What a cracking day at PupAid yesterday! Such a warm and relieved atmosphere, one of palpable success – #lucyslaw will come into force on 1 October after a 9 year campaign. A strong team of just a few volunteers, led by Marc Abraham, reached the goal to ban puppy farming having battled the pet industry and the big welfare charities who should have achieved this objective tens of years ago.
Great day for the pointies too, Greyhound Ambassador, Magic, for Quaker Concern for Animals and Greyhound Compassion met up with Josh Burrell @jb-new of Lookdwn.com and joined him on his press pass in the VIP area. Great to meet so many welfare minded celebs and journalists who sympathised with the poor greyhounds within the racing industry, astounded by the GBGB’s own stats that 1,013 “were put to sleep or suffered sudden/natural death”, 25.4% trackside in 2017.
We took a few photos for the ambassadorial album.
Magic – a credit to his rescuers at Greyhound Rescue.
Today Magic, the Greyhound Ambassador for Greyhound Compassion and Quaker Concern for Animals, was invited to visit the “holidaymakers” at St. Mary’s Church’s (Marshalswick) “Holiday at Home” week (6 – 9 August).
“Holiday at Home” is hosted by St. Mary’s Church for parishioners who are 75 and over. The week includes 4 days of activities and excursions, as well as lunches and all refreshments. Monday saw watercolour classes and a beetle drive, yesterday was the visit to a garden centre. Today’s events included a magician’s act in addition to a talk by Greyhound Compassion complete with Magic the greyhound.
Magic took Petal, the galgo, along to tell the holidaymakers about Greyhound Compassion, the link with Quaker Concern for Animals and to talk to them about greyhound racing. He also, without much effort, showed them what fabulous pets greyhounds make. We also covered the plight of the galgos and the work of Protectora y Santuario Scooby in Spain.
It was a really lovely event. The dogs were met with a very warm welcome with great company and a very friendly atmosphere. Magic and Petal seemed to go down a storm too.
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.
Here we are trying to keep our rescued racers cool in afternoon temperatures of 25º, listening to reports of the Saddleworth Moor fire and reading intermittent bulletins about how to keep the elderly, our children and pet dogs comfortable in these record temperatures. We’re following all the advice reminding us that a dog cools only through his tongue and paws; advising us not to exercise our dogs in the heat of the day or on hot surfaces to avoid burned pads or worse, heatstroke. Having read a particularly gruelling report about heatstroke in dogs and in one particular pet dog in our area who sadly died of heatstroke today after his morning exercise, we checked just what the greyhound racing timetable in the UK for today looks like. We wondered if the tracks might have cancelled some race meetings. After all, if pet owners are not supposed to exercise their dogs in extremely high temperatures, surely greyhounds are not racing at 40mph around tracks at 2pm in the afternoon?
No, it’s worse than imagined, racing started at 10:29am today, probably just as the canine victim of heatstroke died in his local surgery, 20 minutes after arriving there from his morning exercise. The screenshots from the online greyhound racing information reveal that greyhound racing is definitely not being cancelled in this extreme heat.
The races commenced today at 10:29 and finish tonight at 22:45, just as we are starting to follow the TV doctors’ advice about keeping cool at night to ensure we sleep well through a hot and sticky slumber. When cross-referencing the race start times during the day with the weather forecast for the track locations, the temperatures range from 18º (with a “feels like” temperature of 20º) to 27º (with a “feels like” temperature of 28º). The evening to nighttime temperatures range from 19º to 23º, and 16º when the 22:45 race starts.
Isn’t this too much? Doesn’t racing in this extremely hot weather contradict all the advice we’re receiving for our pet dogs and their daily exercise?
Having cross-referenced with the weather forecast, we turned to The Greyhound Commitment announced by the The Greyhound Board of Great Britain on 14 March 2018. You can read The Commitment in full here. How does racing in this week’s hot weather gel with these sections of The Greyhound Commitment?
Doesn’t seem very committed, not much fun or enjoyment for the greyhounds racing in 27º.
Still, a former CEO of the RSPCA joins the Greyhound Board of Great Britain next week as its Chairman. Perhaps on Sunday night he’ll watch the long-range weather forecast for his first week in the job and cancel the racing if the hot weather continues.
There are no words to pay tribute to Mary Organ of Dungarvan Rescue but we’re going to try! Mary is a formidable lady with limitless compassion, drive, empathy, courage, tenacity and expertise. Mary rescued so many dogs, German Shepherds, Greyhounds, Lurchers and many, many other mixes and breed types. All of them were needy in the most extreme circumstances.
Mary was always perfectly comfortable about speaking out against the racing industry and perpetrators of cruelty. She managed this admirably without putting any rescue mission or dog in jeopardy. Never scared to convey the truth.
We came to know her personally when she rescued our lovely black lurcher, Spirit, who was saved from a fate worse than death with bailing twine embedded in and tightening around her oesophagus. Spirit survived thanks to Mary giving her mouth to mouth resuscitation, the ultimate skill of the vet stitching her almost fully severed neck, and Spirit’s own spirit (now you know how she got her name!). After her rehabilitation she became famous for her literally “warm licks”. Without Mary she would not have survived like so many other dogs saved and transformed by Mary’s hands-on care.
Mary worked tirelessly for the dogs in her rescue. She ran it single-handedly and the facilities were a reflection of Mary’s perfectionism for the welfare of the hounds living there.
We were, of course, sad to hear that Mary would be retiring from rescue. The welfare world’s loss is retirement’s gain and we hope that Mary enjoys what the future brings and wish her the absolute best of health and happiness…. With lots of warm licks!
We’re registered with easyfundraising, it’s a great site where you can help Greyhound Compassion raise funds simply by doing your everyday online shopping!
Over 3,300 big name retailers are included, such as Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, Booking.com, eBay, Boden and M&S.
Once you register us as your good cause, we will receive a small donation to say ‘thankyou!’ It’s completely free and over £20M has been raised for causes just like us so far.
We would like to raise as much as possible to help the greyhounds and galgos so please sign up and help us at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/greyhoundcompassion/
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