We’re really honoured to have the support of Quaker Concern for Animals (QCA) on two initiatives which will help our charitable objectives.
Magic, a rescued racer from Nottingham track, was adopted by one of the Greyhound Compassion Trustees a couple of years ago. He finished racing one Saturday night in March 2016 at the age of 5, having raced 120 times. Now he’s a firm favourite on a different circuit – spreading the word about the plight of racing greyhounds and fund-raising for those less fortunate than him.
So far this year he has given a talk to his local Women’s Institute, presided at the Greyhound Compassion fun dog show, but left the judging to the judge, and has been an Ambassador for many less fortunate greyhounds at 7 Greyhound Compassion flag days. These “meet and greets” are a good way of spreading the word about the vast numbers of greyhounds needing homes and talking to the public about the greyhound racing. They are often surprised that greyhounds race from morning until night so that racing can be streamed to high street bookies and around the internet. The other disturbing fact is that the racing industry published its injury and end of life stats for the first time this year and revealed that 1,013 racing greyhounds were put to sleep or suffered sudden/natural death in 2017, 25% of which took place at the track. There were 4,837 injuries last year.
Magic becomes Greyhound Ambassador for QCA & GC
Magic’s next set of diary engagements will now embrace his new role for QCA – he is to be an official “Ambassador” for greyhounds at Greyhound Compassion’s events and QCA will report on his activities from time to time and contribute to Greyhound Compassion’s charitable projects where possible. These include funds towards subsistence, vet care and kennel maintenance for greyhounds and galgos at Greyhound Rescue (Lincolnshire), Protectora y Santuario Scooby and Limerick Animal Welfare.
Magic’s calendar over the next few weeks includes Greyhound Compassion flag days on 25 August in Welwyn Garden City and on 8 September in Hertford. However, his biggest engagement this summer will be the Greyhound Rescue Sponsored Walk in Pinewoods, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, in memory of Freya. Freya was rescued from greyhound racing a few years ago. She suffered a terrible trauma while racing which meant she could not be homed from the Lincolnshire shelter. One attempt at homing didn’t work out, devastating her adopted family, but it wasn’t to be. Instead she lived her life out at the shelter where she came to trust her carers. She played happily with them but could not face the rest of the world. Sadly she passed away last year. Now Greyhound Rescue is holding a sponsored walk or walk for a donation in her memory.
You Can Sponsor Magic On The Pinewoods Walk In Freya’s memory
If you would like to sponsor Magic on the walk or make a donation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
QCA GETS BEHIND BRISA THE GALGO
The second aspect of our relationship with QCA is about support for a special galgo – Brisa. Brisa was rescued earlier this year as part of a pack of hunting dogs of various breeds including beagles, bassets, fox hounds, terriers, galgos and dogo argentinos. They were held by one man and rented out to hunters on their boar hunting excursions. Protectora y Santuario Scooby rescued all of the 36 dogs from unprecedented circumstances of neglect and animal abuse. Scooby is taking legal action against the pack owner. This was a situation in which dogs were killing each other, sickening evidence of this has been given to the authorities. The dogs were malnourished and on the verge of death, all were covered in fleas and ticks and several have tick borne diseases.
Scooby is appealing for funds to cover the veterinary treatment for the dogs and the costs of mounting a legal case against the perpetrator of the cruelty. We have hope because a previous prosecution brought by Scooby against an owner of neglected horses and donkeys resulted in a 6 month suspended jail sentence and prohibition from owning animals for 2 years. We hope Scooby can be successful in this latest case too.
Brisa is an older lady from the pack and is now living with Fermin Perez of Scooby in special care at his home. The court has placed her in Fermin’s care while the formal complaint is completed. Although Brisa has made progress, she does have Ehrlichiosis and this needs regular treatment with antibiotics (doxycyclilne). Eventually, when she is fit and after the court case, Scooby will be able to spay her.
Although Brisa shows signs of having been a keen hunting dog, she is adjusting to living with the rescued geese and ducks and other animals at Scooby. She is very sweet, quiet, patient and walks obediently by Fermin’s side. She doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body. The relief she feels to be comfortable, safe and secure is immense.
QCA is going to sponsor Brisa and contribute to the costs of her care, for which we are very grateful.
We wrote to Clarissa Baldwin CBE, Chair of the Greyhound Forum, to ask what advice the Forum has been giving track managers in this heatwave when the guidance to pet dog owners has been to take all precautions to avoid heatstroke.
The response from Clarissa Baldwin CBE (Chair of the Greyhound Forum) acknowledged that the hot weather situation in racing is appalling and assured us that the Forum members were pressing for industry reform. The reply indicated that whilst the hot weather posters were sent to all tracks, there are currently no sanctions on tracks that continue to race when welfare of the greyhounds could be compromised. The Forum is asking for some proper scientific research, a Rule added to the Rule Book and then heavy sanctions on those that disregard it.
We responded by questioning why scientific research is needed when the dangers of exercising dogs in hot weather are already well-known. Indeed the RSPCA website has seasonal advice for dog owners. We also wondered why the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), as the regulator, couldn’t act to change or apply a special regulation in these extreme circumstances. All of this was accepted by the Chair and she informed us that talks were being held yesterday.
In parallel with this email correspondence we discovered that the GBGB had issued hot weather advice yesterday (in full below) which included: the track vet’s advice will be respected and racing managers are advised not to hold 6 bend races during the day. In our view this is not good enough for obvious reasons and implies the track vet’s advice is not always respected.
On the other hand the Irish Greyhound Board has suspended all trials and racing between 10am and 7:30pm (full details below) and has deferred key races. Both IGB and GBGB issued a veterinary advice bulletin about caring for racing greyhounds (both are below). Surprisingly the GBGB advice note indicates that some have advocated putting the greyhound in an open chest freezer. Thankfully the vet has rejected this idea warning of a real risk of freezer burns to the feet and any wetted skin.
It’s good that the IGB has taken these welcome steps and we think the GBGB should follow suit. We are surprised the GBGB has not taken adequate steps especially as yesterday was the first day of the GBGB’s new Chairman, formerly CEO of the RSPCA.