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Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
4/30/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Ready, Set, Greyhounds!

So in case you haven’t figured it out, John and I are going to try to alternate for the blogging duties. I think (?) this is my week. My biggest project of the month has been clearing out our warehouse but it’s slow going. Don’t you hate it when you need the room but the “things” are too precious (or rare or useful…) to just toss? I’m in that position! We’ve been in that warehouse 15 years, so – – – wish me luck! If you are in the market for almost ANYTHING greyhound related, I probably have one or more!

We are considering a prefab shed in the back yard to get out from under the monthly storage rent. If any of you have experience putting up a “Lifetime” 8 x 10 shed, please give Jerry (Mr. President) a call. He’s going to need some help – – or a reference to a handyman. But in the long run, it will be a project worth doing. Just getting the 10 x 20 warehouse down to an 8 x 10 shed will be a challenge!

We do not currently have any available dogs in the kennel but as you probably have heard me say already, we will still be here for dogs that need to be returned for any reason. It happens and we understand that. Any help we can be to anyone, let me know.

And now – – – the real news…

* * * * * * * * * *

Fog has thrown off the “neutral” political stance that we had to take to move dogs out of the kennels. We are now definitely and actively committed to seeing greyhound racing end. As part of this, I hope you will join us to help get the Constitutional revision accepted by the Florida voters in November. We will actively be working for that goal. But we still have friends in the industry who we know and trust. They are good people and hard workers. We know loving owners and trainers whose lives revolve around caring for their dogs. But they are a dying breed.

There have been a number of stories circulating about massive numbers of greyhounds to be killed if racing goes away. Let’s get realistic here. There are extremists putting out publicity for both sides of this issue. We don’t anticipate “mass murder”. Those are scare tactics. But we will have some work to do.

When we first started working with local tracks in 2001, the Florida Kennels compound in Hialeah where the local racing dogs were kept, held about 2000 dogs. The kennels were very busy and dogs were a commodity to be bred and trained and raced and discarded to make way for more dogs being shipped in from the farms. Sometimes it was really inhumane but we had to keep our mouths shut to what we saw and heard or we could not get dogs out of there and into your homes. The stories we heard and the things we saw still haunt me. There were plenty of people blowing whistles on greyhound situations all over the state and there was almost never a change in the industry. Dogs, trainers, workers and even the state inspectors all moved around too often for things to be tracked. Most of you have heard me say that FoG is a neutral group. We need to have a foot in both worlds, the kennels and the homes, to be a bridge for that dog. We left the politics to others so we could care for the dogs. We lost some dear friends because of that stance but it was still the right decision.

The number of dogs kenneled in the Hialeah compound these days is much lower. My guess (only an uneducated guess) is about 400 dogs. Some of them are taken to the west coast to run at the Naples-Ft. Myers track. There is a kennel compound at that track, too but it is not nearly as nice as Hialeah. Most of the kennels primarily work from Hialeah and the Naples kennels are just used when they are racing there.

There are scare stories out there about dog bloodbaths should the tracks close. I don’t believe that will happen. We have adoption groups in this state that are, like us, geared for much higher numbers of dogs. And I firmly believe that our adopters and friends will step forward and provide foster space for our local dogs.

When we got hit by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, we had a full kennel – about 50 dogs. Our office was trashed but our kennel building was okay. I remember getting call after call offering foster care for dogs. When Irma hit last year, it was the same way. You folks are out there and we know it. We just need to be sure we have you on our mailing list. If you don’t get notice of weekly blogs like this, you are not getting our emails. It is critical that we can reach you. Those of you that use our Facebook group, fogdogs, to keep up with us, please be sure you are getting our emails, too. For now, you may be just getting updates like this but it’s keeping the lines of communication open and that is important now. It will be critical in November. Facebook is great but the direct communication of an email with our requests, instructions and information is for our people and not the Facebook public pages.

Should 400 (or 200 or 600) dogs be surrendered for adoption, we will be looking for foster homes and we will need them quickly. Yes, there are other groups that serve this area and hopefully, that will help. Yes, we’ll be able to place some of them quickly but bear in mind that all of the tracks and kennel compounds (and probably a few of the puppy farms) will be giving up dogs within Florida. Racing is a HUGE industry in this state. We are at the very bottom of Florida and it may take a little time for us to get all of them out of the foster homes and moved on to other states or adoption groups. So please get used to the idea that your foster dog might be with you for a while. If you have a crate, hold onto it. You may want it!

Thank you all for all you do to support the dogs. We wouldn’t be Friends of Greyhounds with our Friends!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle ( & Jerry & Yahtzee, Mitzi, Joy, Chumlee & our all important test cat, Jinx)

3 Comments

  1. Lisa Zlotziver says:

    I would also add to keep your friends (who may or may not understand your preoccupation with needle-nosed sighthounds) informed. We all have friends who like our dogs, and people involved in other animal rescues who would be happy to help us by voting on this critical issue. Every vote counts, right? Yes, indeed.

  2. leslie pearce says:

    Michelle –

    I am DISO a belly band or two! We have a very male-y boy right now and I’d like to do some more work with him. Let me know if you have any for sale :-)

    Leslie (mom to M’s Sherrie Ray and now DJ’s bonkers)

  3. Dana Schwartz says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I’ve been writing letters to everyone involved with the Proposal 6012 and will continue to do so until it becomes a reality, on the ballot and I can vote YES to ban greyhound racing in Florida.

    Loved the ‘bed fail’ cartoon. I think we’ve seen every possible position!

    Della will turn 5 on Friday and we’ve had her for over a year. She’s a quirky one but we love her to pieces.

    Good luck sifting and winnowing through the accumulation of collected artifacts!

    Dana ( Ira, Della, Maxx and Charlotta also)