Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Dogs Get The Best Of Care Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. the DGtBoC Department is a division of the Don't Listen To What We Say, Watch What We Do Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of You Can Tell We're Lying Because Our Lips Are Moving, Inc.

On an almost weekly basis over the last 10 years we have brought stories to you of the disconnect between what the overlords say they do for their dogs and what they actually do. The overlords, for their part, have mostly muttered and sputtered about how we were using the activities of a few bad apples to malign the character of those upstanding citizen sportsmen and women who take pleasure in commodifying  innocent living creatures and causing them unnecessary pain and suffering up to and including death, in the fruitless pursuit of (no) profit. All of which begs the questions, if your industry has provided enough bad apples for this sucky blog to spill its pixels over for 10 years, how many bad apples does it take before you have a whole bushel of bad apples? Before all your apples are bad?

Let us answer that for you. You don't have any good apples. Even overlords who might truly care for their dogs care for them, not as you or we do, but as car enthusiasts might care for their cars. It's a great piece of machinery and they may be proud of it, but if the transmission blows out, or a sexier model comes along, they have no qualms about selling it and moving on, just as even the most caring overlord has no qualms about dumping a slow dog that is otherwise perfectly normal.

Well, we take you on this little trip through history as a way of getting to our point, which is this will be the last Friday Hound Blogging there will be. In fact this will be the last Ironicus Maximus there will be. We've done this for 10 years now and it's time to grow up...erm...we mean move on. To all those overlords out there who occasionally wandered into their public libraries and had a seventh grader show them ow to log onto the interoobz so they could have someone read this blog to them, if we insulted you over the years, good. It's the least you deserve for the harm you've done. If we believed in an afterlife we are sure you would spend eternity as a pimple on Satan's butt. And that's still less than you deserve.

To the rest of you, if we've been able to give you a moment or two of jocularity and a fleeting break from the soul crushing evil that you battle every day as a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, we are glad. Being able to laugh in the face of tragedy is what gives us strength to go on. We were told a long time ago by a animal rights wacko much wiser than we that if you're going to get into this business you can expect to have your heart broken on a regular basis. No only broken, but crushed under the weight of the enormous cruelty you must confront each time you enter the fray, and it is only your sense of humor that will save you, only your ability to step back occasionally and laugh at the incredible absurdity of it all. If we have provided a few of those moments for you, we are glad and it's been worth it.

So we'll leave you with three more examples of that absurdity; three more examples of the overlords doing what they do best at the expense of helpless greyhounds trapped in their barbaric industry. First Alan Harrell who "cares" for his dogs by drugging them. Then there are the stewards of greyhound tracks in NSW Australia who "care" for their dogs by running a cover-up of the deaths of 135 otherwise healthy dogs because they knew it would "upset the greenies." And finally, Alexander Verhagen, who "cares" for his "unneeded" dogs by driving them 250 miles so they could be killed for free, even though he knew that was a violation of racing regulations. Bad Apples? Bad crop if you ask us. Time to plow it under.

Millie, you never met Wabash Petie. He was the first refugee greyhound we featured on this blog. You will be the last. Good home and long life girl.

Millie is a one year old female who can live with cats or small dogs, and she can be an "only dog." 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, November 06, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will remember the soft kiss of youthful innocence now become the cold slap of collapsing dreams, leaving only the sharp pain of lost hope...erm...we mean will remember that we have spent a considerable amount of pixels regaling you with the imaginative stylings of the overlords in Iowa as they set out on their admittedly Quixotic quest to bring the heartless commodification, inflicting meaningless injury and death on innocent living creatures in the futile pursuit of (no) profit out of the black underworld of cruelty and into the mainstream.

