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Looking Back to my First True Rescue Event

By David G. Wolf, NGAP Director
Posted: November 18, 2016

I recently attended a convention held by Grey2K bringing greyhound advocates from around the world to Del Rey Beach, Florida. At the meeting, one of the speakers Marilyn, gave an eloquent talk about how she first rescued greyhounds and the wonderful work she has been doing for so many years. When she was finished, everyone had a tear in their eye, including this hard guy here. It made me think back to my first rather gusty rescue of greyhounds in Florida. Go back to 1990, things were a lot different. At the time, we were just beginning to learn a bit about greyhounds. We had heard about this farm in Ocala, FL where the dogs were terribly suffering, they were all out in the open not with chain link fencing encasing them, but rather torn chicken wire ready to rip their thin skin. At the time we had made friends with the Fritz family who had a kennel in Hialeah, FL. Gin Fritz permitted me to borrow his six hull trailer to drive up and rescue some of the greyhounds. We left the Fritz kennel early Saturday morning having no idea what to do when we got the dogs or where we were to take them. Fortunately, cell phones were still in use even back in the 90s and we were able to find Knolls Animal Veterinary Clinic willing to take them in.

When we arrived at the farm, everything that we heard was indeed true; the place was pitiful, the dogs were in terrible condition, it was an overall depressing sight. My wife Gerda and I walked up and down the lanes with the chicken wire on both sides to select six dogs although there were many more. We had selected our six and determined they needed to be bathed and have their ticks removed. While walking through we saw a dog named Crafty Admiral who was covered in engorged ticks. Judging by the amount of ticks on his body, I knew he was in a lot of discomfort. We had bathed all of the dogs and tried to remove all of their ticks using with our fingers as combs. The day was wearing on, but we thought about Crafty Admiral and simply could not leave him behind. We doubled the dogs in the hulls and Crafty became number 7. We removed as many ticks as possible from his body and by the time we were ready to drive back to our condo in Hollywood, the sun was setting. I remember to this day as we were pulling out of this compound of horror, the dogs were rooing or maybe they were crying.

Well it was late now, the Knolls Animal Veterinary Clinic was closed, and we could not drive the dog truck into the compound where our condo was. Instead, we parked a few blocks away in a park and Gerda and I took turns through the night watching over our seven greyhounds. The next morning we were able to take them to the clinic. It took a few days for use to arrange the crates and air travel but off they went to Philadelphia seeking new lives. Unfortunately, you can still find greyhound farms today that are not too much dif from the one where we got Crafty Admiral. Florida is a pari-mutuel regulation division that has always under regulated and slow to take action. Crafty went on to live in NJ for many years and we heard from his owner often. In fact, we went to NJ on a few occasions to do a few radio broadcasts about our mission. I'm a lot older now, and don't usually go into the trenches as I did back in the early 90s, but we are still looking to save dogs like Crafty Admiral.

David Wolf


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