Queensland owners sweating on information on seized dogs

OWNERS in Queensland are fuming after being left in the dark about the seizure of their greyhounds for more than 48 hours.

It is understood pups aged only six to nine months and broodbitches with litters aged under four months were taken away on Tuesday, with owners who are under no suspicion of being involved in any wrongdoing not informed of their seizure.

Racing Queensland swooped on several properties to impound dogs from properties at Churchable, west of Brisbane. This was in response to disturbing footage of alleged live-baiting practices screened on Four Corners on Monday night.

Thirteen industry participants have so far been named by RQ, with seven of those handed show-cause notices and given seven days to show cause why they should not be warned off racetracks for life.

But after the swoop on dogs on Tuesday, when RQ officials said they would be “taken to a safe and secure and undisclosed location”, some owners were not officially notified their dogs had been taken until Thursday night.

Prominent Sunshine Coast-based breeder Anthony Jeffress has had 40-45 dogs he either owns, part-owns or has assumed responsibility for confiscated from the Churchable property “Dessa Downs”, run by Debra and Steven Arnold.

Jeffress, a real estate agent, pedigree analyst and part-time race caller, is concerned about the welfare of his dogs, particularly four pregnant broodbitches and several pups. Broodbitches Autumn Waltz and Cool And Fancy were also taken and reportedly separated from their respective litters aged 12-14 weeks.

“There are a lot of greyhound trainers who believe mothers should be left with their pups for as long as six months,” Jeffress said.

“Those two were weaned off but it’s not just about the feed, it’s about the socialisation.”

Their litters and a third litter were left at Dessa Downs as they hadn’t had their second vaccinations and could not be deemed fully immunised and could not go into a general canine population.

Jeffress also had pet and retired race greyhounds and a stud dog of almost 10 years old taken away from Dessa Downs.

“We love our dogs, whether they’re valuable in monetary form or emotional form, they’re valuable to us,” he said. “They’re entities, they’re individuals, they’re valuable to us, we love them.”

On Friday Jeffress was awaiting a written response from RQ, which put out a release saying “greyhounds were seized on the basis these dogs may have been exposed to a practice which could compromise their welfare. Veterinarians have inspected each greyhound to ensure the animals’ health and wellbeing”.

“Racing Queensland will continue to have oversight of the welfare of any greyhounds seized. The owners of 40 of those greyhounds, who are not one of the suspended trainers, were contacted yesterday and can apply to have their dogs returned provided they sign a statutory declaration, together with the proposed trainer, that they have not been involved in animal cruelty practices and will not be involved in such activities in the future.

“The remaining greyhounds will stay in the care of Racing Queensland as our investigation progresses. Some of these greyhounds may be re-homed through the GAP program.”

Jeffress was bemused by the fact that even though dogs had been seized on welfare grounds, pups were allowed to remain at the property.

“My fear is out of being so hasty to act and potentially in an effort to appease public pressure, I fear they are certainly acting on a dubious basis,” he said.

“My concern as a person who owns dogs and has been involved in the industry for 25 years is that it’s not too far a stretch to suggest that if they are not careful by their haste, guilty people may actually slip the net.

“And I like most people want to see the full extent of the law, and the act, utilised against those that are found and proven, after an appropriate hearing, to be guilty.

“My concern, at all times, is for the animals involved. Secondarily, there are human relationships involved but at the moment I am saying categorically, hand on heart, my interest is in the welfare of those dogs.”

Jeffress said greyhounds were pack animals. “Every time you move one pup in or out of a yard or move a group of pups from one yard to another, it can affect the socialisation, it can affect the pecking order,” he said, adding there was often fighting after they were moved.

“These dogs have been moved, I don’t know to who, I don’t know to where, I don’t what facilities they have,” he said. “I don’t know if the groupings they were in are the groups that they are in now. I don’t know if they are in with other dogs. I don’t know what ages the other dogs are if they are in with other dogs, and they are refusing to tell me any of the above.

“I am not under investigation or suspicion. There is no suggestion that myself … or any other true owners, in other words people who own animals but don’t physically care for them … none of us are under any suspicion or action.

“But I can guarantee you that the decisions being made are affecting us.

“I’ve got racing greyhounds that are embargoed, I’ve got dogs that are in pre-training embargoed, I’ve got pups that their socialisation is being affected. I’ve got broodbitches that are being taken away from their pups at an inappropriate age.”

Up to 200 dogs may have been seized in raids, with upwards of $1 million in dogs taken from long-time trainer Reg Kay’s property alone.

Past Discussion

  1. Well said Anthony, if my dogs were RQ victims I would immediately take legal action against RQ and I think I would win, no one has the right to interfere without justification. And I’d dare RQ to show cause, we are innocent and they are acting without justification

  2. Well said Anthony, if my dogs were RQ victims I would immediately take legal action against RQ and I think I would win, no one has the right to interfere without justification. And I’d dare RQ to show cause, we are innocent and they are acting without justification

  3. Easy give everyone their dogs back and if they are named and able to race give the dog 6 weeks from the time they were given too other trainers a suspension as in most cases trainers will take 6 weeks to allow the change to a new kennel anyway….don’t punish the owners.

