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Kennel Hand Breaks Silence on What’s Happening to Dogs

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Kennel Hand Speaks Out as the ‘Greyhound’s Voice’: A kennel hand has spoken out in sheer frustration and has published his video diaries and photographs, cataloguing the appalling level of greyhound welfare deemed acceptable by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain.

The trainer’s refusal to accept his offers of help and the indifference shown to a series of complaints he made to officials regarding breaches of Racing Rules, eventually broke his silence.

Neil Haine, 40 from North Dorset, contacted Greyt Exploitations – a greyhound protection group – after the complaints he lodged with his Area Steward, Colin Betteridge, regarding greyhounds being kennelled in their own
excrement and urine soaked beds for three days at a time, without fresh water or any form of exercise – were ignored.

Eve Blanchard, a professional trainer attached to Poole stadium, employed Mr Haine from November 2008 until his departure on May 26th, where he felt he could no longer endure the conditions suffered by the 36 greyhounds at the
kennels.

Mr Haine said “I asked Colin Betteridge to come and witness the disgusting conditions of the kennels I faced every Tuesday morning but when he arrived with a GBGB official, Noel Thompson, it was after 1pm. Colin was fully
aware I finished at 1pm and therefore knew the kennels would be clean by this time.

Regardless, I pleaded with Colin to do ‘something’ but he insisted ‘kennels only need to be cleaned when deemed necessary’ – even if it meant breaking the rules”

“In an effort to try and help Mrs Blanchard reduce her kennel to a more manageable size, I spoke to a trainer Mrs Blanchard trusted, about her reluctance to re-home her retired dogs. Although it confirmed rumours, I was still shocked when the trainer told me ‘just give them sleeping tablets, 2 should do the job’ and then bury them
in her garden with the other 17 greyhounds”

Mr Haine continued “The more I tried to help, the more abusive and obstructive Mrs Blanchard became. She stopped me cleaning the kennels, voluntarily, from Saturday lunchtime until the following Tuesday morning and even stopped me from exercising the dogs, racing or retired. It was heartbreaking going into work on Tuesday mornings, seeing the filth the dogs had been locked up in all weekend. The squalor and the stench never failed to bring tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat”

“Mrs Blanchard refused to pay for the costly disposal of the old bedding and dog dirt, getting rid of it was becoming a problem and so the amount of waste had to be reduced. When I refused to just add a handful of clean bedding on top of the wet bedding, she then told me she wasn’t getting any more bedding and if I didn’t do as I was told, the dogs would have to sleep on bare boards. This was the final straw and with my wife’s support I knew we had to get help and quickly!”

In a heartfelt plea, Sue Haine concluded “You all need to stand united against this despicable treatment of these beautiful creatures. The GBGB are killing the sport by ignoring this terrible abuse. Please be a voice for the
greyhounds!!

Mrs Blanchard’s kennels were under the spotlight earlier this year when an undercover video of the kennels was posted on the internet and as a consequence the RSPCA were called in.

In January, Inspector Ken Snook, ordered a number of major structural improvements to be made. However, we spoke to Mr Snook on Monday last and he confirmed he had not been back to ensure those improvements had been carried out, preferring to phone the Greyhound Board of Great Britain and seek assurances from the very racing officials who had earlier dismissed the kennel hands concerns.

A spokesperson for Greyt Exploitations said “It is abundantly clear these greyhounds were needlessly suffering and the responsibility lay with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, in failing to enforce an Improvement Notice issued to Mrs Blanchard last November and have since consistently failed to secure the welfare needs of these innocent dogs.

The welfare of animals will always be compromised where there is a profit to be made and we are appealing to the public to refrain from supporting or betting on Greyhound Racing until such a time as the commercial element is removed”

52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Shelly

    June 3, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Kudos to Mr. Hain for having the courage to speak out.

    The greyhound racing industry has put a shroud of fear over people who hesitate to speak out about the terrible abuse. Even some of the damn adoption groups in the U.S. smile politely and say their position is “neutral” all the while knowing what goes on but for whatever stupid reason do not want to be in disfavor of the track and their spin artists.

    Britain has made great strides in their anti greyhound racing movement and incidents like these only make the ARs stance more concrete and believable.

    Again, Mr. Hain. Thank you. At least Mr. Hain will now be able to sleep at night knowing he did the right thing.

  2. Roberta Balfour

    June 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Well done Mr Hain. Other animals actually “speak” very eloquently. We just choose not to see it. As far as I can see, as soon as money comes into the equation, welfare of any sort goes straight out the window. And we have the gall to put ourselves above other animals!!*?

  3. Val

    June 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you to Neil and Susan Hain for coming forth with this gruesome evidence as to how these racing Greyhounds are treated. Eve Blanchard is nothing more than an outright animal abuser and it is an outrage as to why the GBGB hasn’t taken action and enforced their own rules of conduct!!

  4. Jackie Daltrey

    June 8, 2009 at 11:00 am

    What a total disgrace, GBGB exposed as a law unto itself with its own rules not even being adhered to, yet again the leaving the innocents suffering. This sickening money driven industry has shown yet again its total disregard for even the basic welfare issues. Bravo Neil and Susan Hain thank you for caring.

  5. Gillian Kaloyeropoulos

    June 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Grateful thanks to Neil & Sue Haine for exposing this ‘professional trainer ‘.

    The Greyhound Board of Great Britain state on their website that they spend more than a third of their annual budget on greyhound welfare. That is clearly insufficient if but only one trainer is able to get away with neglecting the dogs in their care.

