Sunday, July 16, 2017

Greyhounds & Cocaine Metabolites

By Steve Sarras



Information regarding Bezoylecognine in urine and accepted threshold cutoffs by credible experts.

In the first paragraph of introduction it clearly states, “Because of the presence of cocaine in the environment, human workplace drug testing uses cutoffs or “limitations” designed to exclude BZE identifications resulting from innocent environmental contamination”

Trace Level Benzoylecgonine (BZE) Identifications in Post-Race Urines: Probable Sources and the Regulatory Significance of Such Identifications. AAEP Proceedings 52:231-36, 2006

Contrary to news media reports fueled by animal rights extremists, this is not doping or animal abuse. This IS an issue of innocent, environmental contamination laws needing to be updated according to technological advances and federally used drug testing standards. No dogs were put in harm's way or have exhibited any health issues.

My dogs have been tested at a disproportionately higher level than other kennels in Jacksonville since the beginning of political sessions. I may have been targeted because of my active involvement in defending the greyhound industry. My name and my political involvement in West Virginia is frequently cited in the media, even though this occurred in Jacksonville, Florida. I have been licensed to race greyhounds in almost every state to offer greyhound racing since 1986. I am very active and well respected in the both racing and adoption communities of the greyhound world. Numerous veterinarians, who see our dogs daily, will confirm that we always strive for the highest level of care for everyone of our dogs.

The 17 positive tests involved 12 dogs in my kennel. The dogs have tested positive for trace amounts of a metabolite called Benzoylecgonine in amounts normally accepted as environmental contaminants or from casual contact. All dogs that tested positive WOULD NOT have failed any federally mandated human drug test. Horse racing has also started to use these federal drug testing guidelines.  A commercial airline pilot or a truck driver would have to have tested at concentrations 4 to 14 times higher than the  greyhound’s to even warrant a second test to confirm a positive or failed drug test. Animal rights extremists are intentionally withholding the amounts found in the positive samples. Quite simply it is propaganda against the greyhound industry. These animal rights extremists also have ties to domestic terrorist groups. They prey on hysteria and  fears to elicit anger and support in any form especially in terms of donations. Check their websites and social media sites. You won’t have to look hard for the DONATE button. These groups use manipulation of information to promote their own agenda.

To date, these are  the facts during this ongoing investigation:

State Regulators have suspended my former trainer’s license pending a formal hearing in August of 2017. Americans are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The trainer has appealed his positive samples and is entitled by law to due process. It is very possible that the results were from human contact by a trainer, kennel staff or state specimen collectors handler may have used the drug or contamination of feed at the source. If it is proven that this is a result of drugs in the workplace it will be dealt appropriately.  I do not condone the use of illegal drugs. Steve M. Sarras Kennel also has complied with all aspects of Florida Pari Mutuel Wagering laws. We care deeply about all of our dogs and would never put them in harm's way.

The positive tests are for trace amounts of Benzoylecgonine. Trace positive results of benzoylecgonine are not proof of dogs being drugged for performance enhancement.  Unfortunately, propaganda groups would like the general public to believe otherwise.




13 OUT OF 17 WERE  BELOW 20 ng/ml; 6 WERE  11 ng/ml OR LOWER.

THE DOG WITH THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATION of 36.5 nanograms came in 5th

THE THREE WINNERS HAD CONCENTRATIONS OF 11, 11, AND 13 NANOGRAMS. (CLEARLY NOT A PERFORMANCE ENHANCING EFFECT as proclaimed by animal rights group promoting false news)

Technological advances  of urinalysis equipment can detect trace amounts of any substance. These positive tests are registering in nanograms. A nanogram is a billionth of a gram. A very fine grain of sand is 350 nanograms, for reference. The highest positive was 1/10th of a fine grain of sand. Threshold levels have been established by the government  because it is well documented that casual contact and environmental contamination from cocaine is frequently detected in urinalysis using today's modernized and advanced lab equipment

Unattended Urine Collection Cups
Anyone can access & contaminate them.
Florida law mandates all kennels relinquish their dogs on race day for at least 1 hour up to 6 hours . If cocaine was given on race day, any effects would be over while in the state and track’s custody. During that time kennel staff is prohibited from access to the dogs racing to protect the integrity of wagering. The only individuals with access are track and state employees until after the dogs race. Urinalysis is performed prior to a race, contrary to what the track’s spokesperson stated in an earlier report to the media. We are actively investigating the cause of the contamination, chain of custody, and handling of the urine sample. The urine specimens are  collected outdoors in a common area. None of the samples were witnessed or signed for by any employees of Steve M. Sarras Kennel.

The state conducts of all the drug testing and receives the results. I have yet to be officially notified by the state in regards to these positive samples.

An alarming 90% of US paper currency has trace amounts of cocaine on it, which could cause a trace positive urine sample on anyone handling that money.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Greyhound Adoption: The Great American Success Story

By Dick Ciampa

This is a story about adoption, racing greyhound adoption. Greyhound racing started in the United States in the 1920's, when it was thought that greyhounds were vicious and would not make good pets. It was said they wore muzzles and were trained to kill so being a pet was out of the question.

Through the 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's, greyhounds were either put down or held for breeding. Since the number held for breeding was a small percentage of the population, the majority were put down.

Cora Eisenzimer adopted a greyhound in 1957 and while that was probably the start of greyhound adoption, it wasn't until 1982, when greyhound tracks in St. Petersburg, Florida and a year later in Seabrook, New Hampshire started what would be considered the first formal adoptions of racing greyhounds.  

It was the greyhound industry that started what is now one of the great American success stories - Greyhound Adoption.  

