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.”



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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 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.


The Women of Greyhound Racing have stepped up once again to support the fight against breast cancer. Here’s the story, as it appeared on the website of the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley:

The Lee Ann Foundation, a component fund of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, received a generous gift from the Women of Greyhound Racing (WoGR) in support of the ongoing fight against breast cancer.The $12,000 contribution was made possible by a variety of fundraising efforts that included a t-shirt sale and online greyhound themed auction.

The Women of Greyhound Racing was established in 2013 and seeks to not only recognize women in all elements of the greyhound industry, but to also support charitable causes related to breast cancer. The timing of the project coincides with the organization’s Fall National Meet which includes elements of breast cancer awareness and recognition for both racing greyhounds and those involved in the industry.

The 2016 campaign proved to be the most successful and also marked the first time proceeds were directed to a cause in West Virginia. Charities in areas with racing are selected annually to benefit from the WoGR campaign. The Lee Ann Foundation was recommended to the organization by racing personnel at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.
Penny Wick, organizer of the project, was thrilled with the response. But she was not necessarily surprised since those involved in the greyhound scene regularly support relevant causes.

“We had donations of all types from 23 states and two Canadian provinces. It ranged from a grandmother, whose daughter raises greyhounds, to the owner of a racetrack facility, large greyhound operations and individual greyhound adopters. The largest single contribution was $1,300 and smallest, $5, both auction items,” Wick shared.

The Lee Ann Foundation was founded in 2009 after its namesake, Lee Ann Schambach, passed from inflammatory breast cancer. Lee Ann’s strength and fight inspired family members to create an opportunity to support others as they navigate similar journeys. The Schambachs knew all too well the added expense that accompanies a challenging diagnosis.

Through the Lee Ann Foundation, local patients are able to receive monetary support for co-pays, wigs, travel expenses, supportive care services and other related treatment items.

Brian Schambach, widower of Lee Ann, was humbled by the generosity of the group and is eager to continue supporting those fighting cancer. “I was astonished and stunned when I learned the Women of Greyhound Racing would be donating $12,000 to the Lee Ann Foundation,” he said. “We work hard throughout the year at various fundraisers and don’t compile an amount like that. I’m grateful.”

Since 1972, the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley has connected donors who care with causes that matter by making grants to organizations working to improve the quality of life in the Upper Ohio Valley. With assets of more than $34 million, the Foundation assisted in distributing more than $2 million in grants and scholarships during 2015-16. From strengthening community schools to assisting local arts programs, from building health centers to assisting victims of violence or natural disasters, the Community Foundation continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Foundation online at www.cfov.org.


If you’ve been thinking about nominating your favorite adoption group for the Greyhound Adoption Program of the Year (GAPY) Award, there’s still time to do so. AGC Communications Coordinator Jim Gartland has announced that the nomination deadline has been extended to October 1, 2016.

The GAPY award was started in 2007 by the American Greyhound Track Operators Association (AGTOA) as an individual award, and became a program of the American Greyhound Council (AGC) in 2010. In 2014, the emphasis shifted to recognizing adoption organizations.

Any individual or organization may nominate a candidate for the GAPY award. Each of the two organizations selected as winners each year will receive a $1,000 donation.

Previous winners include:

2015:  Greyhound Crossroads, South Carolina; Second Chance Greyhounds, Georgia.

2014:  SOS Levriers de Quebec, Canada; Project Racing Home Greyhounds, North Carolina.

2013:  Monica Smith, Greyhound Support Transport

2012:  Lesley Ezkovich, It’s a Grey Area

2011:  Ann Bollens, GPA Emerald Coast Chapter

2010:  Linda Jensen, Massachusetts