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Greyhounds from China

Today was the official showing of the Greyhounds from China. The Chinese government closed the Macau Track. One stipulation of the closure was allowing the casino to remain open is finding good resources for the 650 dogs. The Chinese government paid for the FIRST class trip. The dogs are being flown all over the world to good homes, five dogs came to Friends of Greyhounds agency where Hughey was obtained. The dogs travel by boat from Macau to Hong Kong, flown to Frankfurt Germany and transferred to a flight to Miami arriving last Wednesday. if interested go on line to Friends of Greyhound.

Gene & Hughey

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
12/4/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

We know who is coming!!

On Wednesday afternoon, December 12th, we are scheduled to pick up five greyhounds at the Lufthansa Cargo offices in Miami. I am soooo excited!! I spoke with the coordinator for the whole project and she gave me information on the dogs that we will be receiving.

Our dogs are all “middle aged” and ready for Florida retirement! They are:

  • Speedy – Black male – 9 years old
  • Victory King – Black male – 7 ½ years old
  • Worthy Class – Red Brindle female – 8 ½ years old
  • Winning Star – Black female – will turn 8 years old the day after she arrives!
  • Zhujiang Winds – Black & White female – will be 9 in February.

(Note: the Macau racers are not listed on Greyhound-data)

Caryn, our coordinator from Grey2K for this whole thing, says that she hears that every group that has accepted dogs is amazed at how sweet and gentle and happy the Macau dogs are. I can’t wait!

Today Scott Sharp (Dusty’s dad) & I made a “dry run” to the cargo offices so we know where to go on the 12th. It’s still a bit confusing but it’ll give me more confidence for that day and Lord knows I don’t want to be late. And our long-time friend Andrea who has documented many of our milestones for FoG through the years, is going to ride along with us to film the arrival!

Our biggest impediment to getting the dogs from the tracks and into their homes quickly is mother nature. Their systems are used to a different schedule, time zones, languages, food, etc. We need to allow them time to acclimate and settle in before we try to get them to the veterinarian’s office to be spayed and neutered. Now that we know they are all seniors, that is even more important! Their systems will be going through enough of a shock with different time zones, different noises, food, people, languages, schedules, grass and so much more that we can’t imagine. They need some time to learn to trust us and to know their new home and to learn to be loved. It’s a great time for them to meet our friends, too.

They arrive on the 12th and adding 2 weeks to that puts us in that time between Christmas and New Years when many people, including our vets, take vacation time to spend with their families. So vet work will most likely take even more time. But these dogs are well worth waiting for.

We are thinking that we could probably schedule some “open house/kennel” time and those of you that want to come meet the Macau dogs can come to the house in Sunrise. Our yard isn’t huge but we have some chairs and a bench and it is fenced. You can meet the dogs and introduce them to your dog and maybe we can deliver him or her as soon as the vet is done.

So let us get the dogs in and we’ll see what we can put together. I’m so excited. It’ll be a very full house around here but that’s something I have really been missing. That’ll make my Christmas!! And I’m hoping there are people reading this who will make Christmas special for one of these dogs.

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
11/27/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT THE TRACK CLOSINGS

One week since the last Happy Tales Report and we have some changes to report.

On the local greyhound front, some of the tracks are attempting to operate just as they always have while they wait for the courts and public opinion to settle down. When I put together our track list for the previous blog, we had been told that tracks that were not racing at the time of the vote would not race again. Well, that was overturned. So they apparently are going to let the tracks race right up to the closing bell if they want to!!

Luckily, some of our local folks really don’t want to race dogs, preferring to host card rooms and slot machines. Works for me!! No dogs are injured at card tables or slot machines.

Hollywood Dog Track is fading into history. They now operate as the Big Easy Casino with lots of gambling of other sorts. I don’t object to that. I just don’t want them maiming and killing dogs to do it. I called today to verify it and I was told very clearly that Hollywood Dog Track and/or Big Easy Casino no longer conducts greyhound racing!! It is over. I’m sure they can’t wait to put that big oval track area to better use!!

Flagler dog track in Miami has been using their JaiAlai license for some time now to conduct their gaming and they have slot machines. They reinvented themselves as Magic City Casino and that is a strategy I heartily applaud!! The owners and management of Flagler have been a good supporters of Friends of Greyhounds. It has been awkward a few times but we worked together for the good of the dogs.

