The Love of My Life

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hi All,
I've been posting all the emails I get about greyhounds and greyhound racing. I think it's important that we stay on top of what's going on with these beautiful dogs whether it's in the United States or elsewhere. Let me know what you think. And if you have anything to share about the goings on in the world, please post it here.

Posted: 08 May 2012 01:47 PM PDT
Photo by Kansas City REGAP
In Kansas, most dogs are protected by the state Pet Animal Act.  This law requires that dog breeders be licensed and undergo routine inspections.  It also mandates minimum standards of care, including a requirement that shelters euthanize animals only through modern methods.  This good law is hardly radical, and some of its provisions date back nearly forty years.  It does not, however, currently apply to greyhounds.

For years, the National Greyhound Association has fought hard to ensure that greyhounds remain exempt from the Pet Animal Act.  Until this year, the group has succeeded in ensuring that greyhounds don't receive these basic legal protections.  This year, however, things might turn out differently.

A proposal now moving through the legislature, House Bill 2596, would eliminate the greyhound exemption in the Pet Animal Act.  The bill has already been approved by both the state House and Senate, and is now waiting for one final procedural vote before going to Governor Sam Brownback for his signature.

HB 2596 is not perfect.  Even though greyhound breeders have so far been unable to prevent its passage, they were able to win a compromise.  In place of the greyhound exemption, new language will be added which states that the Pet Protection Act will not apply to any farm or kennel that is registered with and inspected by the National Greyhound Association.  Although this is a setback, the new language will also give the Agriculture Commissioner some authority to inspect greyhound breeding facilities.

Even with this compromise, HB 2596 is a step in the right direction.  I'm hopeful that it will become law, and Kansas greyhounds will finally be given a few more protections.

Finally, it's curious that greyhound breeders have fought so hard against this humane change.  It makes you wonder, what exactly do Kansas greyhound breeders have to hide?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Horrors at the Tucson Track

I just received this email and I was absolutely disgusted! I can't wait until they outlaw greyhound racing everywhere!

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 12:23 PM PDT
With each passing month, more evidence emerges of humane problems at Tucson Greyhound Park.  Last week, we received new state records that document neglectful conditions in one of the track kennels, as well as an ongoing problem with greyhound injuries.

According to a March 6, 2012 Arizona Department of Racing Stewards Report, a state inspection revealed "ticks crawling up the wall" in the Brian Lewis Kennel:
"Brian Lewis kennel had ticks crawling up the wall behind the crates during a State Inspection and TGP Management told State Officials that the kennel would be addressed as far as cleanliness and to this date nothing has been done."
This is not the first time that poor kennel conditions have been documented at Tucson Greyhound Park.  In fact, similar conditions have been documented at the facility over and over again.  Sadly, it's becoming all too obvious that track management is simply incapable of addressing this chronic problem.

Meanwhile, the same March 6 Stewards Report also documents continued problems with track conditions at Tucson.  The Stewards Report refers to a previous meeting between kennel operators and track General Manager Tom Taylor, and states:
"After nothing was resolved from a meeting with the GM and trainers/owners, some trainers/kennel operators are now holding the State responsible for all the injuries at Tucson Greyhound Park.  As you can see there are 7 scratched greyhounds tonight 'ALL LAME'"
Later in the report, state officials indicate that one kennel owner contacted them directly to voice her concerns:
"Donna Mann called the Stewards off the roof to talk about the out of control injuries.  She has a list of 17 injuries which she gave to management, the racing office, and left copies in the racing office titled 'DAN' and the Director of Racing asked 'why do you need him it's our issue' and to date Dan Reinertson has not received copies."

Finally, it's important to note that this Stewards Report also provides evidence that track management is indifferent to humane problems at Tucson Greyhound Park.  Reading through the records, a sad pattern emerges.  The state documents neglectful conditions in a track kennel, management tells the state they will address it, but then nothing happens.  Kennel owners hold a meeting with management about injuries, but "nothing (i)s resolved."  A kennel owner takes her concerns about injuries directly to state officials, but the track Director of Racing discourages her from reporting the problem.

