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“Take my Siblings out of prison. Thank you .” – Hughey

Vote YES on Florida Amendment 13 to stop Greyhound racing.

“Take my Siblings out of prison. Thank you .” – Hughey

A ‘yes’ on Amendment 13 will save lives and money

By voting “yes” on Amendment 13, Florida voters will have an opportunity to promote animal welfare and nix a state mandate that private businesses race dogs in front of empty bleachers at Florida’s archaic and increasingly empty dog-racing tracks.

Click Here to Read the Entire Article in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 13 to end a cruel, inhumane practice | Opinion

By Jean Wingo, Your Turn

Of all the Constitutional amendments, there is one that merits the support of all sides of the aisle.

For years the gambling interests have managed to continue making money from a dying industry by refusing to separate the cruel practice of greyhound racing from casinos in Florida. This year a strong coalition — including the Florida Federation of Republican Women and numerous other groups who rarely agree — have looked at the facts and realized it is time to join the 40 states that have banned the races by supporting Amendment 13.

Click Here to Read the Entire Article in the Tallahassee Democrat

End dog racing with (lucky) Amendment 13

by FRED GRIMM

Think of Amendment 13 as a merciful act of euthanasia; our chance to put dog racing out of its misery.

The vital signs have long been moribund. The handle – total dollars bet – at Florida’s dog tracks has declined more than 70 percent since 2001. Nationally, betting on greyhound racing fell from an all-time high of $3.5 billion in 1991 to less than $500 million last year. Paid attendance has dropped more than 85 percent. The grandstands have become the haunts of unfashionable old men in lonely contemplation.

Click Here to Read the Entire Article in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Full Speed Ahead to Election Day – Why You Should Vote YES on Amendment 13

As many of you may have realized, Friends of Greyhounds is fully supporting the Protect Dogs movement along with Grey2K and for the sake of these gentle dogs, we hope that the Florida election process will do away with greyhound racing. For many years FoG needed to remain “neutral” or we could not have gotten 2000 dogs out of the kennels and into homes. I always tried to tell people that we had to have a working relationship with the tracks and kennels in order to get the dogs to your homes. If you are going to be a bridge, you have to have a foot in both worlds. But that time has passed.

I am writing to ask each and every one of you to actively support the effort to end greyhound racing. Vote YES on Amendment 13. But please don’t stop there. It’s important that those of us who love these dogs and this breed make it known that these are gentle creatures who have been used and abused and it needs to stop. We need to make our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers understand how important this vote is.

Yes, there is much less racing than years ago but dogs are still being over bred to find the fastest dog to race and make money. The extra ones are discarded and once he’s slowed down, injured or killed, that fast one is discarded, too. Don’t fool yourself that they just “retire” the dog or every dogracing farm would have thousands of unproductive retirees to feed! They only need a few dogs to keep the kennels supplied. One female can produce a whole lot of puppies to pick from. Most greyhound litters are 7 to 12 puppies. The fast ones get to be racing dogs. The old saying in greyhound racing is that there are no breeding farms without a lake. (think your worst thoughts and you’ll be right) This is a disgusting industry. I am appealing to each of you to talk to the people on your mailing list. And then ask them to talk to the people on their mailing lists!!

This is our chance for Florida Voters to tell Tallahassee that we do not condone this treatment of these gentle, trusting dogs. Election day is November 6th but early voting starts October 22nd so please get busy making people aware of the true nature of the racing industry. These days the tracks, the dog owners and the breeders know that the industry is dying. They are making less money which means the dogs’ care is worse than ever. The dogs NEED your support.

Let’s review a few things, starting with a stroll down memory lane to a little something called “The Dasenbrock Kennel.”

