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GREY2K USA
May 16, 2012

The fact that GREY2K USA is not an adoption group has been addressed many times on many forums. I can’t say why the handful of those who try to detract from GREY2K USA seem not to understand the difference between a greyhound advocacy group and a greyhound adoption group, but here goes:

Greyhound advocacy groups are IRS 501(c)4 charitable organizations that have the ability to lobby and legislatively pass laws without restriction (but donations are non-tax-deductible);

Greyhound adoption groups are IRS 501(c)3 charitable organizations that can only spend an "insubstantial part" of their budget to lobby (and donations are tax deductible).

This is easy to understand, and since GREY2K USA is an advocacy group, I’m wondering why GREY2K USA is criticized for not adopting greyhounds, except possibly . . it is an easy criticism to try to make in the hope that it sticks.

When speaking about greyhound racing in Massachusetts, I can’t say why the handful of GREY2K USA detractors seems not to understand, but here goes:

Greyhound racing ended in Massachusetts because it was voted out by the public. Question 3 on the ballot was brought by GREY2K USA, because that’s what advocacy groups do. But the outcome of Question 3 was the will of the voting public.

That statute to end racing in Massachusetts, which was authored by GREY2K USA President and General Counsel Christine Dorchak, provided for a 14-month phaseout, from Nov 2008 to Jan 2010. That’s 14 months’ longer notice, or 60 weeks’ longer notice, or 420 days’ longer notice than so many people receive from employers. During that time, the racing greyhound owners and kennel operators in Massachusetts could have (and in my opinion, should have) made provision for each and every greyhound in their care / possession. They could have made arrangements to move their greyhounds (and themselves, if they desired) to racetracks in other states; or they could have made arrangements for each of their dogs to go to adoption groups if they themselves chose to go into another line of work. 14 months is a long time to accomplish either of those decisions. Also quite unusual, during that 14-month period, and afterward, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offered free job re-training to greyhound industry workers, supplementing a federal program that was already in place.

Thankfully, it is worth mentioning that the high majority of greyhounds leaving Wonderland and Raynham Parks were made available for adoption (nearly 1000), while others were sent on to continue racing at tracks in other states. This was the decision of their legal owners, and greyhound advocates could not force their release to rescue groups.

These facts are also easy to understand, which makes me wonder why GREY2K USA detractors don’t point out that when racetrack owners have decided to close tracks, there were no such provisions for industry workers. In 2009, Phoenix Greyhound Park announced its impending closure out of the blue and gave 90 days’ notice. Also in 2009, Dairyland Greyhound Park announced its impending closure on short notice. No job re-training was offered in each of those instances.

No one expects everyone to be on the same page regarding greyhound racing. But, for those in the greyhound racing industry to actually not understand what I’ve just described, or try to make it seem as if they don’t understand, just falls short.

As a board member of GREY2K USA, it is my opinion that the greyhound racing industry’s own reputation is a major contributor to the public’s (and lawmakers’) increasing disdain for dog racing. On a personal level, my experiences (since 1997) seeing firsthand the condition of greyhounds coming to adoption from the tracks keeps me engaged more than any pro- or anti-racing discussion ever could.

GREY2K USA works to get to the root of the problem - - to end the inhumane existence racing greyhounds have no choice but to suffer - - by ending an outdated activity. Greyhound racing's popularity is over; today's general public does not support it.

More feedback

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

MY ROLE:
Board Member