UPDATE: Greyhound association declines prosecution in Arkansas dog case | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

UPDATE: Greyhound association declines prosecution in Arkansas dog case

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 5:36 PM

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Saving Greys, a blog that advances the greyhound protection work of Grey2KUA, has a new post with further details o  a greyhound rescue recently in Izard County.

Relying on a report fro the izard County sheriff, the blog reports that authorities took 140 dogs from a breeder and trainer in Izard County and found two dead. The blog indicates that the National Greyhound Association, a racing industry group that had alerted authorities to potentially mistreated dogs — and which took the dogs for care at their headquarters in Kansas — didn't want to prosecute the person who had custody of the dogs. 

Incredibly, three days later the NGA responded by telling the Sheriff's Office not to charge Vonderstrasse with animal neglect:

"He stated that he did not wish to pursue charges because he believed they 'got all they were going to get' from [name redacted]. [name redacted] also said he would not be willing to come to Izard County to testify in Court."

As outrageous as that admission is, the next revelation in the Incident Report is even more troubling:


"He also stated he did not want people knowing that he was not willing to do so."

The blog reports that the NGA is auctioning 23 of  the days, including a nine-year-old female.

UPDATE: The Greyhound Association issued a news release in response Thursday. It follows on the jump:

NGA PLEDGES COOPERATION TO ARKANSAS AUTHORITIES, BLASTS GREY2K AS 'WRONG AND HYPOCRITICAL'

The National Greyhound Association (NGA) has reaffirmed its pledge of cooperation to Arkansas law enforcement authorities if they choose to prosecute expelled breeder Shane Vonderstrasse.

On June 4, Vonderstrasse was expelled from greyhound racing for life by the NGA after 141 neglected greyhounds were evacuated from his facility by NGA officials and an officer of the Izard County Sheriff's Department in May. Under NGA bylaws, lifetime expulsion is the most severe penalty for serious animal welfare violations.

Responding to Grey2K spokesman Carey Theil's June 18 blog, which attacked the NGA for not pressing charges against Vonderstrasse, NGA Executive Director Gary Guccione accused the animal rights activist of ignoring the facts in an effort to score political points.

"The fact is that it's the county prosecutor's office who must file charges in cases like this," said Guccione. "NGA isn't a law enforcement agency, and we don't have police powers. We are not the owners of the greyhounds that were harmed. We have no legal standing to press charges."

Guccione continued, "Grey2K claims to care about saving greyhounds, but by attacking NGA for doing exactly that, Carey Theil has revealed the hypocrisy behind his organization's shiny public image."

Most of the evacuated greyhounds have been returned to their rightful owners or given to adoption groups. The remaining greyhounds will be offered for sale to NGA members at auction, in compliance with Kansas state law for transferring property subject to lien from the previous owners of record. Theil claimed in his June 18 blog that the auction was "a profit-making grab" by NGA.

"That's something else Carey got wrong," Guccione said. "Not only is the auction required under state law, but there won't be any profits. By the time this is all over, our organizations will have spent at least $14,000 to move these dogs to safety, provide care to get them healthy again, and then transport them to their ultimate destinations."

"I think that's about $13,999 more than Grey2K has ever spent to actually feed or care for a greyhound," the NGA exec concluded.

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