Greyhound Tragedy Cited in Historic Arizona Vote
Posted: 11 May 2016 10:10 AM PDT

Rep. Andrade, photo by YANOK Photography
A few days ago the Arizona legislature unanimously passed House Bill 2127, a landmark bill to end greyhound racing that is now on the desk of Governor Doug Ducey.

During a final vote State Representative Richard Andrade gave an impassioned speech in support of the measure, and cited a 1992 case in which 124 greyhound carcasses were found in a citrus grove in Chandler Heights, Arizona.

The Chandler Heights scandal received national coverage at the time and was notable for its brutality. The dogs had been dumped after being bludgeoned or shot in the head, and most of their left ears had been removed to prevent identification. This sad case helped spur a national movement, and inspired the creation of Greyhound Network News, an important resource that gave greyhounds a voice for many years.

Listening to the Arizona debate, I was reminded of comments made by New Hampshire State Senator Sheila Roberge in 2009. I was in the chamber when she told her colleagues about Amber, a young greyhound who had died in her first ever race. After listening to Senator Roberge, the New Hampshire Senate voted to outlaw greyhound racing, ending years of animal cruelty.

It took nearly a quarter of a century, but greyhound racing in Arizona may finally be coming to a close. By signing HB 2127 into law, Governor Ducey can end this cruel industry and give the Chandler Heights greyhounds the justice they deserve.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NGA Tells Sheriff Not to File Charges, Instead Tries to Profit from Greyhound Neglect Case.

A greyhound puppy at the Vonderstrasse
farm in Kansas, 2012
Last week the National Greyhound Association (NGA) announced it was revokingthe membership of Shane Vonderstrasse, 
after an inspection at his Arkansas breeding facility found greyhounds "not receiving proper care and adequate shelter."
The NGA is a lobby group that represents greyhound breeders.

In its statement, the NGA indicated that it was "accompanied by local law enforcement" agents during the inspection.
It also quoted Executive Director Gary Guccione, who claimed this incident is proof the industry effectively polices itself:
"This was an unusual case that required NGA's immediate action and full attention ...
NGA representatives and members responded to the situation swiftly and effectively." 
As usual, the NGA is only telling the public part of the story. The full truth is shocking, and proves that the NGA's top priority is
protecting greyhound breeders, even those who havecommitted acts of serious animal neglect.

According to an official Incident Report from the Izard County Sheriff's Office, a large number of dogs were in distress when

the Vonderstrasse inspection occurred. Citing a witness, the Report states:
"There was 141 dogs that were alive and 2 were deceased (sic) ...
some of them had to be nursed back to health ... the dogs that were dead
had died from lack of food and water. He said Mr. [redacted] only had financial
ability and means to house 50 to 60 dogs."
NGA Executive Gary Guccione,
photo from Facebook, 2013
The report also indicates that Vonderstrasse had at leastone previous incident involving animal welfare, and the NGA
"had a problem with [name redacted] a short time back in Abilene concerning greyhound dogs and had to pick up a number
of the dogs at that time." This previous incident has also been mentioned in recent industry discussions.

After the dogs were rescued, the Izard County Sheriff's Office asked the NGA if it wanted to press charges against Vonderstrasse:
"I asked [name redacted] if they wished for the state to press charges on [name redacted] for this incident. He told me I needed to talk with Gary Guccione [partially redacted] to see if they wished to press charges."
Incredibly, three days later the NGA responded by telling the Sheriff's Office not to charge Vonderstrasse with animal neglect:
"He stated that he did not wish to pursue charges because he believed they
'got all they were going to get' from [name redacted]. [name redacted] also
said he would not be willing to come to Izard County to testify in Court."
As outrageous as that admission is, the next revelation in the Incident Report is even more troubling:
After being rescued, Lady Wire and her four young 
puppies are being auctioned off on Friday
"He also stated he did not want people knowing that he was not willing to do so."
Unfortunately, this story has one more sad chapter. After being rescued, some of the Vonderstrasse dogs were given to adoption
groups. But at least 23 dogs from the case are being auctioned off to the highest bidder by the NGA on Friday. The auction list
includes a nine-year-old fawn greyhound named Gable Eris. Three years ago she was sold to Vonderstrasse for a mere $400,
and after everything she has been through she deserves a break.