The Florida Kennels compound where we used to have our adoption kennel and office is co-owned by the Miami and Hollywood tracks. Now that neither is racing dogs, I suspect the bidding war for that huge and amazingly located property is ON!! Developers have been salivating over that thing for years. On our first visit to the Flagler track, the big, big boss of the daily operation, Bill Hutchinson, had us in his office. It was the day he made us their “official” adoption group. A secretary walked in and laid some papers on his desk and he told her to send the guy away. He then told us that they got million dollar offers for the Florida Kennels property on Red Road every week, but without the kennels, Hollywood and Flagler tracks couldn’t operate. (Bill was a good man. He made that greyhound business as good and humane as it could be. Even after he retired, we kept in touch a couple times a year.)

The Naples – Ft. Myers track kennels will be starting their live dog racing season on December 23rd and runs until some time in April. The Palm Beach track to our north is a year round track and despite all the activity, they haven’t missed a beat. I suppose they will run til they are legally shut down, December 31, 2020.

So we aren’t getting dogs locally right now – – but you think you want one??? We have a surprise for you – – Close your eyes – OOPS – don’t do that, or you can’t read the blog. (Sorry!) On Wednesday, December 12th, we will be receiving five racing greyhounds from the track closing in Macau. They had 650 greyhounds to re-home and they are paying for their airfare and travel kennels. We will pick them up that afternoon and settle them at the house. Maybe by that weekend we can have a little visitation day here at the house – or something. We’ll see.

Grey2K is working with the Macau track and a number of other supporters to get the dogs safely relocated. They asked that we give the dogs 14 days between arrival and vetting. They’ve already gotten all their shots and been tested for all the things you need to test for but we want them to get comfortable in our kennels, in this whole new world, new food, new noises. Then we will have them vetted and be ready for them to go to their new homes – – so we can schedule more of them!! So stay tuned – dogs are coming!! No, I do not know colors or sex or anything else. Woo-Hoo!!

Have a great week and give your dog a big hug from Momma Michelle, please!

P.S. – Since we haven’t had gatherings or adoptions much lately, our coffers are pretty bare but that wasn’t a problem. However, the insurance on the truck is due. I kinda thought I could figure on getting rid of it but now since it looks like we have a little bit of activity in our future, we need to keep it on the road and our insurance is coming due. Plus, the incoming dogs will need to visit the vet for spay or neuter. Yes that gets reimbursed from the adoption fee but we need it up front. Jerry & I have been carrying FoG for some time now and our social security doesn’t go a long way. So if you can spare a few bucks, please donate online or drop us a check. A little something multiplied by the number of people reading our blog would make one heck of a difference!! Thank you so much!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Preparing kennels in Macau to send greyhounds to the United States.

Greyhound Floor Decor

Best floor décor ever!

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
11/13/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Updates – Confusion, Rumors, Errors & Greyhounds! Oh, My!

Friends of Greyhounds is still here and will be until all the dogs are settled. After that, we will be here (God willin’ and the creek don’t rise) for dogs that may need to be re-adopted. Things happen and we will be here to help.

I posted a list of the tracks’ closing schedules but several of them individually have gone to court to get extensions. I will try to update that list next week. Things should be settled by then. The list of tracks initially came from the National Greyhound Association and it has been pointed out to me that Sarasota does not appear on the list. No, I have no idea why not but I’ve been told that they received a special extension since the dogs were already onsite. (I don’t understand why that kept them from being listed??)

So let me summarize that this is one of the most confused and tangled events we have been part of but it is worth seeing it all through. We just have to focus on the real goal – getting the dogs into homes. Friends of Greyhounds is ready to take dogs in for adoption but we do not currently have any available dogs in the kennel. We have received a number of calls and emails from people who are under the impression that all the groups are suddenly overloaded with dogs. I’ve had people say they heard we had 3,000 dogs looking for homes and today a caller said he was told that there were 15,000 dogs that would need to be fostered!!! WOW – let’s get real people!

First of all, the law says that there will be no greyhound racing in Florida after December 31, 2020. That’s two years away. The racing professionals are still getting their ducks in a row and figuring how they are going to handle all of this. If the tracks are re-arranging their schedules, it affects them all the way down to the kennel level. So don’t panic yet. These first couple of weeks will allow them to figure out what way they are going. There are many, many adoption groups standing by to accept the retiring dogs and many secondary people whose jobs are affected, too. Government entities are even reviewing their gambling laws so that the impact on incomes and jobs in their areas are not too adversely affected.

