LAW recently rescued a greyhound from the most barbaric cruelty. He had suffered third degree burns from boiling water. (This is the least worst picture because the injury is so gruesome). The kennel owner said he threw boiling water in the kennels to kill snails and the burns were an accident.
The kennel owner did not act immediately and did not provide any emergency treatment. The wound became infected but Limerick Animal Welfare’s vet quickly administered pain relief and intensive medical care. Soon, he was comfortable in a fresh bed. It’s going to take more than a month of bandaging and treatment to get him well, but he is getting great care from LAW’s vet who loves the hounds.
Fortunately, Greyhound Compassion had the funds available to contribute to the poor greyhound’s costs. GC has transferred a donation to LAW and hopefully this will fund a full recovery. Let’s hope and pray that we are soon posting pictures of him wagging his tail or reclining on a sofa in a loving home.
“Basta ya!” (Enough is enough!) was one among many comments made alongside our petition, imploring King Felipe VI of the Kingdom of Spain to withdraw his association with El Campeonato de Espana de Galgos en Campo through the Copa Su Majestad El Rey.
This would certainly be more befitting of his reign over a modern European society in the 21st century. The petition, which has now ended, collected 3,751 signatures from around the world.
This comes after our letter on behalf of all of the international organisations supporting Protectora y Santuario Scooby last year. We warned the King that if he didn’t act, we’d launch a petition.
We’ve now posted the final petition to King Felipe VI, along with the many comments we received.
In April, Greyhound Compassion was invited to the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (@APDAWG1) meeting about third party puppy sales. APDAWG seems to be an agile group giving small to mid-size dog welfare charities, organisations and campaigners a voice in Westminster.
Chaired by Rob Flello (Labour MP at the time and very good dog advocate) and Marc Abraham, the meeting had energy and gave us hope for an active voice on dog related issues in Westminster.
We were, however, hugely disappointed to learn at the meeting that DogsTrust, Battersea and the Blue Cross refuse to support an immediate ban on puppies sold in pet shops, preferring a stronger licensing regime for breeders.
Everything we’ve heard from Local Authority Inspectors suggests that local authorities have neither the financial nor human resources to strengthen licensing or stray dog control. This would be a completely unrealistic expectation.
Apparently, DogsTrust does not see a ban as a practical solution even though the Select Committee on Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs recommended a ban. We heard stories of back street and rural puppy farming supplying puppies for internet and pet shop sales and families buying these puppies in good faith.
Often, the puppies turn out to be sick with fatal consequences, or they end up in rescue because families cannot cope with the newly acquired puppy. This is a serious welfare issue and does mean that irresponsible breeding and abandonment of these dogs unnecessarily adds, at best, to an inflation the numbers in pounds and rescue centres (where we know the rescued greyhounds are also queuing up) and at worst to suffering and death.
A ban would improve the welfare of millions of dogs in the UK. Disturbingly, it has become apparent that, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has actually advised the Government against banning third party sales. The DogsTrust’s aversion to a ban appears to be primarily based on a view that it is necessary to satisfy the demand for puppies. Fuller information is available here. We were pleased to hear a statement read by the RSPCA making it clear that a ban is the only way to end puppy farming.
Since April, no meeting has been held by the APDAWG while new appointments are made. We will bring you further updates when we can.
One of the highlights of September is a trip to PupAid, the fun dog show organised by Marc Abraham (Marc The Vet) and his team of volunteers. The event is held in support of the PupAid campaign to end the cruel practice of puppy farming.
We entered Magic the greyhound into ‘Most Macho’ and he took 4th place, judged by Ali Drew from Ex on the Beach. Petal, the galgo, took 4th place in ‘Bravest Dog’ judged by Peter Egan, Sir Tony Robinson, Pen Farthing and Finn the police Dog with PC Dave Wardell.
PupAid is a lovely event, putting value on the dogs and exuding a warm, informal and fun atmosphere, helped by large doses of sunshine. Through awareness-raising and education, PupAid aims is to discourage people from buying puppies from pet shops or online from dealers. They ambition is that demand for these poorly pups will decrease, bringing to an end this evil practice of puppy farming. Marc relentlessly lobbies MPs in Westminster to positively influence laws affecting our nation’s pets. The campaign has the support of 120 MPs.
How and where should you find a dog?
PupAid’s aim is to educate the British public about the correct way to get a dog. They are urging people to either adopt a rescue dog or visit a responsible breeder where you will always see the puppy with its mother. If the puppy is not interacting with mum and the breeder is not an Assured Breeder recommended by the Kennel Club, then be suspicious.
If you ask us though, ‘adopt don’t shop!’ and only from a rescue centre which is a registered charity.
Over the years we’ve noticed at all of our collections how the public is now fully aware of the ills of the greyhound racing industry. Many of the people we speak to also know what fantastic pets greyhounds make. This in itself is not unusual.
There is also always the ex-trainer, son of an old-time trainer, who remembers schlepping between Walthamstow or White City or any other track in the country, or a former kennel maid or racing owner. They come over to the dogs, touch them with a deeper fondness than the usual city centre shoppers, and stuff a tenner in the tin as they explain that they know the dirty washing of inside racing and are glad to have thrown in the towel. This is not unusual.
There are others who ask us about Greyhound Compassion’s charitable objectives and we talk about the galgos rescued by Scooby. They are absolutely horrified when they learn about the thousands of galgos bred and killed every year for the hare coursing fraternity. Some shed a tear as we talk about the galgos rescued from the streets and hunters by Scooby. This is emotional, but not unusual.
So what was unusual about our flag day in Welwyn Garden City? It didn’t rain, was quite warm and sunny! But it wasn’t the weather or the kids learning how to interact with a pet dog. It was the outpouring of warmth from the donors who proactively came up to Dustin, Lucy, Petal and Magic.
They told us so fluently about their greyhound at home on the sofa, their lurcher who had stolen the lamb steak the night before (Chilli, you know who you are!), their greyhound they’d moved overseas with and is now commanding respect in their local village, their neighbour’s greyhound who has convinced them to home a greyhound when they retire. It was endless.
The affection they showed for Dustin and his co-collectors was enormous. This was coupled with an increased abhorrence for the opaque racing industry which exploits the greyhounds as its commodity without any obvious care for injuries or life expectancy beyond the racing return.
We are very grateful to the donors who folded up their loose change and put in our tin on that day in WGC, but what was striking was the infinite and immeasurable sympathy for these gentle, affectionate and abused hounds.