With thousands more dogs facing an uncertain future after last week’s vote to ban greyhound racing in Florida, Grace and Frankie star Lily Tomlin sent a letter on PETA's behalf to the head of the National Greyhound Association (NGA) urging him to ensure that unwanted greyhounds are adopted into loving homes and not funneled into blood banks and sham rescue facilities.
In the letter, Tomlin notes that although the NGA purportedly barred its members from directly sending greyhounds to canine blood banks, the dogs still end up at seedy warehouses such as Hemopet, where they’re confined to tiny crates and barren kennels for up to 23 hours a day for 18 months or more, as was revealed in PETA’s recent eyewitness exposé.
“Dogs have always been a big part of my life, so I was heartbroken to learn from my friends at PETA about Hemopet, a cruel canine blood bank and sham “rescue” facility in California," wrote Lily. "It warehouses about 200 greyhounds discarded by the racing industry in order to sell their blood to veterinary clinics and confines these gentle but energetic dogs to tiny crates and barren kennels for up to 23 hours a day over a period of 18 months or more.
“I know that in the wake of PETA’s exposé of The Pet Blood Bank in Texas last year, the National Greyhound Association (NGA) purportedly barred its members from sending greyhounds directly to any blood bank. But dogs who were bred and raced by the president of the NGA’s board of directors were found at Hemopet, and the NGA apparently has no problem with seeing sham “rescue” groups condemn greyhounds to imprisonment in blood banks. Although the NGA claims to prohibit the use of these dogs for blood collection for longer than 18 months, Hemopet collected blood from some who had reportedly been kept at the facility for two years or perhaps more.
“I urge the NGA to close the gaping loopholes in its policy immediately and all your organizations to bar members’ dogs from spending even a single night in any blood bank, including those masquerading as rescues. Given last Tuesday’s vote to end greyhound racing in Florida, the writing is on the wall for your industry and your members will be discarding hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs in the coming years. Caring people look to you to ensure that the greyhound industry’s unwanted and long-suffering dogs go directly into loving homes — not cages. Will you please step up and finally do right by these dogs?”