Monday, December 31, 2012

Grey2K: The Art of Perpetuating a Myth

By Dick Ciampa
December 30, 2012

To perpetuate their myth, Grey2K must dwell on the negative. To achieve maximum emotional impact, they must characterize everything and everyone in greyhound racing as bad. Good things and good people are either dismissed or isolated as exceptions.

To maintain their cash flow from animal lovers, Grey2K must find or invent things to reinforce donor motivation. This means scouring the internet and encouraging people to send them information about any potentially bad situation involving a greyhound. When that material is in short supply, they simply choose something innocuous and recast it as bad.

Grey2K probably never told you that greyhound adoption was started by the greyhound industry in the late 1970’s.

Nor, most likely, did they tell you the racing greyhound is one of the most adopted breeds in the world, because the dogs are gentle, affectionate pets that require little or no housebreaking and learn new things quickly.

There are exceptions of course, aggressive dogs and spooks. These exist in every dog breed including greyhounds, and the behavior is usually genetic in nature and not the result of abuse as Grey2K usually claims.

While Grey2K perpetuates their myth to keep donations coming in, logic and common sense indicate that the greyhound industry does not systematically abuse or neglect its dogs. If it did, the dogs wouldn’t perform well, and they wouldn’t transition so easily into the wonderful pets the majority of adopters joyfully claim them to be. How could these dogs go from being mistreated at the track to great pets virtually overnight? Did they magically transform the day they walked out of the track and into an adoption group? A more likely explanation lies in the care, training and attention racing greyhounds receive from the time they are born.

Did Grey2K tell you that except in Massachusetts, racing had already stopped for independent reasons in the states they nevertheless lobbied, at donor expense, to ban betting on racing?

What has Grey2K actually achieved other than enthusiastically accepting donor contributions in response to very carefully packaged and presented campaigns, donations that have recently funded travel to Florida, Arizona, Iowa, West Virginia, England and Australia.

Grey2K has had good mentors on the subject of perpetuating myths and living off donations. The HSUS, PETA and the ASPCA are their friends. The HSUS has been called one of the worst non-profits in the United States. PETA kills over 95% of the animals they take in. The ASPCA recently agreed pay 9.3 million dollars to settle a racketeering case. In spite of all this, people continue to send donations to these organizations in response to masterfully crafted fundraising appeals.

Grey2K perpetuates their myth by holding the greyhound industry to a standard of 100% perfection. No segment of society does everything right all of the time, and if 100% were what we were all required to achieve then we as individuals and we as a society would always fail.

Does the greyhound racing industry have a small percentage of bad people? As in every other sector, the answer is yes. Grey2K exploits that small percentage to perpetuate their myth by characterizing the exceptions as the norm. These same exceptions are decried nowhere more strongly than within the greyhound industry itself.

Does the church have a certain percentage of bad people? Do the Shriners have a certain percentage of bad people? Do actors have a percentage of bad people? Do Grey2K followers have a certain percentage of bad people? It would be quite safe to assume the answer is yes in all cases.

Why, then, would anyone expect the greyhound industry to be different from every other segment of society?

You are probably reading this because you want to help greyhounds. In that case, instead of donating to a group that gives less than 2% of its revenue directly to greyhounds, please consider donating to your local greyhound adoption group. To find a group near you please visit:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Who is Grey2K USA? - Christine

Christine A Dorchak

Christine was possessed...  a possessed car according to author, Steven King.

I'm guessing that's because they don't want those that are ignorant of the facts, primarily those who donate to Grey2K to know the truth.  They say, ignorance is bliss.  However, in this case, I'm thinking that ignorance is beneficial and a money maker. Why else does Grey2K remove posts from its FaceBook page, even when those posts politely point out that a posted picture of wooden crates is more than 10 years old? Grey2K wants to keep their audience ignorant so more money can be raked in.  They are shameless money grubbers and the money does not go to benefit the dogs.  I still don't understand how they can advocate for the destruction of the breed and say it is for the dogs' best interests.  Uhm...  Extinction is in their best interest?  Sounds like the twisted logic of Christine's mentor, Ingrid Newkirk.

The Boston Globe ( is an interesting source of information.  Sometimes for what you will find and at other times for what you will not find. Items are archived in various forms but previews are not always the full article and letters to the editor are only an "X" amount of words. There is a paid service for archived articles and I must admit, it a value.

Here is one article from 1998 about an arrest that was only 4 years after an individual's battle back from the brink of death and a 2 year struggle to regain health:

Five fur protesters in chains arrested at Macy's
Boston Globe, City Edition - Boston, Mass.
Author: Daniel Vasquez, Globe Staff
Date: Dec 21, 1998

"Every Sunday, a small group of protesters exercise their First Amendment rights and gather in front of Macy's at Downtown Crossing. Their mission: to dissuade shoppers from buying mink coats and fox hides. But yesterday, members of the group allegedly lay down and blocked the store's doors, and five protesters were arrested... Steven William Baer, of Northborough, Heather Joy Lacapria and Chris Michael Devoncourt, both of East Boston, and Christine Anne Dorchak and Sandi Beth Okun, both of Boston, were charged with blocking a public entrance and disturbing the peace, according to police..."

Then in the Letters to the Editor, we found this one...

Boston Globe, 3rd Edition - Boston, Mass.
Date: Apr 18, 1998
Section: Letters

"Your front-page article on the return of the seal hunt ("Off the endangered list," April 8) failed to point out the woefully lacking and poorly enforced regulations surrounding the bludgeoning, decapitating, shooting, live-skinning, and genital mutilation of these beautiful marine creatures..."

