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THE FOG KENNEL IS CLOSING

This is probably the toughest blog I’ve ever had to write.  I don’t know how to explain or where to start.  So if I come across disjointed, please understand.

Friends of Greyhounds has been the designated adoption group for Flagler Greyhound Track (Magic City Casino) and Hollywood Greyhound Track (Mardi Gras Casino) since 2003 when we accepted their offer to operate out of Kennel #1 at the Florida Kennel Compound in Hialeah.  We have grown tremendously and learned a lot about greyhounds and adoptions.  We have adopted out over 1800 dogs.  And it’s been a good run. But it is over.

The track management has determined that our personnel and electric bills are too expensive for them to have an onsite adoption group any longer.  A long time ago we set a “gentleman’s agreement” on the rules we would operate by and one of them was when one party was ready for the end of the relationship, the other would accept that decision.  And so, by Friday, June 20th, we will have Friends of Greyhounds out of the kennel and offices, lock, stock and barrel-chested racing dogs.

Friends of Greyhounds will continue to operate on a much smaller scale.  Should we be able to locate a kennel or figure out a reasonable way to expand again, we will.  Yes, we were as surprised as you are and I know you have a zillion questions.  Let me address a few.

SCHEDULES – – Jerry & I were scheduled to go away on June 21st until July 3rd.  We intend to keep that vacation intact.  We’re going to need it by then.  So we will need to get everything and every dog moved out of the Hialeah compound before that.  We will still be holding the party on May 17 but instead of a Pre-Memorial day party, it’s kind of going to be a goodbye bash.  Get your collars and greyhound goodies while you can.  We’ll have a massive “lost our lease” sale going on.  I’ll need a bunch of volunteers to help with some of that, too.  We were going to hang up the collars but we can’t take the time to get them put together like we’d like to and we’ll have to pass on that.  (We may at some point need to dismantle the collar chain completely – what a horrible thought)

THE DOGS – – We have stopped taking in dogs.  As of the date of the meeting, we had 59 dogs.  We will be making a run to Sunburst project on the beginning of the week and hopefully will be able to take another group to them the next week.  Each group is 14 dogs so that will make a huge difference.  We hope that any one of you that was thinking of adding another greyhound will step forward now and take one of these wonderful dogs.  Quite frankly, we will probably not have many cat tolerant dogs or female dogs.  They will go quickly. Many will go to Sunburst but we have to get the number of dogs down as quickly as we can.  If it means Sunburst “cherry picks” our dogs, that will have to be what we live with. I love you all dearly but they will take more dogs in one group than you will in a lifetime.  It’s a numbers game right now.

If you already have a FoGdog and would like to add to your pack, please come to the kennel and choose someone to take home.  Adoption fees will be drastically cut to accomodate you.  And previous adopters don’t need as much hand holding and I save the home delivery time.  Right now, time is critical.  The sooner you come, the better choices you will have. Please plan on taking your new dog home with you.  And if you take one of our “less desireable” dogs (seniors, seizure dogs, limping dogs, toothless dogs- all very sweet but slightly imperfect) fees will be even less.  Please consider some of our slightly imperfects. They are wonderful loving dogs and need a home, too.

When we get down to the wire, we may be going out to find foster homes for some of the dogs.  Placing 59 dogs with no notice is a daunting task.  We hope that if we ask, you will be willing to take a dog into your home until we can get him or her placed.  This is not the dogs’ fault.

FoG’s FUTURE — As always, FoG will be around to take back any dog we have adopted out.  It’s going to be a bit more difficult now, though.  We hope some day to have a working kennel where we can continue adopting greyhounds perhaps even on weekdays!  But for now, we need to concentrate on getting out of the place we are in and worry later about getting into something new.  If anyone out there happens to have a nice piece of agricultural land in the area they would like to donate to make a good kennel location, please keep us in mind.  When we return in July, rested and re-centered, we will begin to look very seriously at our options.

TRACK PLANS – – The racetracks are required to be represented by an adoption group and they have contacted a transport group that will handle dogs for them.  The plan is to have the racing kennels hold onto the “unwanted’ dogs until they have enough to send on a hauler.  We have many serious concerns about this plan.  Space can be quite scarce in the racing kennels.  Holding dogs may or may not work.  And we have great concern about the “less desireable” dogs like those with broken legs or that have seizures or even are just the wrong color (black!).  This arrangement bears watching by others in more official positions than ours.

KENNEL PERSONNEL – – All three of our kennel employees are actually on the payroll of Florida Kennels, the compound where we hold open house.  It is jointly owned by the Mardi Gras and Magic City casinos.  Chris, our kennel manager, has been with us the longest.  He will remain with Florida Kennels in a “kennel inspection” capacity to relieve the management of some of the extra work created by the new and ever changing state regulations.  Our other two ladies who work in the kennel will be on payroll until June 21.  By then, the racing kennels for the new season of racing at Flagler will be in the compound and management has said they will help them get work for some of the racing kennels.

MOVING “Stuff” – – We need to sell or find good homes for a lot of things like dog bowls, a showcase, commercial dog scale, sawhorses, washer, dryer, tons of towels, toys and blankets, things for medical uses and things for going to festivals.  Yes, we will keep some of it but we have to downsize drastically.  There will be at least one major “yard sale” and if there are specific things you can use, speak up.  If you have some time you can work with us during the week, please let me know.  I’m already running out of steam. And there are still a lot of decisiions to make.

OUR PROMISE  – – To take care of the greyhounds to the best of our ability.  We are in uncharted territory.  We are going to do the best we can.  We want to continue rescuing greyhounds.  We may not remain politically neutral but that remains to be seen.    We will be true to our mission – – “to provide retired racing greyhounds with a caring environment and loving homes and to educate the public about these noble, loyal dogs.”

See you at the Pre-Memorial Day / Good-Bye Party, May 17th at the kennel.  Don’t miss it!  Last chance to party with the dogs!

We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

The FoG Kennel is Closing

Pre-Memorial Day Goodbye Bash at the Kennel!
Saturday, May 17 & Sunday, May 18
Last chance to party with the dogs!
 
Lynn Piper, our collar lady is coming with all of her goodies.
We’ll have cold drinks and hot dogs and cookies
and a table for any goodies that anyone might care to bring.
 

2 Comments

  1. Adi says:

    Dear Jerry and Michelle,

    I just read your post and completely heartbroken with this news. Both my boys JJ’s Red King “Louis” and Red I Micro “Lasher” came from your kennel and have since been living a wonderful life with us in Charlotte NC. Even though we are not in a position to bring on a 3rd dog, I really want to help in any way I can. Please let me know what I can do from here? Anything! We will be at the annual Mountain Hounds event in Tennessee later this month and I have already started spreading the word. Maybe Greyhound Friends of NC can accept some greys in the meantime?

    Your kennel holds a very special place in our hearts,
    Adi

  2. June says:

    Dear Jerry and Michelle. This disturbed me greatly. I’ll call you during the week to see how I can help.

    If you have any dogs – toothless, footless, old, or not, I will be happy to give him/her a home. Now I have one greyhound,
    one small sized female lab and one small sized mixed male. All very gentle. I have 6 cats. They and the dogs are completely at ease with eachother. All dogs and cats are rescues. So if someone is gentle, needy, whatever, please consider me as a ‘mom’. I don’t care what color they are.

    Talk with you soon. june