Going to the dogs

PUBLISHED: 16:17 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

SIR – I refer to your article in The Comet last week with relation to the Dog Protest at Henlow Greyhound Stadium. I admire the protesters for having the courage of their convictions and getting out there to make a stand and make a statement, but first

SIR - I refer to your article in The Comet last week with relation to the "Dog Protest" at Henlow Greyhound Stadium.

I admire the protesters for having the courage of their convictions and getting out there to make a stand and make a statement, but first they should know something about what they are protesting about.

I train and race these adorable dogs and let me firstly state that nobody, I repeat nobody, cares about their dogs as much as I do. I love them with an absolute passion. The greyhounds in my care - and in the care of the the majority of my fellow trainers - are treated extremely well. They want for nothing and that includes a kiss and a cuddle and a digestive biscuit before they retire for the evening.

All my dogs, when they retire, are found good and loving homes and are never put to sleep to make space. In fact Patch is eleven years old, has never had a race and is different from all the rest of his breed in as much that he is a nervous dog and does not like it in a home, but loves his kennel. If he is happy so am I.

Another fact that the well-meaning protesters should know is that the dogs absolutely adore racing and look forward to their turn to run on a race night.

Be aware that at Henlow especially, a lot of time and trouble is taken in preparing the running surface as the wellbeing of the dogs is paramount to us all. They could more easily injure themselves running across a lawn in a back garden.

I do however agree with the writer that I too believe there is too much over breeding and more should be done generally for the dogs in their retirement because he or she is quite correct in saying that they make wonderful pets and are beautiful docile dogs.

Should any of the protesters or the writer, want to adopt one of our lovely dogs, please do not hesitate to contact me. But only if you guarantee our dogs a long, happy and loving retirement.

PAUL ROBERTS

The Willows

Great North Road,

Stotfold

SIR - In reply to George Wallace why do you need to label those of us who care about the plight of the racing greyhound animal rights activists? Yes I do care about the 30,000 dogs a year who give their lives to the racing industry but no I am not violent or abusive. I leave that to the some of the racing fraternity supporters who use this method to justify this cruel sport.

ANTHEA FROST

Brewers Lodge

Pathsull

Shrops

SIR - Congratulations to the brave people who protested outside Henlow race track last week.

Bit by bit the public are becoming aware of the atrocities of the greyhound racing industry and have decided that it has to stop.

Ten thousand greyhounds are retired from the track in the UK every year. What do you think happens to them? They are only aged about four and have another good 10 years ahead of them. But alas, no, they do not ever see those years; they do not end up on someone's sofa or galloping joyfully along a beach. They are slaughtered for a tenner. Well done to you people who go to the dogs. You are condoning the breeding and culling of greyhounds in their hundreds of thousands. Good feeling is it?

Enjoy your evening. And the one you put your money on? Did he lose? Never mind, he's probably dead now. He will not hurt your pocket again.

W JORDAN

Cardiff

SIR - I read with interest the letter 'Support for dog protest' in The Comet last week. I have been a patron of the Greyhound track at Henlow for the past few years and have found their safety record to be one of the best in the country (Henlow's racing track has been recognised as the best in the country).

The future of dogs that retire from racing is not as bleak as it is made out to be. The Retired Greyhound trust has rehomed over 35,000 dogs through its 60 branches nationwide and there are also hundreds of independent greyhound rehoming organisations countrywide. I myself have rehomed greyhounds for a friend who trains them and also have three in my comfy living room. I would urge anyone who would like to adopt a loving gentle greyhound as a pet to contact their local Retired Greyhound Trust or local stadium. The email address is: greyhound@

ntlworld.com

MARK


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