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Robin Olive Reich

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2 reviews

Review for GREY2K USA Education Fund, Arlington, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I am grateful for GREY2K USA Worldwide for fighting endlessly to save greyhounds around the world, and in particular for raising awareness of the plight of the Macau Canidrome greyhounds, a track that killed roughly 18,000 greyhounds over 5 decades for being too slow, sick or injured. Little did I know that this campaign would forever change my life.

When international pressure finally forced the Canidrome to shut down on July 21st 2018 leaving 532 abandoned greyhounds behind, my heart led me there to help. A brave seven year battle to close the track led by the now legendary Albano Martins of Anima Macau to whom these dogs owe their lives, alongside partners GREY2K USA Worldwide and the Italian association Pet Levrieri, had been won against all odds.

The next daunting task lay ahead: to air lift the survivors to safety and into loving homes.

GREY2K asked for my help in photographing Brooklyn for their newsletter, the poster child for the Save the Macau Greyhounds campaign, who had long been thought to be dead. Pet Levrieri asked me to character assess 50 of the greyhounds and photograph 76 of the dogs heading to Europe and the UK for their bios.

I quickly realized that while everyone thought these dogs were now safe, they were not safe at all. Their only chance of survival was to get them all out as quickly as possible. The deadline to accomplish this enormous task had originally been September of 2019. It was shortened by the government to March 2019.

For many shifts during my 14 days there, I was the only volunteer and felt completely alone and distraught. I burst into tears so many times witnessing what these gentle souls had to endure. Dark, wet, concrete cells with decrepit rusty, sharp bars. Greyhounds lying on the cement floor with open wounds from lack of soft bedding and some without any bed at all. Greyhounds very underweight, with rotting teeth, some with mouths full of blood. Their only stimulation other than 2 meals and 2 short walks a day was chewing on their metal bars or scratching on the wall. Greyhounds with scars, ragged coats and red raw feet as their cells and the pavement for their walks were never dry. There were many old ones, who had somehow survived this living hell. And the adorable young ones still full of life who were born in their cells. Greyhounds being rough handled, hit on their walks and dragged along while trying to pee. A worker who thought I was too soft demonstrating how to grab one out of her cell, as if she were some sort of wild beast.

What I witnessed at the Canidrome will haunt me for the rest of my life. But I will be forever deeply touched by the light of those gentle greyhounds who were the kindest creatures, and their unconditional love. So starved for affection and a kind word, yet showering me with more love than I could ever return. So willing to forgive, despite the heavy hand of abuse they had suffered their whole lives. So resilient and ready to move on, as shown by all of the stories and photos shared by the families who have given them a forever home.

I will forever be grateful for GREY2K for creating awareness around the world of this horrific track, and for sharing my photos, allowing people to see inside this very dark and troubling place. And I am grateful for the global community too, so many who joined together in one powerful voice, and who never gave up to save these precious souls.




Role:  Volunteer
christine (Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

You are a treasured member of our team, Robin! Christine Dorchak, President, GREY2K USA Education Fund

 

Review for GREY2K USA Worldwide, Arlington, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I am grateful for GREY2K USA Worldwide for fighting endlessly to save greyhounds around the world, and in particular for raising awareness of the plight of the Macau Canidrome greyhounds, a track that killed roughly 18,000 greyhounds over 5 decades for being too slow, sick or injured. Little did I know that this campaign would forever change my life.

When international pressure finally forced the Canidrome to shut down on July 21st 2018 leaving 532 abandoned greyhounds behind, my heart led me to Macau to help. A brave seven year battle to close the track led by the now legendary Albano Martins of Anima Macau to whom these dogs owe their lives, alongside partners GREY2K USA Worldwide and the Italian association Pet Levrieri, had been won against all odds.

The next daunting task lay ahead: to air lift the survivors to safety and into loving homes.

GREY2K asked for my help in photographing Brooklyn for their newsletter, the poster child for the Save the Macau Greyhounds campaign, who had long been thought to be dead. Pet Levrieri asked me to character assess 50 of the greyhounds and photograph 76 of the dogs heading to Europe and the UK for their bios.

I quickly realized that while everyone thought these dogs were now safe, they were not safe at all. Their only chance of survival was to get them all out as quickly as possible. The deadline to accomplish this enormous task had originally been September of 2019. It was shortened by the government to March 2019. Thanks to GREY2K, Anima and Pet Levrieri it was miraculously achieved!

For many shifts during my 14 days there, I was the only volunteer and felt completely alone and distraught. I burst into tears so many times witnessing what these gentle souls had to endure. Dark, wet, concrete cells with decrepit rusty, sharp bars. Greyhounds lying on the cement floor with open wounds from lack of soft bedding and some without any bed at all. Greyhounds very underweight, with rotting teeth, some with mouths full of blood. Their only stimulation other than 2 meals and 2 short walks a day was chewing on their metal bars or scratching on the wall. Greyhounds with scars, ragged coats and red raw feet as their cells and the pavement for their walks were never dry. There were many old ones, who had somehow survived this living hell. And the adorable young ones still full of life who were born in their cells. Greyhounds being rough handled, hit on their walks and dragged along while trying to pee. A worker who thought I was too soft demonstrating how to grab one out of her cell, as if she were some sort of wild beast.

What I witnessed at the Canidrome will haunt me for the rest of my life. But I will be forever deeply touched by the light of those gentle greyhounds who were the kindest creatures, and their unconditional love. So starved for affection and a kind word, yet showering me with more love than I could ever return. So willing to forgive, despite the heavy hand of abuse they had suffered their whole lives. So resilient and ready to move on, as shown by all of the stories and photos shared by the families who have given them a forever home.

I will forever be grateful for GREY2K for creating awareness around the world of this horrific track, and for sharing my photos, allowing people to see inside this very dark and troubling place. And I am grateful for the global community too, so many who joined together in one powerful voice, and who never gave up to save these precious souls.




Role:  Volunteer
christine (Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

Robin, you are a greyhound angel! Christine Dorchak, President, GREY2K USA Worldwide