About us

About us

Hounds First Sighthound Rescue (Registered Charity 1152540) rescues and rehomes sighthounds including Lurcher s, Greyhounds, Whippets and Salukis as well as other types of sighthound across the UK.

The rescue was founded in January 2013 by Rachel Hayball and Danielle Waites and gained Charity status in June 2013.

Most of our dogs are placed in warm and loving foster homes where they are carefully assessed and, if needed, rehabilitated before rehoming, however we do also rent a few kennels for our dogs that have complex behavioural needs and are not yet ready to move into a foster home.

All Hounds First rescue dogs have a full assessment and health check and are given any required veterinary treatment, neutered if old enough, microchipped, vaccinated, wormed and flea treated before going to their new homes.

Hounds First is a rescue who are against training methods that inflict pain and distress on dogs. We use and promote science based positive force free dog training principles.


Chair Person- Rachel Hayball, Treasurer- Tracie Geldhill

Our Trustees


meRachel Hayball- Hi, i’m Rachel, the Joint Founder and Chairperson of Hounds First. I am a married Mum of 6 children aged 6 months to 11 years, and have two Whippets, a Lurcher, Cats. Guinea Pigs,and a small flock of sheep!

I got my first lurcher at the age of 14. Sacha was a very special girl to me and was my best friend through my teen years and start of adulthood. It was Sacha that made me fall in love with Sighthounds which eventually led me to volunteering for various other rescues which then led to the ‘Birth’ of Hounds First.

I am a qualified dog trainer and run Life Skills dog training. I studied animal care at college and then went onto studying Canine behaviour and nutrition in more depth. I am always updating my training and knowledge and i am currently studying with the ISCP and the IMDT. This is really exciting both for me personally, and for the rescue, as i am updating my knowledge and skills which will help the dogs in our care even more. I have a passion for positive dog training, and also enjoy educating children about how to be safe with dogs.

Hounds First was only ever meant to be a small rescue, however it has grown and grown and thanks to the other Trustees and all of our wonderful volunteers, we are now able to help over 200 dogs a year. I am so proud that Hounds First is doing so well and is making such a difference. I love seeing every the waggy tail of every life that we save.

Running Hounds First is a way of life. It is a real team effort which involves long hours, tears and heartache as well as excitement, love and happy endings. Thank you to my husband Neil for supporting me through this amazing journey and to my children who love helping out too.

tTracie Gledhill- I’m tracie mum to 4 and married to Carl. We have 4 dogs of our own, 3 whippets and a greyhound, as well as Eddison the bull lurcher and Blue the whippet who are permanent fosters. I started my love affair with Sighthounds after meeting Eddison at a local rescue centre, and volunteered for Hounds First soon after.

After a few months I became more involved and was asked to become a Trustee and was elected as a treasurer just over a year ago. I love looking back on all the different hounds that have passed through the rescue, our home and our lives, and feel lucky to know that I am in a position to be able to offer rescue help.

Going forward I am hoping to gain more experience and qualifications in dog behaviour and psychology.

sallySally May- Hi, I’m Sally. I am Mum to three grown up sons and grandma to three grandsons. I have four dogs of my own, only one of whom is a sighthound, I also have a permanent sighthound foster, Stanley.

My involvement with sighthounds came about after spending a lot of time helping to search for a lost whippet, during which time I got to know Rachel, the founder of Hounds First Sighthound rescue. From there I went on to helping to transport dogs for the charity.

Shortly after that due to an unfortunate set of circumstances a pregnant saluki cross and her ten puppies were left looking for emergency foster, I stepped in and since then I have rarely been without a fostered sighthound in my house. In April 2014 I was officially asked to become a trustee of Hounds First, which I happily agreed to. Being a trustees is at times challenging and heartbreaking, but overall rewarding and uplifting.

carlCarl Gledhill- I am married to tracie with 7 children and 7 dogs between us. I started my rescue journey by volunteering with several rescues to homecheck and transport and gradually got more involved until I became a trustee of Hounds First.

As a ex hgv driver i am often found advising on best routes for runs or doing the longer ones myself. As a kid I remember seeing a guy walking several Sighthounds and i can remember wondering why would you would want more than one; turns out I’m now that man, and my only complaint is we need a bigger bed so we can fit them all in with us!