Tuesday, June 26, 2012

GREY2K USA Releases Shocking New Audio of Cruel "Live Lure" Greyhound Training

For decades, greyhound trainers routinely used live rabbits and other animals to train racing dogs. In a cruel practice called "live lure training," greyhounds would be allowed to tear these other animals apart. Trainers used this barbaric technique because they believed it caused dogs to be faster racers.

After receiving overwhelming public criticism, the National Greyhound Association claimed in the 1980's that it ended this practice. Sadly, that claim was wrong. First, news surfaced of an Arizona live lure case in 2002. Then in 2011, a Texas greyhound trainer surrendered his state license after he was caught on video using live rabbits to train dogs.

After learning of this most recent case, GREY2K USA submitted a public information request to the state of Texas asking for the live lure video footage. Our request was denied. The state did, however, provide us with a transcript of the footage. They also released an audio tape from an official hearing in which the video was played.

You can hear some of that audio here, along with excerpts from the official state transcript. Please note that some people may find this audio disturbing.

I believe that live lure training still occurs today in the dog racing industry, and that parts of the industry turn a blind eye to this cruel practice. Other dog racing supporters continue to rationalize live lure training.  For example, just a few weeks ago outspoken dog racing proponent Dennis McKeon wrote that it is an "arguable point" whether live lure training is cruel or not.

This is yet another reason why greyhound racing needs to end. It's clear that the dog racing industry is simply not capable of cleaning up its act, even when it comes to something as obviously cruel and barbaric as live lure training.

Please watch our new Greyhound Live Lure Video today and forward it to others. Then, take action to help end the cruelty of dog racing. The greyhounds can't speak for themselves and are counting on us to be their voice.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dog Deaths Highlight Problems at Arkansas Racetrack

This morning, information on greyhound injuries in Arkansas was made public for the first time in a front-page Arkansas Times news story.

In part, the Times reported on a GREY2K USA analysis of greyhound injuries at Southland Greyhound Park. According to data we received from the state, 452 greyhound injuries were reported at Southland between 2008 and March 2012. Nearly half of the reported injuries involved broken legs.

During the same period, 32 dogs died or were euthanized due to injuries at the track.

This new injury data also tells the sad story of individual dogs who suffered and died at Southland. For example:
The final race for Bow Rockabilly. Image by Southland Park.
  • On February 24, 2011 a three-year-old black greyhound named Bow Rockabilly died after he fell into the track rail during a race at Southland. According to statistics kept by gamblers, Rockabilly raced more than 70 times before he died.
  • A three-year-old red greyhound named Marvel At This was euthanized in October 2008 after she suffered a broken neck during a race at Southland.
These dogs were never given the chance to know a loving home. Rather than become part of a family, they raced so that gamblers could use them as a number to bet on. In the end, each of them suffered a catastrophic injury and paid the ultimate price of their lives.

Please read our full report on greyhound injuries at Southland Park, and check out today's Arkansas Times report. Then, tell others about the ongoing humane problems at Southland. If you have friends or family that live near the track, ask them to not support this facility.

We can't help dogs like Rockabilly, but we can try to help the greyhounds at Southland now. That starts with giving them a voice, and spreading the world about their cruel fate.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Urgent Request From 11-Year-Old Max Greenberg: Please Help the Greyhounds in Macau

Max Greenberg with a homemade drawing of a Macau greyhound
Over the last year, humane leaders from around the world have called for changes at the Canidrome dog track in Macau.  Thousands of people have written to the government asking them to create an adoption program to help the greyhounds, including Brooklyn.  Additionally, animal protection groups like Animals Australia and Animals Asia have urged that the export of greyhounds from Australia to Macau be stopped.

These efforts have led to an encouraging dialog between the Macau government, Canidrome management and local animal protection group ANIMA.  However, despite these talks no real changes have yet occurred.

