NO MORE GREYHOUNDS TO BLOOD BANKS, NGA SAYS

The National Greyhound Association (NGA) has issued a new policy that, effective immediately, outlines the organization’s parameters and guidance with regard to the use of NGA registered greyhounds for the purpose of blood donation. NGA Executive Director, Jim Gartland said that the policy is long overdue.

“Although this policy has been drafted and adopted based on recent events, it has been a long time coming and we intend to fully see it through going forward,” he said.

Members of the NGA and associated adoption groups will be expected to comply with the policy and will be held accountable for any breach of its rules.

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 NGA Blood Donor Policy for NGA Members

The NGA Board mandates that members refrain from direct involvement with, or directly supplying animals to, animal blood donation facilities and animal blood donor colonies.  NGA members found in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Board up to and including termination of membership.

If an NGA member would like their greyhound to be considered for use as a blood donor, this can be done through pre-approved adoption programs affiliated with legitimate, sanctioned blood banks, a list of which can be obtained through the NGA.

NGA Blood Donor Policy for Adoption Programs

Any greyhound adoption program must be pre-approved by the NGA to use greyhounds for the purpose of blood donation prior to adoption and can only be done in conjunction with legitimate, sanctioned blood banks.

The adoption program must establish a written, contractual relationship in which the adoption program and the blood bank agree that any greyhound used for blood donation will only be used for a limited period of time, not more than 18 months and not to exceed the 7th birthday of the greyhound. The greyhound adoption program and the blood bank must agree that all documentation relating to the blood donor, including blood draw information, is available for inspection by the greyhound adoption program or a representative of the NGA at any time.

The blood bank must provide the adoption program, or any other named facility, all documented information on blood draws every six months. Prior to the donation period, the greyhound will be spayed or neutered, receive a full medical and dental exam and treatment and must obtain proof of clearance. This must be done by either the greyhound adoption program or the blood donation facility with the adoption program being responsible to forward this documentation to the NGA.

After the donation period, the greyhound will receive a full medical and dental exam and treatment with photographs and proof of clearance. This medical treatment must be done by either the greyhound adoption program or the blood donation facility with the adoption program being responsible to forward this documentation to the NGA.

The adoption program that makes the arrangement for the greyhound blood donor is then obligated to place the greyhound into an adoptive home after the donation period. All documentation regarding greyhound blood donors must be sent to the National Greyhound Association for review and filing. The adoption program is required to keep a copy of these files for seven (7) years and files must be available for inspection by designated NGA members at any time.

Any deficiency or violation in this policy by the adoption program may lead to termination from the program and/or from receiving NGA greyhounds for the purpose of adoption going forward. All adoption programs affiliated with blood donor programs must reapply for approval every two years.

BLOOD BANK GREYHOUNDS WARMLY WELCOMED BY ADOPTION GROUPS

A group of 151 greyhounds transferred out of a pet blood bank in Cherokee, Texas, have been warmly welcomed by adoption groups in Texas, Arizona and other southwest locations. The effort was jointly coordinated and funded by the Texas Greyhound Association (TGA), the National Greyhound Association (NGA) and the American Greyhound Council (AGC).

“We have been impressed with the overall excellent health and condition of these greyhounds,” said TGA President David Peck. “The dogs were checked by a veterinarian for tick-borne illnesses and any other health issues before their release, and the blood bank is providing those records to help adoption groups avoid unnecessary veterinary expense where possible.”

NGA Executive Director Jim Gartland said that dozens of adoption groups from around the country volunteered to take blood bank greyhounds. Preference was given to groups within a relatively short travel distance to minimize transport time.

“It takes a lot of hands on deck to manage the relocation of so many greyhounds,” Gartland said. “Thanks to the hard work of the adoption community, the greyhound racing associations and the folks at the Pet Blood Bank, these dogs are on their way to loving homes, in good health and ready to begin their new lives as family pets. “

BLOOD BANK GREYHOUNDS SET FOR IMMEDIATE TRANSITION TO ADOPTION PROGRAMS

The greyhounds housed at the Pet Blood Bank in Cherokee, TX, will be transferred into adoption programs starting this weekend under a joint effort by the Texas Greyhound Association (TGA), the National Greyhound Association (NGA), the American Greyhound Council (AGC), the blood bank facility, and several regional adoption groups, including the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT).

Russ Baker, attorney for the Pet Blood Bank, said all greyhounds at the facility will receive medical and dental examinations so that any health issues can be identified and addressed before the dogs enter adoption programs. The greyhounds have received regular veterinary care during their time at the Pet Blood Bank, and most appear to be in good health.