    If the person conducting the inspection on behalf of the GBGB was informed that the time at which they would be confronted by the reality of the situation was in the morning, what possible reason, when their website states that they care “passionately” about greyhound welfare, could they have had for turning up after noon, when they knew that the evidence would have been cleaned up? Is the video evidence on the Greyt Exploitations website a reflection of the ‘strict minimum standards’ on welfare to which the GBGB refer on theirs? If so, I dread to imagine what kennels falling below their bench mark must be like!

    Finally, was RSPCA Inspector Ken Snook negligent or perhaps rather naive in trusting that the organisation responsible for the sport of licensed greyhound racing, a sport turning over 2.5 billion pounds annually, would make the welfare of this trainer’s 30 or so greyhounds its number one priority?

  6. Jean Snelling

    June 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    And Lord Lipsey Chairman of the RGB would have us believe all these dogs live the life of luxury and are all found good homes after they can no longer race – RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES! is what these poor dogs do – then they are finished off in whatever way is cheapest for their owners/trainers
    I applaud the courage of Neil and Sue Haines for speaking out about the appalling suffering of these dogs How many more thousands live in the same or even worse conditions?
    Come on the rest of you kennel hands and show the same courage as Neil and Sue and we may be able to put an end to this so-called sport!!!

  7. Susan

    June 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you all so much for your support. Neil and I intend to carry on fighting for these beautiful dogs until they are all safe and out of that hell hole.

  8. Di Hilsley

    June 9, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Firstly, well done Susan & Neil for reporting this. Such a terrible shame that the welfare people ( including the RSPCA !! ) have let everyone down. It is always heartbreaking when it is uncovered that animals are living in these condtitions . But I have to laugh that once again all the antis have come out and tarred everyone with the same brush and are again spouting off without knowing all of the facts .

    Norah McEllistrim is chairperson of the Greyhound Trainers Association and the following is part of her report …..
    ” On Monday 25th May, Bank Holiday Monday, I swept out and fed my own greyhounds before setting off to Eve’s. It was a hot day and probably not the best day to have chosen to do the journey. But I was determined to keep my promise to Eve, and to those greyhounds in her kennels that deserved a better standard of care, and a brighter future.
    Eve, like so many before her was trying to save the greyhounds in her kennels, but was overwhelmed by the physical and financial demands of caring for so many. That and the fact that she was betrayed and taken advantage of by those she trusted to care for them. I am not making excuses; having met Eve, having visited her kennels, I can only tell you the impression I came away with. Eve is very wary of everyone, she has been threatened, and accused of all manner of things, and she is scared for the safety of her greyhounds. Shame on those who participated in this witch- hunt, they should put their time to better use.
    Some seven hours later I returned to Hersham with 7 greyhounds. Not as many as I had hoped, but a start, and the first I hope of many who will make this journey. All the dogs were well fed and happy, and the one greyhound that needed it came with medication from the vet. ”

    As you will read all the greyhounds were in good health they just needed cleaner kennels and some more exercise.

    I am not defending Eve Blanchard in any way , there is no excuse for not looking after your animals properly, but to keep going on and on that the all greyhounds hate racing and that we are all the same is just rubbish .There are lots of owners and trainers who look after their greyhounds the way my trainer and I do . You only have to read certain greyhound forums to know that a lot of the racing fraternity are very unhappy / disgusted with this situation .

    FAO Jean Snelling : Lord Lipsey has not been involved with greyhounds for 6 months !! My racing greyhounds are kept in very good conditions, better than the majority of pets are kept !!! They are extremely happy and get really excited when they are taken to the track . When they retire they have a very good , comfortable home with me . and , believe me when I say I wouldn’t have my dogs kept in those condtions .

  9. Trudy Baker

    June 9, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I agree Di, if Sue and Neil hadn’t had the courage to speak for these innocent creatures – the cruelty and suffering would have continued and they must be applauded for risking reprisals from the racing industry for seeking protection for these and possibly many more greyhounds.

    Norah Mac’s report was in fact posted on the GTA website on June 4th – a day after a press release went out to the media exposing this disgraceful affair – talk about the industry covering their bottoms!

    Lets add the sections of the report you edited shall we Di….

    “In recent months there has been a lot of publicity concerning Eve Blanchard’s kennels, in Dorset. I will not go into details here; there is ample reading material available on the internet for those who wish to read it. Suffice to say that any adverse publicity is not good for greyhound racing, and as greyhound trainers we are all affected.
    As always, in situations such as these, all is not as it first appears, and it was only by speaking directly to the people involved that I could find out what had happened, what was being done, and how I could help.
    So, after literally hundreds of phone calls, and numerous face to face conversations, arrangements were put in place for me to travel to Eve’s kennels and bring some of the greyhounds there back with me to Hersham. Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare had already agreed to find room and care for them, and Eve had agreed to these arrangements.
    These greyhounds will adapt very quickly to their new surroundings, and new routine. With the help that is in place now, and has been for some time, Eve Blanchard’s kennels will also move forward. The rubbish, which had accumulated, has now been removed. As the kennel blocks are emptied they will be demolished to enlarge the outside areas for the dogs. Arrangements are underway to bring more greyhounds to Hersham. Mistakes are being rectified, shortcomings are being addressed, and lessons are being learnt”

    The unedited version doesn’t paint such a pretty picture does it?
    ‘recent months’, ‘adverse publicity’, ‘hundreds of phone calls’, removal of rubbish and demolition of kennel blocks.
    http://www.greyhoundtrainersassociation.co.uk/

    This problem should have been addressed months ago by GBGB officials, not left to a trainer in her spare time to deal with. Colin Betteridge and Noel Thompson are paid to do a job and they not only failed miserably but they failed these dogs miserably. Lets just remind ourselves how miserably they failed shall we
    http://greytexploitations.com/resources-and-reports/kennel-hand-speaks-out-as-the-greyhounds-voice

    F.A.O. Jean Snelling and Di Hisley – Lord Lipsey is now a paid consultant to the Greyhound Board of Great Britain who pay him an annual fee of £25,000. So I would say he is still very much involved in greyhound racing.

