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Every Dog Has Their Race Day
by Andrew Chesterton
First published in The Sunday Telegraph 2 April 2006

Greyhounds had better watch their backs - because when it comes to racing, Jack Russell Terriers may have them licked.

Sure, their little legs aren't as powerful, but the sight of these tenacious terriers taking to the track is a crowd-pleaser.

One Jack Russell with more will to win than most is Jasmin, who was saved from death row at the pound.

Despina Rosales heard of Jasmin's plight the night before she was to be put down.

"She had run away from home and ended up at the pound," Ms Rosales said.

"Her owners didn't want to pay to get her out, so I rushed down and picked her up."

[PLEASE NOTE: the above is not true. It wasn't me who rushed to the pound after hear about Jasmin - it was Jack Russell Rescue who saved her.]

Jasmin was one of many competitors at a Jack Russell Terrier Club of NSW race day at Erskine Park, in Sydney's west.

Keegan Davis, aged four, entered his dog, Rose, in one of the events.

Rose picked up a second placing, giving Keegan the time of his life.

Two categories of terrier competed for the race-day crown: talls which are 30cm or higher at the shoulder, and standards.

the standards races, in which Jasmin competed, were close.

When the points were tallied the little dog who cheated death was part of a three-way tie for first.

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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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