Sounds very familiar to me...  how many greyhounds has Christine claimed were bludgeoned by those in greyhound racing?  Or electrocuted?  Or mutilated?

Boston Globe, 3rd Edition - Boston, Mass.
Date: May 30, 2004
Section: Metro/Region

"Boston animal-rights activist Christine Dorchak joined several dozen protesters yesterday at a Copley Square rally urging Canada to end its annual baby seal hunt."

Humans weren't built to eat other animals
Boston Globe, City Edition - Boston, Mass.
Date: Jun 13, 1998

"From a sociological perspective, it is somewhat intriguing to hear a meat eater defend his fatty, carcinogenic diet as healthy and just the natural order of life ("Vegetarianism is fine, but it's not nature's design," letter, June 6)."

Make no mistake, Christine Dorchak is a card carrying member of PeTA...  She's friends with Ingrid Newkirk, who has claimed to have personally killed thousands of adoptable pets at the PeTA offices in Virginia. Newkirk calls it a "gift" to kill them.

How many thousands of Greyhounds has Christine Dorchak killed in her quest to rid the world of greyhound racing?  How many thousands of people have lost everything - their homes, their families, their lives - from her callous & heartless pursuit...  her fanaticism?  I don't know, but it has to end.

Yours in greyhounds...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

PeTA & Grey2K

I'm sure ya'll remember the Grey2K video of the kennel at Tucson Greyhound Park (TGP)? You know which one...  the one that was taken in the dark at one of the kennels...  the one where the 'videographers' told the watchman to not turn on the lights because the cameras worked better in the dark?  That video was so "scandalous"...  After all, the greyhounds had beds, in which they were laying, and were in the dark - at night - so they could sleep!  How dare the Grey2K goons disturb their good night's sleep!

Anyway, some of those "abused" greyhounds from Tucson have gone into adoption.  Those dogs have been making the rounds and they are beautiful! One, Tonic, is a lovely boy and he came from the very kennel that they filmed.  I have come to know Tonic and I can pretty much assert that he was sleeping in his condo when the goons came in with their flashlights to film their epic contribution to the film world. Tell me, if things are so horrible for the dogs and they have been so abused, why is this boy one of the happiest dudes anyone has ever seen?  Why is he so generous with his kisses and why does he have such a giant greyhound smile?  Tell me...  please tell me...  this is something I really, really do not understand....  Would a dog which has been beaten and abused, as asserted through the years by Grey2K and its minions, would a greyhound that has, in general, been grossly mistreated be this friendly?   Uhm... not only NO, but HELL NO!  I'd expect the dog to run as if his tail is on fire at the sight of a human!

You know, I always get comments on how friendly, calm & peaceable my dogs are. All of them have always been Momma's "kids" but the girls are the most confident and outgoing dogs I have ever seen and that includes peoples' much loved pets, show dogs, all of them.... The girls really like to work the crowds. I'd hate to see how the average Joe treats their dogs if these dogs are abused. Why?  Because, you simply don't get temperament like this by poor and abusive handling.

This is something that I've been preaching ever since before Grey2K came out with this stupid video. The only thing that that "investigative team" did was narrate the video in such a way as to make it sound bad. You know, a couple of amateurs with a video camera does not make an investigative team. However, that is the Grey2K tactic learned from her PeTA mentor, Ingrid Newkirk.

PeTA is known for using such tactics. Back in 1994, PeTA hired Michele Rokke (founder of Animal Protection New Mexico) as an “investigator.”  Here's a for instance...

Between June 1996 & April 1997, Rokke was in the employ of Howard Baker, DVM in New Jersey and conducting an undercover PeTA "investigation."  Two months after her employment ended, June 1997, Rokke filed charges against and accused Baker of 16 counts of animal cruelty, beginning with a dog that was treated at the clinic two days after she started her job in June 1996 and ending with a dog seen by Baker in April 1997.

The case was based on the uncorroborated testimony of Rokke, who surreptitiously videotaped the doctor and shot as much as 200 hours of tape with a camera hidden in her handbag. That tape was edited to about three minutes by PeTA and sent to national media.  The edited videotape was played before and during the trial on local and national news programs, tabloid shows, and syndicated talk shows. Throughout the nearly three-year ordeal, Baker and his wife were harassed and received death threats.

Baker was convicted in lower court in July 1999 but the conviction was overturned in April 2000 on appeal. Howard Baker DVM was exonerated of all charges of cruelty by New Jersey Superior Court, and the New Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners reinstated his license to practice 12 days after the court's April 14 decision.

The appeals court ruled that:
  1. the testimony of the state's star witness was not believable;
  2. the testimony of the defendant's witnesses was believable;
  3. Baker's actions did not amount to cruelty under the law; and
  4. the connection between the witness and PeTA tainted her testimony.
This is not the only case in which this has happened. Rokke has been involved in other illegal investigations including actions against Boys Town National Research Hospital, Huntingdon Life Sciences, and a North Dakota horse ranch. There are more.

Anyone who is really into dogs knows & understands that much of dog temperament is genetic, so behavior is not really proof of anything. There are spooky dogs that have never been abused, while some dogs from truly horrific environments and conditions still wag their tails and solicit attention from every human they meet. I hate when people see a nervous or shy dog and assume it means abuse. Genetic temperament and early socialization are huge influences. Even fears of things like loud voices, raised hands, fast movements, NONE of that is "proof" of abuse.

I take my dogs, my pets, for walks.  On one such walk, with a couple of them, I was stopped by several people that we came across.  One, in particular, assumed that my shy girl was abused at the track.  She was associating it with her being beaten and "tortured".  Standard comment, "Oh you poor BABY!  You were so abused that you are TERRIFIED of people!  You POOR, POOR, THING!"  and then continuing to me, "Isn't it criminal what they do to these poor dogs at the track?"

Imagine her shock & surprise when I told her that the shy girl never raced and that I had had her the longest and that her running mate had only just retired a couple of weeks earlier. The woman did not know how to respond.  It blew their race track trauma theory right out of the water. I told her, "The dogs just have different personalities... that's all."

Anyway, if you take nothing away from most of this post, I would hope you'd think about this...

  1. Grey2K USA and its founders are very closely aligned with PeTA & Ingrid Newkirk.  
  2. PeTA and its followers are not above extreme propagandizing to achieve their goal and neither is Grey2K, up to & including editing to present an very distorted and most inaccurate representation of "the truth".  In fact, their edits are so extreme that the resulting information is as far from the truth as the earth is from the sun!
  3. Both Grey2K & PeTA are for the extermination of the working animal, the animal with a job.
  4. Both Grey2K & PeTA interchange "animal welfare" and "animal rights" descriptions, intentionally confusing the public.
  5. Grey2K & PeTA are NOT animal welfare groups.  Neither operate as shelters & both are LOBBYING groups.
  6. PeTA cares so much about animals that it kills 98% of the animals it takes into its supposed shelter in VA.
I'm sure there's more that you can take away, but this is just the beginning...

Yours in greyhounds

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shelters & Donations... Where do they go?

Animal shelters all over are in trouble.  Donations are down and more pets are abandoned in this bad economy. It doesn't matter if they are public service shelters, i.e., the local animal control office or dog pound or if it is a private animal shelter such as your local greyhound adoption group.  Many people think the bulging coffers of the wealthy Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their buddies at Grey2K USA, might help these suffering shelters...  that they donate some of those hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those out who are in these situations, which are occurring all over the nation.  Uhm...  sorry...  it doesn't happen. .

Courtesy of Rachel Hogue
On a past Sunday in the Waco Tribune-Herald is a letter to the editor from Diana Culp, who claims to be a former director with HSUS.  She refers to “common misconceptions” that national animal groups are “umbrella groups for pet shelters.”  Ms. Culp says they are not and in fact send only one percent of the funds they collect to local pet shelters.

Well, whadda ya know!  Call me surprised!  One would NEVER guess that from the fundraising pitches that are presented on TV! You know the ones of which I speak...  the heart-breaking appeals of sad looking puppies and the photoshopped photos showing "abused" greyhounds, which have yielded a bumper harvest of cash for the animal rights lobbying groups.  With tbese donations, the leadership of Grey2K have taken trips to various places in the world: London, Macau, Vietnam...  (Don't know about you, but I'd like to take a trip to London or Macau, however, all my money goes to providing for the dogs - mine & those waiting for adoption.)  In addition to the trips to exotic lands, the Grey2K leadership also uses those dollars to grease the hands of politicians in an action called "Lobbying" and other similar activities.

Obviously, Grey2K's idea of a perfect world is one in which greyhounds are stripped of their job - racing and the greyhound racing breeders, owners, and adoption folk are without the means to resist the onslaught of Grey2K.  If you are touched by the heart-rending Grey2K ads of "abused" greyhounds, you can write a check to them.  But—rest assured it will be used to fund their junkets to faraway lands and to harass, intimidate and bully the folks who support greyhounds and greyhound racing, either actively or through adoption efforts.  As a result, greyhound pets will be much more difficult and  more expensive.  But—if you want to actually help the animals in their photos, seek out your local greyhound adoption shelter and write them a check.  They are doing the work for which Grey2K wrongly gets credit.

Yours in greyhounds....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Puppy Mills?

Grey2K has sunk to a new low.  Actually, it really isn't all that new, their analogy is more "species" correct in that now, instead of comparing Greyhound farms & kennels to the notorious Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, they are saying that they are "puppy mills".  Sigh....

Anyone who has ever participated in or seen the results of a "puppy mill" (a term originally coined by HSUS & PeTA) will tell you that there is no comparison...  not even remotely.  

Photo courtesy of Kate D'Arcy
Sovereign Lake & Sovereign Ruler - 4 month old pups
According to the National Animal Interest Association (NAIA), "The term puppy mill is a term of disparagement originally used to describe a specific kind of large, substandard breeding operation run by people with little concern for the welfare of their puppies or their breeding stock. Dogs found in these facilities were in poor health, living in filthy conditions without adequate medical care, nutrition or socialization. Such operations are the black sheep of the dog-breeding family, something the overwhelming majority of breeders abhor just as much as the general public."1

Since puppies bred & raised on greyhound farms are not subject to any of the conditions listed, why is Grey2K lying?  It's simple...  It's being done in search of those fundraising dollars.  They are out there trying to earn fundraising dollars by exploiting the public's love of animals and Greyhounds.  With Grey2K, it is ALL about the money.  It's NOT about the dogs.  That's shown by those darn pesky IRS 990 forms which they are no longer allowing to be published on our favorite site -

Photo courtesy of Lesley Ezkovich
Socializing Puppies
It is unfortunate, but the growth of animal rights extremism, the brand which Grey2K's founders and their mentors (Ingrid Newkirk & Pete Singer) practice, has led to the expansion and application of the meaning of the term "puppy mill" to everyone who breeds dogs.  They are demonizing all who breed and it doesn't matter if they breed one litter every 10 years in their homes, or in state-of-the-art facilities, or on farms.  It doesn't matter if excellent care is provided for the dogs and those same dogs are healthy and well-adjusted.

What matters is bringing in those dollars! 

You know...  they don't even see their own hypocrisy.  They vociferously complain about people "making money off the dogs" but they do not see that they also are "exploiting" the dogs for the sole purpose of making money off of them and furthering their political goal.  Which is worse?  Someone trying to make an HONEST living with their dogs by allowing the dogs to do what they love doing, what is ingrained in their genetics & being - running & chasing OR someone using them for political purposes?  For me, there is NO comparison.  Using a dog for political purposes is about as low as one can go. There is no honoring the working dog. There is no recognizing what the dog is, what the breed is about.


For them and those like them, the end justifies the means, regardless of who or what suffers.

Yours in greyhounds....

1,  The National Animal Interest Alliance ( Statement on 'puppy mills'. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Wild Gene

By Dennis McKeon

Martin Roper, one of the world’s foremost Greyhound pedigree researchers and authorities, authored his myth-bursting essay, “Everything You Know Is Wrong” in 2008. With it, Roper dispelled the long-held notion that Greyhounds were the personal and highly esteemed dogs of Egyptian Pharaohs. He explained how, in light of modern genomic research, we now know that the Greyhound is unrelated to the Saharan breeds of sighthounds. He suggested that the Celts, and not the Egyptians, were likely the breed’s original and only custodians in its domestication. Some earlier, authoritative 19th century writings on the matter had suggested the same thing, before hard science sustained the thought.

Roper could have expanded the scope of his essay to include the contemporary, popular mythology of the modern, Racing Greyhound. If you have read about the National Greyhound Association Racing Greyhound in the mainstream or online, via the “new media”, chances are that everything you “know” is also likely to be wrong. Very wrong.

Barbarians At the Gate

Tax-generating, State-regulated Greyhound Racing has been under assault by anti-gambling and animal rights activists/propagandists for more than 40 years. The only thing more consistent than their tenacity in prosecuting their anti-racing agenda, is their utter disregard for (and/or their complete ignorance of) the truth and, tragically, of the breed itself.

Thanks to modern science and the unraveling of the canine genome and canine DNA, we now know that our modern Greyhound’s direct prehistoric ancestors evolved in nature. They survived the ages because of the adaptations they developed which made them swifter, more cunning and deadlier than their prey, as well as the other carnivores with whom they competed for habitat and survival.

Popular anti-racing mythology, such as that professed by the Massachusetts-based Grey2k (the nation’s most media-friendly, anti-greyhound racing activist/lobbyist group), teaches, among other misconceptions, that greyhounds are “forced to run” for the benefit of their greedy and exploitative owners and handlers.

Modern, peer-reviewed science suggests quite a different story. It tells a story of a natural evolution toward a genotype and phenotype perfectly adapted and inclined toward the expression of extreme speed as an essential survival tool. The modern Greyhound is bred to race on a track, chasing after a prey effigy, which is the mechanical lure. The prehistoric Greyhound had to literally race its prey to ground, in order to survive and to breed on. In their domestication, until the advent of track racing early in the 20th century, Greyhounds were used to course and kill vermin, and to provide food for the table. Any way we care to look at it, running and racing is written on the DNA of the natural Greyhound. It’s not only a desire. It is an ingrained and inbred demand, echoing across a universe of time.

The Mythological Greyhound

The mythological, anti-racing narrative, promoted by Grey2k and their networks, in a nutshell (no pun intended), goes roughly like this:

“Greyhounds are bred and raised to serve the “racing industry”. The supply side of the racing industry is comprised of greyhound breeders, owners and handlers whose only interest in the Greyhound is to extract profits from him, essentially by heaping various forms of abuse upon him. These abuses entail the way he is raised, the way he is trained (both in preparation for and during his career as a racer), the way he is housed, they way he is fed and the way he is employed for pari-mutuel (wagering) activity.

Shamelessly greedy and mercenary greyhound breeders, owners and handlers have only one interest in their greyhounds, and that is to accrue as much profit as possible while exploiting them by forcing them to race, thus exposing them to the risk of athletically-induced injury or worse.”

Common Sense

Let’s have a brief, common-sense examination of that narrative so far.

In 2008, there were 20,365 NGA Greyhounds whelped in the USA. This figure would include stillborn and any greyhounds who died prematurely of natural causes (approximately 10%). For our purposes here, let’s just say 18,000 greyhounds were raised from that year’s population of newborns, up to the stage where they would begin careers as racers. Let’s also use the (conservative) figure of $2,000 expense per greyhound, to raise them to this stage of their lives, including all costs, like feed, supplements, immunizations, anthelmintics, veterinary care, paying the help, boarding fees and transportation fees when required, etc. We are looking at a total national expenditure by greyhound breeders and owners, of at least 36 million dollars, just to raise that crop of 2008 pups to the “track-ready” stage.

So think about it. We’re being asked to believe that the first thing these singularly, greedy villains do, to begin to recoup their 36 million dollars in expenses, and then to make a profit---the money for which they supposedly lust---is to subject these living, breathing, 36 million dollar Greyhound “investments” to abominable living conditions. As the anti-racing narrative further informs us, racing greyhounds are kept in cramped, atrophy and neurosis-inducing sleeping quarters, to which they are confined for 20 hours per day. Furthermore, as an enhancement, they are fed a substandard and deficient diet. To complete the fable, we are told that racing greyhounds are subjected to long, torturous periods of inactivity and boredom, devoid of even the simplest of human attentions that all dogs seem to crave, while otherwise being subjected to inhumane, even brutal handling.

