You will, no doubt, have seen our many posts over the past few days on the numerous Greyhounds arriving into our care and the pressure on our kennel space, to the point of us having to use boarding kennels. Most of these dogs are surrendered to us by owners who want to make space for the next one. We have talked about the pressure this cycle puts on us. Some of these owners have waited patiently for a long time and have often got nowhere within the Industry’s own ‘homing’ system. Some owners will only want/prefer for their dogs to come to us, working with us so their dogs can be safe but sadly, for many Greyhounds, some owners don’t give a damn where the dogs go as long as it’s ‘out of their kennels and our of their sight’.
But what happens if ‘enablers’ like us don’t take the dogs?
Well Riyadh is a prime example of what can and does happen when rescues simply can’t keep up with the long waiting lists of Greyhounds.
Riyadh and 2 other Greyhounds came to us, via the pound system. All 3 had been picked up as strays in the east of the country, literally on the streets !!
Riyadh is only 2 and ½ years old. She started Race trials at barely 16 months old and had her last race on 5th March this year, where she finished last and just five days after that unsuccessful race, on the 10th March, she was picked up by a Dog Warden with her chip cut out.
Our volunteer who collected her from the pound, who is highly experienced in greyhound rescue and rehoming, was so upset to find a clearly traumatised little greyhound girl who was totally overwhelmed by everything that had happened to her. Scared, untrusting and emotionally broken.
Not even 2 ½ years old she has clearly gone from pillar to post. A breeder who didn’t care where their dogs ended up, who has no obligation from their industry to protect its ‘product’ and clearly feels no moral obligation either, to owners who also didn’t care where their dog ended up, but no doubt moaned about the money they had lost on her purchase.
So many hands who did nothing but “break” this little girls spirit.
The reality continues that the Racing machine is so greedy to be fed that there is still no possibility of protecting the dogs who survive racing because there are simply too many dogs. And possibly the biggest insult to poor Riyadh, and others like her, is that as soon as we made contact with the Greyhound registration body to establish her date of birth, these dogs are, straight away, marked on the public database as ‘rehomed as a pet’. Even, at this stage, they really couldn’t lie straight in their beds and will use any tactic to try and make themselves look so “rosy in their very grubby garden”.
At this stage, it’s not even about the “person” who inflicted such cruelty on our Riyadh (we will never know who) but more that an industry who professes to have “welfare”, “traceability and “accountability” high on their lists are ignoring the “mess” that rescues have been mopping up for them for so many years. An industry that receives vast amounts of money each year from The Irish Government to uphold a cruel and outdated sport. For every Greyhound that is lucky enough to find its rescue space/forever home there are so many more who simply “vanish” and those that are meant to care, simply don’t.
Rescues, like ours, have been subjected to much online abuse over the years from some within this industry who call us “liars” or “story tellers”. We have never posted any story or Greyhound without making sure our facts are always 100% accurate and that we can back them up. We have mended the broken limbed, given the old back their mojo, rescued them from horrendous situations, fought to remove them from chains in fields, helped them out of horse boxes, caught them as they strayed, freed them from back yards after pumping out saluki x litters and we have healed their broken spirits.
Can their industry that is paid to protect them say the same? We doubt it!
We will continue to do those things, not just because we have a passion and desire to help the most gentlest of breeds but, because their own industry continues to fail them on such a high level.
Thankfully, Riyadh has the promise of her forever home and, in June, will travel to our friends in Italy. Riyadh, and so many others like her, need to make this trip, need to rely on “another country” to help us source forever homes. This is yet another insult to this gentle, noble and loving breed.