This indifference by Tucson Greyhound Park management is part of the problem.  It proves that the track is incapable of being a good corporate citizen, and cannot be trusted to resolve even the most basic humane issues at the facility.  That is why it's time for Arizona lawmakers and voters to step up and help the greyhounds.  If they don't, no one will.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So Alone

Will someone please post something on my blog? Please, Please, Please? A picture, a comment or something completely new. Is no one out there reading this. I feel so alone. :-(

The Horror at the Tucson Racetrack

Posted: 12 Apr 2012 01:47 PM PDT
This morning, Tucson Weekly documented the continued use of anabolic steroids at Tucson Greyhound Park. Reporter Tim Vanderpool personally witnessed steroid injections and took photographs, and wrote about his interaction with track veterinarian Dr. Joe Robinson:
"In morning's early light, Dr. Joe Robinson pokes the syringe in a tiny bottle, raises it above his head and draws back the plunger. Robinson apparently doesn't wish to publicize his finesse; each time I try to photograph this handiwork the longtime veterinarian spins his back to me."
Even though this harmful practice was outlawed by South Tucson voters, it is continuing at Tucson Greyhound Park. To circumvent the law, the dogs are taken to a parking lot just outside city limits to be injected. It is outrageous that Tucson Greyhound Park would so blatantly ignore the will of local voters.

Most importantly, it is deeply troubling that female dogs at Tucson Greyhound Park are still being given an anabolic steroid to prevent estrus. According to Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound, there are several side effects of this dangerous practice:
"The adverse side effects of male-derived hormonal preparations are increased aggression which can result in fighting during trialing or racing; increased weight due to water retention; occasional loss of vigor; and virilization. The latter is evidenced by vulvar swelling, enlarged protruding reddened clitoris, and a clear to cloudy mucoid discharge from the vulva and mats the hairs under the tail where contact is made."
Thankfully, a humane proposal is now moving through the Arizona legislature that could significantly reduce racing at Tucson Greyhound Park. Because of the progress of this good legislation, I am hopeful that positive changes will come soon at the Tucson track.

Track management, however, should be on notice. The status quo is no longer acceptable at Tucson Greyhound Park. If reforms do not come soon, the humane community will have no choice but to take our case directly to the statewide ballot box. The greyhounds in Tucson need help, and cannot afford to wait any longer.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Previously 3 Posts

The previous 3 posts are emails I received from Grey2K, a websight about greyhound racing and rescue. I posted them here because I feel they have really important information that anyone reading this blog should know about. Please post something and let everyone know what you think.

Broken Promises

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 11:57 AM PDT
Four months ago, we wrote to the Canidrome racetrack in Macau and asked them to release Brooklyn the greyhound. Brooklyn is a four-year-old white, red, and fawn greyhound who is currently racing at the Canidrome. Like other greyhounds at the track, Brooklyn was likely born in Australia.

Every year, hundreds of greyhounds are killed at the Canidrome when they are no longer profitable. The track has no adoption program, and we knew that if we were unable to help Brooklyn, he would eventually be killed.

Because of this impending peril, we hoped to receive a quick response from the track's management. But days passed, and no response came. Soon, days became weeks and weeks turned into months. To this day, we have received no formal reply.

A few weeks ago, however, things began to change for the greyhounds in Macau. At the request of the Macau government, the racetrack entered into formal negotiations with government officials and ANIMA, a local animal protection organization headed by director Albano Martins. After hours of talks over several days, a groundbreaking agreement was tentatively reached.

Under this historic agreement, Brooklyn would be transferred to ANIMA and eventually adopted. This would be a sign of good faith on behalf of the Canidrome, which also agreed to create an adoption program for all the the greyhounds racing at the track.

It is important to keep in mind that this agreement would not address all of the problems at the Canidrome. Unfortunately, a large number of greyhounds are injured at the track. Also, it is unclear how many of the Macau greyhounds can be adopted. There are significant logistical challenges in finding homes for all of these dogs, which will likely need to be shipped to other countries.

Nonetheless, this agreement was an important first step for the greyhounds. All of the parties should be proud of this accomplishment, which would not have been possible without the leadership of ANIMA and the Macau government.

Sadly, over the past few days this historic agreement has begun to falter. The first greyhound was scheduled to be transferred to ANIMA yesterday, and the deadline passed without the track meeting its obligation. Track managers are now claiming that they must obtain independent approval from the legal owners of dogs in order to move forward. This is simply nonsense, and is refuted by the fact that the largest owner of greyhounds at the Canidrome is the track itself.

Despite this apparent setback, I am hopeful that we are on the verge of a major breakthrough in our effort to help the Macau greyhounds. We are encouraged by these recent developments, and will continue working with Animals Australia, Animals Asia and others until this situation is fully resolved.

In his most recent race, Brooklyn finished first. It would be wonderful if his next race was straight to a couch, and the home of a loving family.