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Some of you remember back in 2008 when we took over the Dasenbrock racing kennel after 60 dogs had been abandoned in there. The trainer had immigration problems and the helper hadn’t been paid so they both disappeared. FoG already had one 40-dog kennel nearby but our staff and volunteers stepped forward. The “D Kennel Dogs” were filthy, starved for days and a number had terrible, mostly untreated, injuries. The smell in the kennel was overpowering as the dogs had not been let out for some time. They were unbelievably loaded with ticks, several had untreated injuries, most were terribly hungry and emotionally despondent. They had given up. Even the full time kennel people from the compound knew this was a crisis and several had tried to help out but they had their own problems. So they did not fight us when we stepped in and took over.

The first day, Friday, was spent with evaluation, gathering food and supplies, identifying dogs and reaching out to volunteers and we promised them things would get better. We emailed our adopters and friends and response was overwhelming. They gave their time and brought supplies. Dr. Willie covered Welleby vet’s work and Dr. Karen Burlone spent her weekend with us.

Some 70 volunteers worked for two long hard days to clean and care for those dogs. They were washed, evaluated by the vet, given immunizations, meds, food and water, soft blankets and lots and lots of love. Volunteers literally picked ticks off of these dogs for hours. They worked in teams of three so that they could scrub the dog while someone loved and calmed the dog and the third person was supposed to be on break. The idea was that our volunteers would rotate to step away from the stress and grief of working with these filthy, injured, sad dogs. But that didn’t work well. No one was willing to take a break!

The compound manager arranged for us to use an exta kennel building. We moved dogs from the dirty kennel to the bathing areas (the road and parking lot) and then to the clean kennel. Clean dogs were thoroughly inspected by Lee Sweeney, our kennel manager, so that no sneaky ticks moved into the clean kennel. Then they were evaluated by Dr. B and one by one, they settled into a clean kennel with a clean carpet and even – wonder of wonders – a toy and a cookie. Some of them had no idea what the toy was. One of my fondest memories is of walking into the new kennel and hearing the tentative squeaks from a dog that just figured out that it was now okay to play!!

On Sunday, the second washing day, another vet came by to visit. He’d heard what was going on and wanted to see it for himself. He was a young man who had just graduated from vet school and had been working evenings at the track for a couple months while he looked for a permanent job. The track is required to have a vet onsite during racing. We told him what we were doing and I took him through our kennels. We had set aside one dog that had a huge blue cast on her leg. Her name was NK Joan and we were leaving her for last as we needed to be extra careful not to wet or mess up that cast. Joan had been pulling the stuffing out from inside of it and working to get it off but with no luck -yet.

It turned out this young vet had been the track vet that night Joan had been hurt and he had put the blue wrap on. He was furious that the trainer had not even taken her for x-rays and proper treatment. After all the other dogs were washed, I had the honor of cutting off that blue wrap. Volunteers helped Joan balance with a towel around her belly as she took her first tentative steps. Luckily, his setting had been right on the money and Joan’s leg was “okay”. (She limped a bit from then on but she had a good home, soft beds and a loving mom.) After that hard and depressing day, there wasn’t a dry eye around. In those two days, we had documented, cleaned, vetted and reassured every dog in that filthy kennel. The new kennel wasn’t pretty but it was clean and so were the dogs.

Volunteers continued to help with the second kennel and of course some of you fell in love with your D-Kennel dogs and adopted them. I spent hours and hours getting releases from owners so that we could adopt out the abandoned dogs. That was a lesson, too. I reached owners of record who swore to me that they had not owned a dog in years. So who’s dog was it? Ours now! We took over those dogs and the State inspectors just looked the other way. Yes, I spoke with a few caring owners but many were more worried about their checks from the tracks!

The track, working with the dog owners and the state inspectors, pulled half a dozen of our dogs back into the racing kennels. We fought it tooth and claw but I couldn’t fight the state. As it turned out, every one of those dogs just wouldn’t run competitively any longer. The trainers kept their word and gave them back to us and eventually we were able to get all of the D Kennel dogs out to homes. Many were adopted locally and some were driven to other states. FoG drove our “D dogs” to greyhound groups in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee and probably other places I have forgotten! It was a busy time.

