Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Greyhound Advocates Win Critical Victory, London Mayor Chooses Housing Instead of Dog Track

Greyhound advocates won a major victory today, when London Mayor Boris Johnson approved a proposal to build affordable housing on the site of the former Walthamstow Dog Track. The track will now be demolished.

In his decision, Mayor Johnson lamented the end of greyhound racing but also acknowledged that it is time for London to move on:
"I share the sadness of many people about the demise of dog racing from this historic corner of London. However, I believe this proposal will provide a major boost for Walthamstow, creating new jobs and new homes, many of which will be affordable and attract desperately needed new investment into the area."
We are grateful to everyone who joined us in this important campaign, including advocacy group GreytExploitations. Most of all, we are grateful to everyone who e-mailed the mayor and asked him to side with the dogs. This victory proves once again that a grassroots campaign built on common sense and compassion can succeed, and that history is on our side. Today, we are a step closer to ending the cruelty of greyhound racing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Greyhound Advocates From All Over the World Ask London Mayor to Side With the Dogs

One of many greyhound photos sent to Mayor Johnson
Next week London Mayor Boris Johnson will decide the fate of Walthamstow Stadium, an iconic dog track that has been closed since 2008. The mayor is now considering a proposal to turn the closed track into affordable housing, and end dog racing forever at the site. Initially, the Mayor was scheduled to make his decision this week. However, it has been delayed by six days, and will now be announced on Tuesday, October 30.

Over the past few days, nearly 1,500 greyhound advocates from all over the world have asked Mayor Johnson to side with the dogs. Also, nearly two hundred greyhound adopters have sent the mayor photos of their rescued friends. This outpouring of support is very powerful, and I believe it will have a direct impact on the mayor's ruling.

Here are excerpts of some of the compassionate messages Mayor Johnson has received:
"Mayor Johnson, what a fantastic opportunity to help animals and humans at the same time. Please opt for affordable housing, not animal cruelty."
"As a Londoner who voted for you - please consider the silent victims in this proposal for dog racing at Walthamstow."
"Mayor Johnson: my dad used to be a bookie at Walthamstow, and I know how badly the dogs that run their heart out at that track are treated when they fail to win."
"You did a great job with the Olympics, please don't turn around now and reopen the Greyhound track at Walthamstow. It would be a cruel and inhumane thing to do!"
"I have attached a photo of one of my rescued greyhounds, I have 4 more at home, all of which have sad stories of neglect. She once ran at Walthamstow Stadium. Unfortunately once she broke her hock, which is a very common injury in racing greyhounds."
"Housing is desperately needed in London and the old stadium would be a perfect area for redevelopment in very much needed affordable homes."
"PLEASE DO NOT allow my neighbouring borough of Walthamstow to be blighted by sanctioned, industrial scale animal abuse."
If you haven't already, please send your e-mail to Mayor Johnson right away. There are seven days left until he determines the future of Walthamstow Stadium, and every compassionate message will make a difference.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

With Only Days Left, British Greyhounds Need Our Help

In only a few days, London Mayor Boris Johnson will decide the fate of the iconic Walthamstow dog track. His decision will have a direct impact on thousands of greyhounds, and we need your help to make sure he sides with the dogs.

Countless greyhounds suffered and died at this track before it closed in 2008. Since then, a housing association has purchased the site, and announced plans to repurpose Walthamstow as affordable housing. This housing plan has been approved by local officials, and has been sent to Mayor Johnson for a final decision. According to news reports, the Mayor will announce his final decision on Walthamstow on Wednesday, October 24. Dog race promoters have spent the last few years trying to resurrect greyhound racing at Walthamstow, and are pressuring the mayor to reject the housing plan.

The choice that Mayor Johnson faces is a simple one. He can either support affordable housing, or he can instead support industrialized cruelty.

Please contact Mayor Johnson right away, and ask him to side with the dogs. Tell him that greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane, and should not be allowed to return to Walthamstow. Also, if you are a greyhound adopter, please send him a photo of your rescued friend.

With only days left, it is critical that we let Mayor Johnson know what is at stake in this decision. I've already sent my e-mail to the mayor, and included a photo of rescued greyhound Zoe. I told him how important Zoe is to me, and asked him to keep her in mind when he makes this important decision next week.

Please send your e-mail to Mayor Johnson today, and then ask other animal lovers to also help with this campaign. Together we can give British greyhounds a voice, and make sure they are heard on this important issue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Meet GREY2K USA Board Member Kathy Pelton

As a national non-profit organization, GREY2K USA is governed by a Board of Directors. Our Board members are deeply committed to greyhound advocacy, and support our campaigns in many ways. Over the next few weeks, I will be highlighting GREY2K USA Board members and their continuing dedication to greyhound protection.

Kathy Pelton and rescued friend Molly
Greyhound racing has largely become a regional phenomenon in the United States. In fact, most of the dog tracks that still exist are in just one state, Florida. No one knows this problem better, or is more committed to change in the Sunshine State, than GREY2K USA Board Member Kathy Pelton.

Kathy first became an advocate in 2002 after adopting a greyhound named Eddy. Eddy was a particularly clever greyhound who was able to open doors. He was protective of Kathy, and they had a special bond until he passed at the age of ten. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband Ken and another rescued greyhound named Molly.

Kathy is a real force when it comes to educating the public about the problems with dog racing, and regularly holds educational tabling events. She is also politically engaged, and helps lead GREY2K USA's grassroots lobbying efforts in Florida.

Kathy told me that she is particularly concerned about the injuries greyhound suffer in the racing industry. She points out that these injuries, which are too often fatal, cannot be denied by even the most ardent dog race promoters.

Looking forward, Kathy is hopeful that Florida lawmakers will pass greyhound decoupling legislation when they meet again early next year. To her, the passage of this important bill would be the start of a new chapter for Florida's greyhounds.

At GREY2K USA, our passion for greyhound welfare is equaled only by our determination to get the job done. Kathy Pelton is an powerful example of this determination, and we are fortunate to have her on our Board of Directors.