    • Di Hilsley

      June 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm

      Hello Trudy
      I hope you are well .

      I didn’t edit as such, I just , without thinking , quoted a piece I thought was relevant to show that something has , at last , been done .
      As for Lord Lipsey ,I personally wasn’t aware that he was ” still on the books ” but I doubt very much that had he even still been in charge he wouldn’t have done anything and reading the following link http://www.thedogs.co.uk/KeyPersonnel.aspx he isn’t mentioned at all , but let’s be honest this should have been dealt with pronto by the local steward .

      Once again I repeat myself by saying that the majority of greyhounds are treated as they should be with the greyhound being very well cared for and happy in it’s environment and it’s only the few that let the rest down, as in all walks of life , and I for one cannot abide any form of cruelty to any animal .

  10. Trudy Baker

    June 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Hello Di

    I have to tell you, this whole episode at times has made me quite ill. The frustration of seeing dogs in those disgusting conditions and unable to do much about it, has been soul destroying. The sleepless nights and worry over whether healthy greyhounds have been killed or dispose of in another way, has been heartbreaking.

    You may think, we as people who care more for the welfare of greyhounds than the welfare of this so called ‘sport’, are gloating over this exposure but believe me, I for one feel no sense of pleasure at all. The images continue to overwhelm me with sadness and Neil’s video and commentary will echo in my mind for as long as I live.

    In all honesty Di, you cannot claim ‘the majority of greyhounds are kept as they should be’. Have you physically seen all 1,350 licensed kennels in the country. There are 43 trainers attached to Poole – can you personally vouch for any of their kennels?

    http://www.thedogs.co.uk/trainers.aspx?trainerName=&trainerAddress=&trainerStadium=Poole

    How many kennels have you seen apart from your trainers?

    You accept there are ‘a few that let the rest down’. I believe it is far more than a few and the vast majority are kept in sub standard and some in worse conditions than Eve Blanchard’s. You only have to read the Rules of Racing to know the set standards of racing kennels are deplorable and
    fall far below those of other commercial kennels, licensed by the local authorities.

    If you genuinely care for greyhound welfare, you and other ‘good’ owners and trainers would support a campaign for statutory regulation of greyhound racing, which would eliminate the ‘few that let the rest down’ rather than support an industry who are funded by the bookmakers and who have never willingly increased their funding towards greyhound racing and who have never willingly improved welfare.

    Extra funding and improved welfare has and always will be forced upon them from external pressure.

  11. Susan

    June 20, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Hi Di, Unbelievable!!! I have kindly been sent posts from another site after I was banned for no reason, apart from speaking the truth. I am totally shocked that you of all people, said you heard the kennels were made to look like they did in the video and pictures. I now doubt if you even read Neils statement. The dogs were left from 1pm on saturday until Neils return on tuesday morning at 9am. In that time the dogs were neither cleaned out or indeed let out of their kennels! What did you think he did? took the pooh in himself tuesday morning. Come on Di, I think there are a few people that need to wake up and smell the coffee. We have recieved threats over the phone from 3 members of the forum. I have been nothing but truthful and polite on the forum. I did however highlight something about one of the members who had been banned from another sight because of dishonest dealings. I really don’t care what people think of Neil & I. We have had so much support from wonderful people who really do care about these beautiful creatures. I will see justice for these dogs, despite people in the industry hiding behind their forums, using despicable behaviour to protect the downfall of welfare in the industry. If that makes me an “Anti” then I am proud to be one. I can hold my head up high and keep my integrity.

  12. Di Hilsley

    June 21, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Whoa Susan …………….
    I reported what I had been told, they weren’t my views !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have seen the pictures and videos and read Neils statement and talked via PM to you and I have no reason not to believe you and I still support you .
    Unfortunately I wasn’t online when you were banned by Dave Smith so I don’t know the ” ins and outs ” .
    What have you done with your race dog ” Caloona Jack ” ??

    • Susan

      June 21, 2009 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Di, I thank you for your continuing support. I have been sent a lot of posts from GS that quite honestly have shocked me. For people to say that the photos and footage that Neil took was staged is just simply rediculous. This evidence of the way the dogs are being kept was taken purely because nobody was listening. Our concerns were always for the welfare of these dogs.
      Whatever Neil and I say it will always be seen as a vendetta against Eve as far as some people are concerned. If this is the only way they can justify this abuse, then I hope they can sleep at night. I can say that Neil has not been on any other sites making comments, simply because Neil never uses the computer! He can’t stand the things.
      The most important thing I wanted to answer you about is our beautiful boy Caloona Jack. This is hard for me, because the truth is, I don’t know!
      When Neil & I started with Eve last November she gave us Caloona Jack for all the support we gave her & hard work we had put in helping her get back on her feet. As I think you know, Jack was a non runner because he would not chase. We worked really hard with him, taking advice from Eve along the way, and as you know he rewarded us with his one and only win! We were so thrilled. I remember well the night at Poole , Eve and I were jumping up and down like a couple of kids. (happy days). It was about this time Eve decided not to let Neil exercise the dogs anymore, and stopped us working sundays & mondays. Which as Neil stated in his statement, meant the dogs were left from saturday to tuesday without being cleaned or let out of their kennels.
      The fact is that Jack was never put into our names, although Eve told us he had been. On the Tuesday morning Neil left Eve’s, she stood in front of Neil begging him not to leave. When Neil said he could no longer carry on because she refused to accept help etc, her leaving words to Neil were ” If you leave I will have Caloona Jack pts” To this day we do not know what has happened to him. We presume he is sat in his kennel like all the others that are left there. If you can maybe find out for us Di any information about Jack, or any other of the dogs, we would be so grateful.
      As you can see Di, Neil & I are really hurt by all the accusations that have been made against us. If people read back to last year, all we ever had were Eves best interests at heart. This whole episode has been a real lesson to me. It has taught me that people arn’t always what they seem, and in the future I certainly will not be so gulable or free with my kindness. I will however keep fighting for these beautiful dogs until I know they are all safe.
      For the people who have attacked Neil and myself, I feel they need to get a life, and maybe just look to the welfare of these dogs, and not the welfare of the industry.
      Susan