But there will be no retirement for Gable Eris if the NGA gets its way. She is on the auction block so the industry can make a few
more dollars off of her sad life. She is joined by seven other female greyhounds to be used for breeding, including an 
eight-year-old red fawn greyhound named Lady Wire. Lady Wire is being auctioned off with four young puppies that are
only a few weeks old. Her puppies were born nine days after Lady Wire was removed from the Vonderstrasse farm.


Enough is enough. The NGA should be seen for what it actually is: a lobby group that covers up for greyhound breeders,
and prevents them from being held accountable for their actions. It puts out press releases, while at the same time actively
enabling greyhound cruelty and neglect.

Current News:

USA DOG, Inc. is joining forces with racing greyhound advocates around the world in asking the Government of Australia to stop exporting greyhounds on a one way trip to race at the Canidrome in Macau.

We are also asking Macau’s Chief Executive to close the Canidrome; where every year approximately 400 greyhounds go in but never come out… alive.

For most of us, humans domesticated dogs and at some point in history we vowed to be their caretakers. Breeding them to be used, abused and killed is not what most of us believe this obligation means.

The dark side of the Canidrome’s history is easily documented via Google.  Its current form was built in 1931 and it is the only greyhound racing facility in Asia. It’s old and falling apart. The conditions the dogs must endure are below all  accepted standards of care (see below, click on small image to enlarge); much of the community has no social desire to adopt these hounds* when their racing days are over; euthanasia means different things (methods) in different parts of the world.

Macau Greyhound Race Track Macau Greyhound Race Track Macau Greyhound Race Track
Canidrome, back side. Photo (c) Grey2K, USA Oct. 2011 Canidrome, Entrance. Photo (c) Grey2K, USA Oct. 2011 Canidrome, Holding Shed. Photo (c) Grey2K, USA Oct. 2011


For these reasons we ask you to also email letters (or snail mail) to these people. Please be polite and respectful. Do some research so your information is accurate. Sample letters can be viewed by clicking here for Australia and here for Macau.

http://grey2kusa.org/rescuebrooklyn/

http://grey2kusa.org/pdf/12-17-12-southchinapost.pdf
http://grey2kusa.org/eNEWS/G2K-121112.html

Addresses:
Senator, The Honorable Joe Ludwig
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia
Joe.ludwig@maff.gov.au

Macau Chief Executive Dr. Chui Sai On
The Honorable Dr. Chui Sai On
Chief Executive
Macau, SAR
China
gce@raem.gov.mo


*Adoption is seldom the answer to excess racing greyhounds, especially in a non pet oriented society. Here in the US, adoption was the beginning of making people aware of the plight of these delightful dogs; and it is the salvation of many….but it will not be the solution in Macau.


Past News:


South Tuscon track, doping dogs:
http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/shooting-gallery/Content?oid=3289954


From Australia Macau Greyhounds In Deadly Race:
http://www.globalanimal.org/2012/03/17/macau-greyhounds-in-deadly-race/68859/


From Ireland School Children being taken on Greyhound Track Tours:
http://www.human-nonhuman.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/contextualising-animal-use.html


Information from Great Britian 


The tracks are legal and legislation was introduced in the Greyhound Welfare regulations 2010 in an attempt to improve welfare but the regulations are very weak - as is normal with animal welfare legislation.


There is more on flapping tracks and a video of a Scottish flapping track here - although the accent is a bit hard to grasp. http://www.greytexploitations.com/resources-and-reports/proposed-welfare-regulations-unenforceable-and-worthless

All flapping tracks have to have a vet present - sufficient kennels to house 50% (I think) of the dogs on the race card - all the dogs have to be microchipped and the tracks have to keep records on a local data base.

We had a thread running about this flapping track a while ago but to remind you of how unashamed they are about the destruction of the dogs - http://www.easingtondogs.co.uk/racinginjuries.htm
---------------

Shocking Report Spurs New Run for 'Decoupling' Dog Races at Tracks  
http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/shocking-report-spurs-new-run-decoupling-dog-races-tracks

USA DOG, Inc. was active and present during the Statehouse battle earlier this year and plans to be there again in 2012 to speak out for the greyhounds being used as worthless tokens in the ever growing gambling game.

 
Decoupling will not guarantee additional casino-type gaming in Florida.... nor the demise of greyhound racing. It will just ensure that fewer greyhounds will be used, abused and "discarded" when they are no longer needed or wanted by the dog racing industry.
-----------

Dan Wheldon 1978-2011 ...  
It is with extremely stunned and saddened hearts that USA DOG, Inc. says farewell to a kind and generous supporter of our charity auctions.


