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.

AGC BALANCES GREY2K PRESENCE AT LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE

When members of the greyhound racing community noticed that Grey2K spokesperson Carey Theil was scheduled to appear on a “Future of Pari-Mutuel Wagering” panel at the June 9 National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) conference in Denver, they took quick action. Leaders from AGTOA, NGA and AGC emailed a letter to the conference coordinators asking that an AGC spokesperson be added to the panel to ensure that greyhound racing industry perspectives would be included. That request was granted, and NGA Executive Director Jim Gartland was given a spot on the program.

Jim’s message to legislators highlighted the extraordinary progress made on greyhound adoption over the past 25 years, thanks to constructive engagement between the racing community and over 300 volunteer adoption groups. He told legislators that the AGC conducts unannounced inspections of breeding farms to verify compliance with industry greyhound welfare standards. He also noted that the NGA has imposed extremely tough penalties on industry members who fail to provide proper greyhound care, including lifetime expulsion from the sport.

No presentation to legislators would be complete without a little education on the radical political agenda of Grey2K, its ties to extreme and very wealthy animal rights groups like HSUS, and its trademark tendency to misrepresent the facts in order to raise funds. Gartland urged legislators to seek out both sides of the greyhound racing story before falling victim to Grey2K misinformation, and to collaborate with the industry and qualified veterinarians when seeking to address legitimate greyhound welfare concerns.

Gartland reported that legislators in the audience were very receptive to the AGC message, and many took the time after his presentation to say hello, pick up his business card, and thank him for being there to provide much-needed balance to the panel.

CONSUMER FREEDOM FILES IRS COMPLAINT AGAINST HSUS

The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a leading opponent of animal rights extremism, has filed a complaint with the IRS alleging that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is abusing its not-for-profit status to benefit the for-profit corporation, Whole Foods. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sits on the HSUS Board of Directors.

The complaint alleges that HSUS is threatening food businesses with reprisals unless they procure their meats from the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), an organization set up by and largely funded by Whole Foods to “certify” humanely raised meat. HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle serves on the board of GAP. Whole Foods is reportedly paying the salaries of three GAP employees, including its Executive Director.

A story on the CCF website notes that HSUS appears to be acting as the “enforcer” by pressuring companies to buy only those products certified as “humane” by GAP, and available from Whole Foods. And, of course, HSUS and Whole Foods get to decide how “humane” is defined.

CCF concludes that the arrangement “smells rotten.” We couldn’t agree more. When you use your tax-exempt organization to grow the profits of a for-profit corporation run by one of your board members, in plain language–it stinks.

2017 GAPY AWARD NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN

Nominations for the American Greyhound Council (AGC) 2016 Greyhound Adoption Program of the Year (GAPY) Award are now open. New this year, the AGC Board of Directors has voted to establish a basic eligibility requirement for all GAPY nominees. To be eligible for the 2017 GAPY Award, the nominated organization must have adopted out or facilitated the adoption of at least 36 greyhounds in the preceding calendar year (2016). The nomination form has been modified to reflect that new standard.

The GAPY Award was launched in 2007 by the American Greyhound Track Operators Association (AGTOA), and became a program of the AGC in 2010. The recognition started as an individual award, but in 2014 was modified to recognize adoption organizations instead of individuals.

The GAPY Award recognizes two outstanding adoption organizations each year. Each of the winners receives a $1,000 donation and a commemorative plaque. AGC Communications Coordinator Jim Gartland said the GAPY Award has become synonymous with excellence in the greyhound adoption field.

“Greyhound adoption has become an international success story, thanks to the hard work of hundreds of dedicated adoption volunteers across the U.S. and Canada,” Gartland said. “The GAPY Award is our way of saying thank you to all those incredible organizations that make great things happen for retired racers.”

Anyone may nominate an adoption group for the award. Nominations will remain open until late September, with winners to be announced in December 2017.

NAPLES DAILY NEWS HIGHLIGHTS SUCCESS OF EVERETT KENNEL

Naples High graduate and top greyhound owner Kelly Everett was the focus of a great story in the February 28 edition of the Naples Daily News. Here’s the article in its entirety.Read

Kelly Everett visited the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track with his mother Cindy two decades ago. Except for sleeping at home, he has never left.

