Bendigo Miracle As Local Greyhound Community Safe From Bushfires
Written By Kevin Pitstock Sunday 8th February 2009
Word has just started filtering through from fire ravaged Eaglehawk, Long Gully and Maiden Gully areas and miraculously all local greyhound identities are safe and all homes are still standing.
Despite earlier reports, local "muscleman" Evan Keene's home is safe and infact was the only one left standing, with houses all around it burnt to the ground. We had been able to report earlier that Evan was known to be safe.
But Bendigo's highest profile greyhound, Regal Thyme had to be evacuated to Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club last night by trainer Graham Long as fires closed in on his home.
Despite that hasty evacuation, Long's family and greyhounds are all safe and his home has been saved from fire; as is that of Barry and Pauline Hiscock who live within 100 metres of Long.
Popular local Karen Repia and partner Mark were also saved from despair when fire closed in on their home but a wind change spared them catastrophe as the fire licked at their back fence.
The only losses occured when respected Club Steward Jimmy Fullerton and his son Grant lost all their kennels and shedding to the fires, but the house was able to be saved and both Jimmy and Grant are safe.
Grant, who has been successfully operating as "breaker" for some time was able to evacuate all bar two of his greyhounds to safety at nearby "Mannings" Trial Track but unfortunately one greyhound got loose and is currently missing, while another passed away.
Anyone who finds a loose greyhound in the Bendigo area is asked to contact Australian Racing Greyhound or your local Vet to help facilitate their return.
With the fires surrounding the Bendigo area still considered dangerous, the local greyhound community is advised that Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club has opened its kennels for greyhounds requiring emergency evacuation but anyone considering doing so is advised to abide by CFA guidlelines and to evacuate any greyhounds to the Bendigo track well ahead of any impending fire front.
If you have any further first hand reports to pass on or requests for help and assistance please leave comments and we will attempt to do everything we can to help those in need.