My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Grey2K USA, Arlington, MA, USA
UPDATE: Carey2’s comments below are not surprising. The first is basically accurate (except for the word “bizarre”) as it was indeed posted by a dog racing supporter as part of an organized campaign to post truthful reviews about Grey2K. If one encounters terrible meals or service in a restaurant, is one not entitled to express one’s opinion with an unfavorable review? If one purchases a product that does not live up to its hype and is a disappointing waste of money, does one not have the right to share one’s unfortunate experience? It’s time the racing industry stands up and defends itself against the bullying tactics of Grey2K, who themselves have perpetuated a “smear” campaign to malign greyhound racing and the good people who own, breed, train, care for and love these dogs. To paint an entire industry as villains because of the sins of a few is unconscionable. Do we close all churches because of a few aberrant priests? Do we shutter all schools because of some vile criminals with guns? Do we outlaw all amateur sports because kids might get injured? Yet Carey2 and Grey2K would have you believe that every person who is involved with greyhound racing is the devil incarnate. It’s disheartening to think that Grey2K and their supporters harbor and spread such hatred.
The only thing factual in Carey2’s second comment is that greyhounds compete 6-8 times per month. The timeline presented below is an accurate depiction of the daily routine of a racer, written by a professional trainer who works with these dogs day in and day out and can attest to the veracity of their habits. Carey2’s assertion that this schedule only holds true on the day of a race is baseless, and patently illustrates his ignorance. On off days, other activities are substituted for the race, as well as allowing time for rest after the enormous expenditure of energy a race entails. And Carey2, PLEASE give the mantra a rest – “cages that are barely large enough for the dogs to stand up or turn around” is a broken record. This notion has been disproved time and again with videos and images posted every day directly from racing kennels.
In summary, if you were contemplating open heart surgery, would you consult your hairdresser or auto mechanic? The last time I looked, Carey2 did not work in a racing kennel, nor does he hold a trainer’s license. That he feels he is more knowledgeable about greyhound racing than the professionals who work with the dogs 24/7 is profoundly absurd - and if you believe him, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
ORIGINAL REVIEW: Hello, I am a racing greyhound whose official name is KerrysLion, but you can call me "The K." I figured since my distant cousin Zoe is allowed to write letters for her handlers at Grey2K, I would add my own two kibbles as a review. There's been a lot of action here lately, but I just want to address one topic in particular. The folks at Grey2K keep saying over and over and over again that: "Racing greyhounds endure lives of terrible confinement. They live inside warehouse-style kennels in rows of stacked cages that are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. They are confined for long hours each day, with shredded paper or carpet remnants as bedding." Nothing could be further from the truth! We spend the first 12 to 16 months of our lives just being dogs! We hang out with our brothers and sisters, competing and chasing each other up and down the huge outdoor runs. We are fed and watered, receive medical care, have shade and shelter, and always have lots of humans handling and playing with us. When we're old enough we get to go to school and start learning manners and how to live in a civilized community with our peers. Most of us who have a strong, inherent desire to run and chase prey will then move on to a racing environment and will compete against our kindred. This is where WE decide our career path: to run or not to run, that is the question! You see, it is impossible to force a greyhound to run or race - we will or we won't. Those who would rather play with the bunny than chase it get a fast track to their second career as a beloved pet.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I gave Grey2K one star, because you can't pick no star. Far from living a life of terrible confinement, here is an account of my actual life in a racing kennel:
6.30am: Rise and shine. I get to wake up to all of my caretakers letting us out. I go outside in a group 15 boys, and we hang out outside for about 30 mins. We sniff, smell and take care of nature's call. We have 3 different pens that we get to go into ... and more sniffing and smelling take place. At 7am I come back inside.
7am - 8am: my caretakers are cooking rice and pasta in the kitchen.This will go in our dinner once its cooled. My caretakers start cleaning all of our kennels. Some dogs get to leave the kennel and go exercising.
8am: I get to go back outside with my group of 15 friends, while my caretakers clean my kennel, check my shredded paper bed, change my water and sweep up bed area. I spend 30 minutes outside, relaxing and sniffing ... and going through each of the 3 different pens. At 8.30am, I come back in
8.45am: I get weighed and my weight is recorded in a kennel log. My caretakers groom me, check my feet, check my nails and my ears, and then brush me with a grooming glove. I got back into my kennel and nap till dinner time
9-10am: Dinner time! I get a 1/2lb meat ball with some vitamins and vanilla Ensure on top. Yum! Because I got a 1/2 "snack" that means I am racing today!!!
