An open letter to my Michigan Greyhound Connection Family:
When I founded Michigan Greyhound Connection (MGC) in 1989, I had 2 major goals:
• Provide loving homes for retired racing greyhounds
• Educate the public on the horror of the greyhound racing industry
I dreamed of a day when MGC, as an adoption group, would be obsolete. Unlike for-profit companies, MGC was founded on the hope that we would eventually go out of business because we were no longer needed. The achievement of that goal is predicated on the demise of the racing industry so greyhounds are forever freed from this cruel enterprise and its cycle of abuse.
With the passage of the Florida referendum to ban greyhound racing, we are getting closer to our ultimate goal. However, the Florida victory has not come without a short-term price. In a last gasp act of childish defiance (and another indication of their lack of concern for the greyhounds themselves) the greyhound racing industry has chosen to punish the anti-racing adoption groups by denying them dogs. The Pro racing National Greyhound Association (NGA) has decreed that they will only allow track kennels and breeders to provide adoptable dogs to the sycophantic adoption groups that have long supported the racing industry. And NGA is doing this proudly and openly.
Below is an excerpt from an excellent article in the Washington Post:
Florida banned greyhound racing. What happens to the dogs now?
By Kim Kavin
November 16, 2018
“One week after Florida voters overwhelmingly chose to ban greyhound racing — eliminating 11 of America’s 17 remaining dog tracks by the end of 2020 — new battle lines are being drawn over who will eventually handle adoptions for the dogs that are now coming up through breeding and training kennels.
If the racing industry and its supporters have their way, it won’t be anybody who convinced Floridians that the dogs needed saving in the first place. The National Greyhound Association, which registers all racing greyhounds and fought the ban, says it will shun any rescue groups that worked to end the sport in the Sunshine State.”
So what does this mean for us? It is not surprising that MGC is on the naughty list. So our ability to get greyhounds at this time is severely limited. Sue Bilsky and the rest of the Board have worked tirelessly to try to find a backchannel through our contacts to get dogs. This has, so far, been unsuccessful. A lot of folks would like to give us dogs, but have been intimidated by the NGA. Personally, I see this ban on anti-racing groups as unsustainable. Since the track closings in Florida have not begun, the racing industry has been able to enforce their policy because there is no big surplus of dogs needing homes. Once closing starts and thousands of dogs suddenly need homes, I suspect the owners and kennels that actually care about their dogs will break ranks and make dogs available. What is the alternative?
Michigan Greyhound Connection is not going anywhere. We will continue to be there for all of our adopters and their dogs. We will take dogs that become available either from returns, shelters or other groups and ensure they have a great home. We may even take greyhounds, or greyhound-relatives from other countries as availability presents itself (it’s not their fault they weren’t born in the US). We will not, however, switch our focus from the many greyhounds still trapped by the greyhound racing industry.
In closing I want to thank each and every one of you for loving our dogs. We are here for you and we hope that you understand our current situation in terms of greyhound availability. While we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, the war is not yet won and the work is not yet done. We will be there for the dogs until there are no longer greyhounds needing us. We hope you continue by our side.
With much love and admiration,