friends of the Hound Inc.
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