Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall the boundless world that lay before them in their youth now become the harsh and barren landscape of broken hopes and unfilled expectations...erm...we mean will recall we here in the marbled halls of IM Central have been watching events unfold in Florida vis-a-vis the overlords and people with souls. Most recently we told you of the defection from the overlord camp of the track owners, who are basically the overlords' overlords. That coupled with the movement in the state legislature to make the overlords actually report the damage they do to the innocent living creatures trapped in a cruel and heartless (not to mention unprofitable) industry death spiraling into the dustbin of history has meant that 2015 has, so far, not been kind to those who would exploit the oldest recognized breed of dog for personal gain, right state Sen. Eleanor Sobel?
“I think this is a barbaric practice and we are subsidizing a bankrupt sport.”
Whoa, Senator Sobel. Tell us how you really feel. Well, wait. Don't. It's obvious you've drunk the Grey2K Kool Aid here. We mean, the heartless exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is a growth industry. Just ask the Iowa Greyhound Association. They're reopening a track because there's just so much pent up demand in Iowa. Right guys?
Dubuque casinos collected about $113 million in revenue in 2014, marking a 6.5 percent decline compared to 2013.The end-of-year numbers were unveiled today during the monthly meeting of Dubuque Racing Association, held at Mystique Casino. The DRA holds the license for both the greyhound racing and casino-gaming operations of Mystique and is the co-licensee for Diamond Jo Casino.
See? You just need to advertise the product right and then, wait what? Down 6.5%? OK, OK, that's not good, but that's what happened to the casinos. 
Despite slumping revenue figures, Mystique CEO Jesus Aviles said the Dubuque market did see positive developments in 2014.
Right. And we're willing to bet greyhound racing was one of those bright spots. After all, it's been taken over by the overlords themselves and if anyone knows how to make greyhound racing popular it's them, right? So tell us how greyhound racing is a positive development.
“Top billing goes to the elimination of greyhound racing,” he said.
 Yeah, well, not exactly the positive development we had in mind, but still, Iowa is Iowa and Florida is Florida, so Senator Sobel you can't argue that just because racing is bankrupt and barbaric in Iowa the same would be true for the sunshine state.
Greyhound racing is a dying sport. According to a legislative report, the state spends $3.1 million more each year to regulate greyhound racing than it receives in tax revenue. The state Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering reports that paid attendance at dog tracks has dropped 85 percent over 10 years and the amount bet has dropped 67 percent since 1990.
 Hmmm. Looks like when we use the phrases positive development and greyhound racing in the same sentence it means we're positive it's dying and that's a great development. Wouldn't you agree Dante?

Dante is a two year old who can live with cats and small dogs. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the That's Not What I Wanted To Hear Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The TNWIWTHD is a division of the With Friends Like These Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of This Will Not End Well, LLC.

Whilst surfing around the overlord side of the intertoobz the other day we ran across this particularly distressing headline:
Why do Florida track owners want to stop greyhound racing?
Of course our first response was because they hate America. Ask any overlord and he or she will tell you if the wholesale exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is ended and they are forced to enter the job market, well, the terrorists have won and that's the end of freedom. Those are just the facts.

Now, for those of you keeping score at home, the track owners are the individuals who own the real estate upon which the overlords eke out their tick like existence on the backs of the greyhounds brought into this world for the sole purpose of making them rich.