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“D” Kennel was one horrible situation and the outcome was lucky and wonderful but it should not have happened in the first place! And we know that this was not the first or last time that dogs were abandoned in kennels. The industry has a lot of skeletons in its closets!! Attached is a draft copy of Dr. Karen Burlone’s evaluation of the dogs. The original, signed copy was sent to the State Inspector who was heading the investigation into D Kennel. I had taken the inspectors through the kennel myself. I was astonished at how little they knew about the dogs, the kennels, and how the racing industry operates. They didn’t understand how we knew who each individual dog was, his name, age, who his owner and trainers were, when and where he raced and even what he used to weigh before he was found starving in this kennel. They didn’t understand about tattoos and had never looked at the databases. They were the inspectors but they admitted that they had NO TRAINING!! So the dogs are caught in the middle. If you think it’s any better now, you are mistaken. The D-Kennel situation was in 2008. There have been and still are similar situations on the Florida tracks.

What should YOU do???? Send a link to this to your friends so they know just one of the hundreds of greyhound stories that are out there. Make sure YOU vote YES on Amendment 13 and make sure your friends know how important their vote on this amendment really is.

There are many horror stories out there because this breed is gentle and wants so much to please their owners that they will even put themselves in peril. Please vote for Greyhound Racing to END!! Vote YES on Amendment 13 and please explain to other people why you know that racing needs to end. If we can each make a dozen people aware of the truths behind this horrific “sport”, and that dozen can each tell another dozen, we could see the end of greyhound racing.

Oops – PS – There is one more argument that I have heard from greyhound adopters that I need to address – – They tell me that “if there is no racing, we won’t be able to get greyhounds!” Please remember that greyhounds are the oldest pure breed in history. They were hunters with the Egyptians, guardians of the children for the Bedouins, and show dogs for the British nobility among their other callings. And we still have greyhounds. They have 7 to 12 in a litter. We just need to provide a better world for the parents and the pups.

Help your friends get to the polls. This is the best chance we have to stop the over-breeding and murder of these gentle creatures!

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Many dogs had bare haunches rubbed raw on the wires trying to scratch off the ticks. Gouges from broken kennel wires were common. Many dogs had ear canals just packed with ticks and like this one, they were even hatching their babies in there! Almost all of the dogs had bare patches from dirty & rough collars.

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This guy’s tail had been broken for weeks. And of course the teeth were awful.

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Volunteers were the key to this project’s success. Adopters brought friends, neighbors and even ex-wives! Volunteers pulled off ticks one at a time and drowned them in cups of alcohol. This is the gallon pickle jar where they dumped the dead ticks taken from the dogs!

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NK Joan had been injured at the track and just left in a kennel. Joan’s cast is removed, her first timid steps.

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The first clean dog goes into the new, clean kennel. Happy dogs playing in the clean sand and sleeping in the new clean kennel.

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Dr. Burlone was on her feet for two long days working with our dogs. Our Hero!

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This is the rough draft of the letter from Dr. Burlone to the Florida State Parimutuel Wagering Officer.

I used to regulate greyhound racing in Florida; end it by voting for Amendment 13

BY TONY GLOVER

I am not an animal rights activist, per se. To my daughter’s great disappointment, we do not even have a dog. I was just another Tallahassee lawyer when I accepted the job running the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which regulates greyhound racing and gambling in Florida. Despite my lack of preconceptions on day one, it quickly became clear to me that the dog racing industry has a major problem.

Click Here to Read the Entire Article in the Miami Herald

#EveryThreeDays

Every three days, a dog dies on a greyhound track in Florida. And 94% of those dogs are three years old or younger.

Here’s the tragic reality of greyhound racing: it’s cruel and inhumane. That’s why we’re working hard every day to pass Amendment 13 – to phase out this cruelty. We recently released our latest web ad, “Every Three Days,” a powerful spotlight on industry:

Click here to watch and help us share our powerful message with even more people.

