Dog Lovers to Descend on Merrion Square in Support of Greyhounds

Dog Lovers to Descend on Merrion Square in Support of Greyhounds

AT NOON on Saturday, September 21, 2013 dog lovers from across Ireland will descend on Merrion Square for a peaceful walk and tribute aimed at raising awareness and support for the welfare of Irish greyhounds. This event has been organised by Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland (GRAI), an organisation dedicated to promoting retired racing greyhounds as pets.

The walk will formally begin at 1.00pm, and all are welcome to attend. Those with dogs (any breed), are welcome to bring their pets to the walk, which will last approximately one and a half hours.

Una Phelan spokesperson for GRAI said, “We are calling on the people of Dublin and all over Ireland, to open their hearts and homes to greyhounds and ask that they join us on the walk to see for themselves what wonderful pets greyhounds make.”

Many of Ireland and the UK’s most well-known celebrities have also pledged their support of GRAI and the Walk for Greyhounds, such as Sharon Shannon, Lenny Abrahamson, Cathy Davey, and Neil Hannon. English comedian and actor Ricky Gervais declared, “It is my hope that Irish dog lovers everywhere, along with their pets, will turn out in large numbers to walk in unity alongside the greyhounds to make the point that greyhounds are for life and companionship. I wish the Walk for Greyhounds every success!”

For more information please contact:
Andrea Lynch
GRAI PR Officer
+353 (87) 112 9868

Walk for Greyhounds 2012





Official Photos by Declan Griffin

Written Declaration For the Protection Of Greyhounds Closes – Message from Greyhound Safe

Written Declaration For the Protection Of Greyhounds Closes – Message from Greyhound Safe

Written Declaration 0006/2013 on putting an immediate stop to the torture and mistreatment of greyhounds closed on Monday 15th July.

The Written Declaration was launched in the European Parliament on 15 April, by the French Member of Parliament Mrs Striffler and 11 other co-signatories, closed with 217 MEP signatures.

The goal of over 300 signatures needed, to further the Declaration into the European Commission, was not reached. But the plight of Spanish Galgos and Irish/UK greyhounds has been furthered on a huge scale within European political offices, via a three month appeal from many, unified, and hard working Rescues and Welfare groups. The 217 MEP’s who did sign also took a keen or further interest in the plight of Greyhounds throughout Europe, and this achievement in itself has to be a great forward step for Greyhound Welfare concerns throughout Europe, and a platform that can be used in the future.

The 3 month appeal also came with invites to Brussels and Strasbourg,

And moisturize also packet viagra canada manages. Other marked highly giving the opportunities to speak, further, in person of the Greyhound plight throughout Europe. New relationships and stronger existing relationships were forged for the benefits of the Greyhound.

Greyhound Safe is proud to have been a member of, and work with, the European Collective for the Protection of Greyhounds, giving a voice for Irish and UK Greyhounds.

Greyhound Safe would also like to thank the many rescues in the UK including supporters of Greyhound Rescue West of England for all their support along with supporters and the members of Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland, and Greyhound Safe Ireland, for all their support in Ireland.

We also extend thanks to MEP Mrs Striffler, Greyhound Rescue Holland, and Galgos Ethique Europe – for their tireless work in furthering the voice for the Greyhound throughout Europe through the Written Declaration.

Justice sought for Quarry Greyhounds

Justice sought for Quarry Greyhounds

July 2nd, 2013

MEMBERS of Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland were in attendance yesterday at a court hearing held in Dublin at District Court 44 before Judge Hamill regarding the case of the Limerick Quarry Greyhounds. This case centers around six racing greyhounds found shot, discarded and left unburied in an abandoned Limerick quarry. The dogs were grimly discovered in April 2012 by a passerby.

The defendants brought before the court for their involvement in this case were Anthony Walsh Sr. and Brian Walsh, their greyhounds being among the six found dead and having been left in the care of John Corkery. The prosecutor for the case was Jeremiah Anthony O’Sullivan. Both defendants were present in court with their counsel, however the prosecutor did not appear to be present at the proceedings.

The defendants were called before Judge Hamill and their counsel asked the court to strike out the hearing. It thus appears at this time that the charges have been withdrawn by State prosecution.

This is the second case in which the new Greyhound Welfare Act (GWA) has been applied in a court of law, both in regard to the quarry case. In the first instance, it was applied in April 2013 in relation to John Corkery from County Limerick, who was handed a judgment and fined €800 for violations of the GWA.

GRAI is very disappointed that charges have been withdrawn in relation to the Dublin case with no explanation offered and are seeking information as to why this has happened.

