Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's not always all about the greyhounds...

Many of us for many years have been involved with the placing ex-racing greyhounds into loving homes. Every year people looking to adopt a pet choose ex-racing greyhounds and every year the ranks of adoption volunteers grows.  As a whole, greyhound adoption will be perceived not by how many greyhounds we place, but on whom we follow and who we allow to be present, admired or supported in our family friendly greyhound community. What we do, what we have done, what we allow lays the groundwork for what the next generation of greyhound lovers accept as gospel. An oft quoted phraseology "My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am" is tempered with another – “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful”.

Does an individual's involvement with greyhounds or greyhound adoption make the unacceptable acceptable? 

Let's say a sports figure who was involved in dog fighting became involved with greyhound adoption. Would the greyhound community put their blinders on and welcome this person with open arms? If some point in the future, say 25 or 30 years, a person who was convicted of animal abuse and or animal assault adopts a greyhound, will the greyhound community toss its collective hands in the air and with a shake of the head claim it is not an issue as the crime that a conviction resulted from happened so long ago? Or even worse, a nonchalant "hey it wasn't MY dog so I don't care"?

Yet there are members of the here & now greyhound community sending a distressing message to the world at large - don't abuse animals, but if you molest children it's no big deal.

What other explanation can there be for a convicted child molester who currently has lifetime sex offender registration to be admired and supported and embraced by those in the greyhound community?

This individual's presence leaves a bad impression on the greyhound community, especially as more and more families (and by that I mean with children ranging in age from newborn to 18) are welcoming greyhounds into their homes.  Registering, attending, vending at any event that is associated in any way with such an individual gives credence to the community that we as a whole could care less about children, women and victims of sexual assault and only care about the greyhounds. Continuing on in such a way in our community may well have a negative impact on the greyhounds.

Some may say this is political mudslinging. I call shenanigans on that. It is simply about good judgement and what is in the best interest not only for our greyhounds but for the humans that share their lives with greyhounds. 

I get contacted almost daily from victims in our community. If you think it is ok to continue to support a convicted child molester with lifetime sex offender by registration, attending, vending or paying registration fees (whether you attend or not) at one of this individual's events, think about this - you have most likely offended a dear friend or adoption associate in the greyhound community by showing support for a child molester and opened up very traumatic wounds or triggered flashbacks with your declarations of an event that happened years ago is not important today

Tomorrow I will share an open letter from an individual who is a victim of sexual assault that was posted on social media a few weeks ago. I was granted permission to share it and feel it is too important, too powerful and extremely insightful not to stand on its own. The pain sexual assault victims go through each and every day should be more than enough to make us all say – No more! I will not register, attend functions nor vend at any event sponsored by or coordinated by an individual who has lifetime sex offender registration resulting from a conviction of first degree sexual molestation of innocent children.

The character of our adoption programs, our events, and our vendors reflects on the whole. If just one member continues to support a person who has a requirement to register for life as a sex offender due to the sexual assault of children it will negatively impact our community thus impacting the greyhounds.

Some profess the mantra “it's all about the greyhounds” but for some who hide behind that phrase, it is not about the greyhounds at all.

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