Together, we’ll win this November and send a message: this cruelty has no place in our state.

For the dogs,
Team Protect Dogs – Yes On 13

PS – already watched the video? Click here to chip in and help us spread the word!

Paid for by the Committee to Protect Dogs
2640 Mitcham Drive, Tallahassee FL 32308
 
FOR PRESS INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT info@protectdogs.org
 
For questions, please call (850) 205-1102

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
10/15/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Meetup @ Panera Bread Café

SATURDAY, October 20th from 6 PM until 8 PM
10001 Cleary Blvd, Plantation
(Click here for driving directions.)
 
Join FoG on the patio.
*** All leashed greyhounds are welcome. ***
 

Sorry to be late (yes, again) with the blog. It’s been a busy day. I hope we have good weather and a good turnout for our gathering this Saturday night (6 to 8 pm) at the Panera Bread. It’s an outdoor event so if it rains, we’ll have to reschedule but at this point everything looks peachy!! I am trying to get together our odds and ends leashes, collars, coats, bowls and assorted “stuff” that you can use. It may be a strange mix of goodies but the prices will be awesome, I promise. They aren’t doing anyone any good sitting here in my house.

Things have been pretty normal around the house but today was kind of tough. One of our adopters went on vacation and left her dog with her house-mate and the dog broke her leg. The other lady didn’t know what to do and the dog’s mom said call Michelle. She stayed home with her two young daughters and I grabbed Bella and headed for the van. Long story short, after going to her vet and then to a specialist, there was nothing to be done and Ms. Bella (formerly USS Limelight, born April 22, 2008) went to the Rainbow Bridge. She was a beautiful, red-fawn girl and just sweet as sugar. Through all the transporting and exams, she never got short tempered.

I’m telling you this for two reasons – – (1) Go hug your dogs!! Love them everyday and spoil them rotten once in a while. There is no personality, no patience, no love, like the love of the greyhound that loves you. And (2) if you ever, ever need help, do not hesitate to call. Any time, day or night. I can’t always fix it but I know how to navigate the channels in that sea of vets out there. And if it’s not something I can deal with, I can help you find the right people. But I hope none of you ever need me.

Now go pet somebody – for me. See you at Panera on Saturday!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
10/8/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Meetup @ Panera Bread Café

SATURDAY, October 20th from 6 PM until 8 PM
10001 Cleary Blvd, Plantation
(Click here for driving directions.)
 
Join FoG on the patio.
*** All leashed greyhounds are welcome. ***
 

Doggone it!! These weeks are going by faster all the time!! How am I supposed to keep up?? We miss all our friends and dogs so on Sunday Jerry and I went out scouting for a place for us to gather.

First stop was at Flamingo Road Nursery. There was good news and bad news. The place was mobbed because we had completely forgotten about their massive Fall Festival/ Halloween Party. They have been doing this for 20 years and I think every kid in Broward has been there at least once!! We were actually looking for a couple yard things but the place was soooo busy, I couldn’t handle it and gave up on shopping or even getting lunch. If you enjoy a family outing with the kids, the Flamingo hayride and Pumpkin Patch are local legend. Times are 8 AM to 6 PM and the prices are reasonable. It’s good clean family fun and something your kids will remember for a long time. Don’t take the dogs as it is pretty crowded. It’s probably more normal on weeknights. There’s lots of info on their website: flamingoroadnursery.com

The BBQ was in full swing with a new BBQ company in place. It had the smokers going and lots of people were eating there. Now, will it be that busy after the Fall Festival – we’ll just have to wait and see. We didn’t even stop because it was so full. We’ll go looking again in November when things calm down.