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Lynch
PR Officer
Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland

Greyhound found with ears hacked off

Greyhound found with ears hacked off

From BBC Northern Ireland:

There has been shock and revulsion after a greyhound had his ears hacked off before he was dumped on the side of the road in Newtownabbey on Monday evening.

George Anderson from the Mid Antrim Animal sanctuary says the greyhound had its ears cut off to remove identification tattoos which would have pinpointed the owner.

You may find some of the pictures in Martin Cassidy’s report upsetting.

Watch the BBC Northern Ireland report.

From Newtownabbey Times:

Newtownabbey police have issued an appeal for information following a sickening incident of animal cruelty during which a dog had its ears cut off.

Shortly before 8pm on Monday, June 24 police were called to the scene of a dog in distress on the Ballycraigy Road.

On arrival they discovered an ex-racing greyhound that had been abandoned. Its ears had been cut off to remove the birth and registration tattoos that allow greyhounds to be traced.

Police took the dog to Farmhill Vets in Carrick where it was treated for its injuries.

The dog is currently being looked after by staff at the Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary.

George Anderson, chair of the sanctuary, described the dog’s injuries as “absolutely horrendous.”

“I wouldn’t even call the people who did this animals – an animal wouldn’t be so cruel. They are the scum of the earth as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Mr Anderson said that when the dog’s injuries have healed the sanctuary will try to find him a new home.

Police officers investigating the incident have appealed for anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000.

Read the article on the Newtownabbey Times website.

GRAI Seeks Further Justice in Quarry Greyhounds Case

GRAI Seeks Further Justice in Quarry Greyhounds Case

Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland (GRAI) is currently seeking additional consideration for a recent and important case which involved six greyhounds found shot in the head and left unburied in an unused County Limerick quarry in April 2012. On Thursday, 25 April 2013, John Corkery from County Limerick was handed a judgement regarding his role in the grisly discovery. Charges were brought against him under two sections of the Greyhound Welfare Act (GWA), this case being the first time the GWA has been applied in a court of law and therefore a landmark case. Corkery was fined €500 and €300 under only sections 10 (2) and 24 (1b) of the GWA, these sections concerning failure to register a transfer of ownership of a greyhound and forgery of documents respectively. Other applicable sections were not considered.

GRAI, while noting the need to apply new laws

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with caution, finds this judgement to have fallen short of finding justice for the greyhounds due to the particularly blatant disregard for well established laws and rules concerning humane euthanisation, as well

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as making no effort to consider adoption programmes for these young and healthy greyhounds.This has been a failure to send a clear message to others who might engage in such practices. Moreover, Corkery’s refusal to reveal the identity of the person he hired to shoot the greyhounds in the head and leave the bodies exposed further flaunts his relative impunity.

GRAI calls upon the Irish Greyhound Board, the Irish Coursing Club, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Environment and any other relevant bodies to apply further sanctions against the individuals involved in this case. This should be pursued through all relevant means, in particular the greyhound industry’s own regulations and Code of Practice with regard to euthanisation and failure to report the death of a greyhound. Established EU agricultural and environmental laws regarding the disposal of animal carcasses, and from which Ireland is not exempt, have also been brazenly breached in this case, and Ireland cannot be seen to be ignoring them.
For further information please contact:
Andrea Lynch
PR Officer for GRAI

A Message from Greyhound Safe

A Message from Greyhound Safe

We have a real chance for “Action for a Real Change for Greyhounds”

On the 15th April Mrs Striffler, Member of European Parliament, along with 11 other signatories, submitted a Written Declaration 0006/2013 for putting an immediate stop to the torture and mistreatment of Greyhounds in Europe. Just 200 hundred words that can have a great impact on the lives of many greyhounds – this Written Declaration will lapse on 15th July 2013.

The Written Declaration clearly and simply highlights cruelties that Greyhounds endure, whether used for racing or for hunting, throughout Europe. Such cruelty that exists and is witnessed daily by rescues, advocates, and even the public.

The Declaration essentially calls on the Commission to use its power to ensure Welfare Acts are implemented AND enforced correctly and fully, and to recommend concrete actions to bring about an immediate stop on the acts of cruelty inflicted on Greyhounds – the suffering of Greyhounds cannot continue to be ignored.

If a majority of MEP’s support and sign the Written Declaration 0006/2013 there is a real chance of real change.

Greyhound Safe is calling for all GRAI followers/members to join the action needed – please follow this link for full information on how you can play a role in taking action for real:

Greyhound Safe

Greyhound Rescue Association Anticipates Justice for Executed Greyhounds

Greyhound Rescue Association Anticipates Justice for Executed Greyhounds

Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland (GRAI) anticipates justice for executed greyhounds at two upcoming court cases this week.