  4. Easy give everyone their dogs back and if they are named and able to race give the dog 6 weeks from the time they were given too other trainers a suspension as in most cases trainers will take 6 weeks to allow the change to a new kennel anyway….don’t punish the owners.

  5. You people should have your dogs taken off you permanently. If not live baiting or doping them you’re putting their lives on the line to line your pockets and entertain derelict gamblers. Blood on your hands, blood money in your pocket.

  6. You people should have your dogs taken off you permanently. If not live baiting or doping them you’re putting their lives on the line to line your pockets and entertain derelict gamblers. Blood on your hands, blood money in your pocket.

  7. Your an idiot Aaron. Your Greyhound Protection League promotes the abolishion of Greyhound Racing despite the fact you know that 1000’s and 1000’s of dogs would be put to sleep if that was ever to happen.
    You don’t care about animal welfare whatsoever.

  8. Your an idiot Aaron. Your Greyhound Protection League promotes the abolishion of Greyhound Racing despite the fact you know that 1000’s and 1000’s of dogs would be put to sleep if that was ever to happen.

    You don’t care about animal welfare whatsoever.

  9. you all have a warped idea about where the problem lies here and how far your industry is damaged beyond belief as a direct result of these attitudes. Good luck funding sponsors for your races in which you make money out of those you truly love – well love up to about 25% anyway. And your sponsors are rolling away in droves simply because the public finds your attitudes and responses so thoroughly disgusting.

  10. you all have a warped idea about where the problem lies here and how far your industry is damaged beyond belief as a direct result of these attitudes. Good luck funding sponsors for your races in which you make money out of those you truly love – well love up to about 25% anyway. And your sponsors are rolling away in droves simply because the public finds your attitudes and responses so thoroughly disgusting.

  11. @Mr Dimbledore Get rid of it now and save the millions the industry kills over lifetimes. Your logic is absurd. Your utter denial is utterly absurd.

  12. @Mr Dimbledore Get rid of it now and save the millions the industry kills over lifetimes. Your logic is absurd. Your utter denial is utterly absurd.

  13. What did I deny? It’s all there in the footage. Never said I condoned it did I?
    If you love dogs so much why advocate killing them? No racing = No greyhounds at all.
    Whose logic is absurd? 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

  14. What did I deny? It’s all there in the footage. Never said I condoned it did I?

    If you love dogs so much why advocate killing them? No racing = No greyhounds at all.

    Whose logic is absurd? 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

  15. There’s some truth and “rightness” in everyone’s argument isn’t there. That’s why it is so hard to balance what is right for the dog and what the long term outcome should be. No argument – live baiting and finish on line is wrong: finish on line because no one who talks about it has defined the “humane” method they use to kill the rabbits they use on the lures. The fact that long time respected (within the industry) trainers have stated that the dogs have to be blooded to be competitive confirms that this is a widespread and mostly accepted practice within the training industry.  Mr Jeffres calls himself a true owner who has participated for 25 years in racing greyhounds: how could he and others like him profess to not know what is going on? If you are the owner of 40-45 dogs and paying for their upkeep and training you would expect a return on your money. If your dogs aren’t winning and someone else’s is, you would ask what their trainers are doing that yours is not? Blooding obviously. The question is not whether people love their dogs. The question is whether these dogs have a long term future and it appears not given the numbers cited as being euthanased and are they being trained in a manner which does not inflict cruelty on the dogs or any other creature considered a by product of the industry.
    People, money, animals and gambling – recipe for disaster and usually it is the animal that pays. It is unrealistic to think it will ever stop and therefore we need to look realistically, calmly and humanely at the best outcome. Get rid of the people who have been identified as using live animal baits, monitor, accredit, and police diligently the remainder, and allow the RSPCA to close down and prosecute “one off” perpetrators without the necessity for months of undercover investigation by the brave people of Animals Australia and other animal welfare groups. Protect whistleblowers and allow unannounced visits by RSPCA officials to these training facilities. And insist that Government and industry fund it. I’m happy for my tax dollars to be used if the outcome is better welfare for the dogs and the end of live baiting. The casual handling of the bait animals shown by 4 corners does not happen without it being repetitive: these people have been doing it for a long time and it beggars belief that any human being could be so immune to the suffering and panic of another living creature.

