Greyhound participants fight back: We will not be beaten

I AM not going to try to pretend the ABC’s Four Corners report didn’t disturb me, as I felt physically ill during the entire program. I now fear for the future of the sport, it’s participants and more importantly the thousands of greyhounds, in particular those suspended, as an enormous cloud of uncertainty hangs over their heads.

I’ve received dozens of messages from those inside the sport who are looking for any possible hint as to the future hold and where the sport is heading, along with daily comments from the general public on the issue of live baiting and the impact it will have on greyhound racing.

The sad reality we must all face is greyhound racing will never be the same.

I agree animal welfare must be the number one priority for all industry bodies and the initiatives that have been implemented thus far are reassuring that many greyhounds have a home for life after racing. I personally have been a platinum supporter of the NSW Greyhound Adoption Program for many years along with monthly donations I make to several other welfare organisations. I have chosen to keep my donations to these organisations anonymous, as most of them oppose greyhound racing and, as I’ve experienced in the past, don’t accept my donations. Despite their despise of my involvement with greyhound racing, I feel as an animal lover I am obligated to provide them with funding to assist with the rescue and rehoming of suffering animals. Many people will not agree with me on this, however if I can contribute to saving one animal’s life, I feel I’ve done my duty as a human being.

My greatest concern at present, is those people who have told me of their experiences with animal activists and the general public and the abuse they have been subjected to over the past few weeks. As a greyhound writer and owner, I’ve become accustomed to vicious abuse on a daily basis, however I will not tolerate young, innocent people being branded as ‘evil’ and having vile threats being made against themselves and their families. Unfortunately, I’m only in a position to offer my comfort and support to them, as they cope with the distress and impact the events of the last month had on their lives and their association with greyhound racing.

NSW will play host to its biggest carnival on the racing calendar this week with the commencement of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg heats, with the eventual winner to be awarded $250,000 in prizemoney. I was personally relieved to see that greyhounds that were suspended have been allowed to participate in the series and I thoroughly wish their connections all the best of luck. I know some of them personally and I know the past few weeks has been rock bottom for some of them, but they will still continue to be good.

To anyone who doubts their involvement in greyhound racing, which I’ll remorsefully state I have over the past few weeks, this is an opportunity for us to show why our sport is great and just how much we love and care for our greyhounds. Remember the passion, joy and excitement you experience when you win a race, the look on your greyhound’s face when you reward them with an ice cream or cheeseburger and the feeling of seeing your greyhounds name atop of the results list as the winner. These are the reasons why we get up at 5am, seven days a week and religiously look after our greyhounds, in some instances better than ourselves, and it’s the reason we will move forward and become stronger as a community and why we will never be beaten.

I urge anyone who has been subjected to abuse and aren’t coping physically and emotionally to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, who are available 24/7 to assist anyone in need.

Past Discussion

  1. In reference to your quote “Unfortunately, I’m only in a position to offer my comfort and support to
    them, as they cope with the distress and impact the events of the last
    month had on their lives”….I see you have no interest in offering comparable levels of comfort and support to the animals (including Australian natives) that were tortured and killed so that people like you can pay to watch dogs run in circles.  Also no offer of comfort and support for the animal lovers and children who have been sickened and traumatised by this appalling, sub-human behaviour..?

    What do you mean it is a “SAD REALITY” that this situation has now come to light and needs to be dealt with ?  That shows where you stand doesn’t it ?  Didn’t you mean to say : It is a sad reality that this situation exists at all ??  Oops you really let the rabbit out of the bag with that comment.  Now I suppose you will torture and kill it.

  2. In reference to your quote “Unfortunately, I’m only in a position to offer my comfort and support to them, as they cope with the distress and impact the events of the last month had on their lives”….I see you have no interest in offering comparable levels of comfort and support to the animals (including Australian natives) that were tortured and killed so that people like you can pay to watch dogs run in circles.  Also no offer of comfort and support for the animal lovers and children who have been sickened and traumatised by this appalling, sub-human behaviour..?

    What do you mean it is a “SAD REALITY” that this situation has now come to light and needs to be dealt with ?  That shows where you stand doesn’t it ?  Didn’t you mean to say : It is a sad reality that this situation exists at all ??  Oops you really let the rabbit out of the bag with that comment.  Now I suppose you will torture and kill it.

  3. Ms
    MAHER, I have only recently become involved in greyhound racing, as an owner,
    and had been enjoying it immensely.I
    will admit the recent cruelty to animal revelations disturbed me greatly, to
    the stage of considering leaving the sport, prior to enacting the plan for our dog’s
    retirement after racing, (rehoming).Reading
    your article gave me food for thought but is was not powerful enough to change
    my revised plans.However then I read
    Dave’s vitriolic and out of context post.From you article it is plain you have the wellbeing of “ALL ANIMALS” at heart.To attack you for the irresponsible
    behaviour of others who ignored the very stringent warnings prior to the transmission
    of the vile cruelty reports escapes me.As a result of that post I re-read your article, twice and it has
    resolved me to remain involved in the greyhound industry.I will also be following your lead and contributing
    regular donations to GAP Queensland.So
    to Ms MAHER and Dave – I thank you for solving my conundrum.

  4. MsMAHER, I have only recently become involved in greyhound racing, as an owner,and had been enjoying it immensely.Iwill admit the recent cruelty to animal revelations disturbed me greatly, tothe stage of considering leaving the sport, prior to enacting the plan for our dog’sretirement after racing, (rehoming).Readingyour article gave me food for thought but is was not powerful enough to changemy revised plans.However then I readDave’s vitriolic and out of context post.From you article it is plain you have the wellbeing of “ALL ANIMALS” at heart.To attack you for the irresponsiblebehaviour of others who ignored the very stringent warnings prior to the transmissionof the vile cruelty reports escapes me.As a result of that post I re-read your article, twice and it hasresolved me to remain involved in the greyhound industry.I will also be following your lead and contributingregular donations to GAP Queensland.Soto Ms MAHER and Dave – I thank you for solving my conundrum.