Our next stop was our local Panera Bread Café. They have a good sized, partially fenced patio with tables and chairs, lots of parking and the manager had no problem with us gathering there. Since the fresh baked goods are their base, they are busy for breakfast and lunch but after 2 or so, it quiets right down. So we are considering Saturday, October 20th from about 6 to 8 pm. The address is 10001 Cleary Blvd, Plantation which is Cleary Blvd and Nob Hill Road. It is the far South end of the Publix shopping center. [Click Here for a Map.] I hope you can come. We will bring collars, leashes, and some of the other goodies I have unearthed during my ongoing “clean up, clean out” campaign to rescue my office. The dogs will have to be leashed but the big draw is for us all to visit together and play with greyhounds! (And you won’t have to cook dinner! Their food is great!)

We do have a number of good greyhound “things” and people are still donating gently used items to us. So if you are looking for something, call or email me. I have wire crates and travel kennels, raised feeders and steps for the car. I have bowls, stretchers and beds and if I have it, I’ll be happy for it to be put to good use. I’ll try to put together a list but sometimes I think it comes in faster than I can get them listed!! And greyhound people spoil their dogs soooo rotten.

I hate to deal with politics in this blog again but if you have questions or concerns about the greyhound question on the November 6th ballot, please know that FoG is here for the dogs. House dogs, kennel dogs, farm dogs, we are friends of all the greyhounds and we will do whatever we have to do to help them. I don’t know where this is all going – no one knows yet. I just hope it is for the better for the dogs.

See you at Panera Bread Café!! Bacon Mac & Cheese – mmmmm!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
10/2/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

The Politics of Greyhounds – –

I can’t believe it has been four years since FoG left the Hialeah kennel. That area has changed so much. Red Road has been straightened out and expanded and they’ve added even more apartment complexes down there. Winn Dixie is still there but under another name and of course, the fast food franchises are doing great. But the kennel is looking pretty quiet and empty and I hope for all the dogs’ sakes, they are happily settled somewhere.

One of the biggest concerns from the greyhound adopters I have spoken with is that if there is no racing, what will happen to all the race dogs? Well, there are several answers to that question because it is a choice that the owners and trainers will make. As I understand it, the law change would give the tracks two years to phase out dog racing. I don’t know if it allows them to close immediately or if they must work out the remainder of their schedules. I will do some research this week. We hope for the sake of the dogs, that they will allow the adoption groups to take them and find them homes. But the owners of that huge chunk of land on Red Road that we called Florida Kennels are just waiting for the law to change so they can move out the dogs and move in the bulldozers!!

Racing dogs are privately owned and the owners can do what they want with the dogs as long as it is not considered brutality or inhumane. In other words, they can’t just stop feeding them or beat them but they can have a vet put a healthy dog to sleep. They don’t need a reason. We hope that all the hard working dogs will be given to adoption groups so they can find loving homes to live out their days. But the decision is in the hands of the owners and trainers. All we can do is to be here if they offer us the dogs. Many of the kennel people love their dogs but it’s not their choice and often the bosses who may be in other parts of the country call the shots.

We don’t know how all of this will turn out. The two year time allowance should give the dogs’ owners time to make arrangements for their dogs whether they own two or two hundred. Florida has a very strong adoption network and I am certain we will ALL answer this last call.

So, on a secondary note, I just want to clarify that Friends of Greyhounds is still here. We are working from the house but it’s good system. Jerry and I (Michelle) still have the kennels in the garage and folding crates as needed. The fence is solid and the dogs enjoy running in the yard. We are ready, willing an able to accept any dogs that need to get into homes. Our vets still love us and we are here for the greyhounds. And the van is gassed up, full of crates, and ready to go if we need to move dogs out to other areas.

For now, we are dog sitting – – Greyhounds only of course, and we LOVE it!! And FoG will be ready if/when the tracks close and dogs need to get into homes. We also know that sometimes things happen and dogs need to be returned. We are still here to accept returning dogs and help them find new homes. And our phone numbers are still the same so if you have a question or problem, call or email me. And you remember our manta – – “If you don’t like me, call Jerry – But CALL somebody!!”