Then, at the first inkling that the self-fulfilling prophecy has finally come to pass, meaning as soon as these greyhounds demonstrate that they are unable earn their keep on the racetrack as finely tuned athletes, or when they suffer an injury, they are discarded like rubbish.

That’s quite a business model, don’t you think? Need we say any more? Does anyone, with even a shred of dog-sense, business acumen or critical thinking ability actually believe these absurd, contradictory, irrational talking points?

Everything You Know Is Wrong Redux

Additionally, according to this popular mythology, everything we know (those of us who have actual hands-on experience in breeding, raising and training racing greyhounds) is indeed wrong. The general public is told that the real experts on the breeding, raising and training of the Racing Greyhound are not those who actually rely upon their experience, knowledge and skills in the matter for their living. The real experts, the media implies, are the politically motivated, propaganda-spreading, anti-racing lobbying groups. It matters not that none of the principals of these organizations have ever been any closer to a professional racing kennel or breeding facility than they have been to the moons of Saturn. It doesn’t matter that political lobbying is the realm of hyper-partisanship and untruth for virtually every other issue in the public discourse. They and they alone, somehow, have all the answers, and everything that dedicated, career racing professionals and breed custodians know to be the truth, is indeed wrong.

Likewise, most of the hundreds of thousands of pet greyhound owners, who have adopted retired racers through the more than 350 track/industry sponsored and independent adoption organizations cross-country, must also be wrong, or at least delusional. Despite the litany of inflammatory, ignorant, manipulative and sometimes hateful anti-racing rhetoric and talking points, the retired Racing Greyhound has become a virtual sensation in the pet world.

How can this possibly be? How do such badly raised, improperly socialized and miserably treated dogs manage to make the intimidating, life-altering, quantum leap of re-habituation from mere, disposable earning devices, to beloved and cherished, well-adjusted, personal and family pets, by the tens of thousands each year? Everyone knows that dogs are a reflection of their breeding, raising, training and handling, their environment and their experiences. It is a basic matter of genetics and of cause-and-effect. Dogs who have seen nothing but a lifetime of neglect, cruelty and abuse, usually need at least some professional rehabilitation, and very careful, empathetic handling thereafter, if ever they manage to adjust to everyday life in a family/pet situation.

Racing Greyhounds, on the other hand, are an unprecedented and hugely successful pet phenomenon. They are reknown for their sweet, placid, steady temperament, and for their non-aggressive and sociable tendencies, with people as well as with other canines. Like all other canines, they tend to reflect and express the quality of their breeding, and the nature of their upbringing, training, handling, environment and life experience. Retired Racing Greyhounds have become the sensation of the pet universe because of, not in spite of, the totality of their incarnation and experiences as well cared for and highly valued racing athletes. Everything we know to be empirically true concerning the manifestation of individuals, colonies, populations or breeds of canines tells us that this must the case. Whether the individual is an outgoing “alpha” personality, a passive “beta” personality or even a timid, skittish “omega” personality, most retired racing greyhounds seem to be capable of making the challenging adjustment from life in the “racing pack” to life in the “family pack”, without too much bother.

The Wild Gene

Retired Racing Greyhound adopters, as a group, are perhaps the most enthusiastic, enthralled and bemused pet owners in the world. Many of them have adopted small packs of retired racers, unable to resist having “just one”. The Racing Greyhound is a bewitching creature, indeed. One only has to search the various internet Forums, like, (dedicated to discussing the experience of retired greyhound adoption and ownership) to infer that there is something very special happening here. People all seem to sense in their greyhounds, an ethereal, mystical and beguiling quality, the essence of which they just can’t seem to identify, grasp, or wrap their minds around. They don’t quite understand it, but they know it is there, just below the surface.

Since before the dawn of civilization, Greyhounds have been the companions of men. They have always served a purpose, and they have been maintained as a supremely functional breed, because of this symbiosis. Yesterday, they were lethal coursers and hunters. Today, they are racers of astonishing athleticism and speed.

The essence of our modern Racing Greyhound’s ancient ancestors is still held just beneath their skin. When you see that certain look in his eye, when you notice that certain set to his ear, or that certain body language and expression that seems foreign to you, almost otherworldly, don’t be alarmed. You’ll never touch it, you can’t hold it, and you can’t feel it. The ancient dogs of pre-history who culled the elk herds, the dogs who hunted and fought with the Celts, and the dogs who coursed after the hares and deer on the verdant fields of Ireland, are simply calling out to him. He can hear them as clearly as you hear the alarm clock in the morning. He can hear them, and he can understand that ancient language which has resonated across countless generations and through oceans of time. He can hear them, and he can heed them, because he is a Racing Greyhound. When racing is gone, when Greyhounds no longer perform even a variation upon their natural function, only then will those voices forever be still.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grey2K - Book of Secrets

By Rory Goree,

Part 1 - The "Gift"

In 2005, the President of GREY2K USA is promoting one particular group on GREY2K USA’s FaceBook page. The reason I’m taking interest in this particular “promotion” is that the group being promoted is lead by an individual who, when it came time to help save the Juarez greyhounds apparently advocated giving them the gift – love how when they advocate it is a “GIFT” but if anyone does it is labeled as “killing”.

"Keep American greyhounds in America! If you cannot find homes in the States then give them a "gift" even if that "gift" is euthanasia because that is better than sending them to the harsh reality of Juarez or any other foreign country." Greyhound Update, a Newsletter from the National Greyhound Adoption Program, Winter 2005 Edition

Thankfully none of us with sound mind and true welfare at heart took up the “gift” suggestion.

