Greyhound who lost every race turns out to be BLIND

When Jack Sprat the greyhound came last in every race in which he competed, his owners thought they had a dud. But in fact, he did well to keep up with the pack at all because it turns out Jack is almost completely blind and couldn’t see the rabbit. The hound, who was born in Ireland, was entered into dog races in Wimbledon, London, last year after he hit speeds of 40mph in training. Despite his disability, Jack can still run 100 metres in just 6.39 seconds - considerably faster than athlete Usain Bolt who broke records with his 9.69 time. But three-year-old Jack, competing under the name Centurys Gunner, came sixth in both of his races at the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. 

His baffled owner, believing he just wasn't fast enough, retired him and handed him over to the Dogs' Trust in Snetterton, Norfolk, in July this year. Vets at the animal charity examined Jack and realised a rare condition had left him completely blind in his left eye and with only 20 per cent vision in his right. They diagnosed him with Chorioretinitis, a swelling and irritation of the middle layer of the eye, which is irreparable.

Kate Brewster, 27, of the Dogs' Trust, said Jack would have been 'terrified' racing with no vision in his left eye - used by dogs to follow the rabbit. She said: 'We don't think Jack's racing owner realised the severity of his blindness and it would have been terrifying for him to race because of the noise. 'He must have followed the other dogs or maybe used his sense of smell to get around the track. He clearly had no way of seeing the rabbit.'


At Wimbledon Jack had competed in the Shaun's Stag Doo Stakes and the Mike Davis Stag Memorial. He ran a personal best of 30.66 seconds in the Stag Doo Stakes - but that was almost two seconds slower than the winner Hollyoak Harris' time of 29.7. Miss Brewster said: 'Jack can still run very fast and now he knows where the fences are on the paddocks at the centre he gets up to impressive speeds. 'Like any dog he needs regular exercise but it is a myth that greyhounds need long walks because they are born sprinters.'We take on quite a few greyhounds but they often get overlooked because smaller dogs are in fashion. 'It's a shame because they are very gentle dogs and like a lot of affection. Jack is lucky as he is very handsome and has beautiful markings. He would make a lovely pet.'

The Dogs' Trust is hoping to re-home Jack but recommend that his new owners have children over the age of 11 and don't have small pets he could chase. Miss Brewster added: 'Things that catch Jack unaware like unexpected movements or big cuddles can make him nervous. 'We think he may compensate for his loss of sight with his other senses. For example he likes to be on the left side of the person taking him for a walk so he can sense where they are. 'He needs to get used to his surroundings but once he is familiar in his new home he will be a perfect pet.'

No comments: