RORY GOREE RETIRES AFTER 17 YEARS AT GPA HELM

 
After 17 years with Greyhound Pets of America (GPA), ten of them as the organization’s President, long-time adoption leader Rory Goree retired from that position on April 1.
 

Goree, a U.S. Navy veteran, led GPA through a period of exceptional growth. Under his leadership, the organization added dozens of local chapters and placed thousands of retired greyhounds in adoptive homes.
 
Although Goree will no longer be involved in GPA, he plans to continue working on greyhound welfare issues nationally and internationally.
 
“Greyhounds will always be an important part of my life’s work,” he said. “But I guess it’s time for another adventure.” He expressed appreciation to the officers and volunteers of GPA, saying “it’s been a blessing” to work with them.
 
AGC Communications Coordinator Gary Guccione said Goree has been an exceptionally dedicated greyhound welfare advocate, establishing GPA as a national adoption leader with a dedicated army of local volunteers scattered all across the U.S.
 
“Rory should be extremely proud of the countless greyhounds that have enjoyed a better life due to his service,” Guccione said. “We wish him the very best in his future efforts, and look forward to working with GPA’s new leadership in the coming months and years."
 
Goree has been succeeded by current GPA Vice President Jim Shofstahl.

 

NGA URGES OWNERS TO VERIFY IDENTITY OF ADOPTION GROUPS

The National Greyhound Association (NGA) is warning greyhound owners to exercise caution in turning their retired racers over to unfamiliar adoption groups that may be shipping dogs to South America.

NGA Executive Director Gary Guccione said his organization has received reports that one or more individuals or groups may be taking retired greyhounds under the pretext of placing them in adoptive homes in the U.S., but actually sending those dogs to South America for continued breeding and racing.

"We have concerns about the treatment of greyhounds in South America, both at the track and later when they retire," Guccione said.

He continued, "To our knowledge, there are no organized programs to ensure that retired greyhounds are able to live out their lives in loving adoptive homes."

Before releasing greyhounds to any adoption organization or individuals claiming to represent an organization, Guccione said greyhound owners should verify that these parties are credible, responsible groups operating domestically and placing dogs for adoption exclusively within the United States.

For help in verifying the identity of an individual or group offering to accept greyhounds for adoption, please contact the NGA office at 785-263-4660 or by email.

NOMINATIONS FOR 2011 GREYHOUND PERSON OF YEAR AWARD NOW OPEN

The American Greyhound Council (AGC) announced today that nominations are now open for the 2011 Greyhound Adoption Person of the Year award. The nomination form is available online by clicking on the "Adoption Person of the Year" button on the lower right side of this home page.

 

 

 

 

AGC TO HSUS, ASPCA: OWN UP TO YOUR RADICAL AGENDA

Gary Guccione, AGC Communications Coordinator, comments on a February 8 media story that illustrates how animal rights groups disguise their radical agendas for mainstream media consumption.
 

 
Members of the greyhound racing community know that the money and power behind Grey2K USA comes from so-called “mainstream” animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
 
These groups have opposed greyhound racing for years, and are directly engaged in the campaign to end greyhound racing spearheaded by Grey2K. You’d think they’d be bragging about that.
 
Imagine our surprise, then, to see that both HSUS and ASPCA are apparently saying for public consumption that they "don’t oppose dog racing."
 
The article, written by AP reporter Sue Manning, ran on the MSNBC.com website on February 8. The focus of the story was sled dog rides and racing, but the reporter took a broader look at how leading animal rights groups view the use of dogs in racing and other sports.
 
The HSUS told the reporter it “doesn’t have an official position on racing for sport or recreation, just that it be humane to animals.” Yet HSUS contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Grey2K in support of its efforts to ban greyhound racing in Connecticut and other states. By subsidizing the Grey2K campaign, HSUS effectively adopts the Grey2K position of opposition to racing. So why don’t they come right out and admit it?
 
Similarly, the ASPCA told the reporter that it does not oppose racing, but opposes “any and all cruel practices in the sport of racing dogs on tracks, trails or snow.” Yet the ASPCA website devotes an entire page to instructions on how supporters can help “end the greyhound racing industry.” So why do they try to hide their position?
 
The answer is simple. Groups like HSUS and ASPCA are trying to disguise their radical agenda behind a smokescreen of moderation. They have decided that their definition of “humane” is the only one that matters. And they want to dictate how the rest of us interact with the animals in our lives, whether we’re talking about pets, livestock, research animals, or the varied species in your local zoo.
 
Our message to these organizations is simple. If you believe your position on greyhound racing is right, then own it. Admit that you’re opposed to dog racing, horse racing, animal agriculture, biomedical research, zoos, circuses, fishing and hunting. Tell the truth. Just admit it.

 

AGC CHALLENGES GREY2K MEMBER’S “LACK OF KNOWLEDGE”

The Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer heard from AGC Communications Coordinator Gary Guccione today in response to a published letter from Grey2K board member Caryn Wood. Guccione accused Wood of a "lack of knowledge" of the reality of greyhound racing, and took on some of the most common Grey2K distortions. Guccione’s letter was published on January 10, 2011.

January 10, 2011

Dear Editor:

The Jan. 2 letter ("Greyhound racing is cruel, inhumane") from a member of Grey2K, the radical animal rights group trying to eliminate all greyhound racing, shows the writer’s lack of knowledge about the reality of the sport. The letter merely parrots the misinformation commonly promoted by this misguided organization.

It should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that greyhounds would not be able to perform at their best on the track if they did not receive proper care and treatment off the track. To achieve peak performance, greyhounds must be well nourished, well rested, well exercised and healthy.

In fact, the excellent care and treatment that greyhounds receive during their racing careers is the main reason that most transition so successfully to life as beloved  family pets when they retire. Anyone who knows animals can tell you that ill-treated dogs rarely make good pets.

The Grey2K member is wrong, too, about injuries. In fact, the vast majority of greyhound injuries are minor, permitting the dog to return to racing in two weeks or less. Fewer than one-half of one percent of all greyhound injuries are life- threatening.

Greyhound racing works very closely with adoption groups around the country to find loving homes for retired greyhounds. Thanks to these collaborative efforts, nearly 95 percent of all registered greyhounds are adopted when they quit racing.

Regrettably, Grey2K makes no contribution to the welfare of greyhounds, either during or after their racing careers. Instead, they choose to devote their time and energy to political attacks and creating skewed videos for emotional effect.

We salute the hundreds of adoption groups that put their political views aside in order to work with greyhound racing for the benefit of the greyhounds.
Gary Guccione
American Greyhound Council
Abilene, Kan.
 

 

AGC TELLS MIAMI HERALD, “WE’VE MADE GREAT STRIDES!”

A December 27 story in the Miami Herald described greyhound racing as "a vanishing sport." In his response, AGC Communications Coordinator Gary Guccione has laid out a vision for greyhound racing in the 21st century. Read the full text of his letter.

Dear Editor:

The December 27 story by Linda Robertson on greyhound racing was a bittersweet but fair-handed look at the current status of the sport.

Despite claims by animal rights activists to the contrary, the real reason for the decline in greyhound racing has more to do with competition and changing lifestyles. The
enormous expansion of other gaming opportunities from coast to coast has greatly increased competition for the entertainment dollar.

Even more profound is the change in the nature of gaming itself. Fast-paced, highglitz graphics and instant electronic feedback have replaced older, more traditional forms of gambling. Online gaming has eaten into the profitability of racinos and card clubs. Even slot machine manufacturers are scrambling to find ways to make their devices more interesting, faster paced and more entertaining.

The demographic of greyhound racing customers has magnified the impact of these social changes. As baby boomers near retirement age, the next generation of
gamblers is a generation born and raised with computer keyboards at their fingertips.

The gambling world—greyhound racing included–will have to adapt to this demographic shift by finding new ways to attract younger, tech-savvy customers.

One thing is for certain. Greyhound racing has made tremendous strides in ensuring the health and safety of racing greyhounds from the farm to retirement and adoption.

Today, we’re very close to meeting our goal of 100 percent placement of all adoptable greyhounds. This is good news for everybody, including our customers, some of whom are among our most active adoption volunteers.

In addition, we’ve worked diligently to strengthen our internal controls, raise the bar on animal welfare standards, and weed out those who fail in their responsibility for responsible greyhound care.

The handful of people who violate our standards are, and have been, banned from the sport for life, and others prohibited from doing business with them. Few other sports impose such tough penalties for rule violations.

Greyhound racing doesn’t need to be huge to survive in the 21st century. It just needs to be well-run, technologically savvy and conscientious in its approach to greyhound welfare and adoption. We can do that!

Sincerely,

Gary Guccione, Communications Coordinator
American Greyhound Council
 

LINDA JENSEN NAMED AGC’S 2010 ADOPTION PERSON OF YEAR

A Connecticut woman who has spent more than twenty years leading the effort to find adoptive homes for retired racing greyhounds has been honored by the American Greyhound Council (AGC) with the 2010 Greyhound Adoption Person of the Year Award.

Linda A. Jensen of Plainfield was nominated by Joan Belle Isle, president of the Massachusetts-based Greyhound Project, Inc., and Ann Bollens, president of Greyhound Pets of America-Emerald Coast.

The nominators cited Jensen’s “unrelenting persistence in organizing, facilitating and coordinating” the movement of retired greyhounds from tracks and farms to greyhound adoption groups.

AGC Communications Coordinator Gary Guccione called Linda Jensen “one of the unsung heroes of the greyhound adoption community.”

“Linda has always put the greyhounds first,” Guccione said. “She has worked tirelessly to improve communication between adoption groups and the greyhound racing community, building trust and confidence between all the players for the ultimate benefit of the dogs.”

Among Jensen’s many contributions, she led an effort to ensure that funds from the Massachusetts Greyhound Welfare Trust Fund would be used to support adoption programs, and also initiated Greyhound Adoption Expo events at the tracks to educate adoption volunteers about track and kennel operations.

In 2005 Jensen played a key role in the successful placement of hundreds of retired greyhounds when Plainfield Greyhound Park permanently ended live racing. Later, she coordinated the movement of hundreds more greyhounds into adoption programs after a state referendum shut down Massachusetts tracks.

Linda Jensen will be recognized formally at the AGC’s spring meeting in February 2011 in Las Vegas. Her award includes a $500 donation to her adoption group, ROAR (Racing Owners Assisting Racers, Inc.).

The Greyhound Adoption Person of the Year award began in 2007 as a way of honoring those who make extraordinary contributions to greyhound adoption.

 

 

CALL US FOR HELP, NGA TELLS ADOPTION GROUPS

The National Greyhound Association (NGA) is sending a letter to more than 300 North American adoption groups reaffirming its commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all racing greyhounds.

NGA Executive Director Gary Guccione said his organization wanted to remind adoption groups that the NGA stands ready to assist them by holding greyhound owners accountable for reasonable expenses associated with adoption, and by taking quick action whenever concerns are raised about the condition of greyhounds on the farm, at the track or entering adoption programs.

Here is the full text of the NGA letter:

 
 

GREY2K LEADERS “SERIOUSLY ARROGANT,” KEELAN SAYS

Grey2K and HSUS suffer from "a serious case of arrogance," AGC Board Member Karen Keelan has written in a December 6 letter to the editor of the Boston Herald.

Keelan’s comments were in response to a recent guest column by Grey2K leaders Carey Theil and Christine Dorchak. Here is the full text of the letter, which was published in the December 9 edition.

Dear Editor:

From the recent column by Carey Theil and Christine Dorchak of Grey2K (“End run to dog race ban,” Nov. 27), it appears that these two individuals believe they have the personal right to dictate Massachusetts state policy on greyhound simulcasting.

The writers say “we accepted a temporary extension of simulcasting as an olive branch to dog track supporters.” Who elected them to accept or reject anything on behalf of Massachusetts nvoters? Is Grey2K now the arbiter of gambling policy in this state?

Grey2K and the radical animal rights groups that fund it suffer from a serious case of arrogance.They believe it is their right to dictate how people live, where they work, what they eat, drink and wear, and what kind of entertainment they can choose.

In Massachusetts, Grey2K and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) misrepresented the facts, distorted information and misled voters to achieve the ban on greyhound racing. Previous efforts failed because voters realized they were being misled. In 2008, the extremists succeeded, thanks to a huge infusion of cash from the HSUS, the world’s wealthiest animal rights organization.

Since the racing ban passed, many legislators and voters have sought to reverse it because they recognize it as a mistake. For the hundreds of people that supported their families in jobs associated with live greyhound racing,  the ban has been a devastating blow.

Greyhound racing may account for a small piece of the simulcast market, but it still generates dollars for the state and jobs for residents. It is not up to Theil and Dorchak to accept or reject that economic asset.

Sincerely,

Karen Keelan
Mashpee, MA

PETA “UNRELIABLE SOURCE” ON ANIMAL ISSUES, AGC TELLS MEDIA

The AGC has taken on PeTA in a letter to the editors of several east and west coast newspapers that carried a guest column by the radical group’s "research coordinator" Jennifer O’Connor. 

The AGC letter warned readers that PeTA’s extreme agenda makes it an "unreliable source of information" on animal issues.

Dear Editor:
 

PeTA’s Jennifer O’Connor got some facts wrong and left others out completely in her recent column attacking greyhound racing. As usual, PeTA’s goal is not to provide direct benefit or service to animals, but to score a political point in the pursuit of its extreme animal rights agenda.

 O’Connor referred in her column to a recent incident at a Florida track where 32 dogs (not 37 as she wrote) were found dead in a track kennel. In her eagerness to exploit this sad and isolated incident, O’Connor neglected to mention that it was the track’s own adoption coordinator, working with an adoption volunteer, that alerted authorities to the fact that several greyhounds turned over for adoption appeared to be malnourished and unhealthy.

 Greyhound racing organizations have called for aggressive prosecution of the kennel operator allegedly responsible for these greyhound deaths. The National Greyhound Association (NGA), the official racing greyhound registry, is assisting authorities in identifying the dogs. Tracks and kennel operators are working together to strengthen monitoring policies and procedures so that this kind of incident can never happen again.

It should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that greyhounds couldn’t perform at their best if they didn’t receive good food, adequate exercise, plenty of rest and prompt veterinary care. It’s also true that greyhounds wouldn’t adapt so well to life in their adoptive homes if they hadn’t been well treated and properly socialized during their racing careers.

Your readers should know that PeTA has its own motives for attacking greyhound racing.  As its website confirms, the PeTA agenda means no meat, no milk, no leather, no fishing, no zoos, no circuses—and ultimately, no pets.  This makes PeTA and Ms. O’Connor very unreliable sources of information on any issue involving animals.

Sincerely,

Gary Guccione
Abilene, Kansas