Now we all know that the ones leading GREY2K USA are highly connected with PETA, and just any internet search on the leader of PETA and the number of “GIFTS” this disturbing individual has been responsible for is to say the least SICK, I can only surmise the individual is a few screws loose in the welfare department.

So remember, when GREY2K advocates, promotes something, remember what friends of GREY2K advocate for and personally perform – The GIFT!

Part II - The missing Schedule O 

According to IRS regulations if you answer NO to Part VI, Section A. Line 8 on the 990 you are to explain the NO on Schedule O. GREY2K USA’s 2010 990 form, Part VI, Section A. Line 8

8. Did the organization contemporaneously document the meetings held or written actions undertaken during the year by the following?”
A) The governing body
B) Each committee with authority to act on behalf of the governing body.
GREY2K USA’s answer – NO.  Yet I can find no explanation of the NO on Schedule O. Regarding Schedule O, the copy of 990 that is available on GREY2K USA’s website is missing Schedule O. This only raises questions, why no minutes, and why are they hiding Schedule O from public inspection on GREY2K USA’s website?

Part III – The disappearing speaking engagement!

Back in 2007, I had the privileged of speaking to the New Hampshire house about House bill 923. One member of our party spoke briefly to one member of the House about GREY2K USA’s president speaking engagement with Animal Liberation Front (ALF)

ALF is an organization that the FBI deemed to be a “domestic terrorist” organization. After wards the Executive Director of GREY2K USA approached the person who brought this information to light and if my memory serves me correctly threatened to sue the individual.

After returning to my hotel I logged on and checked out the speaking engagement – sure enough, clear as day – the President had a speaking engagement with ALF. A couple of hours later I logged back in and the speaking engagement had been removed – wiped clean.

I’m left wondering – why did GREY2K USA feel the need to threaten legal action and also remove the evidence from its own web site – what SECRET did they not want the public to know?

Monday, September 17, 2012

‎Crate Potato, Meet Couch Potato

By Dennis McKeon

Let's get it straight. There is so much hateful, ignorant and deliberate disinformation out there it boggles the mnd.

Canines are all pack animals. All canines are "denners". This means that left to their own devices, they will seek out places to sleep and rest that provide close cover and protection, not only from the elements, but from their enemies.

Greyhounds, unlike most domestic canines, are raised in a pack. As puppies and then as saplings, that pack is comprised of their littermates and/or other greyhounds their age who are being raised on the facility where they reside.

When they arrive at the racing kennel as young adults, they become members of a larger pack, with sub-packs. Each pack member in the racing kennel has his/her own "den", which we (and those companies who sell them commercially) refer to as crates, and anti-racing propagandists prefer to call "cages", for maximum, negative connotation.

Canines have been observed, ad infintum, to sleep anywhere from 12-16 hours per day, both in domesticity and in the wild. That is perfectly normal behavior for canines of almost any stripe. Greyhounds, whether in a racing kennel or kept as pets in the home, are so fond of sleeping for protracted periods of time, and for such huge portions of the day, that they are known by all and sundry, affectionately indeed, as the infamous "45 mile per hour couch potato".

After a brief period of adjustment and evaluation, once they begin their racing careers, greyhounds are kept on a program of vigorous exercise, training, handling and grooming. They gallop in long runs, or on the racetrack itself. They are schooled behind the lure. They are walked on walking machines or by hand, and sometimes they even swim at facilities that have nearby lakes or other bodies of water that the trainer can make use of.

They take whirlpool baths and/or receive relaxing massages, and they are brushed, combed, pedicured and slicked up before and after racing or training sessions. They are kept busy, and at all times, share their lives with their pack members. In all cases, conditioning them to race successfully takes time, repetition, commitment, and more than anything, it takes a lot out of the greyhound. Greyhounds cherish and require their downtime, their rest and their relaxation, to recover from the exertions of playing, training and then, racing.

Those of us who have never seen a greyhound immediately after a race or a training session behind the lure, have no idea just how much effort and energy they expend getting after it. Until you see the pumped up muscles, almost appearing to bulge through the greyhound's skin, the heaving sides, and the expression of pleasant fatigue and satisfaction on the face of the dog, it is impossible to imagine the degree of their desire, satifaction and commitment. Once you witness it, it all becomes perfectly clear. The amount of sleeping and lolling about they do is roughly a reflection of the depth of their natural and healthy expressions of their genetic and athletic heritage.

So that couch potato you have at home, blissfully snoozing the day away as you occasionally check to see if he or she is still alive, was, before he met you, a 45 mile per hour "crate potato" or "den potato", in the racing kennel. He learned to rest and snooze in his own private den space, feeling perfectly secure, while the kennel was a virtual beehive of activity all day long. He was deprived of nothing, was anything but bored, and was perfectly exhilarated when his name was called for either galloping, schooling, walking or racing---or just about anything other than nail-trimming.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Absolute Insanity!

From the:
Ward 6- Newsletter
Tucson First September 6, 2012
Steve Kozachik, Tucson City Council Member

Next Tuesday is when I’ll be asking M&C [Mayor & Council] to join in adopting a change to our City Code that will outlaw the administration of anabolic steroids to greyhounds “for the purpose of performance enhancement or to suppress estrus”. I will have some compelling guests speaking at the study session. Over the past couple of weeks, since Clair Doan and Channel 9 have joined in covering this issue, the manager of the track has gone public stating that the steroids are simply “skirting a law that he doesn’t like” and that they’re only using them to prevent pregnancies. Sir, if you operate a co-ed dorm, you’re gonna get unwanted pregnancies. Split the dogs into separate living spaces, make them large enough for the animals to move around in and keep them clean. To that last point, here’s an article that demonstrates on-going issues related to the conditions in the Tucson Greyhound Park kennels.