As the years went by, adopting greyhounds become more & more popular. Adoption groups started popping up and the Great American Success Story was underway. What started out as REGAP, Retired Greyhounds as Pets, went nationwide when they became Greyhound Pets of America (GPA). With chapters of GPA now growing into many states, the number of greyhounds being adopted was now in the thousands & growing.

If you fast forward to 2011, there were an estimated 200,000 greyhounds adopted as pets. That is not an estimate by anyone in the greyhound industry, but an estimate in a paper done by Jen Krebs, Grey2K Board of Director, and Dr. Couto, a most respected greyhound veterinarian.

Those who believe today's greyhounds are in grave danger when their career is over are living in the past and getting fleeced out of their money, if they are donating to a group that is telling them otherwise. 

Today greyhound farms routinely hold a few crates for adoption dogs. Relationships have been forged between adoption groups and farmers in the Midwest and those farmers will hold dogs at no cost until those dogs can be moved into adoption. It may be as little as a few days, or a few weeks, even months but farmers do it because adoption is important to them. It is one of the ways they help out.

Greyhound farmers don’t have time to hit the keyboard to try and defend themselves from the Grey2K’s of the world. Greyhound farmers have to tend to their dogs 24/7/365. There are no holidays, there is no taking the day off because you are sick, there is no not going out to take care of the dogs because it is below zero and snowing. Greyhound farmers are doing the real work for the greyhounds, they are the greyhound keepers, and they are the people that make the greyhound what it is today.

Unlike the promoted, self-interested myth, your greyhound pet was not an abused and neglected creature magically transformed into the loving pet that resides in your house because Grey2K waved its magic wand and threw some fairy dust in the air. The process that made your dog who  s/he is today started from day one on the greyhound farm. The dogs are handled and cared for and romp and play in their runs with their littermates. 

Farmer walking with pups
Greyhound farmers are just like everyone else in many respects. They get married and have kids and those kids go to school just like yours. Those kids play basketball or soccer or golf and do the same things your kids do. The one difference is the greyhound farmer’s children get to play with greyhound puppies and that is something that will benefit the greyhound later in life when s/he becomes a pet.

Sometimes the transition from track to house pet can take a bit of time, because you have rocked your greyhound’s world and s/he is in a strange place with strange people without friends or a familiar routine. However, the true greyhound goofy, playful personality developed at the farm will come out in time. 

There is an old saying “believe what your eyes tell you” and if you think back to the 1980’s or before and think about how many greyhounds you saw walking around your city or town you will probably say I didn’t see any. Now think about the last twenty or twenty-five years and you will probably say I see greyhounds being walked or running in a park quite often. Greyhounds seem to be everywhere.

If you believe what your eyes tell you then it makes sense that the greyhound is getting adopted at a very high rate today.  What was the fate of a greyhound before the 1980’s is not what it has been in the decades since.

It is not uncommon for a greyhound hauler with space in his truck to take adoption dogs at no charge in the direction he is going. It is not uncommon for a kennel owner or farmer to haul some of their dogs from one place to another and take adoption dogs as well and drop them off on their way. It’s not uncommon for the National Greyhound Association or American Greyhound Council to pay for a haul of dogs to a part of the country that has trouble getting greyhounds to adopt out.

What is uncommon is for Grey2K to pay for anything that has to do with adoption. Grey2K doesn’t pay; they want you to pay. Grey2K will show a dog on their Facebook page that is looking to be adopted, but they aren’t donating to help that dog, that is what you are meant to do, separately. You donate to them, they take. 

There are hundreds of greyhound adoption groups in the United States, some pro-racing, some anti-racing and the rest neutral. Most do a good job of adopting dogs out, however none of the dogs are in need of rescuing. They are waiting for a home and were in no danger at the track. Today ever track has an adoption group or groups that they work with and most, if not all, tracks provide space and crates for the dogs waiting to be adopted out or moved to another adoption group.

Many anti-racing adoption groups do a disservice to people adopting their dogs by not providing the dog’s racing name or acknowledging the dog has been adopted on the Greyhound-Data web site. This is done to make it appear that the dog has “disappeared”. Call or email the National Greyhound Association with your dog’s tattoo numbers and they can provide you with your dog’s racing name.

Because of the combined efforts of the greyhound industry, National Greyhound Association, American Greyhound Council and the hundreds of adoption groups that work tirelessly adopting these wonderful greyhounds out, greyhound adoption really is:



Saturday, July 8, 2017

West "By God" Virginia!

The greyhound community had some pretty high hopes that the GOP with its "Jobs" Agenda would support the racing greyhound community, that their jobs, 1700+ jobs in West "By God" Virginia, wouldn't be under attack. Boy, did we get it wrong! Thank God that the Democratic Governor, Jim Justice, and others understood what was at stake and he got it right!
Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office &
WV Metro News

Governor Jim Justice vetoed the decoupling bill that would have killed thousands of jobs, displaced thousands of dogs, and wrecked families. He said,
“If we get rid of greyhound racing it will mean job losses and fewer people coming to West Virginia,” Justice later stated in a release.
Eliminating support for the greyhounds is a job killer and I can’t sign it. The last thing we need to do is drive more people out of West Virginia. We can’t turn our back on communities like Wheeling that benefit from dog racing.
Greyhounds are born runners, and I hope to keep them running in West Virginia for a very long time.We can’t turn our back on dog racing in WV!”
He also questioned the legality of the Legislature unilaterally decoupling West Virginia casinos and race tracks because counties authorized gaming and racing as a package deal.

At this time, we want to offer our thanks to Governor Justice and all those who supported West "By God" Virginia greyhound racing in its time of need.


Yours in greyhounds....