Good News/ Bad News for Guam Greyhounds
The good news is that the only greyhound racetrack in Guam, which had about 250 dogs, abruptly closed after its owner, John Baldwin, could not get casino-style gambling approved for the property. The bad news is that Baldwin just started giving away greyhounds to anyone who came to the track. None of the hounds were spayed or neutered, and no records were kept. Obviously, no home studies were done and no background information was taken, and some of the hounds were given to dog fighting enthusiasts who used them as bait dogs. Many who took dogs later dumped them in remote places. It is not known exactly how many escaped from their new "homes" or how many have died (until their corpses are found, as a handful have). Evidently approximately 120+ dogs are ready for forever homes (more on that in a bit).
Guam Greyhounds writes:
We received a call from a passerby about two dogs tied to a boat in Umatac – down at the very southern part of the island. I spoke to the owner and he said he got them from the race track in the first week when they started giving them away. He took a male and female to breed them for later on and also to guard his fishing boat. They were both emaciated and when I questioned him about feeding them, he said he didn't know how to care for them anymore, because they wouldn't eat what he gave them. With some friendly persuasion I convinced him to sign them both over to GAIN. He wanted to be assured that we won't use them to race and then " make money out of them". I informed him that they are now officially retired and will never race again.
The human moral compass is a fascinating thing. This person apparently didn't think it was right to race the dogs for profit, yet breeding them as guard dogs, or basically starving them, or tying them to a boat, presented no problems for him.
We humans are quite a conflicted species.
Not all of the dogs were given away. Some were simply released into the villages and jungles to fend for themselves. There is an also unknown number of dogs at the track whose futures are unclear and in the hands of the track management. Why any of this occurred this way when any rescue group would find a way to take them, I have no idea.
The island, a U.S. territory, is about three times the size of Washington D.C. with a population of 175,000 people. Imagine a hundred greyhounds running loose. Imagine the future ecological catastrophe and public health problem when even a few surviving females come into heat.
Volunteers of Guam Animals in Need (GAIN) are coralling/rescuing, rehabbing, and sending dogs to Homestretch Greyhound Rescue & Adoption in California, every three to five days, for further treatment and relocation to other west coast rescue groups.