Dan Weldon, 33, died yesterday (October 16) in a crash unequaled in Indy Car history. The final race of the season, the championship to be determined and Danica running what may well be her last open wheel race; the day was to be spectacular. Instead, it is the carnage and loss that will be remembered.

Dan Wheldon was someone who always had something to donate to our auctions. Over the years, he gave so many things; racing gloves, visors, I think even a pair of racing shoes. A week ago for the GGG he sent the two fences from the 77 car with the promise to sign them the next time he was in town.

He also gave us the complete set of racing flags used during the 2011 Indy 500, which he won, each flag signed in a beautiful handmade display stand to be sold on Ebay to help our Rescue Fund.

A kind heart, a great sense of humor, quick reflexes and a deep-down to-the-bone desire to win, Dan ran his last race yesterday; doing what he loved to do more than anything. He chose to race, beginning as a kid. He knew the dangers every time he got in a car. He knew the risks and the consequences of the smallest of mistakes – his or someone else’s. He was a gracious, joyful and generous winner. He was a racer who helped other racers… including our beloved retired racing greyhounds.

It’s still hard to believe you’re gone.

Sally Allen
President
USA DOG, Inc
----------

update 5/7/2011
THE FLORIDA CLOCK STRUCK....
 
The political clock ran out last night in Tallahassee for Florida's greyhounds. Lost amid a power struggle between the House and Senate, not as exotic as license plates or as necessary as the budget ... we simply were not called for a final vote.

 
History was made. Friends and foes were made. Progress for the thousands of greyhounds that are still forced to run for their lives was made. We fought a good, clean fight. but as any Indy Car fan knows ... it sucks to win or lose under yellow.
 
Grey2KUSA worked endlessly meeting people, answering questions, sending out statements, reports and letters. They spent weeks of early mornings and late nights in the Florida State House. Hurry up! Wait! Now what?  Is that a yes or a no? They were a class act!
 
Thank you each and everyone of you who sent postcards, emails and made phone calls. They did their job and made two bills that could have never been called for a hearing in multiple committees or killed in committee, pass IN BOTH CHAMBERS! And pass with huge margins! 86 - 34 Representatives and 25 - 13 Senators were in favor of moving the decoupling bills along!
 
We learned a great deal about Florida and the challenges it faces as a State.

We had people we never expected speak in favor of releasing the dogs from required live performances because of the loss of interest in and decreased income from dog racing. We found out how deep seeded and emotional the issue of gambling is in a state where just about anything can be a religion. 
 
It was an exciting and educational 60 day session. Our decoupling bills made it much further than dozens, maybe hundreds of other bills. We made it a real issue! We gave the greyhounds a voice!
 
As Thomas Jefferson said, "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
 
Our heads and our hearts are in the right place. We will not dwell on the dogs we won't be able to save as the seasonal tracks close. Instead we will look forward to continuing to speak for those without voices and work to give as many hounds as possible a chance to own a sofa throughout the next year!

We begin today to look forward to Florida in 2012!
 
 
Sally Allen
USA DOG President



FLORIDA HOUSE & SENATE PASS BILLS TO REDUCE GREYHOUND RACING!

 
It was an honor, a privilege and an exhausting experience to be in Tallahassee last week, 4/25-29-11, to see and hear history being made!
 
On Tuesday, 4-26, the House passed HB1145 to allow Florida greyhound tracks to stop requiring a contracted number of live dog races in order to have their poker rooms and other electronic gaming. The debate on the floor was emotional. Representative Young, author of the bill was impressive as she answered questions and explained the intent of the bill. The vote was a thumping 86 yes to 31 no.
 
Unfortunately Senate Bill 1594 was a different story. Committee hearings were postponed, rescheduled and removed entirely. For three days we were in and out of offices trying to answer questions and concerns we'd heard through the grapevine. Personally, I'll always wonder what political "breeze" kept us, Grey2KUSA, USA DOG, Florida Greyhound Adoptions and the local representative for HSUS, from being allowed to speak publicly in the committee hearings.
 
