Great turnout for the Greyhound Compassion sponsored walk today with all sorts of breeds of dogs – the most we’ve have ever had.
Thank you to everyone and all the hounds who took part. Although we’ve resumed winter temperatures, the weather held out – just. It was a lovely bracing walk.The walkers all received goody bags with treats and tennis balls and a rosette for each dog. Thanks to Judy Shirley for organising the walk and Laura Cuthbertson for making up the bags with kind donations from Pets at Home and Crofts of Banbury. Judy also gave out her homegrown young sunflower plants as a gift.
Judy is now collecting the sponsor money. Thanks to everyone who gave a donation on the day.
To quote Judy: “ Feeling nicely tired now – had a really good afternoon. Jude.”
As you hear the gentle clink of ice cubes and fizz of tonic in your summer G&T and recline in your deckchair, iPad in hand, soaking up the sun (having soaked up the rain already) and contemplate what you could do from the comfort of your lounger to raise funds for the greyhounds and galgos, please consider these 5 things:
1. Buy a handmade iPad/iPhone cushion from £5 to lodge your iPad firmly on your lap before progressing to the next 4 things….
2. Sort out your jewellery and donate your unwanted pieces (gold, silver and costume jewellery) to Greyhound Compassion. We have a reliable and fair supporter who is a jewellery expert and will buy donated jewellery from Greyhound Compassion.
3. Register Greyhound Compassion as your preferred cause on Easyfundraising – “feel good shopping”. When you shop online, from groceries to getaways, you could be raising funds for Greyhound Compassion if you shop with any of over 3,000 well-known retailers via Easyfundraising and a percentage of your spend is donated to Greyhound Compassion at no additional cost to you. It’s also possible to Gift Aid the donation. Thanks to 11 shoppers we have raised £388.93 from Easyfundraising over the last 3 – 4 years. Please help us to boost this with your weekly shop! If only you’d nominated Greyhound Compassion when you booked that flight to your beachside deckchair now!
4. Sponsor – A – Hound online as a birthday or Christmas gift for a friend or relative, or treat yourself.
5. Renew your Greyhound Compassion membership online for just £5 per annum. You’ll receive our annual newsletter and a Greyhound Compassion lapel pin.
Every year we make sure Greyhound Compassion’s outgoings pay tangible expenses for the shelters we support and last year was no exception. Scooby had finance for renovations to the galgo enclosures. Dungarvan had help for the rescue of 10 greyhounds from filthy conditions. We contributed to the transport preparation costs for the Limerick greyhounds going to their homes in Italy. The Lincolnshire greyhounds nearly had a chilly Christmas when the boiler in their kennels stopped working and we paid towards a replacement. So thanks to you, were able to hit the spot with our funds as our Annual Review shows.
We hope to see you at our fund-raising events this year.
If you are not able to join us, perhaps you’d consider one of the “five things from your deckchair” and help us to continue helping the greyhounds and galgos. Thank you.
This year we are appealing for funds to build an 800m brick wall to replace dilapidated fencing at Protectora y Santuario Scooby….
There is a corridor which provides access to the galgos in 15 – 20 runs and the surrounding fencing is in dire need of replacement. It needs to be replaced with bricks up to shoulder height (human shoulder height) and then chain link fencing on top. This gives the dogs the benefit of natural light and fresh air in their outdoor runs but without a transparent view into each others’ territory, withdrawing the opportunity to antagonise each other, or to dig under the fence to reach the neighbours, or break out and go on a tour of the shelter! This corridor and its passages amounts to 800m of enclosures. This is a large-scale project and we estimate the cost will be €20,000.
We will help Scooby with the fund-raising appeal for these needs which are critical for the shelter’s survival as a much-needed galgo refuge. Thanks to your support and donations, we already have £3,000 towards these renovations. A Facebook auction organised by a small group of friends in Holland (but not a Dutch auction!) raised €5,000 for the brickwork and 4 young, Slovenian volunteers are being sponsored to run the Medina del Campo (home of the Scooby shelter) 10k run and so far we have pledges of €3,710. This means we still have to raise €7,900 We will also apply to grant funding bodies for assistance. If you would like to donate towards the new brickwork, or know a company interested in sponsoring the wall (complete with advertising!) please let us know
We attend the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group, (#APDAWG; Twitter handle: @APDAWG1) which features PupAid’s campaign to ban the sale of puppies via third party sellers. We were thrilled when the Government e-petition calling for Lucy’s Law’s ban on puppies in pet shops and all commercial third party sellers breached 120,000 signatures. This means it will be debated in Parliament. Named after a Cavalier Spaniel rescued from a Welsh puppy farm, #Lucyslaw has the support of more than 90 MPs. The sale of puppies by pet shops and other so-called third party dealers is a trade that relies on animals supplied by horrendous puppy farms. If enacted #LucysLaw will bring about an immediate end to cruel puppy farming enabled by third party sales of pups. The campaign is led by TV vet Marc Abraham, winner of the Mirror’s 2015 Animal Hero Awards, backed by The Daily Mirror, and launched in Parliament by Scottish Nationalist MP Dr Lisa Cameron, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group.