Although we do not currently have any dogs for adoption, we all know that situation could turn on a dime! So Vote YES on Amendment 13 so that we can close the tracks, clear the kennels and get these wonderful dogs into homes. Jerry and I would like to take a vacation!! If you have questions or concerns about the tracks closing or about Amendment 13, please feel free to email me. I’d be happy to help clarify things – – or dig deeper into them if it’s something I haven’t heard about. And if I hear some of the same themes coming through, it’ll be a good blog for next week! (Email is fogdogs@comcast.net)

Have a GREYT week and tell your friends to vote YES on Amendment 13. Let the dogs stop “running for their lives.”

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
9/4/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Ready, Set, Hurricane!

This is the area where the dogs run out from the back door of the kennel, down the side of the house and out to the yard area. This is another angle taken a couple days later when things were dryer.

So most of our readers have been in Florida for a while and I’d like to think that they are always prepped for a storm or – given this time of year – for a hurricane. But it doesn’t hurt to review things a bit.

FoG was using the kennel in Hialeah when Wilma went through. Thank heaven for those strong, cinder block buildings down there. No one was hurt but we lost a lot of fencing and the office was trashed. It was quite a challenge to get back to normal but we got through it. Then Irma last year did a real number on our fences but we have recovered. The trick is to be ready. Not just with the supplies but mentally. Speaking as a Floridian, if you get your supplies and make your home, family and neighbors ready, the rest is up to nature. Prep and prayer are all you can do.

South Florida greyhounds are generally aware of the strong thunderstorms we get and we just don’t tell them that this is anything different. If your dog doesn’t like “normal” storms, you may want to make a “safe place” for him. Chumlee likes our walk in closet for storms so we just put a dog bed in there for him. Some of the others like to be with us when there’s a storm. That’s okay, too. But hurricanes are a different animal and preparation is critical. Sure you will go to a lot of trouble filling the gas tank and maybe boarding up (LOVE our storm windows!) and then nothing happens. But it’s that one storm you don’t bother with that will get you. So…

Remember to include the dogs in your hurricane prep. Depending on the storm consider:

  • An extra bag of dog food – and cookies. If stores get trashed, they’ll worry about laying in human food way before they bring in dog food.
  • Check that your dog has ID tags with your current info. If needed, use luggage tags or tape with your phone numbers and address. And get ID tags soon!
  • Maybe tighten up that collar just a smidge.
  • Review your dog’s microchip registration. If your phones or address have changed, did you update the chip? (I have microchips here at the house and readers if you want to check yours.)
  • Include the pets when you lay in bottled water. They don’t need “spring water” so you can always fill up a couple empty jugs from the tap before the storm – or even the bathtub.
  • Have a small supply of Benadryl (generic is fine) just in case. Don’t give it to the dog unless you know he’s going to have a meltdown and you are definitely staying where you are. Then it’s easier for him (and you) if he sleeps through the storm. A half tablet will calm a dog if you give it early enough. If they’re already panicked, you’ll need a whole one. But if you have to move out quickly, you don’t want to have to carry a knocked out greyhound.
  • Think about your dog when you put together a first aid kit. That co-flex, stretchy wrap that sticks to itself is a huge help for quick bandages for dogs or humans. Put gauze over the injury and then co-flex on top so the stretchy part doesn’t stick to the wound.
  • Try to set up a quiet place for the dog and don’t be afraid to break out the crate. If he’s crated, he won’t bolt out the door if he panics.
  • Be sure to have a photo of your dog (full body & a head shot) on your laptop or phone. If you lose the dog, it will help you show people who you are looking for. You might even want to make up a lost dog poster now to have on hand. Things happen even when the weather is good.
  • Broward County has an animal friendly hurricane shelter but you have to register for it in advance. We know this because Jerry volunteers at that shelter with his ham radios. Believe me, if there’s a greyhound in there, Jerry will take extra good care of him. (I don’t have any info on Dade.)

Here’s hoping that this year will be peaceful and safe for all. If there’s anything we can help with, let me know. We’re here for the dogs – – and their owners – – no matter what.

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle