Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is Brooklyn the Greyhound Running Out of Time?

Two weeks have now passed since GREY2K USA sent a letter directly to the Canidrome in Macau regarding Brooklyn the greyhound. So far, we have received no response. Meanwhile, the Rescue Brooklyn campaign is still gaining steam.

In recent days, Rescue Brooklyn has picked up the support of Animals Asia, an Asian-focused registered charity with headquarters in Hong Kong and offices all over the world. Earlier this month Animals Asia sent a letter to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Their letter was cosigned by eleven notable animal protection organizations, and asked the Prime Minister to end the export of greyhounds to Macau:
"We urge you to consider the welfare implications of allowing this trade to continue, leading to many hundreds of dogs breed in Australia being subjected to inadequate care, poor welfare, suffering, neglect and death each year. On behalf of all of our members globally, we appeal to the Australian Government to end the export of greyhounds to Macau and protect the welfare of dogs bred in Australia."
The Rescue Brooklyn campaign also took another step forward last week when ANIMA, an animal protection organization based in Macau, agreed to take care of Brooklyn during the required quarantine period. Without question, an overly burdensome quarantine law is one reason why greyhounds are dying at the Canidrome.

In order to be released to Australia, Brooklyn must pass through a 90-day quarantine in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, an import application and fee must be submitted to the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Its rules require that any dog entering the country travel with bona fide health certificates completed by official government veterinarians. Dogs must also have proof of rabies vaccination and be microchipped. They must then undergo another 30-day quarantine in Australia itself.

I am grateful for ANIMA's willingness to help Brooklyn with the quarantine requirement, and their partnership means we are closer to helping him.

Brooklyn last raced yesterday, November 29. He finished 6th, and has not yet been scheduled to race again. If you haven't already, please e-mail the Canidrome right away at and ask them to allow us to Rescue Brooklyn. If you e-mailed them previously, please do so again. I remain hopeful this story will have a happy ending, but Brooklyn's time may well be running out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Five Things I'm Thankful For

As we head into the holiday season, we should all take a moment to reflect on the things you are thankful for. Here are a few of mine.
  • I'm grateful that my rescued greyhound Zoe is happy and healthy. We had a scare this Fall when she was misdiagnosed with bone cancer. Thankfully, she only had a minor neck issue that has now been resolved. Facing the prospect of losing Zoe reminded me that every day with her is a blessing.
  • I'm grateful for lawmakers across the country who are fighting for stronger greyhound protection laws, including Florida State Representative Dana Young.
  • Finally, I'm grateful to have such a wonderful staff at GREY2K USA. I am surrounded by humane advocates who are dedicated, savvy and hard working. Because of them, I believe our best days lay ahead of us.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bill to Help Greyhounds Reintroduced in Florida Legislature

Last year, a bill to decouple greyhound racing from other forms of gambling nearly became law in Florida. The humane proposal passed both the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate by large margins, but failed on the last day of session when the two chambers could not agree on minor differences.

The last minute defeat of this bill was heartbreaking for greyhound advocates. In the months since the legislative session ended, countless greyhound injuries have occurred in Florida that would have been prevented by the measure's passage.

I'm happy to report, however, that the fight for Florida's greyhounds is far from over. In recent weeks, greyhound decoupling bills have been refiled in the State House and Senate. These measures will be voted on early next year, and animal protection groups already are gearing up to make 2012 the Year of the Greyhound in Florida.

Greyhound breeders recognize how important this victory would be for the future of dog racing, and I expect them to resort to extreme measures in an attempt to defeat these humane bills. Nonetheless, I am optimistic that a decoupling bill will pass in Florida next year. If greyhound decoupling does become law, dog racing will be significantly reduced and fewer greyhounds will endure lives of confinement and suffer serious injuries.

In the coming weeks, I will provide more information about how you can help this important campaign. To win for Florida's greyhounds, we will need the help of everyone who cares about these amazing dogs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Australian Group Steps Up to Help Rescue Brooklyn the Greyhound

Even though the effort to Rescue Brooklyn is only hours old, it has already won an initial victory. This morning, the Macau Daily Times reported that an Australian non-profit organization named Greyhound Rescue has agreed to rehome Brooklyn.

We are proud to work with Greyhound Rescue and its founders Janet and Peter Flann. Janet and Peter have been rescuing dogs for more than twenty years, and their partnership bodes well for the Rescue Brooklyn effort.

Now that a group is ready to take Brooklyn, our job is to get him safely to Greyhound Rescue. There, he can be given the forever home he deserves.

If you haven't already, please visit and find out how you can help with this important campaign. Together, we can make a change for all of the Macau greyhounds.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Help Us Rescue Brooklyn the Greyhound

A few weeks ago, GREY2K USA board member Charmaine Settle inspected the Canidrome racetrack in Macau. Without question, the situation is bleak for greyhounds at the track.

