Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Message from the President of Greyhound Pets of America

Friends, I hope you have time to read this post in full. And, if you can, please consider making a small donation to help with this situation. Please use PayPal and reference the email address (Or visit and click on "news.")

Some of Harvey and Jackson's friends are at this kennel, and I mean that literally. Thank you so very much, and feel free to contact me at with any questions.

Deborah (Harvey and Jackson's mom)

Message from Rory, National President of Greyhound Pets of America:

All, I want to share an e-mail that I received this morning and I think this e-mail says it all. We, as an organization, need to help out our own. I think we all need to be aware of what a fellow GPA brother/sister is dealing with, and I believe we need to come together to support a fellow family member that is in need.

I have asked GPA National to help with sending funds, but we are limited in our resources as well, and when our well is dry, its dry…so I am asking…no, begging, that if any of you have an extra few bucks that you could spare without risking your own operations, please consider one of our very needy chapters. At this time, I am not at liberty to state which chapter needs this assistance. We are currently working with the State Racing Commission, the NGA and AGC regarding the situation at this particular track and I don’t want to jeopardize those proceedings and discussions. I also know of 3 other chapters that deal with situations like this, and I know they could also use some support.

You can send the money to GPA National if you want and mark it for this chapter, or mark it for the general fund to support our own. If you know of a chapter in need, then please send it straight to them. If you send in for general support, you have my promise that GPA National officers will get it to these chapters that need it most.

I will be spending my day on the phone working to see what can be done, I can’t promise a miracle today, but I will keep working to see that a difference is made.

Last year, we had a chapter that had to move 60 plus dogs from a track, not many of our chapters in the area stepped up to help a fellow brother/sister that was disheartening. I now more than ever want our organization to be the shining example, to be an organization where we take care of our own. We are bothers and sisters in this journey, so let’s set sail together and make for a brighter tomorrow.

I’m more than committed to fight for you, to fight for our dogs. I thank you all for everything that you have done for this organization, I know that you have contributed to so many miracles, and I’m very humble as someone who does not contribute as much as you do to be able to represent each and every one of you.

Rory, XXXX has convinced me that is okay to ask you for help, so here goes... I don't know that you want to share all this. Feel free to edit as you see fit!

I constantly struggle to figure out how to best spend my time. The choice has always gone to the dogs. And, it is never, ever enough. I nearly lost my job over all of this. I finally realized work time has to be work time. So, my available time for dog-related matters has been somewhat reduced.

I'll be happy to provide more detail, but here's the "short" version:

I just paid our kennel helper, XXXX, the last $300 we had in our adoption group account.

Next week, we need another $300 for him, $355 for dog food and $150 for insurance on the dog truck.

We also have lined up sending 8 dogs to adoption groups at $70 per dog, but the hauler is willing to wait on his payment.

We buy 20 bags of kibble at a time and it just went up to $17.75 per bag. That's $355 for two weeks.

Our weekly expenses, just for feeding and turning out the dogs run right at $500. That doesn't count insurance/gas/maintenance on our old dog truck (we only use it to go to the vet and back), wormer, cleaning supplies, flea/tick stuff, vet bills, etc., etc.

Hauling dogs to other groups has gone up to $70 per dog. So, we've been doing as much of that as we can ourselves, and paying the gas, etc. ourselves.

Last year, the track was helping on a fairly regular basis (approximately $4,000 total for the year). Now, they are not providing anything. I asked for money twice since the first of the year and have received no response.

We send out letters to the dog owners, asking them to help with their dogs' expenses. In past years, we have received about $50 per dog. Recently, we have been lucky to get $20 per dog. Our actual expenses are close to $150 per dog, not including any vet expenses. I've done a bang-up job, convincing the "good owners" not to send their dogs here. So, we mostly get dogs from owners who don't care what happens to their dogs.

I'll admit, we've been robbing Peter to pay Paul... Our vets have been extremely kind. As a result, we now owe them nearly $5,000.

I don't believe we can continue to operate the kennel at XXXX. It just isn't doable without support from the track.We need to pay off the vet bill and figure out a new, scaled-down mode of operation. I hate to say that. It just means more dogs will die. But, we have to be realistic.

With all the track closings, and other tracks going back to seasonal operation, dogs are flooding into XXXX every week. At one point, we were taking approximately 50% of the "retiring" dogs here. Now, we MIGHT be taking 30%. In addtion to the dogs that actually show up on XXXX racing programs, there are many other dogs who come here simply to die. There are few outlets for killing dogs outside this area. The vet who used to kill dogs died recently, so there is nobody South of here willing to kill greyhounds en masse. They now haul them up here to have them killed. Some are killed by a vet. Others are going up into xxxx to be shot. I'm not making that up. I've heard it repeatedly from trusted sources in the racing world. This has become the latest "killing ground" for greyhounds.

I have personally witnessed the kill truck being loaded three times in the last few months. The most recent experience was on the morning I had to euthanize my dear, sweet xxxx. I took him to the vet very early on a Thursday morning. On my way home from the vet's office, I stopped by the track to pick up some paperwork. I arrived just in time to see them loading up the kill truck. They weren't expecting to see me there and we had a cartoon-like moment of panic. But, there was nothing I could do. I just picked up the paperwork and left.

The kennel folks at XXXX are not shy about telling me what is going on. I often get the "pleasure" of hearing how many dogs they killed this week. They are sad about it. They know I care and they unburden themselves to me.

I know I've not done a good job of managing all of this. I got myself in over my head. Now, I have to figure out how to dig myself out of the mess I've made.

On the positive side, a couple thousand greyhounds have found homes.


Statements in the post contain personal opinions and are made by Rory himself and do not reflect on management of this board, or organizations that Rory may be associated with, and may contain statements about expected future events and as such are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ. Rory undertakes no duty to update information contained in this post via this forum or in any other public disclosures at any time.Permission required from Rory S. Goree' in writing to redistribute in part or whole.Copyright Rory S. Goree' 2008

1 comment:

Heidi Symons said...

I 've just started working with retired racers through my job at work. They really are awesome dogs! Your article has really helped me understand greyhound behaviour.