In April 2012, a walker exploring the woods near an abandoned quarry outside Limerick city came upon a gruesome discovery: an open and shallow grave of several dead greyhounds, at least some of which were found to be shot in the head. It is assumed that these were failed racing greyhounds, disposed of when they were no longer fast enough to race.

The walker notified Limerick Animal Welfare (a member of GRAI), who informed the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) and Garda of the discovery. Luckily, all registered racing greyhounds in Ireland have identifying tattoos in their ears which indicate their age and, more importantly, linked them to their registered owners. Due to the bodies being in various stages of decomposition, there were still some legible tattoos on a number of the dogs which identified their owners, and indicated that they were only 2 and 3 years old. GRAI believes thousands of racing greyhounds in Ireland face a similar fate when they are no longer useful for racing.

After a lengthy investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions, this case will be heard in Newcastle West, County Limerick on 25 April and Dublin on 26 April. It will be the first time a case has been brought before the court in an effort to apply the new greyhound welfare legislation introduced in Ireland in 2011 and therefore a landmark one. If found guilty through the Greyhound Welfare Act or other legislation, the persons responsible will be made to face the consequences of their actions.

As an organisation dedicated to promoting greyhounds as pets and representing many Irish greyhound rehoming groups, GRAI is appalled by this blatant disregard for life. Greyhounds are an especially affectionate, loyal and intelligent breed of dog, adopted as pets when their racing days are over by thousands of people annually worldwide.

GRAI is determined there will be justice for the “Quarry Greyhounds” and that it will serve as a warning to anyone with similar intentions in the future.

Anyone considering adopting a greyhound should visit GRAI’s website:
For further information please contact:
Andrea Lynch
PR Officer for GRAI

The Limerick Quarry Greyhounds One Year Later: An Update

The Limerick Quarry Greyhounds One Year Later: An Update

Last year in April 2012, a walker was exploring the woods near an abandoned quarry located approximately 40 kilometres outside of Limerick city when, alerted by her own dogs, she came upon a horrifying discovery – an open and shallow mass grave of dead greyhounds most of which appeared to be shot in the head It is assumed that these were failed racing greyhounds (identified by having tattoos in their ears) and that they were disposed of when they were no longer fast enough to race. Some were estimated to be between just 2-3 years of age.

Marion Fitzgibbon, a spokesperson for GRAI and founder of Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW) recounts that her organization was immediately notified of this grim discovery and they swiftly contacted the local Guards. However, the police were slow to act and only became involved when the press and various media outlets began to take interest in the story. Limerick Animal Welfare notified the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) of this discovery, who then sent a Stipendiary Steward to visit the site. Luckily, all registered racing greyhounds in Ireland have identifying tattoos in their ears which link them to their owners. Due to the fact that bodies found at the site were in various stages of decomposition, there were still some legible tattoos on a number of the dogs, which Limerick Animal Welfare were able to record when they first went to the site. In total, these tattoos were linked back to three different individuals. If proven guilty of disposing of the greyhounds in this way, then it is possible these individuals could be prosecuted under the new greyhound welfare legislation as well as other existing laws.

However, movement towards justice for the quarry greyhounds has been slow, despite the fact that new greyhound welfare legislation was introduced in Ireland in 2011 to protect racing greyhounds. Yes, the owners of the dogs found in the quarry are facing legal action, but because the wheels of justice in Ireland always turn rather slowly, it has taken nearly a year for the trial to come to court.

We have recently been in contact with reliable sources and have been informed that this case will be heard in County Limerick and Dublin on April 25th and 26th. This is the first case where the Greyhound Welfare Act is likely to be applied and the persons responsible made to face the consequences of their actions, only then will justice for the Limerick quarry greyhounds (and all greyhounds that have faced the same fate) no longer remain to be seen.

When Harry Met Kayla… and Molly!

When Harry Met Kayla… and Molly!

This lovely narrative, written by Conny Brandt, is a wonderful testimony of the value that Greyhounds bring to our lives each and every day. Additionally, this piece perfectly illustrates the fact that Greyhounds make wonderful family pets and can teach us important life lessons, if they are just given the chance. Andrea Lynch, PR Officer for GRAI.

When Harry Met Kayla… and Molly!

A Narrative by Connie Brandt

Kayla was one of the lucky ones. While her story is pretty “typical” for most greyhounds bred for racing in Ireland, she fortunately had a trainer who cared about her. When timing trials revealed that she was too slow to succeed on the racetrack, he took her to Dungarven Rescue in Co. Waterford so that she could be re-homed as a pet.

