Vic greyhound cafe gets tongues wagging

Callum Godde

A dog-friendly Melbourne greyhound cafe is attempting to get hearts racing and tongues wagging, with latte-sipping city dwellers encouraged to consider adopting a retired runner over a coffee.

West Melbourne's Greyhound Adoption Program cafe officially opened to the public on Wednesday, bringing the Victorian racing industry's long-running re-homing initiative to the heart of the city with a caffeinated twist.

"Ultimately, Greyhound Racing Victoria's objective is to get to a position where all racing dogs have a home after their careers are over," Racing Minister Martin Pakula told AAP.

"We're getting closer and closer to that objective, and a cafe like this will only help."

Two-legged customers can interact with greyhounds inside and outside the dog gate-fitted store and peruse would-be adoptees across the state on electronic tablets.

Canine owners are also welcome to bring their own four-legged friends, no matter the breed, to enjoy a paw-fect puppuccino or doggy doughnut biscuit while they sample handmade human treats.

The newly-minted, government-backed cafe means dog lovers wishing to adopt an ex-racer no longer need to travel to regional GRV facilities.

In the wake of the live-baiting scandal that rocked the sport in 2015, Victorian greyhounds are being adopted out at record levels with 2693 finding permanent homes over the 2016-17 financial year.

But GAP cafe owner Alex Hooke, who oversees another coffee shop in Sunshine that focuses on youth unemployment, hopes the idea further boosts re-homing rates.

"It's just a great place to see greyhounds," he told AAP.

"Being on the fringe of the CBD in Melbourne with some speciality coffee, we'd like to think that that's a great combination for people around here.

"Hopefully, just being able to see these dogs up close, more people will fall in love with them and more of them will get adopted."

The King Street cafe will redistribute 50 per cent of profits back to the GAP program.