Please lobby your MP to back #LucysLaw and to push for reform through the debate in Parliament. Please keep signing: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/213451
Greyhounds and Galgos in repose (doing what they do best) but actively supporting #LucysLaw.
We support Limerick Animal Welfare and the team’s greyhound rescue work. They are generally inundated with greyhounds, surplus to requirements and home many in the US and Italy. Pet Levrieri places the greyhounds in super family homes in which they are treated like kings. Pet Levrieri transports them to Italy from Ireland. Limerick Animal Welfare prepares the dogs and their passports in readiness. Greyhound Compassion’s funds goes towards food, vets’ bills and preparing the paperwork for these lucky greyhounds to go to their forever homes in Italy.
Valerie was found straying in Limerick in November last year. She has an ear tattoo and having researched it, we know she was born on 22 November 2014 but has never been named and there is no record of where she has been since she was born.
Now called Valerie, she was found in a filthy state and covered in fleas. Limerick Animal Welfare took her in and has rehabilitated her with veterinary skill and loving care. She will be homed as soon as the right home is found for her.
Do you remember poor Zeuss from our October Ezine? The poor greyhound who suffered third degree burns when the kennel owner tried to kill snails in Zeuss’ kennel? Zeuss was the collateral damage. Thanks to Limerick Animal Welfare’s vet and your donations, Zeuss made a good recovery and is living in the lap of luxury in Italy. He is so comfortable and that glint in his eyes reveals who is in charge now…
We have continued to support Dungarvan Rescue, the one-woman band, working hard to rehabilitate rescued greyhounds, lurchers (and German Shepherds) and actively speaking out about the greyhound wastage in the racing industry in Ireland.
Last year Mary at Dungarvan Rescue rescued 10 greyhounds, saved along with 130 others from squalor and neglect at a greyhound racing kennel. We were able to provide a financial contribution to their restore their well-being. Generally they had been well fed but covered in parasites and needed intensive rehabilitation. Mary took 10 to her shelter and other rescue organisations accommodated the other 130. All of the Dungarvan 10 are now in homes in the United Kingdom, thanks to Mary’s UK contacts. In Mary’s words “this was a situation gone bad” and the Irish Greyhound Board (the racing regulatory body in Ireland) had allegedly known about the problem for 2 years leading up to the rescue. We are pleased the dogs are safe and sound thanks to Mary and fellow rescuers. As soon as we have photos of them in the comfort of their homes, we’ll post them.
Greyhound Compassion condemns the 2017 statistics published by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain on 14 March 2018 on its own website. The statistics fail to disclose the total number of greyhounds racing on the UK tracks making the total data context difficult to analyse. The statistics reveal there were 257 “track fatalities” in 2017. This equates to 5 greyhounds per week dying on British racetracks – one too many per day in a working week. The GBGB euthanasia figures show 1,013 greyhounds having been put to sleep or suffering “sudden” or “natural” death. Of these, at least 67% of the deaths lack detailed explanation or were because “no home found” or treatment costs were deemed too expensive. The bookmakers’ net profit in 2014 (latest data GC has identified) was £237m from greyhound racing. Hard to believe a multi-million pound industry found treatment costs too expensive for its staple commodity.
At the same time as publishing the 2017 statistics, the GBGB launched “The Greyhound Commitment”, setting out a series of promises and initiatives, including an intention that every greyhound that can be homed when it retires is successfully homed. This is quite a revelation because over the years racing enthusiasts have been adamant that there has not been a problem and if the owners and trainers have not taken the dogs into their own homes, charity home finders have been homing the surplus greyhounds. Now “The Greyhound Commitment” contradicts this. In addition, the funding behind “The Greyhound Commitment” does not yet appear to be firmly in place.
In response to the published statistics, the EFRA Committee called for a statutory levy to be placed on bookmakers (including online bookmakers) profiting from greyhound racing in the UK in a letter from the Committee’s Chair, Neil Parish MP, to Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The EFRA Committee welcomed the publication of the figures and the greater transparency they provide, but also called for further efforts to reduce the number of dogs euthanised due to financial considerations. Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said:
“Greyhound racing should be subject to the same high standards that we expect of any sport involving animals. If greyhound racing is to thrive in the UK, it must prioritise animal welfare over financial gain. Bookmakers make huge profits on greyhound racing and they have a responsibility to support greyhound welfare whether they trade from the High Street or trade online. We remain resolute in our belief that a statutory levy on bookmakers is essential to protect the welfare of racing dogs in the UK.”