Now, in the interest of being fair and balanced (which we are really not interested in) we thought we would return to the Hawkeye state now that the most current season of greyhound abuse has ended and see what the results are, and by results we mean how much dough did the overlords take in, not how many greyhounds were needlessly injured and killed because you know, the safety of the dogs is the highest concern and they receive only the finest care so we won't even bother to tell you that at Bluffs Run Greyhound Park and Dubuque Greyhound Park in Iowa, there were 797 greyhound injuries reported between January 2008 through May 2015. During the same period, 96 dogs died or were euthanized because you know, it's not relevant. Besides the overlords are now operating the track on their own dime. Well, technically it's the money the casinos gave them to go away, but let's not quibble about the details. So what's the bottom line Iowa Greyhound Park Racing Director Brian Carpenter sir?
Despite a 33 percent decline in total wagering for the year, Carpenter said he believes the park's first year under new ownership was a success.
Excuse us a minute there overlord Carpenter, but it seems calling the loss of a third of your business in a year a success is setting the bar kind of low, don't you think?
"There were a lot of people who thought we wouldn't open up at all, and once we did, there were a lot of people who thought we wouldn't make it through the year," Carpenter said of the first year in which racing at the former Dubuque Greyhound Park was run by the Iowa Greyhound Association.
Oh. Well, if those are your criteria, umm, congratulations on uh, mmm, surviving the year?
Carpenter noted that the average per-session handle, or amount wagered, for 2015 was nearly 16 percent higher than the previous year. According to figures he provided, an average of $35,771 was wagered per racing session in 2015, compared to $30,896 in 2014.
OK wait a minute. You have a full day of racing and you take in a little less that $36k for that, then you have to pay all your bills, plus give out the winnings? Man, making it through the year was a success.
Iowa Greyhound Park offered fewer racing sessions per week this year than previous years, leading to the sharp drop in total wagering activity.
You mean you only took in around $36k per session and you had less sessions which means you didn't even bring in as much money as you would have if you'd had a full schedule? OK we're beginning to see why you think surviving the year was a success.
Mystique Casino officials were equally pleased with the first year of the new arrangement, saying cutting ties with greyhound racing has helped bolster the casino's bottom line. "Am I happy with the arrangement? I can definitely say yes because it gave (Iowa Greyhound Association) a chance to continue to race and it gives us some financial respite from the purse supplements," said Mystique CEO Jesus Aviles. "I think it was a win-win."
Hey come on there Mr. Aviles, that's a little harsh don't you think? Sure it was a win for you to dump that cash sucking part of your business, but we'd hardly call it a win for the overlords. We mean, $36k? They probably got more than that from you before lunch back in the day, don't you think?
"I can tell you that the efficiencies we have gained (through the elimination of greyhound racing) have helped us keep our employees and avoid taking any austerity measures," Aviles said.
Whoa. Hang on there Mr. Aviles. Please don't use the words "elimination" and "greyhound racing" in the same sentence. At least not when the overlords can hear you, right Bunko?

I am a very gentle and calm boy. I bark at my reflection when I see it in the window because I am so silly I don’t realize it’s just me. My foster parents think it’s funny and cute. I love to get attention. I am a little shy at first but not overly so and I get over it quickly. I am housebroken. I know how to go up and down the stairs. I get along great with dogs my own size. I have not seen any small dogs or cats yet. My foster mom is taking me to meet her friend’s kitties this week to see how I do so I will keep everybody posted. 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, October 23, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Echolalia Department here in the marbled  halls of IM Central. The Echolalia Department is a division of the Where Have We Heard This Before Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of Talk To The Hand, LLC.