  13. dave smith

    June 21, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I am the admin of the forum greyhoundscene,i myself own a number of racers in syndication,i also hold a trainers licence with one current racer,i have responsibly homed dogs for myself and others for over 20 years,i am not realy interested in the betting side,for me its the thrill of winning,seeing my dogs perform well,whenever i here of anything that causes concern(which is not too often)i do bring it to the attention of our own authoritys.
    One thing the anti racing factions fail to understand is that anyone who does not do right by their dogs is frowned upon by the masses in our community,most of us are nothing like the picture that is painted by some anti racing hardliners,i believe sue to be a decent woman who had the best of intentions,however her husband has turned it into a vendetta against an elderly woman.
    The gbgb do act on information recieved,but sadly the only thing that would satisfy the antis is if greyhound racing were to stop.

    • Trudy Baker

      June 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Dave
      Its all very well frowning when trainers or owners are proven to be cruel to their dogs but this does nothing to either improve the welfare for those dogs or the image of your ‘sport’.

      Neil did exactly as you would have done in this situation and reported it to the GBGB, who did nothing except claim ‘kennels only need to be cleaned when deemed necessary’ – a complete breach of racing rules.

      This is not a vendetta against an elderly woman, although I am sure this is what the GBGB will be saying in their defence. If it had been another trainer or owner, we would be hearing ‘Its a vendetta against someone with personal or health problems or someone who has fallen on hard times”. The list of excuses is endless but nothing can excuse the failure of the racing industry to either enforce its authority or help this woman, knowing greyhounds were confined to these disgusting conditions.

      The industry sanctioned these conditions and in doing so, sanctioned the breaking of not only animal welfare law but also environmental law – this is the reality of the situation. Not a vendetta but an exposure of an industry which fails to implement racing rules, UK and EU law in order to protect its profits..

  14. Mr.B.Scase

    June 21, 2009 at 11:10 am

    susan you say people should wake up and smell the coffee but what i cannot understand is why did neil not check on the said dogs insted of waiting with a camera until tuesday morning surly his concerns about dog welfare should have been paramount it has been said that the gbgb did nothing but i can asure you that they did

    • Trudy Baker

      June 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm

      Brian
      We keep hearing the GBGB ‘did something’
      What exactly did the GBGB do and what exactly are the GBGB doing now?

  15. Mick Livesey

    June 21, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I think there are many people on this website that should be very ashamed of themselves the way this old lady as been treated it disgraceful. Shame on you Trudy for allowing a witch hunt on your site!

    Its really crazy if you dont agree with someone it does not mean you dont care, i care very much for the welfare of greyhounds i just dont agree with this sue and neil and the way they have gone about things. I think things have been made to look worse and facts have been distorted and collectively tried their very best to make it sound and look far worse than it was. I think the lady needed help not all of this and i hear all of this as made her unwell i put this to you if this lady dies as a result of this terrible attack that puts you Sue, Neil and Trudy no better than guilty of murder just if you had got a knife and stabbed her in cold blood! lets hope she gets better and you lot turn it in.

    Greyhound racing is not perfect far from it and no sport or industry is but the vast majority of people care very much and this industry as made giant strides in the last 20 years and were not there yet but we will keep striving to make sure we keep improving. Driving a wedge in between the sport and groups like yours serves no purpose what so ever we need to all work together and pull in the same direction so the winner here is the “Greyhound” you have used a poor old lady as a weapon to attack the industry with and for that you should be ashamed what about the welfare of this old lady ?

    I believe that neil and sue in my opinion have not been 100% truthful eh thats my opinion and we live in a free country. When the truth comes out eventually if it ever does be interesting to see your reaction Trudy.

    The sad fact in all this is even though it hurts me to say it we need people like Trudy (you wont ever get this sport banned but you will improve it) but what you must understand Trudy is that you also need us. Together and only when we are together will we really make a differance for our beloved “Greyhound” i doubt if it was for like people like Trudy we would as an industry have made such huge improvements in terms of welfare but when people need help Trudy like Eve why attack and attack i really fear for her health. The GBGB investigated (total lies that they did nothing) and from what i can gather the best course of action was to keep Eve licensed and help her within if they stopped her license she was no longer part of the sport so they could have done nothing. That was a sensible idea i think and it took so long to help Eve because of the damage people like Sue and Neil had done to her she could not trust anyone so really Sue and Neil contributed in the stalling of this all sorry business.

