Condolences to Sally Briggs

The TGA wishes to extend its sincere condolences to Sally Briggs, Gulf Greyhound Park, General Manager, whose husband Tommy Ray Briggs passed away on November 23, 2017.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family during this difficult time.

Click here to view the arrangements for the visitation and service for Mr. Briggs.

New Blood Donor Policy

NEW – BLOOD DONOR POLICY – NGA

Friday, November 10, 2017

In light of recent issues surrounding the discovery of greyhounds at a blood bank facility in Texas, the National Greyhound Association (NGA) has issued a new policy that, effective immediately, outlines the organization’s parameters and guidance with regard to the use of NGA registered greyhounds for the purpose of blood donation.

NGA Executive Director, Jim Gartland said that the policy is long overdue.

“Although this policy has been drafted and adopted based on recent events, it has been a long time coming and we intend to fully see it through going forward.”

Members of the NGA and associated adoption groups will be expected to comply with the policy and will be held accountable for any breach of its rules.

Click here to read the full news release.

Cherokee Greyhounds Update

Cherokee Greyhounds

With the aid of the National Greyhound Association and the Texas Greyhound Association, four Texas greyhound adoption groups joined together to assist 111 of the greyhounds from the Cherokee blood bank – Greyhound Adoption League of Texas, Greyhounds Unlimited, GPA Houston and GPA Central Texas. Forty hounds went to adoption groups in western states. This accounts for all of the Cherokee greyhounds.

The adoption groups involved will process the greyhounds according to their standard intake protocol, including spays, neuters and dentals to ready the greyhounds for adoption. For all of the greyhound adoption groups involved, these numbers are significant. Even though the hounds appear to be in generally good health and condition, the groups will all need essential contributions to assist with the boarding and care of the Cherokee greys.

For more information on the adoption groups, click here.

Closure of Pet Blood Bank

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2017

Contact: Jim Gartland, National Greyhound Association,  785-263-4660

The greyhounds housed at the Pet Blood Bank in Cherokee, TX, will be transferred into adoption programs starting this weekend under a joint effort by the Texas Greyhound Association (TGA), the National Greyhound Association (NGA), the American Greyhound Council (AGC), the blood bank facility, and several regional adoption groups, including the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT).

Russ Baker, attorney for the Pet Blood Bank, said all greyhounds at the facility will receive medical and dental examinations so that any health issues can be identified and addressed before the dogs enter adoption programs. The greyhounds have received regular veterinary care during their time at the Pet Blood Bank, and most appear to be in good health.

Baker said the blood bank will close its doors after the greyhounds have been removed, a development he blames on the extreme animal rights group PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

PeTA sent various media outlets an “undercover” video purporting to show greyhounds in ill health at the blood bank. The video has not been independently authenticated, and Baker said it grossly misrepresents blood bank operations. Law enforcement authorities and representatives of the TGA inspected the facility and confirmed that the greyhounds there appeared generally healthy. That didn’t stop PeTA, Baker said.

“The Pet Blood Bank’s decision to close was a business decision. Despite the fact that all inspections have verified that the greyhounds were healthy and receiving proper carePeTA has continued to harass and threaten our clients. Their actions have caused our long-standing customer relationships to be terminated,” Baker said. “It’s clear that this animal rights attack was not about the truth but about raising funds through misrepresentation. PeTA created a controversy where none existed; it’s how they operate.”

PeTA has become famous for controversial campaigns , including ads comparing meat lovers to serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer and likening the consumption of chicken to the Holocaust.  The organization also has been caught up in a controversy regarding its so-called pet shelter and adoption center, which since 1998 has euthanized, on average, nearly 86 percent of the pets housed there, according to media reports and state records.

In contrast, greyhound racing associations report that more than 95 percent of all registered greyhounds are adopted or returned to their owners as pets when they retire.

“We’re confident that every greyhound at the blood bank will be on its way to a loving new home within the next few days,” said Gartland. “We appreciate the cooperation of the blood bank management in helping us achieve that outcome.”

Notice of Termination to Simulcast

October 16, 2017

Mr. Eric Wilson                                                          

Ms. Sally Briggs                                                   

Gulf Coast Racing
Gulf Greyhound Park
P.O. Box 488
La Marque TX  77568

Ms. Andrea Young                                                    

Valley Race Park
2601 Ed Carey Drive
Harlingen TX 78552

RE: NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF AGREEMENTS TO SIMULCAST

Dear Mr. Wilson, Ms. Briggs & Ms. Young,

The Texas Greyhound Association (TGA) hereby gives notice to terminate the existing agreements for the export of live race signal and to import greyhound and horse signals “simulcast;” effective sixty (60) days from today.  This notice terminating simulcast agreements applies to Gulf Greyhound Park (Gulf), Gulf Coast Racing and Valley Race Park (VRP).

