tragedy at ebro greyhound Park; seizure of fort worth greyhounds

PERHAPS YOU HAVE SEEN THE NEWS of a terrible event at the greyhound track at Ebro, Fla. More than 30 greyhounds were found dead in a kennel after the seasonal closing of the track. Exact cause of death was unknown, but it was likely starvation. The owner of the dogs is being held on charges of felony animal cruelty and could face time in jail, in addition to a fine.

GPA National president Rory Goree has expressed his shock, saying, "I personally find it very disturbing that any person would treat animals with such total disregard for their welfare." He expressed thanks to the volunteers of Emerald Coast GPA for their efforts in this case and for standing up for greyhounds This chapter, which has moved more than 700 greyhounds into homes this year, has been on the forefront of efforts to relieve the suffering of animals. Goree asks that individuals write brief statements encouraging full prosecution of those responsible for this situation Statements can be mailed to:

Mr. Glenn Hess, Florida State Attorney
14th Judicial Circuit
421 Magnolia Ave.
Panama City, FL 32401

Erin Oliver
Office of the Washington County State Attorney
1293 Jackson Ave. #300A
P.O. Box 590
Chipley, FL 32428

If you feel moved to help with the efforts, we recommend you send your donations to Emerald Coast-GPA and to let them know you appreciate their very difficult work. Below are links to their PayPal account and to their mailing address.

http://www.gpaec.com/donate.html
http://www.gpaec.com/contactus.html

Texas Greyhound Association, and its Executive Director, Diane Whiteley, also issued a statement expressing shock and sadness at the deaths. "It is important to understand these were the actions of one individual, not an industry," the statement read. "Help was offered and available, it was refused and the individual acted in secret." TGA goes on to say that they join with National Greyhound Association, the American Greyhound Council, the American Greyhound Track Operators, state greyhound associations and every ground owner in calling for aggressive prosecution and severe punishment of all individuals involved. It continues by stating the safeguards that are in place by law to prevent such situations from developing in Texas, and describes procedures in force when the track at Corpus Christi closed in December 2007. Gulf Greyhound Park at LaMarque maintains an adoption kennel in its compound, and has, over the years, been responsible for many retired racing greyhounds finding loving homes. TGA expresses the belief there are rules, policies and procedures in place for the welfare of greyhounds in Texas. The statement concludes by saying that greyhounds are their first priority.

Lest you think, however, that tragedy such as the one at Ebro can only occur somewhere else, please direct your attention to confiscation of some 28 dogs, many of whom were tattooed, purebred rading greyhounds, in Fort Worth in August. Those dogs at the time they were rescued -- females and males -- ranged in weight from 30 to 50 pounds and had so many ticks that blood transfusions were needed. At least three dogs eventually died from neurological effects of distemper (a disease preventable by vaccinations). You may want to read details of that incident on the web site for Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT) which stepped up to the plate, along with Greyhounds Unlimited.

http://www.greyhoundadoptiontx.org/help/FWACcase.shtml

These unspeakable horrors only serve to remind us of the work that needs to be done -- how we need not only to find loving homes for as many as we can, but also to speak out and stand up for responsible treatment. We need to know that with the slowing of the racing industry there are going to be more incidents of this nature when people, no longer able to make money, are going to be put in a position where it seems reasonable to abandon and neglect dogs. We need to redouble our efforts to support greyhound adoption through financial contributions, providing foster homes, or helping to educate the public. GPA-Central Texas offers many opportunities for our members and supporters to engage in these activities. Don't ever forget those dogs who starved to death in Ebro! Do what you can to honor their memory.

Links to information re: Ebro tragedy and Fort Worth greyhounds

Response from Rory Goree, GPA National president, regarding Ebro tragedy

Response from Diane Whiteley, Texas Greyhound Assocation executive director, regarding Ebro tragedy

Ebro greyhound deaths ruled dehydration, starvation (WJHG News 7)

33 greyhounds found fead at Ebro, 4 others near death (WJHG News 7)

33 greyhounds found dead at Ebro racing track (SunSentinel.com)

Greyhound Adoption League of Texas - Fort Worth greyhound cruelty case

At Dallas service, greyhounds' rescuers mourn four who didn't survive abuse (Dallas Morning News)

Updates on the critically ill greyhounds seized in Fort Worth (Examiner.com)

Animal control removes 28 malnourished dogs from southeast Fort Worth home (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

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