    Wishing you all the very best (apart from sue and neil of course LOL )

    Mick

    • Trudy Baker

      June 22, 2009 at 11:29 am

      Mick
      I hate to debate this at a personal level but this ‘old lady’ has had many offers of help from people within the industry, which Mrs Blanchard refused.

      Regardless of anything else that has been reported or said, this ‘old lady’ preferred to refuse the help she clearly needed and watched her dogs suffer.

      Regardless of hearsay, this ‘old lady’ lives in a Grade 1 listed property with over an acre of land – but still, she chose to confine the dogs in her ‘care’ to virtual imprisonment for years.

      I feel no shame for exposing this Mick, the ultimate responsibility lay with the two GBGB officials who – well aware of the neglect and sheer cruelty – chose to do nothing about it and further informed the RSPCA there were no welfare issues and as a consequence the dogs continued to suffer.

      It was only because every other channel had been exhausted, this disgraceful situation was made public, so please don’t lay the blame on either me, Sue or Neil for whatever damage this has caused your ‘sport’.

      The GBGB, fully aware of Mrs Blanchard’s resistance to re-home her dogs, would not give her a Welfare Grant to renew her roof until she had reduced her kennel stock. Mrs Blanchard’s solution was to have 12 healthy greyhounds killed.

      Greyhound protection groups worked solidly for over a week, contacting every vet in Dorset and the Swindon and Poole track vets, advising them if any greyhounds were bought in to be euthanased, retirement homes were available. It was only then did Mrs Blanchard agree to hand over some of the dogs to Norah Mac.

      I make no apologies for showing no compassion for a woman who refused all offers of help and chose to keep dogs confined in these conditions for years on end.
      http://s428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Greytexploitations/Dorset%20Kennels/?action=view&current=14.jpg

      Open Day – a Derby finalist – hadn’t raced since 2004 and has been locked up in these kennels since. He was one of the dogs on Mrs Blanchard’s list to be euthanased and we really fear for him as he wasn’t one of the dogs Norah Mac has managed to rescue.

      These are facts Mick – how can you possibly say she ‘loves her dogs’ when she treats them like this?

      This has been going on for years, its nothing to do with her not being able to trust anyone and there is nothing I have heard that will not prevent it happening again and again.

      Had they revoked her license, the RSPCA would have had to go in and seize the dogs – very similar to the Freeman case.
      http://greytexploitations.com/resources-and-reports/concentration-camp-kennels

      As regards your remark about banning commercial greyhound racing – Its something that very rarely crosses my mind.

      Its not about winning or losing – I do what I do because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

      ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ – Edmund Burke.

      Please look at the wider picture Mick and don’t make this a personal issue of a ‘witch hunt’.

      For just one minute, detach yourself from the industry, imagine Eve Blanchard is not a licensed trainer and these dogs were not racing greyhounds, look at the facts and ask yourself – what justifies this cruelty?

      • donna scase

        June 22, 2009 at 9:00 pm

        trudy baker, were you aware that the rspca and stewards of the gbgb were and have always been working together on this case.

        • Trudy Baker

          June 23, 2009 at 9:58 am

          Donna
          I know the GBGB and the RSPCA were in communication – whether they were actually ‘working’ on this is another question.

          Regardless, their efforts did nothing more than to perpetuate the misery for these dogs whilst they watched the situation deteriorate.

          The only person that has done anything of real value is Norah Mac – a trainer in her spare time – whilst the GBGB sat on their fat salaries, wallowing in the ‘law unto themselves’ attitude of self regulation.

          • donna scase

            June 23, 2009 at 9:37 pm

            trudy baker,

            the GBGB and the RSPCA the local steward were all working in helping the lady and still are to this day .
            in my local paper the RSPCA were asking for donations because of dogs, cats and other pets which were being disgaurded by so called pet lovers some had broken bones the RSPCA are in league with the anti brigade so perhaps they deserve to lose monthly donations , i would give to the RSPCA until i found out how anti anti greyhound and racing they are .

  16. Mick Livesey

    June 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    why have the above words “Speak your mind” when someone does you dont allow the post. These sites in all honesty only ever really reflect what you want them to say! if people dont agree and have equally strong views in the other direction you choose to not allow their posts. Its nice to see you offer balance its shameful really is

  17. Ryan O'Meara

    June 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    ALL posts go in to a moderation system and the only ones that are not allowed to go through are ones which are spam, libel or contain bad language. So to claim a site is ‘shameful’ because it doesn’t automatically publish YOUR comments the instant you want them to be published is displaying the sort of hissy fit more appropriate for a 5-year old child. I would like to offer you a large dose of salt and vinegar to go with the huge chip on your shoulder. ‘These sites’ offer the opinion expressed by all. It’s just that most people realise they may have to wait upwards of 24 hours for their comments to be reviewed and approved by a human editor so as to avoid comments being allowed in to the public domain that contain swearing, libel or worse. So, with that said, ‘it’s nice to see’ you throw a fit because there’s not someone on hand at your beck and call to approve your comment on a Sunday afternoon.

    • Mick Livesey

      June 22, 2009 at 10:12 am

      Tut Tut Ryan you did not go out did you LOL im used to having freedom of speech on the number one site on the internet greyhound scene. This may come has a shock to you Ryan but your treated like an adult on there and nobody reads your comments before allowing them to go live. Maybe if you treated people like adults and not five year olds you could stop the hissy fitting sessions LOL

      I appreciate the salt and vinegar but make it plenty because this is not a chip you see on my shoulder but a huge bag of king edwards. The bags got bigger and bigger over the years having to listen to people like yourself and ANTIS in general who take great pleasure in telling people what they can do in their lives.

      • Ryan O'Meara

        June 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm

        Oh dear. Hissy fits seem to be a forte. What gets published here is screened, that’s called professionalism. It prevents people being libelled and prevents the place being filled up by spam. What’s actually happened here is you threw your teddy out of the pram and stamped your feet because your comments didn’t go through the second you wanted them to (nobody’s comments go through without human review, you will find sites that do NOT operate this policy end up in a mess, unless they simply don’t have the interest in the first place) and when they eventually did go through you realised you’d embarrassed yourself. I don’t tell people what they can and can’t do in their lives but I’ll happily call a spade a spade when it comes to people who support the abuse of animals. Got no problem on that front. And if they don’t like it, well that’s free speech for you.

  18. Susan

    June 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I am sad to say my family recieved yet another phone call this morning, threating to kill us and “bury us in the ground with the greyhounds”. If we do not with draw the footage of Eve Blanchards kennels. If people do want to call us, please do not take the cowardly approach and with hold your number. This call was particularly nasty. We think we know who it was, he has a very distinctive voice, and we have recieved threats from this person before.
    This subject is not about violence or bad language. Surely it is about better welfare for these beautiful dogs.
    The many hundreds of E mails and phone calls we have had in support of raising these issues keeps us going forward to stop this cruelty. The cowards, we brush under the carpet, just like they do welfare for greyhounds.

    • donna scase

      June 22, 2009 at 8:58 pm

      susan, why is it you didnt answer my husbands posting but got another person to answer it , i cannot understand why you or your husband didnt check on those dogs when you had concerns for them . my husband would have liked to have asked but is unavailable at the moment .

      • Susan

        June 23, 2009 at 11:08 am

        I don’t think I did get anyone else to answer the question. I can’t see an answer, only a statement from Trudy.
        I would have thought it obvious why the dogs were not checked between saturday 1pm and tuesday 9.am if you had read the statement from Neil. I will explain.Eve decided she did not want anyone in the kennels between these times. Neil and I used to go to the kennels at the weekend to clean them out in our own time,(free of charge) so the dogs were not left over the weekend.
        When Eve decided the dogs did not need cleaning out over the weekend of course we had no say in the matter. Eve’s kennels are behind her private house, and we could not possibly get into locked kennels, through a locked private house without breaking the law. Now I know that many people in the industry are not adverse to breaking the law, but Neil and myself do not make a habit of it.
        I have come to the conclusion that whatever we say regarding this dreadful situation at these kennels, it will always be twisted to try and make the industry look better, and Neil and myself look bad. At the end of the day as I keep stateing, We can be threatened, shouted at and bad mouthed. It does not change the fact that these dogs welfare is disgusting. Nothing was made to look bad, no lies were told. The evidence is there for all to see.
        If it makes you all feel better to brush it under the carpet, that is your choice. My choice is to make sure these dogs get out of this hell hole.

        • donna scase

          June 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

          susan,
          can you please tell me how come the dogs feet were so clean with all the mess on the kennel floors also it looks to me as though the dogs had clean drinking water for dogs that hadn’t been looked after for 4 days seems a bit unbeliveable don’t you think and as for threats to you and neil i have never and will never make any .

  19. Mick Livesey

    June 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Ryan im not embarrassed at all and for you to say sites that dont operate this method end up in a mess or there simply is not the interest. Greyhound Scene as over 6,000 members and there are thousands of posts on there. They seem to do ok without screening or censorship that really is FREE SPEECH.

    Sue why tell everyone you have been threatened again if this is true dont bother writing about it go to the police. All your doing is trying to draw further sympathy and using alarmist tactics. You may pull the wool over other peoples eyes but im not fooled.

    Evening Trudy

    i can see your point if im totally honest but also the same could be said about yourself maybe we all need to step back and look at the ACTUALLY FACTS. Im led to believe this is a set up to make the situation look a lot worse. (not for one minute suggesting that this lady did not need help she did) The photo’s show two sides disgusting kennels and that makes me sick but when you examine the photos this does not ring true. The dogs feet and legs are clean this id say was impossible in those disgusting conditions and also the water bowls and the actual water its clean! surely if left for the time periods mentioned there would not be any water left let alone it be clean.

    I actually respect and admire you Trudy we both sit completely on opposite sides of the fence but share a comon goal welfare does need to be better. I wish we had someone with your drive and skill at actually pushing and promoting the sport. Your a very talented lady and while the greyhound world sits divided you have built on your support.

    • Trudy Baker

      June 23, 2009 at 10:13 am

      Mick
      I don’t know about your dogs but mine are clean. They skinny dip in the sea, rivers and muddy ponds. On occasions they accidentally pee on each other when competing to scent a bit of grass or the corner of a building but they groom themselves and I very rarely have to shower them.

      I should imagine there is very little to do whilst confined to a kennel for the best part of 72 hours and grooming yourself must be top of the agenda, hence their cleanliness.

      I obviously cant comment on the water but I have no reason to believe Neil has lied.

  20. Ryan O'Meara

    June 23, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I do so hope you’re not attempting to compare a FORUM with a news-based website? I had (maybe mistakenly) given you more credit than that.

    OK, just checked to see what GreyhoundScene is. It’s a forum!!

    Oh dear. You are seriously trying to make a comparison between a forum and a content, article driven website of a magazine?

    OK, here’s the challenge. Please go to The Times, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph etc and see if you can get your comments under their articles without them being editor reviewed.

    The nature of a FORUM is for exchanges between users. I know, I run one with over 10,000 members – a completely unmoderated one. But, as it appears to have escaped your attention, THIS isn’t a forum.

    Dear oh dear.

  21. Mick Livesey

    June 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Trudy i can 100% welcome to see any of my dogs at anytime i think you will find them in brilliant condition. My dogs only compete in the top spectre of greyhound racing and we run in the open races and competitions.

    They are massaged, rubbed down and groomed for at least 30 minutes each day including very careful attention to their feet. Galloped and walked or in the past also swimming.

    there diet for example

    Breakfast

    Cereal weetabix or shreeded wheat (not cornflakes because a greyhound cant digest them), scrambled egg, sardines in olive oil, Vitamin E and calcium, powdered milk with vitamin A and D

    Main meal

    Best human consumption beef or chicken from a butchers at least 1lb (sometimes fish), pasta and rice (basmati) green veg and stock with multi vitamin feramo on top

    also they are checked before every run and also after as well as daily contact and blood testing we leave no stone unturned.

    We believe the secret to training a dog is to stimulate both mentally and physical and actually have detailed training programs including peaks and troughs. We try and see things through a greyhounds eyes. The ratio my dogs are in are 2 humans and 5 dogs. There is someone with them or on hand 24 hours a day and i will be honest with you they get the very best, are treated the very best so they can come out and show their best on the track.

    I have a cuboard full of trophies and im very proud any dog im connected with we always want to look better than the opposition and if we do and lose im still proud.

    So much effort and money is put into getting it right it hurts me when you get judged by others, they are in fantastic physical and mental condition and want for nothing.

    • Trudy Baker

      June 24, 2009 at 10:17 am

      Nobody is judging you Mick – what we are judging are the GBGB officials who sanctioned these disgusting kennels bringing into question the condition of other kennels which are under their jurisdiction.

      I still haven’t heard exactly what the GBGB did to address this situation or what they are doing now.

      If anyone is questioning yours or other kennels or you feel you are being wrongly judged or tarred with the same brush – then you only have the GBGB to blame.

  22. falco

    August 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve got a rescue greyhound and have read many articles about their fates when they are no longer of use to their owners.
    My conclusion is that racing needs to be ended.
    My reason for finally deciding this is that the racing industry think, feel that greyhounds are expendable.

    To allow a section of society to have this attitude is very negative and this type of person is generally harsh, violent and cannot empathise. I’d say those type of people are antisocial.

    • Di Hilsley

      August 31, 2009 at 9:15 am

      Falco.
      I race greyhounds so I would assume you catergorise me as the ” racing industry ” . Sorry to dissapoint you but the welfare of my greyhounds is priority and when they retire they always have a home with me and I would have it no other way . If you knew people in the racing industry you would understand that apart from being very social ( and certainly not violent!! ) they do love their greyhounds. As in life there are always a small minority that let everyone else down .. football being a prime example. The biggest problem greyhound racing has is that it is only the downside that is ever reported.
      Di
      ps. get another greyhound as they like company LOL !!!

      • falco

        August 31, 2009 at 1:38 pm

        Hullo. I hear that there are some owners who take responsibility for thei racing greyhounds but it must be fairly rare.
        over 15,000 greyhounds bred for the British dog racing industry are put to death every year for being considered not good enough for racing or when their careers are over through age or injury.
        Thousands of pups killed before they even reach the tracks because they dont come up to the required standard.
        This means that the existence of EACH of britains major greyhound stadiums is responsible , on average, for the slaughter of over 500 dogs bred for racing.
        Greyhounds running on British tracks sustain thousands of injuries every year, many of them serious, and 10% of dogs that race do so while already injured.
        There is also the frequent use of drugs before races for which there is no defence.
        In recent years, national media has exposed the wholesale slaughter of ex-racing dogs and several mass graves containing the bodies of shot greyhounds have been discovered in various parts of the country.
        My greyhound sustained a broken left hind toe racing. I ask myself what the industry expects when the bends are sharp and the pressure on 2 small toes is massive (twice his weight plus). When I got him the toe became infected due to a piece of bone inside not receiving blood supply. Toe was amputated and now the toe next to that previous one is dislocated. He was unable to take a second cast due to pressure sores so now he wears a special boot to protect that toe. If anything should happen to that toe his leg would have to be amputated.
        Who pays for this? Not the person who raced him. The cost in further suffering and fear for the dog; due in great part to the way the injury was treated which was clearly violent, frightening and very painful. And financially., So there may be some owners who are ok but due to the numbers picked up by pounds and needing rehoming it can’t be many.
        I also have a rescue lurcher so cannot afford another greyhound. Certainly would if I could.
        It is fact that all the hot spots for dumped greyhounds is wherethere are racing tracks.

        • Di Hilsley

          September 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

          I’m sorry Falco but your reply reads like you have copied it from an anti greyhound web site. It is not ‘fairly rare’ for owners to look after their dogs whether it be taking their dog home themselves or finding a good home for it, there are more owners that do this than don’t. Injuries to greyhounds don’t just happen at tracks, 2 of my retired ones got injured by flying full speed around my garden . Out in the fields my retired ones run round and round in circles that are tighter than tracks are !!!
          I have never heard about any greyhounds being dumped near my track and my trainer would never ever abandon any of her greyhounds even if she doesn’t own them herself.
          There is no doubt that the industry needs to tighten up it’s rules but it is unfair on the very many good owners and trainers for people to keep harping on that all greyhounds are mistreated.
          I for one don’t like to see any animal mistreated and and it’s the people who do mistreat their animals that need to be sorted out not the good caring ones.
          Di

  23. Susan

    September 21, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Well, Well, Eve Blanchard is still racing! Kennels going down hill again fast, and what has happened to the rest of the dogs??? MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm seems to me like the heat is off, so Blanchard is happy again.

