In late May, American Greyhound was informed that the National Greyhound Association, (NGA), had instructed its members to stop directing dogs to American Greyhound. The NGA (the governing body of North American Greyhound racing interests) has the perception that American Greyhound is an anti-racing organization. This information will have an effect on how American Greyhound operates going forward and we felt it was important that you received this information from us rather some other source.
Last fall, prior to the Florida elections, we were approached by people in the racing industry asking us to add our name to a list of groups opposing Amendment 13 (the amendment on Florida’s ballot last November which ultimately led to the ban on dog racing at the end of 2020). Our response was that American Greyhound was a neutral organization and that adding our name to that list would make us no longer neutral. We assumed that there would be repercussions regarding our choice, but upon passage of the amendment, we were contacted in regard to American Greyhound helping with the hauling of the dogs out of Florida as tracks closed. American Greyhound, like very few other organizations, is very well equipped to haul large numbers of dogs (thanks to your generous support in providing this equipment). We have transported over 25 dogs at a time in the haul trailer and by adding dogs to the van, we could easily exceed 30. The news we received in May would appear to change that.
Our stance has always been one of neutrality toward both the racing industry and those organizations which opposed dog racing. For almost 20 years, American Greyhound has maintained relationships with folks in the racing industry, to assure the best interests of the dogs. We have always been a pretty easy organization to work with…we didn’t cherry-pick the dogs, i.e., we didn’t pick out the pretty ones, the easy ones; the more appealing ones (fancy colors, cat-safe females, blues, etc). In fact, we’ve made it a point to take those dogs deemed to be more in need… the older ones, the black ones, the big males, the injured and sick. We’ve worked hard to raise money, and are grateful for your support; financially, with your volunteer efforts, and of course, by adopting our dogs. And, because we’ve been blessed with wonderful volunteers and supporters, we felt an obligation to assist those hounds who needed a little extra help. And, as far as any anti-racing behavior on the part of American Greyhound, we are both befuddled and frustrated. Nothing American Greyhound has ever done could be construed as anti-racing by any rational person.
We are saddened that the NGA is blocking our resources (volunteers, equipment, funds, commitment) from reaching greyhounds in need. We have to maintain hope that the NGA is finding other means to allow all the dogs they breed and race to carry out their lives as loved family pets. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to the racing greyhounds and will continue to be available to haul the dogs from Florida when the time comes and place them into homes.
When the amendment passed, the writing was on the wall for greyhound racing in the US, and some decision would need to be made regarding the future of American Greyhound with the dwindling numbers of racing greyhounds in need of help. The Board of Directors of American Greyhound have been contemplating this situation and discussing our future, even before the news that we had been effectively black-balled by the racing industry. And, our primary driver is, as always, we concern ourselves with the well-being of the dogs; we have much to offer to sight-hounds in need, not just in the US, but around the world as well.
There will always be greyhounds available as pets. The local fire station does not have a dalmatian, you no longer see a sheep dog in the local farmers sheep pasture, a rottweiler pulling a cart, or a dachshund digging a badger out of his den. Yet, each of these breeds of dogs continues to exist and thrive, even though their original purpose has ceased to exist. Likewise, greyhounds will continue to exist. And, allow no one to tell you that they won’t be the same pets we’ve come to love because they’ll not be taking part in the racing industry. Dozens of puppies we’ve found homes for have turned out to be wonderful pets, just like the racers we’ve homed.
Over the past twenty years, we, working together have built an organization almost unrivaled amongst greyhound rescues because we have a following of supporters unmatched by many larger and more notable charities. We have something to offer to the sight-hounds that need our help!
For the past year and a half, American Greyhound has been partnering with the Daphne Legacy Tour to bring galgos from Spain into the fold, but there are thousands of other dogs in need of our help. Recently, American Greyhound President Jeff Coggins traveled to England and met with directors of Birmingham Greyhound Protection (Birmingham England, not Alabama), a group working to help racing greyhounds in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Candy Cane Rescue, a group dedicated to rescuing greyhounds from the dog-meat industry in China, to establish a partnership with American Greyhound to transport dogs from the UK to the United States for re-homing. We’re just now beginning to work out the details of how to proceed, though certainly our experience working with the Daphne Legacy Tour galgos gives us a solid base to work from. Thousands of dogs disappear each year in the UK and Ireland and this is something we can certainly help with. Likewise, we are in
with rescue organizations in Australia, where numerous racers have been sold to China for racing and breeding, to see if there is a need for our assistance.
Unlike many other greyhound rescues, we are excited for the future of American Greyhound and with your support we will continue our mission of helping dogs in need. Look for further updates as this plan comes together in the upcoming months. And, look for information regarding our next group of galgos expected to join us here in the states in early October.
Board of Directors
Greyhound shall include but is not limited to NGA (racing) greyhounds, AKC (show) greyhounds, greyhound mixes (lurchers), and other sight hounds that may find themselves in need of help."
American Greyhound By-laws