Baker said the blood bank will close its doors after the greyhounds have been removed, a development he blames on the extreme animal rights group PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

PeTA sent various media outlets an “undercover” video purporting to show greyhounds in ill health at the blood bank. The video has not been independently authenticated, and Baker said it grossly misrepresents blood bank operations. Law enforcement authorities and representatives of the TGA inspected the facility and confirmed that the greyhounds there appeared generally healthy. That didn’t stop PeTA, Baker said.

“The Pet Blood Bank’s decision to close was a business decision. Despite the fact that all inspections have verified that the greyhounds were healthy and receiving proper care, PeTA has continued to harass and threaten our clients. Their actions have caused our long-standing customer relationships to be terminated,” Baker said. “It’s clear that this animal rights attack was not about the truth but about raising funds through misrepresentation. PeTA created a controversy where none existed; it’s how they operate.”

PeTA has become famous for controversial campaigns , including ads comparing meat lovers to serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer and likening the consumption of chicken to the Holocaust. The organization also has been caught up in a controversy regarding its so-called pet shelter and adoption center, which since 1998 has euthanized, on average, nearly 86 percent of the pets housed there, according to media reports and state records.

In contrast, greyhound racing associations report that more than 95 percent of all registered greyhounds are adopted or returned to their owners as pets when they retire.

“We’re confident that every greyhound at the blood bank will be on its way to a loving new home within the next few days,” said Gartland. “We appreciate the cooperation of the blood bank management in helping us achieve that outcome.”

 

TEXAS GREYHOUND ASSOCIATION PROBES PET BLOOD BANK CONDITIONS

The Texas Greyhound Association (TGA) is investigating the care of retired racing greyhounds at a central Texas pet blood bank  in response to the release of a PeTA video that purports to show unhealthy greyhounds living in poor conditions at the facility.

The TGA has issued the following statement on the probe:

Although we are well aware of PeTA’s reputation for distorting the facts to raise money and get media coverage, the Texas Greyhound Association (TGA) takes any matters relating to greyhound welfare very seriously. We are currently investigating the allegations made against Pet Blood Bank Inc. A TGA representative visited the facility yesterday to conduct an initial inspection and found no signs of the serious neglect shown in the PeTA video. At the same time, a representative of the sheriff’s office arrived, and after inspecting the facility, indicated that he saw no evidence of seriously problematic conditions. The operator of the Pet Blood Bank advised us that he believed the video may have been taken several years ago when the facility was under previous ownership.
 
However, we are not yet satisfied. We are working with the sheriff’s department to arrange an independent veterinary inspection of the facility and the dogs housed there to get a  more in-depth understanding of the situation. Once we have completed that process and have all the facts, we will determine what further actions may be necessary.
The sheriff of San Saba County, where Cherokee, TX is located, also issued a statement after visiting the blood bank facility, according to a report on the website of KXXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Central Texas. The statement read as follows:
“It has come to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office of a story on the internet that there is a business in our county that has animals (Greyhounds) that are being abused and neglected. A Deputy went to the reported location and met with the owner who gave him free and unlimited access to the facility. The Deputy could see that all animals had food, water, and shelter and could find no signs of abuse or neglect and the animals appeared to be healthy. Also on scene was an Inspector with the Texas Greyhound Association would also found the story to be baseless. The Deputy then tracked down the Veterinarian who has been on location to check the animals within the recent months and he had never observed anything that would cause concern. The Sheriff and his Deputies take very seriously reports of abuse or neglect of wildlife, domesticated livestock, domesticated pets. We will continue to investigate any reports we are made aware of.”

 

THERE’S STILL TIME–GAPY NOMINATIONS TO CLOSE OCTOBER 1

Nominations for the Greyhound Adoption Program of the Year (GAPY) Award will close October 1. So far, ten groups have been nominated, including:

  • It’s a Grey Area Adoption–Pearl River, LA
  • G.R.A.C.E. (Greyhound Retirement Adoption Care Education)–Belleville, MI
  • GEM (Greyhounds of Eastern Michigan)–Wayne, MI
  • Greyhound Rescue Society of TX–Dallas, TX
  • GST’s Sun State Greyhound Adoption–Hialeah, FL
  • Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption–La Habra Heights, FL
  • Greyhound Adoption Service–Salisbury, MA
  • Maritime Greyhound Adoption Program–Moncton, Alberta, Canada
  • Northern Sky Greyhound Adoption–Sturgeon City, Alberta, Canada
  • Adopt a Greyhound Atlanta–Stone Mountain, GA

Two outstanding greyhound programs will be recognized. Each will receive a $1,000 grant and a permanent plaque. Any individual or organization may nominate a candidate for the award. To be eligible, the nominated organization must have adopted out or facilitated the adoption of at least 36 greyhounds during the previous calendar year.