10am: I go back outside with my group of 15 buddies and we take care of nature's call, do a little sniffing, watch some of the other's kennel staff and just lounge around for 30 mins, getting to go into each of the 3 pens attached to our kennel. 10.30am I go back inside to the kennel. When we come back inside, my caretakers sweep, mop and clean the kennel, so its all clean and comfortable
11am - 11.30: I hear leads clinking!!!!!! Woohoo. I am going racing!!!! My caretakers put a lead on me, and I go walking with 2 of my buddies. We walk from the kennel to the racetrack ... we pass the grassy area with trees, and we sniff and take care of nature's call ... and if we are really lucky, we will see a squirrel!! We love watching the squirrel run up the trees! We walk to paddock area of the track, and get weighed. I have to be within 1.5lbs of my set-weight or I won't be allowed to race. I am 84.5lbs, the clerk of the scale records my weight and my caretaker brings me to the racing kennels. A track employee takes me and puts me into kennels, where I will stay until its time to race
1.30pm: Track leadouts come and get me! They put my leash on, and we go and walk outside in the warm up area. A lady in a lab coat follows me as I take care of nature's call, and my sample goes into a plastic container and a label gets put on it. The track vet is there watching us walk, and making sure that we are all okay. Then we get to go to the Paddock area, where the Paddock supervisor will check my weight and then put on my racing blanket. The Paddock Judge comes and checks my ear tattoo (to make sure I am the correct dog), and then he checks that my racing blanket fits correctly
2pm: I walk onto the racetrack wearing the green blanket of post #4. I am pulling at the leash, and the leadout walks me onto the track for the post parade. We walk in front of the spectators, and I catch a glimpse of the toteboard .. I am 5/1 to win my race. The leadouts walk us to the starting boxes, and we wait for about 5 mins. I get loaded into the starting box, and I can hear the lure coming towards the start .... the boxes open and I am in 3rd place. I close ground on the greyhounds racing in front of me, and when I turn into the homestretch I accelerate and leave the field behind me! I won! I won! I am so excited. The lure stops at the pick-up, and we all stand there wagging our tails, so excited! The leadout puts my leash back on, and I walk off the track to my caretaker
2.15pm: My caretaker brings me to the cool down area, and I get my feet cleaned and cooled off, and then I get to walk through the cool-down tank ... its a cool water tank that we can walk through to cool down on a hot day. I walk back to the kennel with my caretaker, and when we get there they clean my face, feet, and wash my eyes. I go back into my kennel and drink some water. I nap for an hour or two. When I am all cooled down, I get my dinner!!! meat, kibble, rice, pasta and some vitamin supplements. Yum! Then about 4pm, I go back outside for a few mins to take care of nature's call. I come back inside and get a couple of milk bone cookies!!! Yeah!
5.30pm: my caretakers come and let me out with my 15 buddies. We spend about 30 minutes outside
7.30pm: the night races start, and my caretakers are in the kennel taking care of other racers
8.30 - 10pm: my caretakers come and let me outside with my 15 buddies. We are outside for about 30-45 minutes. We get to go through the 3 different pens, and sniff, smell, lounge and hang-out
11pm: my caretakers wash dishes, sweep, mop and tidy up the kennel. They leave about 11.30pm and the radio is left on for us with some easy-listening music. We sleep and dream. I have water if I am thirsty, and a nice bed of shredded paper. I dream of winning races!
6:30 am Rise and Shine!
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This bizarre "review" was posted by a dog racing supporter, as part of an organized campaign by the commercial greyhound racing industry to post negative reviews on this site.
This review is so incredibly strange, it is difficult to offer a substantive response. I will say, however, that racing greyhounds do not compete every day. Instead, they compete 6-8 times per month. Further, the notion that greyhound kennels have five daily "turn-outs" is nonsense. The fact is, thousands of greyhounds do endure lives of confinement in the racing industry. They are kept in cages that are barely large enough for the dogs to stand up or turn around, and are confined with two exceptions. 1. A few times per month they are taken to a racetrack to compete, and 2. A few times a day, greyhounds are "turned out" in a large group to relieve themselves. As this bizarre essay points out, these "turn outs" are generally 30 minutes long, if the dogs are lucky. The remaining 22 hours is spent in a cage.