Recently it came to my attention that Giles Express was "dumped at animal control, with more than 1000 fleas sucking him dry. On the verge of death, he was transported to Knoxville Pet Emergency Center for care" Giles was an adopted dog who was obviously suffering from neglect. He is also my dog's (Ricky Bobby's) sire. If you can spare a dollar or two please consider contributing to Giles' medical expenses.
Donation fund for Giles' medical expenses.
Emergency Auction for Giles
I'm a pretty strong advocate of the adoption system as a whole even though, as some are quick to point out, I don't invest the hours and hours of work to the cause that some do. I recently did a random survey by looking at all the dogs that raced at a track on a particular day in history. I then tried to find out where the dogs ended up that were no longer racing. I was easily able to find the dogs that were racing based on the track's website. I then started doing internet searches and used resources such as greyhound-data.com to find out where the dogs are. I was able to find 67% of the dogs had ended up in an adoption program using this method. I noticed that the adoption group based at the track does not use greyhound data, so I contacted them. They act as a central hub sending dogs to groups throughout the states and many into an adoption group in Canada. My contact there was able to bring the total entering adoption programs to 94% with 6% returning to the farms. I was elated. Based on this random sample I can't say that the adoption rate in the USA is 94%, nor can I say that at that track is 94%, but I can say that it is an indication of a successful system and one that people who contribute more than I do should be proud of. (It has been pointed out that I mostly get together with people and their dogs, drink beer and allow the dogs to run and play, and pontificate online... for which what can I say but.. GUILTY..).
Then news of Giles comes which brings me crashing down to earth. Even if the system was honed to perfection, there is no utopian solution. Life is messy. There are all sorts of things that can happen in the racing world due to the highly athletic competitive nature of the sport, due to complacency and human error, and due a catastrophic failure in the formation of some people's humanity (Ron Williams). I think what galls me most is that Giles wasn't failed by commercial racing system. He was very successful there. Instead he was failed by the pet system and, as shown by many animal channel tv shows, many pets are. At 11 years old Giles is not a young dog. I'm sure where ever he spends his remaining years it will be a home fit for kings, but I really hope we can set up a reunion where he can see his offspring Ricky and Pickle.
PS. My actual random sample looked like this: Started with 112 dogs. Found that 52 of them were no longer racing. 49 of the 52 were found in an adoption program.