It is only necessary to nominate a group once; the number of nominations received for any given group is not a factor in making the award.

HSUS, GREY2K REVEAL “CLUELESSNESS” AS HURRICANE IRMA BEARS DOWN

The storm is still raging in Florida, and the danger to people and animals is far from over, but the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Grey2K are already busy trying to exploit Hurricane Irma for the political and financial benefit of their radical agenda.

In a news release issued yesterday, the two groups attacked the greyhound racing community for a “lack of preparedness” in failing to evacuate dogs from Florida tracks. AGC spokesperson Jim Gartland said the criticism is foolish and unrealistic.

“Imagine dozens of greyhound owners trying to evacuate hundreds of dogs on jam-packed roads, making multiple trips to get all their greyhounds out, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 10-15 hours with gas shortages, deteriorating weather conditions, and nobody available for assistance in the event of an accident or emergency,” Gartland said. “What could possibly go wrong?”

Keeping greyhounds safe in place at track facilities makes much more sense. Most kennel buildings are built of concrete block or brick, and designed to withstand severe weather. Greyhound kennels have crates on two levels, so that dogs can be moved into the upper row of crates if water enters the lower level. Where flooding is a concern, kennel doors have been sandbagged to keep water out. Back-up generators are in place at each kennel to ensure a stable power supply throughout the storm.

Tracks and kennels have stocked up on food and water for their racers. Kennel owners and volunteers are riding out the storm in kennel compounds with the dogs to ensure their safety. Many tracks have veterinarians on stand-by if needed.

“HSUS and Grey2K spend their time playing politics and raising money,” Gartland said. “Unfortunately, very little of that money ends up providing any meaningful care for animals.”

According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, HSUS raised $2.2 million from concerned donors after thousands of pets were displaced by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. An investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that only about one-third of the donated funds were actually used for that purpose.

In contrast, Gartland said, people in greyhound racing are animal lovers who devote their time and resources to caring for their dogs. Some industry groups even help with displaced pets. After Hurricane Harvey hit the coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana last week, Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, Texas, offered its facilities as an emergency shelter for pets displaced during the storm. The track is working with three local organizations to provide care for lost and abandoned animals until they can be reunited with their owners or re-homed with new ones.

“It’s about making a difference where you can,” Gartland concluded. “That’s something HSUS and Grey2K just don’t get.”

INDUSTRY, ADOPTION GROUPS GEAR UP TO RE-HOME MOBILE GREYHOUNDS

The National Greyhound Association (NGA) issued the following statement today in response to notice from Mobile Greyhound Park that live racing would end at the facility as of August 19, 2017.

NATIONAL GREYHOUND ASSOCIATION

Statement on Closure of Mobile Greyhound Park

July 31, 2017

We have been informed by the management of Mobile Greyhound Park that the facility will be ending live racing following the program of August 19, 2017. The National Greyhound Association, in conjunction with the American Greyhound Council and Greyhound Pets of America, is working with our members and adoption groups throughout the country to ensure that each and every greyhound at Mobile Greyhound Park will be properly cared for until transferred to another racing facility to continue their careers or adopted out into a loving home. Members of all three organizations have already stepped up to volunteer time, equipment, money and any other services necessary to accomplish this task. We have been assured that Mobile Greyhound Park will be providing any goods and services necessary to facilitate the care, transport and re-homing of all greyhounds at their facility.

If you wish to help in this effort please contact the NGA (785-263-4660), Mobile Greyhound Park (251-653-5000), or Greyhound Pets of America (800-366-1471).

NGA ISSUES STATEMENT ON FLORIDA TRAINER SUSPENSION

The following statement was issued today by the National Greyhound Association (NGA):

There has been extensive news coverage in recent days of the suspension of a Florida greyhound trainer after several of his dogs tested positive for metabolites indicating exposure to an illegal substance. State regulators have suspended the trainer’s license pending an August hearing. An investigation is under way to determine the full facts of the situation. Until all the facts are known, it is important to let the state regulatory process move forward without prejudging the outcome.

Greyhound racing has its own process for addressing such situations. In addition to complying with all state and local laws, National Greyhound Association (NGA) members also must comply with rigorous association rules governing greyhound care. Any member who fails to do so may be banned from greyhound racing for life, and others prohibited from doing business with the violator. These tough penalties send a strong message that illegal or improper behavior will not be tolerated.

NGA rules, state laws and local racing regulations are designed to protect the health and welfare of racing greyhounds, and to preserve the integrity of the sport, while at the same time ensuring that those accused of crimes or violations receive the full due process to which they are entitled. Due process includes a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

As this investigation moves forward and coverage continues, we hope that members of the news media will rely on credible official sources for information, and disregard the hysterical clamoring of animal rights extremists that use such situations to generate publicity and raise funds to advance their anti-racing agenda.