And therein lies the problem.
What used to be a glamorous, lucrative sport has become a money-losing proposition that brings a black eye from animal-welfare groups. “This is an industry that is dying in Florida and all over the country, and it’s dying because of competition from other forms of gambling,” said Carey Theil, an anti-greyhound racing activist and the executive director of Grey2K, a nonprofit group that campaigns to put an end to dog racing in the seven states where it remains legal. “It’s dying because of concerns about the way dogs are treated in this industry.”
 Ha! Just what we would expect from a well known animal rights wacko like Theil. See, here's the problem with people like Theil: they're not overlords. Anyone in the industry will tell you that until you've actually been an overlord you can't say anything about racing, no matter how much you've read, or seen, or studied. We call this the There is no Australia gambit. And there you go. Since Theil has never personally participated in the institutionalized cruelty that is greyhound racing, he can't talk about it. As the lawyers say, ipso facto, cavet emptor, cave canem case closed. We're sorry. What did you say Izzy Havenick owner of the Naples–Fort Myers Greyhound Track and Poker Room?
“The state of Florida law mandates that we continue to run the dogs in order to keep the poker room open,” he said. “We’re legally obliged to keep a business operating that loses $2.5 million a year.”
Ruh Ro. Sounds like Mr. Havernick has been to Australia.  And he didn't like what he saw.
Betting on greyhounds has fallen by more than half in Florida over the past decade. The dog races now compete for the attention of a generation that came of age with the Internet. “Most people my age and younger have no interest in going to some facility and watching an animal run around in a circle,” Havenick said.
Hey! That's not fair. This is the exciting, glamorous, lucrative world of greyhound racing we're talking about. Fun for the whole family! You can't belittle an action-packed sport like this by calling it animals running around in a circle just because the around in a circle. OK, you may have a point.
Florida state Sen. Maria Sachs said that the state of Florida loses money on greyhound racing, spending $1.8 million more to regulate the industry than it receives in tax revenues. “We, as a state government, should not be putting money into a sport that is actually inhumane and is losing revenue,” she said.
OK, $2.5 million plus $1.8 million. Let's see, 8 plus 5, carry the two, put your left foot in, take your left foot out...Man! That's some serious coin.  Why, that would buy almost 100 teachers, not that we're saying providing subsidies so the overlords can make their trailer payments isn't just as important as educating the next generation of Florida citizens. Not saying that at all, nosiree.
Former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is fighting for one group that opposes decoupling: the people who own and train the dogs. The track owners, he said, shouldn’t be so quick to throw the dog owners under the bus. “They’ve had a lot of benefits of having a monopoly in this arena and made billions of dollars,” he said of the track owners. “If they don’t want to do it anymore, fine. Relinquish the license. Put it out to bid.”
 Yeah. Where's the loyalty man? In a business where part is making money and part isn't you want to drop the part that isn't. Not fair. You should give up the whole thing. We're all family, right. We all sink or swim together, right? What's that you say Roma? As soon as you finished out of the money you were dropped like a hot rock and replaced by some other dog? Well, that's just business Roma, nothing personal.

Hi, my name is Roma. I am a sweet and beautiful red-fawn greyhound (just look at my picture and you will see). I am currently in foster living with two other greyhounds showing me all the things I need to know about house rules (no accidents on my record!). The best part about being in a home is becoming a part of a loving family! I have a soft bed for sleeping, great food, snacks, lots of toys, a big yard to play in, and I get lots of hugs and kisses. Oh, I love going on walks too! Life is GREYT! I enjoy being close to my family, just in case my foster mom wants to give me a good ear rubbing (look at my cute ears) and sometimes a belly rub. I enjoy quieter times too, like snuggling, and watching TV together. My foster mom calls me her “sweet Roma tomato.” I have to agree, I am pretty sweet (not sure about the tomato thing–what is a tomato)? When she calls my name, my tail wags non-stop, as I rush to get lots of hugs and kisses! I am looking for my forever loving home! What are you waiting for? Come and get me! For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Hey, we're back! Did you miss us? Did you even know we were gone? Of course you didn't, you have lives. Well, actually if you're reading this blog...Umm we're going to stop there before we say something we might regret.

OK moving on. So how has life been treating the overlords during the erstwhile holiday season? 
It’s all over but the voting as a bill requiring that injuries to racing greyhounds be reported to the state looks certain to pass the state Senate next year. Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said his chamber is expected to approve the bill during the first week of the session, which starts in March.
 Oh crap. More government paperwork. Look, these are injured dogs, right? So once they're injured they lose their value, you know? Why make the poor overlords fill out a form detailing how the dogs went from assets to liabilities? We mean, if you wrecked your car would you take it to the car wash before the wrecker came and got it? Yeesh, these government bureaucrats just don't understand business, you know? We bet no other state oppresses the overlords with all these useless regulations.
It is appalling that Florida is one of only two states that does not require injuries to racing greyhounds be reported to the state. Alabama is the only other state to show such disregard for the dogs’ welfare.
 Alabama huh? OK you might have a point. Being in the same category as Alabama is sort of like saying my highest goal in life is to be a Kardasian. What do you think Jack Cory, spokesman for the Florida Greyhound Association?
Cory said senators instead should pass the “Greyhound Safety Act” backed by Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale. That bill would require injury reporting but also mandates a safe track surface and safety devices to protect dogs, among other provisions.
 We're with you Jackie boy, but here's our question: Shouldn't the tracks already do everything they can to have safe track surfaces and devices to protect the dogs? Isn't that like what the kids call a no brainer? Do they really need the state to tell them to do that? We mean, sure they're overlords and all and sometimes they forget that they need to match their feet with their shoes,, we see your point.
Indeed, lawmakers should consider strengthening the bill as the Florida Greyhound Association proposes. The organization, which represents greyhound breeders, owners and kennel operators, suggests mandating such safeguards as appropriate track surfaces and the use of safety devices to protect dogs. Its officials understand dog safety must be paramount if the industry is to withstand the strong opposition of animal protection groups. But lawmakers should not stop at simply improving reporting requirements and track conditions. Legislators next session finally should adopt a measure “decoupling” greyhound racing from a track’s gambling license. Similar past proposals, unfortunately, have failed to make it through the Legislature. Such a law would put an end to the perverse mandate that forces tracks to run the dogs so they can keep their licenses for card games and other gambling operations.
Whoa! Hey, slow down there Buckaroo. Decoupling? You know what that means?
Decoupling the races from the gambling license would allow the marketplace to determine whether the races should be continued.
Right. And what has "the marketplace" had to say about the continued exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit...erm...we mean greyhound racing?
In Florida, the amount bet on dog races is a third of what it was just a decade ago. Only a few tracks still make money on greyhounds, according to a consultant’s report to the legislature. For the rest, the dogs are a loss leader that allows them to continue operating their profitable card rooms and slot machines.
So let's just cool our jets there a little, or in the rush to make racing safer for the greyhounds we make it less safe for the overlords. You would agree with that, right Ivy?