Here’s the new language I’ve submitted for M&C consideration:
1. We would amend the existing Tucson City ordinance, Sec. 4-3(2), to add a new subsection, (g), as follows:
          Sec. 4-3(2)(g) No person shall give or administer anabolic steroids as defined in the United States Code and the relevant sections of the Code of Federal Regulations, to any greyhound dog in training for or being used for racing within the State of Arizona, in order to artificially enhance performance or suppress estrus. This provision may not be waived as dictated by treatment under direction of a licensed veterinarian. 
2. We also need to amend the section that allows all of the provisions to be waived by a licensed veterinarian. Here is what it currently states:
          Sec. 4-3(3). Any of the provisions of this section may be waived as dictated by treatment under direction of a licensed veterinarian.
I propose we amend sec. 4-3(3) as follows:
          Sec. 4-3(3). Any of the provisions of this section except Sec. 4-3(2)(g) may be waived as dictated by treatment under direction of a licensed veterinarian.
3. The penalty provision is already in the existing ordinance, so it does not need amendment. Here is the current provision:
          Sec. 4-3(5). Penalties. A violation of any provision of this section is punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00). No judge, magistrate or special magistrate may suspend the imposition of the minimum fine prescribed herein. In addition to the fine amount, the penalty may include not more than six (6) months in jail and not more than three (3) years probation, or any combination thereof.
This issue has multiple layers beyond the steroids. It has to do with some trainers who had perennial losers going to weekly winners for no apparent reason. It has to do with keeping animals caged in crates all day long, muzzled and calling that “training athletes”. It has to do with track conditions that result in dogs pulling up lame. It has to do with gaming profits being made through off-track betting, and the collateral damage is the dogs. And more.  We can’t fix it all, but we can take this step, and hope that it’s in the direction of limiting the damage to the greyhounds who are being used as a commodity to be bought, sold and traded.
Steve Kozachik
Council Member, Ward 6
To Whom It May Concern:

I cannot believe anyone would be so stupid to fall for the animal rights agitators, Grey2K BS, and the 100 veterinarians, who have issued an "edict" that all female racing greyhounds are to be forbidden access to birth control. For at least 40 years, the administration of estrus suppressants to greyhound bitches has been standard operating procedure for actively racing greyhounds. At one time, the administration was done with an ultra-light dosage, intra-muscular injection of testosterone, depending upon what the vet recommended, either bi-weekly or once a month. Now, some use pills and others still use injection - it is NOT illegal.

Let me tell you why you do not want bitches coming into season in a racing kennel.  It's simple, really...  young male greyhounds, which are bred to be fiercely competitive and in peak physical condition, bursting with athletic vigor are horny. If the bitches come into season, and please note they ALL come in together, it puts the dogs under tremendous stress.  Really, most of you already know as it is basic "Dogs for Dummies" material.  If giving estrus suppressants are made illegal, there will be dog fights, physical battles for dominance and the right to breed.  That's bad but it is natural.  It is also unavoidable if bitches in heat are in close proximity. 

Trust me, greyhounds are my breed and they have been my breed for nearly 20 years.  You NEVER - EVER want to see or break up a full blown, greyhound pack fight.  NEVER!  I lost a show bitch to a pack fight.  It is NOT pretty!  It is VERY VIOLENT!  In truth, it is comparable to a small war when one occurs.  EVERY greyhound in the yard suddenly gangs up on the first one who squeals, trying to KILL that dog. Then, they all start going after one another, helter skelter, depending upon which dog is closest to whom.  It is a terrifying and dangerous situation.  Dogs can be grievously injured in these fights and, as I said a sentence or two ago, dogs can and do get killed in them.  And, here is something else to consider - in a melee like that, PEOPLE can also be seriously injured and also killed.  There is NOTHING so frightening as a greyhound in blood lust.  NOTHING!  

Remember....  this is my breed.  I know this breed intimately.  You have no idea of the power and ruthlessness of 30 or so enraged greyhounds engaged in a pack fight. You have NO idea until you have waded into one of these episodes -  swinging buckets, mops, shovels....  swinging ANYTHING in an attempt to restore order during one of these terrifying episodes.  I've waded into a pack fight with only 12 greyhounds and it is NOT something I want to repeat!  

Ch El-Aur Summer Breeze aka Feather 
I had 12 greyhounds pack up on my lovely show bitch, Feather, when she squealed one day.  To be graphic...  the ones which lost their muzzles in the melee, pretty much disemboweled her.  I BEAT them off with a shovel and a bucket. When they were clear of her, I carried her into the house, wrapped her in a blanket with a bath towel around her midsection to hold it together and took her to the vet, who did emergency surgery.  She died a week later.  Trust me, you NEVER want to have this happen. It is a harrowing, formidable & menacing experience.  If you are unfortunate to have one occur, you will NEVER forget it. You will be extremely lucky to emerge intact and with all dogs intact & alive.

A legislative ban on the administration of contraceptives - the same sort anyone may be able to get for their intact pets - to greyhounds in Tucson is appalling.  It borders on malpractice.  The Councilman's ignorance of the day to day routine & existence of racing greyhounds is leading him to make a grievous mistake, one that could easily become fatal to man & beast.  Essentially, he is endorsing complete sexual anarchy and chaos in the greyhound kennels. This proposal will put every dog in potentially grave danger and it will lead to unplanned & unwanted pregnancies.  Dogs, as anyone should know, can easily scale tall fences in search of that bitch in heat. 