Wednesday and Thursday went on forever, counting votes, hearing about amendments, we even found flyers announcing amendments that never appeared! In a political process that is too lengthy to explain here, there were 11 late-filed amendments. So we'll call them "Poison Amendments" designed to weigh down the bill and kill it.
 
When SB1594 was finally called, everyone was scrambling to add amendments or withdraw them to the point of confusion. The President of the Senate sent the people involved with amendments and the Bill's sponsors, to "the bubble" to work out something the rest of the Body could work with ... that hour and so many minutes seemed like days.
 
When the session began again and the Bill's author Maria Lorts Sachs began to move forward, the tension on the floor could be cut with a knife. Emotions of various sorts exploded. Anger was a big one, accusations of misbehavior and intimidation began to fly ... the giant wooden gavel of the Senate President smashed the chamber back to silence.  Without going into detail, he straightened things out and debate proceeded in a much calmer manner.
 
The final vote was 25 yes to 14 no! One absent.
 
Now the two bills must be made to be "similar." The House will need to accept the Senate's Bill. The surviving bill then goes to the Governor's desk to be signed, vetoed or left to gather dust until the session ends. Of course, we are hoping for his signature!
 
Please send postcards ... they are the most effective, or letters, to the Authors and Sponsors of the Bills, and both Representatives and Senators who voted for the bills (available online athttp://www.myfloridahouse.gov/  and  http://www.flsenate.gov/). Please thank them on behalf your retired racers and all those this change in the law will protect in coming years.

House Bill 1145:
Authored by Representative Young
Co-Sponsored by: Abruzzo, Berman, Brandes,Clemens, Cruz, Diaz, Fullwood, Gaetz, Garcia, Horner, Jenne, Jones, Kiar, O'Toole, Pafford, Porth, Randolph, Reed, Slosberg, Soto, Tobia, Williams, A, and Williams, T.
 
Senate Bill 1594:
Sponsored by Senator Maria Lorts Sachs & Senator Eleanor Sobel
 
Those who also spoke in favor of the Bill:
Senators: Don Gaetz, Evelyn Lynn, James Norman and Nan Rich
 
I have no way of knowing how many tracks will cease live dog racing at the end of their current season, or how many may not reopen for the next season, however I am positive that fewer greyhounds will be bred, trained and schooled to run for their lives in the years to come.  
 
We should never underestimate the power of our own voice. Combined, we have brought about great changes!

Sally Allen
USA DOG President


---

The beginning of the END ... click here to read more! Florida News Station Uncovers Cruelty.

---
Tuscon Greyhound Park exposed


Animal Cruelty and Neglect Charges Brought against Ebro Greyhound Park Trainer


On October 29, 2010 Gaming officials responded to Ebro Greyhound Park complaints of decaying animal smells from the kennel on the property. Due to what they found, officials immediately contacted Washington County Sheriff's Office. WCSO then proceeded to conduct an investigated of a most disturbing case of animal cruelty and neglect of nearly forty [40] greyhounds. 

Officials proceeded to the kennel property to investigate to find twenty-one [21]  greyhounds that had suffered from extreme neglect and were deceased inside the kennels rented by trainer Ronald John Williams, Jr. Five [5] were found alive but near death. Duct tape was found wrapped tightly around the necks and throats of three [3] living greyhounds and one [1] which was already dead. Officials had to cut away the tape to allow the greyhounds to breathe.

Officers proceeded to arrest the man responsible, Williams, who is a 36-year-old Ponce De Leon man and charged him with over 30 counts of felony cruelty to animals, and held on a $74,000 bond in the Washington County Jail. These counts include (per the Administrative Order of Complaint, to read the whole documentclick here.):
  • Eight [8] counts for the eight [8] neglected greyhounds delivered to Greyhounds Pets of America/Emerald Coast;
  • Twenty-one [21] counts for the twenty-one [21] greyhounds that suffered from extreme neglect that were found dead inside the kennel; and,
  • Five [5] counts for the five [5] living greyhounds that were saved during the kennel inspection/investigation.
Additionally there were six [6] dead greyhounds found in freezers, and six [6] garbage bags found in the kennel restroom which contained remains of an unknown number of animals. The bags were wet with rotted remains and could not be safely inspected. Inspecting officer stated to the courts, "While inspecting Williams' kennels, I discovered twenty-one dead greyhounds, many of which were double crated. These greyhounds had clearly died of extreme neglect and were decomposing in the kennels where they died."To read the entire Emergency Order of Suspension that states this information from the inspecting officer,click here. We are unclear as to if these additional greyhounds will add to Williams' total count of cruelty charges.