Last weekend, this international effort received a boost from a new source: 11-year-old Max Greenberg.  Max learned about the sad fate of greyhounds at the Canidrome and decided to make a difference.  In an open letter he wrote:
Dear Dog Lovers,

I am a dog lover just like you. I love dogs because all they want to be is your friend.

I was very sad when I found out that Greyhounds are being killed in Macau because they are raced at the Canidrome and after they are done racing, the government cannot do anything else with them. A Greyound is “done” if it does not win enough times in the races ...

Anyway, I have a project for school to try to change the world in some way and that’s why I thought of telling people about the Greyounds because I don’t think that Greyhounds are only good for racing. I have read that Greyhounds are very fast but they are also called “couch potatoes.” They are very gentle, rarely bark or shed. They also like to be with their owners and follow them around ...

But the Greyhounds in Macau don’t even have a chance to show what good dogs they are because there is a law that prevents them from being adopted in Macau! And Hong Kong owners have to pay a lot in quarantine fees just to own one!

There have been a lot of people like Grey2K, Global Animal and Animals Asia who have been asking the Macau government to stop since 2003. I heard that the government people said they would shut down the Canidrome in two or three years, but they have made promises before and that’s not soon enough!
Max then asked readers to send an e-mail to the Australian Prime Minister and like the Stop Greyhound Racing in Macau Facebook page.  Finally, he asked readers to join him last Saturday in Hong Kong for a sit-in with his dog Pepe.

We have not yet received an update on Max's event, but I'm hopeful that it was well attended. Above all, his leadership should be applauded.  Max may only be eleven years old, but his compassionate voice is being echoed by people all around the globe.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Greyhounds Win Victories in 2012 State Legislatures

Anngi enjoying the grass, photo by Natalie and Leo Larkin
With state legislatures across the country winding down, it's a good time to reflect on which greyhound protection laws passed and failed in 2012.  On the whole, it's been a good legislative year for the greyhounds.
  • Sadly, bills to decouple greyhound racing from other forms of gambling failed to pass in Florida and Iowa despite having strong support.  These bills will be reintroduced in 2013.
For decades, lawmakers have considered proposals that had a direct impact on the lives of greyhounds.  Most of the affected parties have been represented in that debate, including track owners, greyhound breeders, anti-gambling advocates, competing gambling interests and regulators.  However, the greyhounds themselves have historically not had a legislative voice.  That is why it is part of our mission at GREY2K USA to represent them in the legislative process.

The greyhounds had a good year in 2012, but I know we can do even better in 2013.  As an advocacy community, our best days are still ahead of us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

GREY2K USA Launches New Website to Promote Greyhound Adoption in Florida

Photo by Denise McFadden
As part of our ongoing efforts to promote greyhound adoption, the GREY2K USA Education Fund recently launched a new interactive website to promote adoption in Florida.  FLgreyhounds.org provides links to more than two dozen adoption groups across the state, and also includes a brief Q&A about greyhound adoption.

Because Florida is home to a majority of the remaining dog tracks in the United States, the state represents a unique challenge for the greyhound adoption community.  The sad reality is that it is difficult to find homes for all of the dogs that leave Florida tracks.  To address this problem several groundbreaking efforts -- including the Sunburst Project -- have formed in recent years with the goal of transporting greyhounds to adoption groups in other states.  These are fantastic efforts and should be supported.

There is also more that can be done, however, to encourage greyhound adoptions within Florida.  That is why we created FLgreyhounds.org and are now promoting this new online resource with trolley advertisements in Naples.  It is our hope to expand this effort and eventually encourage Floridians to adopt through a series of billboards throughout the state.

Message Encouraging Greyhound Adoption on Naples Trolley
As a non-profit organization our mission is threefold: to pass stronger greyhound protection laws, end the cruelty of dog racing, and promote greyhound adoption.  Each of these goals is important and will directly help greyhounds.

If you know people who live in Florida, please send them a link to FLgreyhounds.org and tell them how wonderful greyhounds are.

Together, we can make a difference for all of the dogs racing in the Sunshine State.