Once a greyhound racer, Zeppo is the newest resident at Ceduna’s senior citizens village and already a big hit.
Zeppo arrived at the village last week as part of the Adopt a Greyound program in Adelaide.
The three-year-old raced for six months, has spent time in prison being trained by inmates and also went into a foster home before making the move to Ceduna where he quickly settled.
Healthy Lifestyle coordinator for aged care Leeanne Holmes picked up Zeppo from Adelaide and said having a village pet was a long time coming.
“We’ve been toying with the idea of a resident dog for 10 years,” she said.
“We surveyed staff to see who was willing to do what to help out and 90 per cent were on board, then did the same with the residents.
“We also spoke to residents’ families and everybody thought it was a great idea.”
She said residents took an immediate liking to Zeppo, who can be seen roaming the halls and sitting with them in the lounge areas.
“Everybody is loving him – one of the first people I saw when I brought him in was somebody I thought would not like the dog but she took to him, so that made it worthwhile from the start,” Ms Holmes said.
“The place has blossomed with him, they all love him and there has been a great vibe in the past week – it only took about two days for them to fall for him, I thought it might take longer.
“The idea is he is the residents’ dog, they have taken him under their wing, go for walks with him and look after him.”
Village resident Merle Alexander has enjoyed Zeppo’s company at the village and on walks, while Margaret Coulter said he was “the best thing that’s happened here”.
Ms Holmes also said greyhounds were considered the ideal dog for pet therapy, which would be a benefit to village residents.
She said they were seeking sponsorship and volunteers in helping to look after Zeppo, and anybody interested could call 8626 2170 and ask to speak to her.