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Speak out against Greyhound Mascots

November 28, 2009

Reposted from the GREY2K Facebook page:

<<<GREY2K USA shares the concerns of those working to prevent the acquisition of two greyhounds as mascots for Eastern New Mexico University. Unlike other mascot programs, the ENMU proposal calls for the dogs to be kept locked up in a warehouse, and there are no plans to home the dogs either with alumni or with responsible students during the school year (or otherwise).

Please read below for more information and send an e-mail to university officials today. The dogs are scheduled to be brought to the campus warehouse next week.

President Steven.Gamble@enmu.edu
Vice President Ronnie.Birdsong@enmu.edu

Let’s convince them to do right by the greyhounds!

****Special thanks to Judy Paulsen of Greyhound Companions of New Mexico for leading the fight for these dogs and to Animal Protection New Mexico for its strong advocacy****

Christine

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ENMU Proceeds with Inhumane Plan for Dog Mascots
http://www.apnm.org/mailbox/nov25_09.html

Several weeks ago, APNM learned of an ill-conceived plan by Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) to acquire two greyhounds from a now-closed Arizona race track and turn them into live mascots with no permanent home. The male and female greyhounds are scheduled to arrive on the Portales campus the week of December 1.

APNM is joining what is a nationwide debate over ENMU’s inhumane proposal to use the two dogs as campus mascots, and to keep them permanently warehoused on campus without long-term and consistent human companionship recommended for domestic dogs. To make matters worse, greyhounds have complicated special needs that if not properly addressed can lead to health problems and improper care.

Consider the following factors surrounding the failed mascot plan:

* Greyhound advocates across the country are objecting to the ENMU scheme;

* The two greyhounds will not have a permanent home or permanent, consistent care-givers;

* The dogs will supposedly be cared for by junior and senior student volunteers during the daytime;

* ENMU cannot say for sure who the dogs will stay with at night, what kind of environment will be provided, or how long they will stay with any given person;

* There are no plans for how the dogs–who typically run at racing speeds of 40 miles per hour–will be properly exercised;

* Greyhounds have skin that easily rips, and there are no plans for the dogs’ veterinary care;

* President Gamble was unable to tell APNM who the dogs’ trainer would be, what the trainer’s background is, or exactly when or how any caretakers would be trained;

* APNM’s Cruelty Case Manager, a seasoned greyhound rescuer, notes that the erratic plan for the dogs’ care would be very stressful for the dogs;

* President Gamble told APNM that the university had not considered trying to place the dogs with a family in a permanent home;

* There is no clear plan for who will care for the dogs over any given holiday breaks;

* The website of Greyhound Connection, which is supplying the dogs, says that “Separation anxiety may hit Greyhounds harder than some breeds because Greyhounds seem to be more sensitive than most others.”;

* President Gamble told APNM that ENMU plans for a half-million dollar renovation to the grim warehouse building where the dogs will be kept during the day. APNM visited the dim interior warehouse space and found it crowded with tall piles of crates and boxes. Chain link and barbed wire fencing surround what is proposed as the dogs’ daytime back yard; the space is entirely devoid of shade. The enclosed “yard,” reportedly being cleared by backhoe of shards of glass and pottery seeded by the archaeology department for student use, is an otherwise barren plot of packed earth.

* APNM wrote to ENMU President Gamble, urging ENMU to abandon its mascot plans, and also followed up with an in-person meeting. The President is nonetheless still proceeding with the mascot plan.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Write or telephone President Gamble and Vice President Birdsong, urging them to abandon the inhumane and ill-fated plan for two dogs who will have no choice about being passed from one caretaker to the next to the next, for the rest of their lives.

Before it’s too late, speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves!
Steven.Gamble@enmu.edu, 575-562-2205
Ronnie.Birdsong@enmu.edu, 575-562-4490

Points to make in your letter or call:

* Live animals should not be used as campus mascots. As such, their long-term health and well-being are not a priority;

* Dogs are highly social animals and thrive with a family, rather than in isolation in a warehouse. These greyhounds should be adopted by a family who will devote consistent time, energy and resources for their well-being, with thoughtful guidance by people trained specifically in the complicated care of greyhounds;

* Homeless dogs should be properly adopted by caring people who are able to provide the commitment of a stable, “forever home.” They shouldn’t be relegated to a warehouse, dependent on one busy student after another for absolutely everything;

* These greyhounds have already been exploited once in their lives, they deserve to be in a caring, loving home that can provide for their needs.

ENMU is being watched by a dog-loving nation. While the university still has the opportunity to do the right thing, please urge ENMU to abandon this ill-conceived plan, and act in the dogs’ best interests.

“With this flawed idea, ENMU will become a terrible example for the New Mexico public that is otherwise regularly urged to be kind to animals. By failing to provide a permanent home for these dogs, the university has shown that almost no thought has been given to the entire inhumane proposal,” stated APNM Executive Director Elisabeth Jennings.

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