These ill advised changes will place each and every kennel working in potentially great peril and it significantly compromises their right to work in a safe workplace. It presents a clear & present danger to the personal safety and the emotional state of each & every human and greyhound at the Tucson kennel complex. 

Whatever your feelings about greyhound racing, the vets who have endorsed this appalling ordinance and the politicians who plan to actuate it need to be called on the carpet. I don't know if they have been influenced by the anti-racing faction, who have close ties with HSUS, PeTA & the Animal Liberation Front or if they themselves harbor such sentiments.  It really doesn't matter and it is of no import.  What is important is that this proposal by a City Councilman will place ALL of the greyhounds at Tucson and their handlers in an untenable and very impracticable situation. Before any greyhounds are mauled or worse like my Feather in a kennel pack fight, and before any of the people who work with them are injured or maimed, I ask that you all contact the Council and ask that this hazardous piece of legislation be reassessed and denied.


Elaine Summerhill
Where beauty & function go paw in paw....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Update on Grey2K Trip to England

Ah yes... Several days back, in the post, Last of the Board Duties, I commented about Mr & Mrs Grey2K's working vacationtrip to England being timed to coincide with the "1000 Greyhounds" event.

I am happy to report that it was confirmed back on Sept 4 that Grey2K USA, in the form of President Christine Dorchak and her husband, Executive Director Carey Theil, did, in fact, put in an appearance at the "1000 Greyhounds ( event, to hand out badges (buttons) to participants!

You know, an airline ticket to London is around $1k... I wonder how much this trip is costing?

Curiosity got the best of me... So, I went on to a couple of discount travel sites including Expedia to get a guesstimate as to how much the trip may cost.  I found the cheapest total cost, per person, was to stay at a hostel. What's the difference between a hotel and a hostel?

Hotels are considered more luxurious than hostels and, therefore, more expensive. At a hotel one can have his own room and bathroom as well as maid service and other amenities. A person staying at a hotel will have his bags carried to his room, fresh towels delivered and his bed made up daily.

Hostels are generally used by younger travelers with less money to spare. Those visiting a hostel will most likely be required to share a room as well as bath and shower rooms. In the past, rooms were set up dormitory fashion, with communal showers. Nowadays, some hostels offer single rooms and bathrooms, while shared, might accommodate only one guest at a time.

Anyway....  Here is the info from Expedia as to the least expensive Airfare + Lodging  +Car package.

Flight + Hotel + Car Trip

Situated in London, this hostel is close to The General Cemetery of All Souls, Portobello Road Market, and Electric Cinema. Also nearby are The Tricycle ... More lodging info
Hotel promotion - Save 15% on this stay!
Book online or call 1-800-222-0892
Total Price:$2,193
$1,097 per person
Only 2 trips left at this price!
includes: Flight + Hotel + Car, Taxes & Fees**

1.5-star London, England 
Bed in 8-Bed Mixed Dorm
Check in: 23-Sep
Check out: 1-Oct
Flight Information
DeltaBoston (BOS) to London (LHR)  Depart:22-Sep  6:40 PM - 6:25 AM (+1 day) Delta
London (LHR) to Boston (BOS)  Return: 1-Oct  9:40 AM - 12:39 PMDelta
Choose a different flight
Car Information
HertzLondonPick-up: 09/23/12Mini 2-door car
Drop-off: 10/01/12
Choose a different car

Somehow, I cannot envision the leadership of Grey2K, as dedicated to the welfare of greyhounds that they are, staying in a hostel, even if they are going to be touring the country. But, I'll give them the benefit of a doubt...

Even so, this is a fine use of those donations "for the dogs"....  NOT!

Of course, this is all supposition as we have no idea as to where they stayed or how their reservations were made, but you can see that this trip to England was not cheap.  It was, at a minimum, airfare alone was about $2000 for airfare alone.   What about meals?  We have no idea as to how much the final cost will be?

That $2000 would go a long way to helping a lot of greyhounds find homes, if it had been donated to an actual adoption group rather than lobbyists, who are making a living off of the dogs...  who are 'exploiting' the dogs (to use their own words) to achieve a political goal.

So, how much do you want to bet that Grey2K will have a donate comment on all their buttons, literature and swag they hand out?  It's called "Branding".  And, as long as they don't take pennies on site, then how the donations come in are fair game.  My guess is that they are not going to be political, lobby or whatever over there. They are getting tours of greyhound racing facilities and attending a novelty ENTERTAINMENT EVENT ... which is what setting a Guinness world book record really is.  All on the backs of the dogs they supposedly support. While campaigning for more money to pay for their pleasure trips.

How much do you want to bet that they are going to use the trip to scrounge up more donations back here in the States?  After all....  they will probably next want to visit Macau...  to shut down greyhound racing there.

Prices are per person and do not include baggage fees or other fees charged directly by the airline.
These results cover a metro area with several airports. Please review your choices carefully.
Sort by:Departure TimeArrival TimeStopsDurationPrice
BostonMacauSeattle, Taipei
BOS  6:35pmMFM  11:50am +2 days2 Stops  29h 15m
Alaska Airlines 15
EVA Airways 25
EVA Airways 801 

MacauBostonTaipei, Los Angeles, Dallas
MFM  8:35pmBOS  10:50am +1 day3 Stops  26h 15m
EVA Airways 812
EVA Airways 16
American Airlines 2400
American Airlines 2400 
(total $3,600)
includes tax and fees

Think about it.

Yours in greyhounds....