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.