According to news reports, 383 healthy greyhounds were killed at the Canidrome last year. The dogs are imported from Australia, sent to Macau by greyhound breeders who want to increase their profit margins. Once the dogs arrive, they have no way out. When they are no longer competitive, or are injured, they die. This is a dirty little secret of the Australian dog racing industry, and must end.

That is why I am asking for your help as we try to rescue Brooklyn. Brooklyn is a two-year-old, white, red and fawn greyhound. He lives at the Canidrome, and won his last race on Sunday. Charmaine took a photograph of Brooklyn during her inspection, and he is very handsome. I am hoping he will eventually make some family very happy.

For that to happen, however, we will have to overcome significant logistical challenges. Because Brooklyn comes from Australia, the simplest way to help him is to send him back to a rescue group in his home country. However, even though greyhounds are frequently exported from Australia to Macau, they are rarely sent back. We will have to deal with a quarantine law and other legal challenges, provide transportation from him, and identify an adoption group in Australia that is willing to help him. In short, rescuing Brooklyn will not be easy.

Most importantly, we will not be able to rescue Brooklyn unless the Canidrome management cooperates with us, and allows us to send him home after his racing career is over. Today, we sent a letter to the track, asking for their cooperation. We told them, in no uncertain terms, that refusing to work with greyhound advocates would send a very troubling message to the rest of the world.

Of course, this effort is about much more than Brooklyn. It is also an opportunity for us to explore the challenges that exist in trying to help all of the Macau greyhounds.

To support this campaign, we have launched a new website at and will provide further updates as they become available. Please visit today, and find out how you can help this important effort.

We have made the first move in the campaign to rescue Brooklyn, and must now wait for the Canidrome to respond. The answer we receive will tell us a lot about the future of all the greyhounds in Macau.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Economic Study: Greyhound Racing Has a Negative Impact on State Revenues

As greyhound racing is debated across the country, dog track proponents are increasingly turning to economic arguments in an attempt to save their cruel industry. According to a recent study, however, the economic impact of greyhound racing is at least partly negative.

In a 2010 article, Economic Professors from Auburn University and the College of Charleston reported that greyhound racing tends to have a negative impact on state revenues in the jurisdictions in which it exists. Specifically, the authors found that:
"Each additional dollar of greyhound handle is estimated to reduce net state revenue by a whopping and statistically significant $7.61."
In other words, for every dollar gambled on dog racing host states lost nearly eight dollars in revenue. According to the authors, this reduction is likely due to the fact that greyhound racing cannibalizes other parts of the economy:
"The casino and greyhound racing results indicate substitution away from other, revenue productive forms of spending which, ultimately, leads to a reduction in state revenues."
The study was published in Contemporary Economic Policy, a Journal of the Western Economic Association International. WEAI is a non-profit educational organization of economists, and past Presidents include eight Nobel Laureates.

This study should send a clear message to policymakers. Greyhound racing is not only cruel and inhumane, it is also an economic drain on the states in which it still exists.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Greyhounds Continue to Die at the Canidrome Racetrack in Macau

This morning, the Macau Daily Times reported again on the cruel fate greyhounds face at the Canidrome dog track. This track has no adoption program, and hundreds of greyhounds are killed every year.

The Daily Times has doggedly covered this problem, and is giving the Canidrome greyhounds a voice for the first time. Their report today ran as the lead story on the front page, and is based in part on an interview with GREY2K USA Board Member Charmaine Settle.

I am proud to have the opportunity to work with Charmaine, who has a long history of helping greyhounds. Last month, she traveled to the Canidrome to see for herself how dogs live at the facility. Here is part of what she had to say:
"I was at the Canidrome around 3pm in the afternoon when the dogs are let out of their kennels. I felt so sad looking at the dogs eyes as they passed by me knowing every one of them will probably be killed within a matter of months for no reason. It certainly is a one way death sentence when they are sent from Australia to Macau where they are exploited, suffer and die for the sake of a bet."
Charmaine also took several photographs at the Canidrome, including a close-up of a greyhound we believe is named Brooklyn. According to the track's website Brooklyn last raced two nights ago, although I fear he could be killed at any time.

We are committed to helping these dogs. Last year we launched a petition urging the President of the Civil and Municipal Bureau in Macau to make positive changes, and already more than 8,000 people from across the world have added their names as signatories. If you haven't signed this petition yet, please do so today.

We are also preparing a new campaign to raise awareness about the greyhounds at the Canidrome, and will be announcing further details soon. Dogs like Brooklyn can't afford to wait any longer.