“We welcome the figures published today by GBGB, showing a commitment to greater transparency about the destination of retired racers. However, we are concerned that 355 dogs were put to sleep last year because no suitable home could be found or because of the high cost of medical treatment. The welfare of racing dogs should be paramount and every effort should be made to reduce the number of dogs being put to sleep for economic reasons.”
Also noteworthy is that the statistics and “The Greyhound Commitment” exclude the greyhounds racing on the independent (“flapping”) tracks. The existence of parallel systems (GBGB licensed in addition to the flapping tracks) was of concern to the EFRA Committee in its 2015 review.
The League Against Cruel Sports provided valuable commentary on the GBGB’s 2017 statistics and, rightly so, repeated its call for a ban on greyhound racing : “….It is time greyhound racing was consigned to the ranks of cruel sports which are no longer acceptable…..injuries are not an unavoidable risk – they are an inevitable consequence of an industry based on dogs’ suffering.”
And all of this for the first time since greyhound racing started in the UK in…..1926.
You might recall from our 2016 and 2017 newsletters that Greyhound Compassion has been closely monitoring developments around the review of the Welfare of Racing Greyhound Regulations (2010) during which the EFRA Select Committee and DEFRA committed to holding the greyhound racing industry’s feet to the fire.
One of the key EFRA recommendations in its report of 2016 from its review in 2015 was that welfare data relating to injury, euthanasia and rehoming numbers be recorded and published. The EFRA Select Committee found that the lack of publicly available data made it difficult to judge the level of welfare provision. The Welfare of Racing Greyhound Regulations (2010) required greyhound tracks to record the injury, euthanasia data and stats about greyhounds leaving the industry as part of the local authority licensing regime and the UKAS regime run by the GBGB but the data were never actually collated centrally by the GBGB. In 2016 DEFRA secured the GBGB’s commitment to publish the statistics with a full set of data to be ready by the end of 2017.
Parliamentary questions posed by Jim Fitzpatrick MP in December 2017 reveal that the Government (DEFRA) expects the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) to begin publishing annual aggregate injury and euthanasia statistics for GBGB tracks and annual summary statistics for the number of registered greyhounds leaving the industry. The figures will cover the preceding calendar year and, for greyhounds leaving the industry, the data will include by what method. GBGB is expected to begin publishing both sets of data by the end of March 2018. Access to anonymised track injury and euthanasia data will be considered by the GBGB’s Welfare Standing Committee and DEFRA for bona fide research purposes. We are not clear about what “bona fide research purposes” means and are trying to find out. Nor do we know how DEFRA intends to handle data related to the independent tracks. Likewise, we are enquiring about the plan for these tracks outside of GBGB control.
DEFRA has been clear that if necessary it will regulate the industry because it is important, in George Eustice’s (DEFRA) own words: “to keep the GBGB’s feet to the fire and to make it understand the stakes”.
Chinese New Year takes place on a different date each year because it is based on the lunar calendar. 2018 is the Year of the Dog and it will be celebrated on 16 Feb, giving the GBGB about 6 weeks to finalise its data sets. We are waiting.
Thank you very much for your support for Greyhound Compassion during 2017. With your help, we have managed to make our funds stretch a long way to help a number of greyhounds and galgos. We were pleased to be able to fund CCTV for the rescue kennels in Lincolnshire as well as veterinary and food bills. Thank you also to those who donate bedding, food and soft toys which we deliver with pleasure from time to time. We contributed to Mary’s expenses to save the “Dungarvan 10” greyhounds rescued from squalor along with 140 others. Good to know that prosecutions may follow in that case. Then there was poor, poor Zeuss who suffered 3rd degree burns after having boiling water poured on him by his kennel owner. Thanks to Limerick Animal Welfare’s vet, Zeuss made a good recovery. At Scooby we funded the division of the last-remaining large enclosure and the French support group installed brand new kennels in the newly created plots. This means the galgos can live in smaller groups in secure enclosures. Our Year in Review is shown below so that you can see in more detail how we’ve spent our finances. 96.25p of every £1 we raise goes directly to a galgo or greyhound. Please contact us if you would like our full annual report for 2017.