Until further agreement, the TGA will withhold authorizing any transfer of purse to Gulf.  Gulf has avoided discussion and negotiation with the TGA in regard to:

  1. A simulcast agreement to replace the terms established when Gulf ran year around compared to the 36 programs planned for 2017-2018.  The TGA is also concerned that Gulf has not committed to exporting a signal from their planned meet as stated in Eric Wilson’s letter to the TGA of October 4, 2017. 
  2. Providing terms for participation by active Texas breeders in choice of racing format and kennel agreements.
  3. The exclusion of the TGA from developing and maintaining a safe track.  The TGA expects Gulf to improve track conditions and operations and join in underwriting the TGA Injured Athletes Program.

The TGA Board of Directors voted to take this action following the industry meeting in Houston on September 27, 2017.  The TGA deeply regrets the unwillingness of the track associations to participate in developing a framework consistent with our April, 2016 agreement as presented to the Texas Racing Commission (TRC.)  [Read more…]

Greyhound Welfare: Updated

Although we are well aware of PETA’s reputation for distorting the facts to raise money and get media coverage, the Texas Greyhound Association (TGA) takes any matters relating to greyhound welfare very seriously. We are currently investigating the allegations made against Pet Blood Bank Inc. A TGA representative visited the facility yesterday to conduct an initial inspection and found no signs of the serious neglect shown in the PeTA video. At the same time, a representative of the sheriff’s office arrived, and after inspecting the facility, indicated that he saw no evidence of seriously problematic conditions. The operator of the Pet Blood Bank advised us that he believed the video may have been taken several years ago when the facility was under previous ownership.

However, we are not yet satisfied. We are working with the sheriff’s department to arrange an independent veterinary inspection of the facility and the dogs housed there to get a more in-depth understanding of the situation. Once we have completed that process and have all the facts, we will determine what further actions may be necessary.”

Greyhound Welfare

The TGA and it’s Board of Directors are aware of the story that is being circulated concerning the welfare of greyhounds that are housed at The Pet Blood Bank in Cherokee, Texas. We acted as soon as we knew and sent an Inspector, who went along with the local county Sheriff to the property, to inspect the dogs. The TGA is on high alert anytime there’s a welfare issue that involves a racing or retired greyhound and will get involved to make sure they are taken care of.

Thank you all who have called with concern for our beloved greyhounds.

In Memory of Phyllis Mangold

Dear Members,

I received the email below concerning Phyllis Mangold, longtime TGA member:

It is with regret I email you to let you know that Phyllis Bandy Mangold passed away May 27, 2017 at home.  She was a lifetime member of the TGA. She spent the better part of her life involved in raising, training and racing greyhounds. It was one of her “loves”.

Thank you for all you do for the TGA.  Stephanie Laughinghouse – Daughter

Should you want to donate to one of Phyllis’ favorite charities, the family has requested all donations go to an Alzheimer’s Association or the Diabetes Foundation.

Click here to read Phyllis’ 2014 Women In Racing Article.

 

Facts about Canine Influenza Virus

Texas A&M Medical Diagnostic – Canine Influenza

H3N2 FAQs – Shelters and Adoption Groups

Canine Influenza – Pet Owners

In Memory of Scott Allan Riola

The TGA wishes to extend its sincere condolences to the family of Scott Allan Riola, the son-in-law of longtime TGA member Peter Limmer.

Riola, who lived in Amarillo, was a Yoe High graduate and the son of Dominic and Karla Riola. 

Visitation will be Friday; May 5, 2017, from 6-8pm, with Rosary at 7pm, at Marek Burns Laywell Funeral Home in Cameron.

Services are 10am Saturday; May 6, 2017, at St. Monica`s Catholic Church in Cameron, with burial at a later date.

Click here to view Scott’s Obituary.

Mr. Riola was born in Temple and graduated from Yoe High School and the University of Texas in Arlington.  He was a Flight Nurse EMT.  Survivors include his parents, wife, and many other family and friends. According to social media posts by the family, the Scott Riola Memorial Scholarship account has now been established in order to provide future scholarships to students seeking to pursue a career as a flight nurse. Those scholarships will go to students at Cameron Yoe High, Tarleton State University, and Amarillo College.  Riola himself was a flight nurse and had joined Rico Aviation back in December.  

Those wishing to help the family are being asked to donate to Scott`s memorial scholarship fund by sending donations to Benefit Fund for Scott Riola, 4501 Bell Street, Amarillo, TX 79119.  Donations will also be accepted in Amarillo at Amarillo National Bank. 

Click here to read the news story.