In an e-Mail today, 2017-09-12, Tim Horan reported that he was in contact with the Executive Director of the National Greyhound Association who said “the Greyhounds are all okay. Kennels are still without power.”
By Tim Horan – Salina Journal News Story Posted Sep 7, 2017 at 9:22 PM
About 1,100 racing Greyhounds, and possibly their trainers, will be riding out Hurricane Irma in the kennel compound if and when the storm hits Miami.
The compound that houses Greyhounds that race at two different racetracks near Miami is in Hialeah, Fla., about 15 miles west of Miami Beach, northwest of Miami International Airport. Many of those racing dogs have owners that live in Kansas.
“Most of us are willing to stay in the kennel that night,” said kennel owner Joe Trudden, of Florida, on Thursday. “We all have families and have taken care of our families the best we can. We will be deserting our families to stay with the dogs. It could be a night or two or three in the actual kennel, physically with the dogs.”
Tom Taplin, of Abilene, said he has 18 Greyhounds at the compound that are valued at more than $70,000. Racing Greyhounds are not insured for either their value or their potential income.
There are also Greyhounds racing at Pensacola, Daytona, Orlando, St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Well prepared; Trudden said, “we have sandbagged the turnout pens at the Greyhound compound and brought in enough food and water for a week.”
The problem with evacuating is a shortage of fuel, he said. “We couldn’t leave if we wanted to,” he said. “Florida is so jammed, where would you go? The dogs would be in more peril leaving than staying.”
Supplies short; Trudden said “there is a shortage of everything around Miami: fuel, bread and water. “Everyone has been mobbing the stores,” he said.
Trudden said he has been through several hurricanes. “I spent two weeks living in the kennel,” he said. There wasn’t much damage in the last hurricane, he said, but power was off for two weeks.”
“My concern is no power in Florida and 100-degree heat,” he said. “Dogs can take minus 10 degrees better than they can take 70 degrees.”
He said hurricanes can be unpredictable.
Safety a concern; “A lot of times they come by and they are nothing and everyone laughs,” he said. “But a lot of times they are not nothing. Florida could be an annihilation.”
Taplin said his first concern is for the safety of the Greyhounds. “They are concrete buildings,” Taplin said. “I hope they will be all right.”
There is concern about damage to the racetrack and the casino at the track. Flagler Greyhound Park and the Magic City Casino are located southeast of the airport in Miami.
The Greyhounds are paid by purses at the racetrack.
“I am concerned about how long we will be before we get back to racing,” Taplin said. “If it is as bad as what they say — the fourth-worst in the history of the United States — it could be a long time.”
Evacuation considered; Travis Bartley, of Abilene and the Rick Bartley Kennel, has some Greyhounds in Hialeah and has a racing kennel at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Fla., off the Gulf of Mexico. Live racing stopped there after Wednesday’s card and evacuation was considered.
“At Derby Lane the trainers are going to hunker down in the kennels with the dogs. They are stocked up on supplies to get them through the week,” Bartley said.
“They really don’t know where that path is going to go,” he said. “They would like to see the dogs be evacuated but there is really nowhere for them to go. The safest place is in the compound.”
He said getting stranded on the road with no fuel and water is dangerous. “You are worse off than being in the compound. Dogs overheat pretty fast in a trailer,” he said. “If the gas runs out of the generator you are out of air. Where do you go with the dogs?”