Nearly three months since the I-Team videotaped greyhounds racing to catch and kill jackrabbits in a Solano County farm field, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance banning the blood sport today. The move adds fuel to a state-wide ban now making its way through the California Legislature. AB 2110 will be heard before the Assembly Appropriations Committee May 10th.
One of the finer points to today’s story – we found out that the field where we videotaped the races is actually within the city limits of Vacaville, so today’s ban by the county doesn’t apply to that field. Before you dress your dogs in their racing jackets, we tracked down the owner of the field – Triad Development. A Triad vice president tells us they had no idea the rabbit coursers were using their property: “We’re beyond outraged.” The company has put up new fencing and signs to keep the coursers out. The vice president says if he knew they were out there the day we took those pictures, he would have called the police.
The Vacaville City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the state-wide ban on Open Field Coursing last month. Here's a copy.
By the way, I’ve tried to contact the Secretary of the National Open Field Coursing Association several times since we began investigating, and there she was at the hearing today. Sally Barron didn’t feel like speaking after the vote; she told me to drop dead. But, another coursing supporter was more cordial and gave me the recipe for “Aunt Velma’s Rabbit Pie”.
This job is always entertaining.
I want to emphasize one point we've made before. This is spurred by an e-mail I received late last night from Tehila and Saul of Los Altos: "We have rescued 3 Greyhounds, all lovable. Our dog is a therapy dog (not a killer). He visits cancer patients and brings joy to anybody that has contact with him. Although you meant well in exposing Greyhound coursing, we're afraid that many of your viewers came away with the impression that all Greyhounds are like this (we don't know any)."
The National Open Field Coursing Association has twelve clubs up and down the state. They feature many types of dogs, including Greyhounds, Whippets, Irish Wolfhounds, Borzoi and Salukis. It was just happenstance that the dogs we filmed that day were Greyhounds. I can tell you from personal experience they are gentle, affectionate pets.