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Good News/ Bad News for Guam Greyhounds

Louie4

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.

You can donate to GAIN through Grey2kUSA here (and mark the gift "for Guam greyhounds), and to Homestretch here.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. "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."

    That passage struck me as well, but I think perhaps the "owner's" concern isn't so much for the animals' well-being, but for his own financial interests – i.e., he's suspicious that GAIN is feigning rescue when their "real" motive is to make a profit off of the dogs (and thus "screw him over"). Or am I being too cynical? :)

    February 11, 2009
  2. Dan #

    The human moral compass is usually broken, because instead of pointing north at or close to the moral truth, it usually points to the human whose compass it is, even if the human is south of the compass. In a many cases, the human moral compass splits the difference in some varying degree between pointing north and pointing at the human. Humans who have strong, independent, north-pointing compasses are rare indeed.

    Moral relativism and subjectivism is the view that “north” depends on wherever the compass-holder happens to be at that time.

    February 11, 2009
  3. Dan #

    No, kelly g., I don't think you're being cynical; I think you're probably right. I was going to comment along the same lines. The guy is probably worried about getting ripped off.

    February 11, 2009
  4. Dan, when you say the moral compass "usually points to the human whose compass it is" is spot on. It is seen also in conversations and on line discussions between animal ag people. I've read many times one (who is a pig farmer or dog breeder or whatever) defend themselves against the practices used by their counterparts.

    How they exploit is perfectly acceptable, to them. In their minds "true north"… While a variation of the same practice, done to a different animal is not. Similar to the incongruity of one who will eat a chicken but not a cat.

    When I think of the gelified mass of contradictions that their values are in – that there is no certainty according to logic but rather whim… that their compass is so skewed from reason – I can't help but feel a pity as they have shunned their most valuable possession – their intellect. And that innocent beings, in this case the Guam greyhounds, suffer the consequence makes it sadder still.

    February 12, 2009
  5. Mary Martin #

    Some more background:

    http://www.endtucsongreyhoundracing.com/blog/2008/11/06/greyhound-racing-ends-in-guam-greyhound-welfare-in-guam/

    http://guam.mvarietynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2786:guam-greyhound-urged-to-partner-with-gain&catid=1:guam-local-news&Itemid=2

    Baldwin's attorney contacted me today. Wondering how she'll respond to the coverage of this story since November 28. I've consistently read only one story, with much corroboration. But you never know . . .

    February 12, 2009
  6. If you want to prevent more situations like this, join with GREY2K USA to end dog racing. I am volunteering for their New Hampshire effort to phase out the tracks here, and especially if you live in a racing state, you should help too! There's a state-by-state racing map right on the homepage at http://www.GREY2KUSA.org and a link to their New Hampshire Greyhound Protection Act as well.

    February 12, 2009
  7. Lisa O'Neal #

    We have adopted a dog from Guam. She came over to the US from a family who was in the military. They could not keep her and were searching for a home for her. She looks like a red and white greyhound, but appears to be a mix of something else. She has gained a significant amount of weight and is healthy and happy. We have two acres for her to run around, and run around she does!
    What is the typical mix of these dogs? I am sure she is greyhound, but I would like to know the other possibilities of her lineage
    Lisa

    March 8, 2009

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