Everett’s love affair with the greyhounds has taken him from kennel assistant to trainer, and now one of the most successful owners in the 60-year history of the Bonita Springs track.

“They are truly part of my family,” Everett, 37, said of his greyhounds. “I spend more time with the greyhounds than my actual family. Once you’re involved with them it’s easy to get attached. You might say I have 66 children, thinking of the dogs I own and others in the kennel trained for other owners.”

Everett has cemented himself as the leading trainer by recording 374 wins and earning $319,830 in 2015-2016, and another 200-plus wins and $153,718 in purses in 2016-2017.

The Bonita Springs resident and Naples High School graduate is nearing 2,000 wins at the track as a trainer or owner under the Everett Racing banner.

Everett has been the leading trainer in Bonita Springs for four years — and the last three years at the sister track in Miami, Flagler Dog Track. Everett has delivered the results for the kennel, winning three Naples-Fort Myers Derby races while grooming three local All-American greyhounds – Tiger Boy, B’s Headliner and Where’s Big Cash.

Everett Racing has two greyhounds, Flyin Mike Tyson and Flyin Honor Code, in the $50,000 Naples-Fort Myers Derby Championship on Saturday night.
Everett watches nearly every race, and just grimaces when one of his dogs gets bumped out of the money while they’re going 30-40 mph, usually in less than 31 seconds.

“They’re absolutely athletes and are treated like an athlete with nutrition, exercise and good vitamins,” he said. “You know when you come in the dogs are happy to see you. They kind of let you know you’re there for them.

“Dogs have to be in good condition to race. People that have pets at home, it’s simple, and these dogs are high maintenance.”

Everett, who bowled a 300 game at age 15 to become the youngest in Florida to accomplish the feat, starts a track day at 5 a.m.

“Turn them out in the pen, then exercise and weighing, feeding at 7 a.m. and then a second turnout,” he said. “On a typical day, we’ll feed them red meat, pasta noodles and dry grain — no sugar but occasionally bananas or a treat.
“I always check a dog for soreness or scratches after he or she races, and the vet will inspect again on the next race day.”

But it’s not all work or business with the greyhounds.

“Certain dogs will play around, throw their muzzle on you, then jump up and hug and it’s really cool to see them smile with their mouth wide open,” he said. “Flying Nnamdi, a stakes winner, had such a personality, always wanting to play. After you are around them for 80 hours in a week, you kind of know who’s who and some of their mannerisms.”

Racing secretary Ron DePari has watched Everett become successful with a simple formula.

“Every single day I’m at the track Kelly is here working, no matter what time of the day,” DePari said.

Greyhounds typically race until they are four years old, and then are made available for adoption. “More greyhounds are adopted than any other breed,” Everett said. “They’re unique — something you won’t find at the pet store. I’ve been their caretaker for several years so I’m not surprised when people who adopt tell me how attached they have become.”

Everett does have some betting advice.

“There are a lot of different reasons to wager on a certain dog, like the horses, everything from bloodlines to past performances,” he said.

BOYCOTT TRIP ADVISOR FOR PETA TIES, SAYS WATCHDOG GROUP

The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is calling for a boycott of TripAdvisor after the online travel planning service decided to restrict its users from booking certain animal attractions at the behest of PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). CCF is a high-profile animal rights watchdog group founded in 1996.

In a February 16 news release announcing the campaign, CCF asked, “What’s next? Delisting of steak houses and sports bars that serve meat-centric munchies?” To mobilize anti-PeTA forces, CCF has launched a new website, BadTripAdvisors.com. The site features a petition that supporters can sign urging TripAdvisors to “stop listening to the dog-killing activist group PeTA and commit to a neutral policy on booking family events of any stripe.”

The reference to PeTA as a “dog-killing activist group” is based on PeTA’s known record of killing thousands of animals it supposedly “rescued” in the state of Virginia, where the animal rights group is based. According to Virginia state statistics, since 1998 PeTA has killed nearly 35,000 dogs and cats transferred into its care.

CCF is probably best known for another website, humanewatch.org, which focuses on the extreme positions and radical agenda of the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) and its CEO, Wayne Pacelle.