Sweet-natured little Ms. Ivy enjoys being with people whether it’s time to play or time to relax. Did someone mention getting out the squeaky toys and a ball or two? Ivy never misses an opportunity to have fun, and will need a home with a 6′ fence so she’s not tempted to find fun outside of her yard, and even helps tidy up afterwards by taking all toys to her bed. R&R time is good too, best done with her close by–naturally– since you never know when something might come along which would require some needle-nosed attention. Great company, that’s our Ms. Ivy!! For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will remember the sweet birds of youth chirping in the budding trees of hope caressed by the warm breezes of promise, which have now become skeleton like branches, dark against an overcast sky, empty, except for the single black raven that sits silently watching, like death...erm...we mean will remember that we have often discoursed on the relative merits of the overlord's overseers down in the sunshine state and after extensive analysis, study and reflection have generally drawn the conclusion that basically, they suck gravel through a straw. They are to efficiency as stoplights are to space exploration. They are to effectiveness as waterfalls are to windmills. They are to commitment as helicopters are to hermit crabs. They are...well, you get the point. And in spite of the fact that it has become general knowledge that the office housing the aforementioned regulating body is nothing more than a warehouse for idiots, they don't seem to mind.
"You can't have individuals who have been implicated in apparent cases of Greyhound neglect or Greyhound cruelty or serious cases of Greyhound drug positives like cocaine continue to work in this industry for months or years before action is taken on their case," said Theil who heads Grey2K USA, a Greyhound protection organization. 
 Oh, Mr. Theil, you're so cute when expect results. Of course you can have individuals who have been implicated in apparent cases of Greyhound neglect or Greyhound cruelty or serious cases of Greyhound drug positives like cocaine continue to work in this industry for months or years before action is taken on their case. This is Florida we're talking about. You must be thinking about some place where people actually do the job they are hired to do. 
The Contact 5 Investigators discovered as of July 2014, Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel wagering, which oversees dog and horse racing in Florida, had yet to resolve approximately 400 complaints that had been lodged against people who do work at the tracks A closer analysis shows nearly 20% of those complaints had been lingering for over one year.
 OK, you have to look at this from the regulator's point of view. They figure the longer it takes them to actually get out of the break room and go do their jobs, the more likely it is the person they are supposed to be investigating will die of old age, thus saving them time and the taxpayers money. It's advanced regulatory agency management theory. You wouldn't understand.
As for the state’s delays, a spokesperson for the FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation writes, "Although cases appear similar in nature, each case can vary drastically based on the totality of factors involved."
When asked to clarify what a "totality of factors" means the spokesperson said, "Well, it's like this: some folks abuse greyhounds by giving them drugs, some abuse greyhounds by not seeing they get proper medical care, some abuse greyhounds just in the basic way they treat them, and some abuse greyhounds by racing them until they are used up, then tossing them out like yesterday's newspaper. You go any idea how hard it is to keep all that straight?"