Next, meet Harry, who was picked up in quite poor condition as a stray. He had clearly been bred for racing and his ears are even tattooed, but there are no records of him ever taking part in a race. Obviously we can’t be sure but we think he simply did not have the right temperament for racing. If you took Harry to a racetrack, he would be delighted to meet all the hounds. As far as chasing the lure around the track, Harry would think it was a fun thing to do with the other dogs, but would have no real interest in being first across the finish line! Luckily, Harry was found by a kind couple from New Zealand who were on holiday in Ireland—they even took him to the vet, paid the bill and looked after him for the duration of their holiday. When the time came for them to go home, they took Harry to a rescue centre – Dungarven Rescue.

Being stretched for resources as most rescue centres are, Dungarven didn’t have enough kennel space to give each dog its own kennel, but they decided that two greyhounds would get on well together and they put Harry and Kayla in the same kennel. This turned out to be a match made in heaven as Harry, who was shy with people but loved other dogs, took a huge shine to Kayla.

[pullquote_right]In terms of personality, Kayla turned out to be a happy girl who loved cuddles and would try to climb our laps when we were sitting on the sofa.[/pullquote_right]Volunteers at Dungarven Rescue felt that the rehoming prospects for two greyhounds in Ireland were rather slim, so they arranged transport for the two dogs to Bristol, where they were destined for Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE), who listed Harry and Kayla on their website. Initially, the dogs were listed separately with a note to say that they would go well together – however, volunteers at GRWE decided that Harry benefitted so much from Kayla’s presence that they would only rehome them together.

About this time, my partner Stephen and I had lost our previous three dogs – a terrier-cross, a collie-cross and a lurcher, all rescues and in fairly close succession. We were looking for a pair of dogs to fill the void their absence had left in our home. Our last little pack had had a number of behavioural problems, not the least of which was fighting between two of them, so one of our priorities was to find two dogs who would get on well together. We wanted two dogs so that they could keep each other company, and because dogs who live with other dogs are generally more sociable. Harry and Kayla looked like they would fit the bill perfectly.

However, there was a complication – I was pregnant and GRWE were concerned that with the pressure of a having a baby it would be too much to take on two greyhounds. Determined to prove our worth, we submitted a letter outlining our experiences with our previous rescues, the dogs and their assorted problems, along with a letter of recommendation from a local RSPCA home-checker who knows us well. Thankfully, GRWE informed us that they were willing to consider us after all.

As a further complication, we found out at this stage that Harry and Kayla were kennelled in Dorset, in the South of England – we live in Merseyside in the North West. So, one snowy December morning, Stephen and I set off at 5 o’clock in the morning to drive to Dorset, to meet Harry and Kayla. We were to take part in an organised GRWE winter walk with our two prospective dogs. It took us just over 5 ½ hours of driving mostly quiet, partially icy roads, but we made it!

Harry and Kayla were lovely – Kayla was lively and enthusiastic, Harry more reserved, but both were friendly and we took to them straight away. Harry kept very close to Kayla for the entire walk and at times even walked while resting his chin on her back! Unfortunately, we could not take them with us. We had not had our home check yet and we were also going away to visit relatives over Christmas and New Year’s Eve and so would not be able to accommodate the dogs just yet.

Fortunately, our home check was successful and on 22nd January 2010, we set off for the South of England once again, this time to pick Harry and Kayla up and bring them back with us to their forever home. Harry and Kayla settled in very quickly. Both instantly recognised the purpose of sofas!

[pullquote_left]Harry and Kayla are a joy to take out, they are friendly, sociable and walk nicely on the lead.[/pullquote_left]It was both interesting and amusing that there were a number of things in our home that they had clearly never encountered before. The TV seemed to confuse and bemused them at first, and they had also obviously not encountered stairs before! For quite a while, they simply ignored this strange feature in our house. Then, one day when Stephen was upstairs, Kayla made a dash up, shortly after followed by Harry. Once they were upstairs, they realised that getting down was more tricky! Kayla appeared concerned, standing at the top of the stairs and looking down. Harry did what we soon learned was his response to most situations: he went for a lie down. Stephen eventually had to carry the dogs back downstairs. They attempted the stairs again later and soon got the hang of going both up and down. Another new experience was the pond in our back garden. It had a lot of plants and weeds in it at the time so it must have looked like solid ground to the dogs when they ran into the garden. Harry looked deeply indignant at finding himself suddenly in water up to his chest but Kayla thought it was great fun and made a beeline for the pond every time she went out after that!