Thank you to our supporters who fund-raise in aid of Greyhound Compassion by running sales stalls, raffles and tombolas as well as holding sponsored and social events, selling via Ebay and car boots, joining us on flag days and helping at jumble sales. This means we can always keep a small fund in case of emergency and it happened last week! Dawn from Greyhound Rescue in Lincolnshire telephoned to tell us that the boiler for the kennels had broken beyond repair, just what you don’t need at the end of November. Dawn thought it would cost £2k to replace. Greyhound Compassion could immediately offer the money. However, the final best estimate put the cost at £4k. Greyhound Compassion couldn’t afford the full amount but we honoured our £2k commitment. The greyhounds are now toasty in their beds.
In fact, Sheila Shotter is holding one such stall this weekend @GuestwickChristmasMarket. She is kindly selling her handmade Seasonal crafts in aid of Greyhound Compassion. Thank you very much to Sheila.
Elaine, Jane and Jayne sponsored and manned the Greyhound Compassion stall at the SW Animal Aid Christmas without Cruelty Festival. Very grateful to them for spreading the word about the plight of the greyhounds.
Next year Scooby has asked Greyhound Compassion to help raise money for the salary for the on-site vet. This is a position beset with challenge. It is a demanding job and relentless. It has been difficult to find suitably qualified vets to give the shelter the medical support it deserves. We are hoping to step up our grant funding applications in aid of this particular need. On top of this the fencing at the shelter is in need of repair. This is about 1km of fencing which needs renewing. Look out for the “buy 1m” of fencing campaign!
Next year is an important year for racing greyhounds. 2018 is the year the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is to begin publishing annual figures for the number of greyhounds injured and euthanised at GBGB tracks and the number of dogs that leave GBGB racing, including an explanation of what “leave” means.
Greyhound Compassion was pleased to be invited to a meeting with Greyt Exploitations and the League Against Cruel Sports in November 2017. It was The League that rightfully came to the view in 2016 that after several attempts to reform itself, the industry should be actively phased out leading to a complete ban on greyhound racing across the UK. Our meeting with Greyt Exploitations and The League in November was positive and we hope we can collaborate for the benefit of the greyhounds.
Greyhound Compassion’s Autumn digital newsletter launched this week (our first ever!). Please let us know if you have not received it or if you would like to sign up to receive it. Once you have read it, please let us know your thoughts. All feedback gratefully received. firstname.lastname@example.org
We visited Greyhound Rescue in Lincolnshire last weekend. We were there to help with an event they had to promote the shelter in a nearby town on Saturday. They have about 30 greyhounds in residence at the moment. Kimmy was retired at the age of 2 and is now in kennels waiting for her new, loving home. I fell in love with Bullseye who is so lovable and affectionate, looking for his home. Sadly we don’t have any space in our own greyhound family. He is so soft and loving, it’s easy to imagine him on a sofa but really hard to contemplate how he coped with the hard knocks and rigid, metallic discomfort (traps, vans, tracks, kennels etc.) of racing. These poor dogs just don’t seem to be built for exploitation like racing. If you are able to offer Bullseye a home, please contact us or Greyhound Rescue. We were lucky enough to see Treacle skip off to her new home being carried away in comfort to the family in the outskirts of Manchester, which was a pleasure.
As for Protectora y Santuario Scooby, up to the end of August 309 puppies have come into rescue from the streets. That’s 300 extra dogs Scooby has saved, rehabilitated, fed and the vet has seen. In fact as at the end of August, this was 49% of all of the dogs Scooby had rescued. This is a big challenge when Scooby has to work so hard to find homes all of the other adult dogs. Scooby campaigns for neutering and identification of dogs. In fact, Repsol, the national petrol station chain, recently held a public awareness event asking the public not to abandon dogs at Repsol petrol stations. Repsol invited Scooby and some of the rescues to the event in Madrid. We’re hoping there is potential for future collaboration.
The other big challenge for Scooby this year has been the need for a new vet. Incredibly all of the unemployed and well-qualified vets from the Province came to England to work in practice before Brexit takes place so that they can boost their experience and earnings while they can still move freely in Europe. This meant Scooby had to look much further afield for a vet and it took a long, long time. We have a vet on-site now but until this point Scooby has had to use vets in the local town. We’re hoping this is more stable now but we’ll have to wait and see how the new vet gets on. It’s a big job and the work is relentless.
Looking to the latter part of the year, we’ll have the next APDAWG (the All-Party Dog Welfare Group) meeting. There has been a real lull in Parliamentary activities for dog welfare since the General Election and given the time the Brexit negotiations have consumed. It will be interesting to see what is on their agenda and how we can encourage them to turn their attention to the greyhound welfare issues. This is not going to be easy given that DEFRA has concluded that the Greyhound Racing Welfare Regulations fulfil their purpose within the eyes of the legislation.