Oh we hear you FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokesperson, we really do. Maybe if you were to look for some sort of common denominator in all these cases you might be able to, you know,  get a handle on things. Of course, actually leaving your office and going into the field to investigate these incidents would help too. Just spitballing here.
In Robert Dawson's 30-year career as a Greyhound trainer, he's been cited by the state more than a dozen times.  Most in involved issues with dog medication and drug violations. This past January, Robert Dawson became the subject of yet another state investigation. This time, one of his dogs tested positive for procaine- a non-performance enhancing drug. While both his cases remain under investigation, Dawson continues his work with the dogs.
 Now why would we want to deprive the dogs of such an obviously devoted and loving caregiver such as Mr. Dawson just because of some unsubstantiated allegations, huh? Ever hear of innocent until proven guilty, or in Mr. Dawson's case innocent until he retires or dies, but the point is, we all know the overlords only got into the wholesale exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit because of their love of the breed, and to deprive Mr. Dawson contact with his beloved greyhounds would be a punishment many times more severe than any the FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation could dish out. Well, if they actually dished out punishments that is, but let's not quibble over details right now.
His attorney, Jennifer Rosenblum, sent us a copy of an email she sent to other media publications. It states in part, "As a trainer, Mr. Dawson is the person who is the absolute insurer of each Greyhound….and as absolute insurer, will receive notice of whatever alleged violation occurs, whether or not it has to do with anything he actually allegedly did.”
See? There's you answer right there. Just because Mr. Dawson's dogs are strung out on drugs doesn't mean he had anything to do with it. Sure it has happened a dozen or so time whenever he was around but it could be anybody. Personally, we blame Obama. What about you Addy?

I am a very playful, curious and loving girl. I love to give kisses. I love to run and play in the yard and play with my toys. I am housebroken. I get along with dogs of all sizes and am cat friendly. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall the relief they felt when the weight of expectation was lifted from them...erm...we mean will recall last week when we told you the sad and sordid tale of woe befalling the overlords in West Virginia. Well, it seems the intervening week has not improved conditions.
West Virginia’s greyhound racing industry could well be under siege in the 2015 regular session of the Legislature.
OK, here's a quick reading comprehension tip for those of you out there who may have been sleeping in English class the day they talked about foreshadowing. When a word like "siege" is in the lede of an article, expect bad things to happen to the subjects of said article.
There’s the study that’s been commissioned by the Lottery Commission at the behest of the two current Finance Committee chairmen (Sen. Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, Delegate Brent Boggs, D-Braxton) to determine if it would be in the state’s best interest to eliminate subsidies for greyhound owners and breeders (totaling $22.9 million in fiscal 2013, dropping to about $20 million this year with legislation passed in March cutting greyhound and thoroughbred subsidies by 10 percent).
 Now, we're not economists or anything, but it seems to us that wondering whether to stop giving free money to a bunch of losers like the overlords would be in the best interest of the state is like wondering if the pain will stop if you quit banging your head against the wall. But that's just our opinion. We could be wrong.
Given that the new Republican-controlled Legislature is not likely to propose tax increases to balance the state budget, that $20 million will look awfully tempting.
 Another quick comprehension tip: Any sentence that includes the words "Legislature, money" and "temptation" is going to end with somebody trying to scrape enough cash together to make the application fee for Walmart Greeter School.
Meanwhile, Grey2K USA, a national organization committed to outlawing greyhound racing nationwide for humane issues, has hired Rob Casto as their lobbyist this session.
That’s a significant hire, since before starting his government relations/lobbying group, Casto served more than 17 years as a House staffer, rising to assistant to the speaker.
 Casto huh? That's only one letter away from Castro, and that letter is r which is also the first letter in red. Now, we've always known the animal rights wackos were secret lefties, but we think this makes it pretty obvious that this Theil guy is a flaming commie and he's in league with that Casto fellow to turn West Virgina into some sort of socialistic dystopia where all the money goes to things like social programs, education and stuff leaving the poor overlords to sleep in the park with only their faith in the free enterprise system for a blanket.
Sam Burdette, president of the state Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association, has already made overtures for a buyout plan if the Legislature would pass a decoupling bill – eliminating the requirement that the management of Mardi Gras and Wheeling Downs operate greyhound racing as a condition of maintaining their casino licenses.
Oh sure Sam, turn your back on your fellow overlords. Do you really think sucking up to the new politburo will save you a trip to the reeducation camp when their takeover is complete? It's like you're only in it for the money, Sam, unlike your fellow overlords who are part of the wholesale commodification of innocent living creatures for (no) profit because they love the breed so much. Nobody likes a sellout Sam.
However, the industry is not likely to go down without a fight, likely with outside money and interests pushing for continuing the state subsidies and racing – particularly from Florida, home of 13 of the nation’s 21 remaining greyhound tracks, and where the industry fought to defeat a decoupling bill in the Florida Legislature this year.
Oh man, talk about outside agitators. Oh wait, we thought the Grey2K animal rights wackos were the outside agitators. OK now we're all confused. This make any sense to you Teddy?

I am a very laid back boy. I love to cuddle. I am friendly and love to be around people. I love to have kisses on my head. I get along well with dogs of all sizes and cats. I can go up and down the stairs. I love to go for car rides. I know how to go to the door and tell you I need to go outside. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here