Freya, our sponsor greyhound at the Boston Lincolnshire Greyhound Rescue, writes a thought provoking piece. Although very literate, you can see that Freya has had some help from one of the shelter’s long-standing rescuers.
It was some many years ago, so we were told when a young woman of 21 and her friend, Phil, couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our breed anymore…. So they decided to do something about it and take on the racing industry….Now this was not initially to end greyhound racing back then…that was more of a pipe dream. It was to have some kind of welfare for the dogs and something for them after they had finished racing.
Also it was, and still isn’t, about the running in greyhound racing – it’s always been about the ‘bends’ on the track that have caused injuries to these dogs, that have resulted in many being put to sleep before their time for things that could have been sorted, had owners wanted to spend money and time. But unlike whippet racing, which is more of a fun day with no bends and not a gambling night, these dogs were being put at serious risk. This young lady and her partner Phil had to do something. They could not stand back and watch this happening.
And so it began. A life of total devastation, heartbreak, reward, fights, her life being threatened, starving herself to feed her beloved greyhounds. But did any of this put her off? NO! She was our mum – our saving grace – and although a very talented lady in many other ways, who could have made her fortune in so many other walks of life, she had only one focus! A vocation. GREYHOUND RESCUE. She was known as the ‘Original Greyhound Lady’ or ‘Mrs Greyhound’ as the years went on.
The thing is, as years have gone by, that is what happened…. A face without a name. Don’t get me wrong, Mrs Greyhound is very well respected in the rescue world but it suddenly became apparent to us, she has no name anymore…. Even the Argos delivery guys call her Mrs Greyhound!
Yes the majority of people want greyhound racing to end but what happens next? We all know it needs to be done in a way that means we are not placing them in further danger. We don’t want an influx of hundreds of thousands of dogs having to be destroyed either because it ended suddenly. Or are we not as bad? Innocents being destroyed, dumped, exported? All these things that need saying and thinking about…
We are on the same side but I have loved my breed and to watch what could happen to my friends is devastating to me and all of us who are so lucky to have come into rescue or to have found a forever home. It frightens me that until we get a stop on export, we still have an enormous worry on our hands.
Karen and Phil set out on this journey to save these dogs from a devastating fate at the time. Unfortunately, Phil left this world far too soon, he passed away young leaving Karen faced with continuing the journey alone without her pal. She has done this with a quiet respect throughout the rescue world.
Phil and Karen started this rescue all those years ago. Sadly Phil is not here to see what Karen has achieved but we all know that he is watching over her and the dogs, as it was a vocation to him as much as Karen. Phil was a big part of Karen’s life and a big part of the beginning of this story. Though Karen thinks of him often and quietly, he will always remain a big part of Greyhound Rescue, Boston, Lincolnshire.
Karen would never let these dogs down. It is a vocation to her. Karen would let NO animal down and take no glory in any of it. She is a very kind person with the biggest heart you would ever know. She has gone without food herself over the years to feed her rescue dogs. Everything this lady has and everything she has been for is for us. Nobody has looked into our eyes and seen our souls more than her.
She’s a thinker… She has fought trainers, owners & the racing industry in her time and anyone that has every hurt an animal to be fair! She has done many TV documentaries, with people like Donal MacIntyre etc. but nothing frightens her more than what could happen next, with live export, because until this is totally banned and stopped, full stop, and there is a controlled plan to end greyhound racing totally, then think about this. Please plan our future before you are part of our deaths.
Of course, she and Phil struggled to fundraise but knew they had to do what it took to help this, at that time especially, the most abused breed along with the beagle. Well, they did what they had to do, taking dogs in the most horrendous state you have ever seen…They did race nights at the track back then as that is what they had to do in those days. They also believed and she still does that to save us, it is better to have the trainers and owners on side than against. BUT that comes with the years of experience of knowing them.
For those who do not think things have moved forward in the fight against the racing industry, they have…. It’s still not enough? Agreed… We still need to stop the abuse, drugging, overbreeding and all the other terrible things this wonderful breed suffers…. But one thing has been noted over the years… For every battle won…another begins… So are we winning the End of Racing? Maybe we are? Yes? And is that a good thing? We would like to say Yes…..That is why we started this fight, right?
But then the next battle begins… Exporting to Spain, Pakistan & China. You see the breeders still want their money… As do the owners…. Do not blame the trainers only… It is no longer black & white. Spain is a very cruel country for abuse! Pakistan too! China… They boil them alive and use them for meat, and also use their skins!
So… Are we winning? These are questions she constantly asks herself. Are we just fearing greyhound racing going underground now as we once were when they bring an end to racing? OR, is there now an even bigger problem?
She will always put her neck on the line for us. Because she is ‘Mrs Greyhound’. We could not have survived without the love she has shown us. We do not want to go for meat and be boiled alive, or exported to a worse life, nor do we want to be dumped or sent underground. She did not give up her entire life to let us go to a worse place. If this were the case…..It will be the end for Karen Schultz, our mum, but to the world….known just as ‘Mrs Greyhound’ – she has no identity anymore.
We thank our mum. We need her. Please don’t let this be the end.
Thank you from all of us for all your support over the years.