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Fast worker Lucie Poucova has become the head of an international animal charity in just a few months - after reading about the plight of unwanted racing greyhounds from Ireland.

Animal lover Lucie - from the Czech Republic - began when she discovered that most racers are simply put down when they retire aged five or six.

"I arranged to adopt one of those unwanted greyhounds. But I soon realised I wanted to save more than just this one dog," she explained.

Now Lucie's charity - Greyhounds in Need - has re-homed more than 200 greyhounds from Ireland and Spain with new families in her homeland.

"The number of greyhounds in need of new homes in Ireland alone is staggering. Every year around 5,000 greyhounds are taken off the racing course because they are no longer in top form and their fate hangs in the balance," she explained.

Lucie added: "In many ways these dogs are like any other you would adopt from a local dog shelter. We do not always know the dog’s history and what the animal has been through so you have to work on building up trust.

"In the case of our greyhounds you may find that they are not house- trained – never having lived with people - but they are very intelligent animals and are very quick to learn.

"And I must say they are extremely loving. They make these funny 'singing' sounds when they greet you and click they teeth when they are happy or anticipating a walk. It is simply their way of expressing pleasure."

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