News Blog Meet the four-legged campaigner, Sasha 31-08-23 We would like to introduce you to the beautiful Sasha, but you may have seen her adorable face before as she is Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation’s (SAGE) cover star. She was rescued from racing when she broke her leg during her first trial race and then was left to suffer – untreated and in agony - in her kennel for days. Sasha was saved from being killed for a treatable injury at just two years old. Sasha is as resilient as she is inspiring; she overcomes her life-long physical challenges to campaign for Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE) to save other greyhounds from this cruel industry – but she needs your help. Add your name to end greyhound racing This is Sasha’s story. Sasha’s life was saved 7 years ago by a kind-hearted vet and an independent rescue charity, when her owner took her to be put down after days of suffering in pain from her broken leg. Although she was just a young dog, it was cheaper to have Sasha killed than to cover the cost of treatment and rehoming. Thankfully, the vet convinced her owner to surrender her, and the rescue charity took Sasha into their care and found her a safe, loving home. When Sasha had a brutal fall at the first bend of her first ever trial race at Armadale flapping track and sustained the horrific leg injury, it was clear she would never race again. This meant she was of no value to the dog racing industry. Although greyhounds are no longer raced at Armadale stadium, it is not too dissimilar from Scotland’s last remaining dog racing track: Thornton stadium in Fife. As with Armadale stadium, Thornton is unregulated, therefore they do not need to record how many greyhounds are injured or die. She was left in her kennel with an untreated broken leg for days It is unimaginable to think of the prolonged pain and distress Sasha experienced when she broke her leg and over the following days. When Sasha suffered the agonising leg injury at Armadale stadium, there wasn’t a vet there to help her – as is standard practice at unlicensed tracks, such as Thornton stadium. But her owner didn’t rush the injured Sasha to a vet either. Instead, her leg was wrapped up and she was left in her kennel until the local vets reopened .. two days later. By then, her leg was so swollen and inflamed that it was impossible for the vet to assess the extent of her injuries. Once the swelling went down, the vet discovered she has broken her right hock in several places. Sasha underwent an operation, and her leg was repaired to the best of the vet’s abilities. However, she then suffered from extreme pressure sores on her delicate skin and even when the bone had healed, she was frightened of using her leg properly. She refused to put any weight on her leg and had to be given pain relief and anti-inflammatories whilst undergoing physio and massage therapy. Fortunately, she was able to recover in her new loving home, where her mum provided her with the best care and plenty of love to heal. Lifelong challenges Although Sasha is now able to run, play and bounce – even earning her the nickname of ‘Hoppy’ – the injury has left her with life-long challenges: her right leg is weaker and in the classic broken hock banana shape, and her paw is misshapen. She may act and appear like every other dog, until you notice that Sasha wears a special boot to help her. As her mum states, “She has suffered pain for years as a result of her racing injury and although it came close, it never broke her spirit”. Sasha still receives ongoing treatment, and she continues to overcome these everyday challenges to be the lively, sweet and happy-go-lucky dog she is and campaign to free other greyhounds from the cruel dog racing industry. Sasha was left with emotional scars too When Sasha went to live in her forever home with her loving mum, she was withdrawn and nervous – but her mum saw “a cheeky glint in her eye”. As well as physical wounds, Sasha was left with mental trauma. However, with lots of patience, understanding and love, her mum helped to bring out Sasha’s cheeky personality, grow her confidence and enable her to enjoy life as a dog. In the last few years, Sasha has become braver and has “begun to shine”. Before, Sasha would be easily spooked; she would refuse walks, jump at loud noises and leap off the couch if anyone sat beside her. Sadly, her mum describes Sasha as once trying to make herself invisible. Now, Sasha plays with all her toys and dances around whilst singing to demand morning walks. She loves to meet new people and other dogs whilst on walks of campaigning. As a SAGE cover star, Sasha’s beautiful face is well-known, and she regularly has people recognise her when she’s campaigning. Of course, Sasha enjoys the obligatory cuddles and ear scratches from her fans – yes, Sasha has fans! Sweet Sasha is truly a Princess On top of being a SAGE cover star and campaigner, Sasha’s sweet nature has earned her regal title of Princess from her mum. When she moved into her new home, there was already two friends for Sasha: another greyhound, Brodie, and Elvia the cat. Although it’s often a misconception that all greyhounds can’t live with cats, Elvis and Sasha were the best of friends. Sasha’s mum affectionately tells of quicky knowing that - as Princess Sasha is so sweet and loveable – she can get away with (almost) anything! She recalls how, despite Brodie being a dog who wouldn’t usually share his bed, on the very first day, Sasha immediately hopped in beside him to snuggle. Since then, if Sasha sees any bed or another dog to cuddle with, she’ll jump in! You could say she’s a bit of an enthusiast of beds and cuddles. Join Sasha in campaigning to end dog racing in Scotland Now, Sasha needs you to join her in campaigning for an end to greyhounds being exploited for entertainment. Sasha is one of the lucky ones. If the vet and the independent rescue charity hadn’t saved her that day, her life would have ended at just two years old like many other greyhounds. Shockingly, 2,718 greyhounds died and there were 22,284 total injuries suffered between 2018-2022 across the UK. However, this data only captures regulated Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) tracks and not the unlicensed Thornton Stadium. Please help Sasha’s friends by signing the Unbound the Greyhound coalition’s open letter to the Scottish Government. Scotland is on track to end dog racing – can we count on your help? Sign the open letter Thank you for your support. Together, we can Unbound the Greyhound.