In terms of personality, Kayla turned out to be a happy girl who loved cuddles and would try to climb our laps when we were sitting on the sofa. She greeted any visitors (and I mean any – whether they were our friends or just a random delivery man!) with great enthusiasm and was everyone’s friend. Harry was much quieter at first. He wasn’t a very waggy dog and we think he had been beaten as he was afraid of anyone carrying a stick. He also clearly preferred women to men. The one thing he really enjoyed was meeting other dogs, and he was fantastic with every dog we met, no matter how small or yappy they were. But, nothing got his tail wagging like meeting another greyhound and being able to say hello to one of his kind.

[pullquote_right]A number of people had told us that we were mad to adopt dogs when we had a baby on the way and that we were taking on too much. But if anything, I would say it helped to have the dogs around.[/pullquote_right]I had a good pregnancy and was able to pretty much keep going as normal. When I went overdue and the baby turned out to be in the wrong position, I was told I would have to go in for a C-section. So, come April 2010, I went into hospital where Molly was born on a Wednesday morning, came home on Saturday, and we took the dogs for a walk on Sunday, with Stephen pushing the pram! We had been advised by an acquaintance that we should let the dogs lick the baby’s feet when we first brought her home as this would help them accept her as one of the family. I have no idea whether this is true or not but we did let Harry and Kayla sniff and lick Molly’s feet, and they certainly have accepted her very well!

A number of people had told us that we were mad to adopt dogs when we had a baby on the way and that we were taking on too much. But if anything, I would say it helped to have the dogs around. Molly was a very colicky baby and would not settle in the evenings and she did not start to sleep through the night until she was ten months old. But no matter how tired or stressed out I felt, I always felt better after taking the dogs out. Getting some gentle exercise in fresh air and doing something that wasn’t focused on the baby was wonderful. Harry and Kayla are a joy to take out, they are friendly, sociable and walk nicely on the lead. They are also a very handsome pair and a lot of people will stop to comment on them, which is always really nice (on walks, we actually got more random compliments on the dogs than on the baby!). I am certain that Harry and Kayla saved me from slipping into post-natal depression.
Kayla turned out to be very maternal. She would look concerned if Molly cried (or even if we were out on a walk and she heard another baby cry) and she also liked to check Molly’s nappy to see if it needed changing. Harry wasn’t particularly paternal but he is a very gentle and tolerant dog and both Harry and Kayla are great with Molly.

When Harry Met Kayla and Molly 02From when she was a tiny baby, Molly demonstrated a great empathy with Harry and Kayla. If one of the dogs got hurt and yelped (which doesn’t take much), she would get upset and cry – but she could differentiate between a hurt yelp and a happy yelp. As she got older, she once pulled one of Kayla’s ears and made her squeak, which then really upset Molly and she hasn’t pulled any ears since. On the rare occasions when one of the dogs has barked at her, she actually looks like she knows she has been told off!

As Molly turned into a toddler, it was great to watch her interactions with the dogs. On a few occasions, I watched Kayla lying on the dining room floor, largely blocking the way, and Molly carefully inching her way past. Kayla clearly trusted Molly not to step on her, and Molly was ever so careful not to! A few times she has been bowled over when the dogs have rushed past her, which doesn’t take much as she is not very physical. However, she has learned to stand aside when we come home as she knows Harry and Kayla will be very excited to see us!

Molly is an only child and we think it is really valuable for her to have someone else around the house that she has to be considerate with, and she is turning out to be generally kind and gentle with people. Molly’s first ever word was ‘dede’, which we took to mean ‘daddy’ at first, however it turned out to be her word for ‘dog’! Staff members at Molly’s nursery have even told us that they have never seen a child who loves animals as much as Molly does, and that she often talks about her dogs.

Harry has really came out of his shell these days. Greeting other dogs in such a friendly manner usually had their owners patting and stroking him, and he learned that people generally are friendly and trustworthy. He is now just as “waggy” as Kayla. He is also no longer really reliant on her.

As for Kayla, she demonstrated quite an aptitude for agility at an event organised by our club and she now goes to a weekly agility class, which she clearly enjoys. After meeting quite a few small noisy dogs at both obedience and agility classes and after seeing Harry’s interactions with them, Kayla is also now a lot better with little dogs–she largely ignores them but is happy to say hello if one approaches her. She is still loves people and has an unfailingly sunny and happy temperament.

It is great fun and very interesting to watch Molly and Harry & Kayla together. We are adapting our routines and walks as Molly grows and her needs change to make sure that everyone gets what they need in terms of interaction, play and exercise. We could not imagine doing this without Harry and Kayla – they make our family complete!