"Go the Red Dog” Campaign Leaves Racing Industry Red-Faced
"Go the Red Dog” Promotional Campaign Leaves Dog Racing Industry Red-Faced
Greyhound Racing New Zealand, in a promotional attempt to associate the dog racing industry with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB), recently offered $100 ‘donations’ to the foundations guide dog program, for each winning greyhound wearing a red coat for the month of May.
The Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand and members of the public contacted the RNZFB and alerted them to the ethical concerns, namely the unnecessary deaths and injuries associated with the dog racing industry as well as the international push to end greyhound racing globally.
As a result, the Foundation, one week into their promotion, chose to discontinue the partnership.
"All bets are off" says greyhound advocate Aaron Cross. "Gambling with the very lives of these dogs for profit and entertainment is what greyhound racing is all about, and we applaud the Foundation for taking an ethical stance for these vulnerable animals. This was a desperate move from a desperate industry and we are humbled by the integrity of the Foundation of the Blind. We are certain that animal-loving New Zealanders will now be even more inclined to support this great charity now that they have made this decision, rather than risking their good name”.
GRNZ stated they believed the partnership was
ended due to complaints about the campaign due to "unfounded
animal welfare concerns".
Mr Cross responded, "Perhaps GRNZ can explain how approximately one thousand unwanted racing greyhounds simply disappear each year in New Zealand, and why there are regular serious injuries and frequent deaths at race events?"
The Greyhound Protection League are now appealing to all animal lovers to donate to the Foundation of the Blind as a way of saying thanks. "If everyone donated $10 or more, we would show the Foundation what animal lovers are really all about and that core values do not need to be compromised in order to fundraise."
The Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand is donating $100 to kick off the donations.
"Instead, GRNZ could consider funding Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) adequately with the money the dogs have ultimately earned, or perhaps the HUHA animal sanctuary, a group that recently rescued over a dozen unwanted retired greyhounds, or perhaps even Hounds for Homes in Christchurch, who also rehome unwanted greyhounds despite having no racing industry support at present."
To donate to the RNZ Foundation of the Blind go to http://www.rnzfb.org.nz/support-us
Messages of thanks can also be left on the RNZFB Facebook page.