How many more of the dogs must die?
Posted on July 20, 2006
Dog lover Nina Cole has called for a public outcry over the merciless killing of greyhounds when they can no longer compete with younger animals on racing tracks.
She says pet owners must protest to their MPs at the horrors revealed in a national newspaper report about a Durham man alleged to have killed thousands of retired greyhounds with a boltgun and buried them in his yard.
"People I talk to in greyhound rescue charities tell me this is going on all over the country," said Mrs Cole, 50, who runs a pet-sitting service from her home in Cantilupe Close, Eaton Bray. "Nothing will change unless people pick up their pens and lodge a complaint."
Mrs Cole, who has been nominated with her husband Doug for a business award, said: "What is going on is appalling. I have protested to Parliament on numerous occasions about this cruelty but I am just one person. It needs many voices to make a difference."
The RSPCA says about 12,000 greyhounds a year disappear, unaccounted for, in the UK - victims of the £2.5 billion-a-year dog track betting industry.
Unscrupulous breeders often pass their dogs on to contacts who promise to find them homes - but do not want to know what happens to the animals.
Many dogs end their days in the hands of people like the Durham man exposed by the Sunday Times, who admitted to dispatching them with a bolt gun at £10 a time.
An animal welfare bill, expected to become law in the next 12 months, is likely to state that unwanted greyhounds should be "euthanised humanely by the intravenous injection of a suitable drug administrered under the direct supervision of a veterinary surgeon".
To spare them such a fate, Mrs Cole and her husband Doug have featured a greyhound appeal section on their website for the past year.
They aim to persuade visitors that greyhounds make very good pets and can be successfully re-homed when they are discarded because they no longer make money for race breeders.
They direct interested people to the RSPCA animal re-homing centre at Blackberry Farm, Aylesbury.
The dogs function quite happily with good walks twice a day, she said, and in a loving home turn into affectionate "couch potatoes".
The Coles entered Nina's Nannies for Pets for the Barclays Trading Places business awards which recognise men and women who have battled against adversity to change their lives.
They have reached the semi-finals and hope to go on and scoop the top prize worth £14,000 in September.
The couple started in the business after peronal setbacks in 1998. Mr Cole was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and, three months later Mrs Cole, an office worker, suffered a brain haemorrhage and, although she returned to work, she was made redundant.
She used a modest redundancy payment to buy a computer and started to advertise her services as a dog walker.
The Coles and a team of sitters now offer a seven-day, 24-hour service that covers dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, mice and reptiles, and extends to house maintenance and security.
The business operates across several counties, and can be contacted on 01525 220732. For more information on the greyhounds appeal, visit the website ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk.
Source: Dunstable Gazette, 19 July 2006
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