On October 31, 2010 an additional eight [8] decomposed dogs were found near Williams' residence near the Walton/Washington county line. Investigators are looking into whether Williams is responsible for these additional greyhounds' deaths. Information is pending whether charges will be filed against Williams' in respect to these additional eight [8] greyhounds.

Mark Hess, Ebro Race Track manager, claims no fault to this situation as they rent out kennels and upon that rental agreement, the kennel becomes the lessee's. Checks on dogs are conducted only during racing season and since their season ended September 25, 2010, no checks had been done.

Further digging into the past through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's site shows twelve [12] total fines against Williams; he has had trouble since 1994 with the regulatory agency.

Initial findings of the necropsy conducted on all greyhounds which were found dead on October 29th was completed on November 4th, and reported that these greyhounds had died as a result of either starvation or dehydration, or a combination of both. Final findings are pending laboratory results.

All other greyhounds that were in Williams' care at his Mobile, AL and home in Walton County were found to be in good condition and returned to their owners or relocated to new homes.

Photos of the remaining greyhounds found in near death condition, and arresting photo of Williams, can be viewed at ChipleyBugle.com by clicking here.

Please take a moment to send Washington County prosecutor Erin Oliver a letter demanding justice for thishorrific assault on these innocent lives! A PDF sample letter can be downloaded from the Grey2K USAwebsite by clicking here, then send your requests to:

Ms. Erin Oliver
Washington County State Attorney’s Office
P.O. Box 590
Chipley, FL 32428
(850) 638-6039 (fax)


The end of greyhound racing in Kansas, please visit here to read more about this!

Greyhound Health and Wellness Seminar please visit for details on this and more programs that The Greyhound Alliance has to offer.

Guam working hard to eliminate greyhound racing, please visit here to read more about this!


Please understand the information and images we are providing links to below are the reasons we took up this battle back in 1988. This is exactly what we wish to save every Greyhound from - torture, injury, mistreatment and possible death ... 

The Killing Fields Of Chapmanville WV ... Inside One WV Greyhound Training Facility
Please click here to read this very important (and shocking) article, and then be sure to read this, the second report 
Documents Expose Slaughter of Greyhound Dogs By Their Owners in 2008.
Links below are of photos and videos of shocking and horrible treatment of these gentle creatures. Please note that these are truly shocking images and even after 20+ years of fighting this, we cry. Be forewarned and be prepared ... while building this list of links for your education rivers of tears were shed. Please help stop this cruelty.
The Proof is in the pictures
Greyhounds**WARNING! 
GRAPHIC IMAGES!
Greyhound Abuse video 1 Greyhound Abuse video 2
Documented Cruelty at 
Mass. Dog Tracks
Greyhounds Hear Their 
Story See Their Plight
Unwanted Greyhounds
God Help Them
The Crimes Commited 
on Greyhounds
Help Stop the Abuse of Greyhounds
Greyhound Racing Ends in New England please click here to read this article and then be sure to visit theGrey2kUSA.org site for legislative and Greyhound news.
Comprehensive news stories have been complied by the hard working people at: Greyhound Network News
We are sometimes asked why we don’t have pictures of our hounds here on our website. The answer is pretty simple, we place too many hounds to keep things even close to current, and more importantly, it is all about personality. Matching a family to the right retired greyhound is what we’re about, and have been since 1988. We currently have a lot of wonderful retired racers from around the country that are ready and waiting for fenced yards and sofas. Please consider opening your heart and your home to one of these sweet hounds. All photos on our site are of previously adopted retired greyhounds who are now living life as cherished companions.

Tracks have closed for the season, trainers have gone out of business, tracks have gone out of business, and each and every day, dozens of regular working greyhounds are forced to retire. They need your help now! Please discuss it with your family and submit an application to adopt what possibly might be the perfect pet for you. 

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or a willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success…but rather an ability to work for something because it is good. -Vaclav Havel (1936)

Adopting a retired racing greyhound is good.

P.O. Box 1256
Carmel, IN 46082
USA D.O.G. is a non-profit, all volunteer organization with no ties to the dog racing industry.
(c) 2012 USA Defenders of Greyhounds. All rights reserved. Duplication of any kind strictly prohibited without written permission.
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