Personally, I’d like to see the tracks coordinate closing dates to effectively taper off the number of dogs racing and avoid the “dumping” of greyhounds that many people are anticipating. The media has been all over this subject but don’t worry, they will be off on another story soon and we will still be here.

Did you know – – FoG was mentioned in Time’s online story!! Elite Greyhounds from Loxahatchee was in it too. We were just links but how cool is that!! However it generated a ton of people calling to adopt greyhounds from us and we don’t have any! We are telling people to work through their local adoption groups. I love running dogs around in my van but we had calls from Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico and Canada – and that’s just what I can remember.

If you are reading this from a distance away from our location in South Florida, I suggest you contact your local adoption group by going to: http://adopt-a-greyhound.org/directory/list.cfm Then click on your state for a list of greyhound agencies near you. We will all be working together for the sake of the dogs.

We are holding onto the emails of people out of the area who have reached out to us already and we intend to notify them when dogs become available but we honestly have no idea how this is going to work. To add to the confusion, remember that many dogs are in the kennels at the tracks but there are also many dogs that are not racing that are on the farms. There are brood moms, youngsters, injured and retired dogs, etc. Also, there is still racing in other states so many breeders will be evaluating their choices.

So hug your dogs and hang on. I am going to work on the theory that all of our local adopters and friends could find room for at least one foster if needed and as you probably know, I am not afraid to ask for help. I do think that we should plan a celebration for the passing of Amendment 13. At least we’re not re-counting that!! So keep an eye on your email and we’ll be setting up a party, soon. (If you don’t get our emails, go to the FoG website and click on Contact Us. There are forms there to add your email.) Let’s party!!! We will see the end of Greyhound Racing in Florida!!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Dog Racing in Florida is Coming to an End!

I’m sure everyone has heard the good news that greyhound racing will soon be finished in the state of Florida. All tracks will be closed by December 31, 2020. Thank you for all your hard work to make this possible. “Vote Yes on 13” was EVERYWHERE!! And the volunteers were everywhere, too! I was a nervous wreck the whole voting day and into the evening. I wouldn’t let myself believe it until they declared it was the final tally. You guys ROCK!! Thank you so much! So this is how I understand it’s supposed to go.

Florida dog tracks that are not currently racing will not be allowed to start another season. Locally that means that the since the Hollywood track (aka Big Easy and Mardi Gras) and the Naples-Ft. Myers track in Bonita Springs had racing seasons from December to April, they will not be running dogs again. Ebro (panhandle) falls under the same ruling so they are done. Flagler dog track in Miami had already stopped dog racing some time ago and their gaming activities are done under the license originally received for the Jai-Alai fronton that they also owned. (Good for them!!)

However, there are five tracks in Florida that operate year round so they get to keep racing until the end of 2020 as far as we know now. They are Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, Derby Lane (St. Pete), Orange Park (Jacksonville) and Sanford-Orlando. We are of course hoping they will all decide to quit early!!

I’m attaching a list for those of you who like details so that you can see who it affects and how. There are eight tracks in Florida of which 3 are done. Five are allowed to continue. There are seven tracks spread across the rest of the country and one in Tiajuana, Mexico.

Again – huge congratulations and thanks to all the hard working volunteers who put Amendment 13 on the ballot and in everyone’s faces so the dogs could move from tracks to sofas!! FoG was honored to be one of the adoption groups (Elite in Loxahatchee being the other one) specifically mentioned by Time magazine!

Back at home plate, we do not have any dogs available for adoption at this time. We are getting tons of calls asking for dogs to adopt. They are coming from all over the country!! The news stories are saying that there will be thousands of dogs “dumped” on the adoption market and people want to sign up to adopt them! However, as most of you know, we are not in good standing with the dog tracks right now and haven’t been for some time. For many kennels, that means they’d rather not give us dogs to adopt. It’s their choice. But we are here if they need us. We hope that a few of the dogs will pass through our place anyway. I love playing with new dogs!! We’ll see what happens.