ANNUAL GATHERING DRAWS GREYHOUNDS, OWNERS TO ABILENE

An impressive collection of greyhounds from all over the country, and their devoted owners, gathered in Abilene KS June 21-24 in support of greyhound adoption. Proceeds from the event were earmarked for Teddy Palmer’s Halfway Home Greyhound Adoption, in Tulsa, OK. Palmer is a past winner of the AGC’s Greyhound Adoption Person of the Year (GAPY) award, and a long-term leader in the greyhound adoption community.

Event coordinator Bec Maier said, “We strive to bridge adoption with the racing industry through education and promotion.” Maier described Halfway Home’s founder Teddy Palmer as a pioneer in the industry — one who has changed the way greyhound adoptions are handled.

“She forged what we now know as adoption groups,” Maier said. “She has currently moved 6,537 greyhounds. She has a small organization, but she is a little powerhouse–a keg of dynamite.”

This year’s event included tours of the Greyhound Hall of Fame, National Greyhound Association (NGA) offices, and several local farms, as well as education programs, featured speakers and other activities. One of the highlights of the program was a presentation by Rory Goree, a member of the Arizona Racing Commission and past president of Greyhound Pets of America.

            Award winner Rory Goree

According to reports, Goree wowed the crowd with his greyhound knowledge and stories. At the close of the gathering, former NGA Executive Director Gary Guccione presented him with a certificate of appreciation from the NGA and the American Greyhound Council (AGC), citing Rory’s many years of active involvement with greyhound adoption, and his dedicated efforts to build relationships between the racing industry and adoption groups for the benefit of retiring greyhounds.

Maier herself began adopting greyhounds 25 years ago. Since that time, she has had 51 greyhounds, with 16 currently enjoying life at her home.

 

PROMINENT GREYHOUND SURGEON TO RETIRE

From the National Greyhound Association (NGA) comes word of the planned June 28 retirement of Dr. Larry Dee, one of the nation’s most prominent veterinarians specializing in greyhounds and other animal athletes. NGA reporter Vera Rasnake reported the story in the June 22 NGA news bulletin as follows:

HOLLYWOOD, FL-June 28 will be a bittersweet day in the industry as renowned veterinarian Dr. Larry Dee retires after 48-years of practice in Hollywood, FL. The highly-celebrated surgeon is well-known in the industry for his knowledge and surgeries on both greyhound and other animal athletes.
 
Last year Dr. Dee shared fond memories and adventures from his younger days spent with Greyhound Hall of Famers Happy Stutz, Carroll Blair and Don Cuddy to name a few. The story featuring Dr. Dee was published in the fall 2016 Greyhound Review.
DD’s Nelson was Dr. Dee’s most revered greyhound success. Nelson was noted as the “bionic dog” in stories written about the greyhound that won stakes races and set track records after surgery resulting from a sports injury.
 
Dr. Dee was noted as North America’s top greyhound surgeon in the 80’s and is still considered the best by many in the industry. He is a wealth of knowledge to veterinarians, greyhound owners and trainers outside the FL area, too. Dr. Dee has shared his medical knowledge in the books he has written and in lectures given at symposiums in America and abroad.
 
Greyhound sports medicine is just one of the many offerings at the VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital that has emerged from humble beginnings. Dr. Dee’s co-workers described him as integral to the growth and development of the Hollywood practice from a small wellness clinic to a 24-hour Emergency, Specialty & Wellness facility. They describe his impact as a blueprint of his lifelong commitment to the care of their community that is imprinted on the staff. All stated that Dr. Dee will be honored forever in the continued care policies practiced at the animal hospital.
 
Dr. Dee leaves an indelible mark in the Greyhound industry and in his profession. He serves as President of the Ridge Veterinary Medical Society (Polk County), the Broward County Veterinary Medical Association, the FL Veterinary Medical Association, American Hospital Association and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association to name a few of his involvements. Dr. Dee served the American Veterinary Medical Association in its House of Delegates for 14-years. He was also on the board of Veterinary Specialties for 9-years and on the Executive Board for 6-years.
 
Dr. Dee continues to serve on the Board of Directors of “Florida Animal Friends,” which is celebrated with a specialty spay/neuter license plate in FL. He also serves on the American Veterinary Medical Foundation as treasurer and as an outgoing President of the Hollywood Rotary Club.
 
Dr. Dee may be retiring from practice, but he plans to continue serving the community that embraced his practice and helped it grow to the successful clinic it is today. A heartfelt thank you from the industry and the very best of wishes go out to Dr. Dee and his family in his new adventures in retirement.