  16. There’s some truth and “rightness” in everyone’s argument isn’t there. That’s why it is so hard to balance what is right for the dog and what the long term outcome should be. No argument – live baiting and finish on line is wrong: finish on line because no one who talks about it has defined the “humane” method they use to kill the rabbits they use on the lures. The fact that long time respected (within the industry) trainers have stated that the dogs have to be blooded to be competitive confirms that this is a widespread and mostly accepted practice within the training industry.  Mr Jeffres calls himself a true owner who has participated for 25 years in racing greyhounds: how could he and others like him profess to not know what is going on? If you are the owner of 40-45 dogs and paying for their upkeep and training you would expect a return on your money. If your dogs aren’t winning and someone else’s is, you would ask what their trainers are doing that yours is not? Blooding obviously. The question is not whether people love their dogs. The question is whether these dogs have a long term future and it appears not given the numbers cited as being euthanased and are they being trained in a manner which does not inflict cruelty on the dogs or any other creature considered a by product of the industry.

    People, money, animals and gambling – recipe for disaster and usually it is the animal that pays. It is unrealistic to think it will ever stop and therefore we need to look realistically, calmly and humanely at the best outcome. Get rid of the people who have been identified as using live animal baits, monitor, accredit, and police diligently the remainder, and allow the RSPCA to close down and prosecute “one off” perpetrators without the necessity for months of undercover investigation by the brave people of Animals Australia and other animal welfare groups. Protect whistleblowers and allow unannounced visits by RSPCA officials to these training facilities. And insist that Government and industry fund it. I’m happy for my tax dollars to be used if the outcome is better welfare for the dogs and the end of live baiting. The casual handling of the bait animals shown by 4 corners does not happen without it being repetitive: these people have been doing it for a long time and it beggars belief that any human being could be so immune to the suffering and panic of another living creature.

  17. Racing Queensland have said for owners to contact then in regards picking their dogs up. Well guess what they wont give you an answer as to when you can pick them up.
    The dogs are just being given the basics of half an hour morning and night to empty out and put back in the kennel.
    These dogs are use to having a good free run every morning but instead RQ are not looking after them in the true sense of animal welfare. So perhaps the light should be shone on them.
    They have now stood down the Chief Steward and their Chief Steward for Integrity and these were the people that we are supposed to deal with and know one there knows what is going on and our innocent dogs and owners are being tared with the same brush.

  18. Racing Queensland have said for owners to contact then in regards picking their dogs up. Well guess what they wont give you an answer as to when you can pick them up.

    The dogs are just being given the basics of half an hour morning and night to empty out and put back in the kennel.

    These dogs are use to having a good free run every morning but instead RQ are not looking after them in the true sense of animal welfare. So perhaps the light should be shone on them.

    They have now stood down the Chief Steward and their Chief Steward for Integrity and these were the people that we are supposed to deal with and know one there knows what is going on and our innocent dogs and owners are being tared with the same brush.

  19. Spoken to several friends who have dogs being held by Racing Queensland and RQ wont tell them where their dogs are being held or why they are still being held. All the dogs have been vet checked but they still wont release them.
    RQ wont even tell them under what policy they are being held under.
    Racing Queensland through press releases have asked owners to contact them and arrange the pick up of their dogs. Well when they do phone all they get are voice mails and NO ONE gives them the courtesy to phone them back. Theses innocent owners and their innocent dogs are now being tared with the same brush.
    So RQ do the decent thing and release those dogs (as Racing Victoria have) that are not owned by those that have been accused or I feel those owners will rally together and get an injunction against you and they have every right to do it and you deserve it.
    One thing you need to realise is that you Racing Queensland DO NOT own those dogs nor do the suspended trainers.

  20. Spoken to several friends who have dogs being held by Racing Queensland and RQ wont tell them where their dogs are being held or why they are still being held. All the dogs have been vet checked but they still wont release them.

    RQ wont even tell them under what policy they are being held under.

    Racing Queensland through press releases have asked owners to contact them and arrange the pick up of their dogs. Well when they do phone all they get are voice mails and NO ONE gives them the courtesy to phone them back. Theses innocent owners and their innocent dogs are now being tared with the same brush.

    So RQ do the decent thing and release those dogs (as Racing Victoria have) that are not owned by those that have been accused or I feel those owners will rally together and get an injunction against you and they have every right to do it and you deserve it.

    One thing you need to realise is that you Racing Queensland DO NOT own those dogs nor do the suspended trainers.

  21. @AaronC_GPLNZ  all you do is go around abusing people…..do u hate humans so much…..where you mistreated as a child….I feel so sorry for you and your family and anyone that has to associate with you……you are evil vile scum of this world……you have nothing good to ever say and are always looking at the worst in life…..I like to be positive and you are so negative…..you try to dictate your beliefs onto other…….adolf hitler tried to do that, look where it got him…….you are no better than adolf hitler.

  22. @AaronC_GPLNZ  all you do is go around abusing people…..do u hate humans so much…..where you mistreated as a child….I feel so sorry for you and your family and anyone that has to associate with you……you are evil vile scum of this world……you have nothing good to ever say and are always looking at the worst in life…..I like to be positive and you are so negative…..you try to dictate your beliefs onto other…….adolf hitler tried to do that, look where it got him…….you are no better than adolf hitler.