Have a great week – I am so glad the elections are over!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Voting Day

To all of our friends of Friends –

I hope everyone voted “yes” on Amendment 13 and we all hope it is enough. The amendment has to pass with 60% vote. We’ll know tonight unless they need some kind of re-count. Needless to say, all of us that are part of FoG are on pins and needles. Please, God, help our hounds.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
Benjamin Franklin

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle, both Jerrys, a bunch of other volunteers, and all the hounds.

RACE TO THE FINISH

Why Florida voters could deal a fatal blow to greyhound racing this Election Day.

BY JOHN BARR AND TONYA MALINOWSKI

10/31/18

LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla. — Sonia Stratemann’s greyhounds come bounding out to greet and paw visitors when she opens the door to a concrete-slab porch on a muggy September morning. So many dogs live in the house that she and daughter Alexandra can’t immediately agree on a number. “We think 15,” Stratemann says.

Click Here to Read the Entire Article

Getting the Word Out

Our adopters are getting active to support Amendment 13. Many of us who are not normally bothered by the ups and downs of politics are getting fed up. Sandra Stubbs, mom to Molly Ringwald, a blue fawn 3-year old, got tired of the rhetoric and submitted the following to her local newspaper in Fernandina – –

I have rescued two greyhounds and I have seen, first hand, the abuse these dogs go through. Each one of my dogs, winner or loser, where malnourished, full of hookworms, cigarette burns on their bodies and have bare hindquarters because of the small cages they are kept in all day.

I will admit that there maybe a few owners that take care of their dogs, but the majority use them only for monetary gains. Whirlpools to cool down? Come on! What kennel, and I have been in a lot, have a facility for a whirlpools? None!!! Vitamins, protein, veggies, let me show you the blood work on the adopted out greyhounds. It is atrocious. I have a line of veterinarians that will back me on this one.

Nice picture of a big bowl of food. So look at the weight records of the racing dogs, do you really think anyone would believe you over feed the dogs like this? They don’t get that much in a week, no less than at one feeding.

If your racing greyhounds are so sociable with their trainers, owners, handlers, then why is it that when they are retired, due to broken legs, lack of interest to run or treated like “rats with legs”, that these dogs don’t know about a yard, a walk, shy away from people and even cower when spoken too.

Let’s see, drug addicts? What about doping? These dogs, and it has been proven, with a Palm Beach trainer, after a random urine test revealed that one of the dogs tested positive for cocaine. Not to mention that testosterone has been injected in dogs, I guess because the owners love them so much, that it has led to hormonal imbalances and genital deformities.

I am incensed at the propaganda that you have put out to further the abuse of these beautiful animals. And for what, financial gain from an employee that works “like a dog” and gets treated even worse than one.

Mom to a RESCUED GREYHOUND!

You Go Girl!!!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Dog Mother’s Opinion

Eight Days til ELECTION DAY

To all of my greyhound friends and their families –

I have met almost all of you and often your neighbors, friends & family members when I delivered dogs or greeted you at the kennel. So I am personally asking that each and every one of you that live in Florida, get out and help Amendment 13 get passed.

Please don’t hesitate to vote. Vote early if you can, so there’s no danger of you getting sidetracked on Election Day.

Make sure your neighbors and friends know about the greyhound amendment. This is our first and probably only chance to stop dog-racing in Florida. It gives the kennels until 2020 to fully end racing in Florida so they should be able to accomplish it in a civilized manner. FoG and all the other adoption groups will be here to help.

This is SO IMPORTANT !! The dogs’ lives depend on you. You will still be able to get greyhounds for pets and they will still be a wonderful breed. They have been around for thousands of years and they will continue to be here. I’ve written a couple of blogs already on this subject and I have tried to address every question I have heard. I’m available by email pretty easily if you have a new concern.

But if we can get this to pass we eventually won’t see them carrying dog bodies off the track after a race. And we won’t watch the dog trucks leave the kennel compound with three dogs and return empty. And life on the farms is a whole other story. Winners win. Losers die. As a civilized society, we can stop this barbarian practice in our state with our votes.

I don’t understand how anyone could vote to keep racing. It has created a marvelous breed and then offered them up as sacrifices. Haven’t we as a society, and as a community here in South Florida, been able to rise above this? I know some racing jobs and “family dog farms” will be lost but many of those people and families have had years to see this coming.

Pull the plug on racing!! PLEASE VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT 13.

LOVE, PEACE AND GREYHOUNDS,

MICHELLE,
DOGMOTHER!