    • Di Hilsley

      September 25, 2009 at 6:17 pm

      Susan
      What do you mean by the kennels are going down fast again ? Have you been there ? Tell us more ……

      • Susan

        September 28, 2009 at 8:52 pm

        Why not go yourself Di and see what is going on at the kennels? You seem to be able to comment with some authority that things are now ok, so you tell me. On the other hand I KNOW that all is not well at Blanchards kennels. Of course I have not been myself, not sure she would welcome me with open arms, but I do know someone who has.Obviously the general public are keeping a more careful eye on her than the gbgb! One thing I do know is that Caloona Jack has been rescued from that hell hole & is now at Hersham Hounds. May he have a long and happy life, bless him. for the record he is the one they are calling Jake. Wonder what has happened to the old retired dogs? guess we will never know. Probably still shut in the kennel bloke that is out of commision!!?? That is empty. Funny that lots of barking still coming from those wet damp kennels. Maybe just ghosts!!!!! Out of sight out of mind as far as the gbgb is concerned. I am not holding my breath about anything happening to help these dogs or indeed to stop this evil woman racing, but I do believe in Karma and Karma can be a real Bitch!!!

        • Di Hilsley

          October 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm

          Susan
          Firstly, I find your attitude towards me very harsh and unnecessary !!

          My question was ” how do you know ? “…
          Someone else has been spouting off that they have been to Eves kennels and apparantly Eve was asked about it and she said that no one had been there ?????

          I am very pleased to hear about Caloona Jack .

          • Susan

            October 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm

            I am sorry if I seem harsh Di, but everyone seems to brush this under the carpet and carry on like nothing has been, or is wrong.
            Why on earth would Blanchard be truthful when all along she has managed to hoodwink everyone with her lies!
            Having said that, it is your sport you are allowing to be brought down by making people like her welcome at race nights at Poole! But then I suppose in your eyes and others she is in a minority, so it is ok! I just thank God that we as a family are no longer involved in such a sport, or indeed the type of people that willingly allow or even welcome the minority to treat precious animals as they do.
            Again I say to you Di, go to Blanchards kennels yourself and see if you can find happy, clean dogs! But maybe I would be proved right. I don’t think that is harsh, just reality that you choose to close your eyes to!

          • Susan

            November 2, 2009 at 6:07 pm

            You have obviously decided this one is a bit hard to answer Di!

          • Di Hilsley

            November 10, 2009 at 9:52 pm

            Susan
            I checked for your reply every day for 2 weeks and there wasn’t one ,I’m so sorry that I haven’t looked again and seen that you did finally reply after 25 days and then 4 days later you write a very cocky remark … shame on you , it makes me think you have gone ga ga, too much dallying with the anti’s is obviously not good for you !!!!!!!. My work and my retired greyhounds take the majority of my time up which means I have very little time to investigate other trainers kennels . However I haven’t seen a ‘manky’ dog in any of the races recently and Eve has had quite a few winners lately and we always say that only happy dogs win races, so I can only assume that Eve has upped her game. I will leave it to you and your new found anti friends to continue your witch hunt. I have retired one of my dogs and he has just come home to me and he is absolutely gleaming, his tail wags, a little apprehensive of his new surroundings which is to be expected but no signs of distress whatsoever from having had 140 races !!!!!

            Di

  24. Susan

    November 11, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Hi Di, So sorry if my reply was not quick enough, but believe it or not this subject is not top of my list in my life. Firstly we as a family have no contact with anti’s as you call them or anything else to do with greyhounds. We have a much nicer life with our animals that are loved and cared for. Also I was e mailed to say that my messaage had been replyed to. maybe you don’t have that notification.
    You say you don’t have time to investigate other trainers kennels, well how the hell can you comment on them then??? It really makes me laugh that all the people sticking up for Eve, are the people that have never seen her kennels! As for a witch hunt, I feel most offended by this comment. Eve Blanchard is far to evil to be accepted as a witch! the one and only rule in the wiccan world is, ” Harm none, do what thou will” Hardly something that Eve Blanchard could put her name to, respect for all living things! I don’t think so.
    I am sure your newly retired dog is very happy with you, he has been with a good trainer and well looked after, as he will be with you now for the rest of his life.I hope you get many years of happiness from him.
    If you are referring to Trudy as an anti, I can assure you she is not, she just wants better welfare for Greyhounds, who can blame her for that. I have the greatest of respect for Trudy and wish her well with her campaign, but I am not involved with it as I simply don’t have the time. Be very careful Di before you accuse people of doing things they have not done or said, or you may find yourself in court just like Eve Blanchard!

  25. Di Hilsley

    November 12, 2009 at 12:28 am

    I think we will put this to bed as your attitude has changed beyond belief to when I first had dealings with you on Greyhound scene when you were pro racing. As for threatening me with court action, you are taking things a little too far and are way out of your depth which is why I wish you well and will have no further comment to make on this subject .
    Di

    • Susan

      December 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm

      putting the subject to bed I’m sure would please a lot of people down at Poole. Fact of the matter is, we seem to have a pattern forming here. If you look back a year ago and the year before that Blanchard had a few wins after reports of cruelty were made, Then she started to lose dogs on the track etc etc. Same again this year a few wins and now starting to lose dogs. Another new dog has appeared from Ireland I see this week as an A2 dog. It will be interesting to follow this poor dogs career with Blanchard. We will see. I hope I’m proved wrong, but I can see it all being exposed again, about may time I would imagine.

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