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Association of Shelter Veterinarians addresses animal suffering

Blog about Greyhound Friends

Learn more about the issues that animal rescue law enforcement and state agencies uncovered about the greyhound adoption group Greyhound Friends in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Greyhound Friends is closed but is trying to obtain a new kennel license, despite recent reports that they neglected sick and injured dogs.

Association of Shelter Veterinarians addresses animal suffering

Stephen Bassignani

It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a need for stronger animal cruelty laws in the Commonwealth and beyond.

According to the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV), “there have been a growing number of incidents where conditions at shelters have caused severe animal suffering…It might be assumed that anti-cruelty statutes would protect shelter animals, but these statutes are often not sufficient to ensure that animals in either public or private shelter and rescue settings receive proper care.”

Animal welfare standards developed

The ASV stated that “concerns arise when animal care is provided by individuals with good intentions but with little to no appropriate training in population husbandry, animal behavior, animal health, and/or veterinary medicine.” In response to this growing problem, the ASV authored a detailed guide to standards of care in 2010. 

Where Greyhound Friends failed

Greyhound Friends failed to meet basic standards outlined by the ASV. These are just a few examples:

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Greyhound Friends aware of ASV standards

In an effort to address animal welfare concerns, the Director of Law Enforcement for the Animal Rescue League of Boston gave Greyhound Friends the Association of Shelter Veterinarian’s guidelines at a December 2015 meeting. Also in attendance at the meeting were MSPCA Law Enforcement, Mass Department of Agricultural Resources staff, Greyhound Friends Board President Stoddard Melhado, Greyhound Friends Director Louise Coleman, Greyhound Friends Corporate Member Kathy Mahoney, and Greyhound Friends Board Member Terri Shepard, among others.

At the end of the meeting, Board President Melhado stated that he heard Lt. Borgal’s message “loud and clear”. Yet two years after that meeting, Greyhound Friends had still not adopted these basic standards of care.