This week we're continuing our theme of overlords serving up word salads about why they shouldn't have to join the workforce so let's visit West Virginia, the state with the highest mean altitude east of the Mississippi. Yeah. That makes sense. Lack of oxygen would certainly explain this:
A number of greyhound owners and breeders Monday urged legislators to continue greyhound racing in the state, disputing a state-funded study that found the industry is in sharp decline and survives in West Virginia only because purse funds are 95 percent subsidized from casino profits.
OK, now we're not business experts or anything, but it seems to us that if you have to have someone else give you 95% of what it takes to keep your business afloat, well, you you don't have a business--you have charity case.
“In a system that has made the state a tremendous amount of money over the years, and still employs a lot of employees, I don’t think you crumple it up and throw it away,” Steve Sarras, a Wheeling greyhound kennel owner and president of the state Kennel Owners Association, told members of the Joint Committee on Finance. 
We would agree with that. Sure casino revenue fell by $140 million last year, but they still pumped almost $50 million to the state so it's...oh were talking about greyhound racing weren't you? is a little embarrassing...see, your business actually draws money away from the state because the casinos are forced to support you instead of making those funds open to state taxes. Sorry to be the ones to tell you this guy, but you are actually a drain on the economy. Don't take it too hard though. We're sure you didn't intend to spend your life leeching off other people, that's just the way it worked out.
“The state’s making money on it. The tracks are making money on it,” greyhound breeder Patrick McMillon told legislators. “To have a report out saying we’re done … I see a lot of discrepancies in it.”
Oh we're with you there overlord McMillon. We see discrepancies too. Like the discrepancy between what you are saying and the fact that the subsidy required to continue placing helpless greyhound at risk of injury and death in the heartless pursuit of (no) profit has gone from 49% of the purse to 95% of the purse. It's not the state that's making money here Mr. McMillon, it's you because of the free ride you are getting on all that casino cash. Right Adam Steinberg, senior vice president for Spectrum Gaming Group?
In the 2013-14 budget year, greyhound racing provided $1.2 million of revenue to the state, while it cost the state Racing Commission $965,000 to supervise those races, Steinberg said. “This year, the cost to regulate will exceed the revenue to the state,”
OK, let's recap. The barbaric commodification of innocent living creatures brought the state $235,000 and next year will actually cost the state money while the casinos, even on a down year, chipped in $50 million. You know Mr. McMillon you're right, there is a pretty big discrepancy there.
Sarras countered that critics of greyhound racing misuse the word subsidy to create the impression that tax dollars are supporting the industry. “Subsidy’s a word you can throw around in the media if you want to get people upset about dog racing,” he said.
Hmmm...perhaps you have a point Mr. Sarras. Freeloading off the state is certainly going to be viewed in a less favorable light than freeloading off the casinos. Well, unless you happen to own a casino, then it's pretty much tomato tomahto.
Sarras said he believes greyhound racing benefits the Wheeling and Nitro casinos, allowing them to stand apart from the two dozen casinos in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and said he believes they would suffer as freestanding casinos.
Hard to argue with that Mr. Sarras. We mean in Ohio and Pennsylvania all you can do is go to a casino whereas in West Virginia you can go to a casino with a greyhound track attached that everyone is ignoring. OK, that didn't come out right. You got a better way to say that Brody?

My foster mom says I am a “perfect” dog. I am very well mannered. I am calm, gentle and friendly. I will approach you for petting. I love to go for walks and I walk great on the leash. I am housebroken. I have met dogs my size, small dogs and even some kitties. I get along with all of them except for small white ones. I guess they remind me too much of my racing days and the electronic bunny. I had a big outing at the recent Pet Expo. I met all kinds of people and I loved them all so much. 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, October 16, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know that the true measure of success is how quickly expectations are lowered to match circumstance...erm...we mean know that on occasion we like to treat you to the pensive musings of a particular overlord on the benefits of placing innocent living creatures at risk of meaningless injury and death in the pursuit of (no) profit. In that regard we would like to introduce you to  Jack Corey who is the chief (and only) lobbyist for overlords in Florida because he was the only one who would work for shiny objects. Mr. Corey has recently had his medication re-balanced and is here today to share some of what the voices in his head have been telling him about why the heartless cruelty helpless greyhounds are subjected to on a regular basis is really a good thing. Take it away overlord Corey:
Now, some of you who are less informed might have thought people went to Florida for the almost 2000 miles of coastline, or the beaches, or the temperate climate. Nope. All around the other states people would often ask "Where can we go when we want to see hapless greyhounds get injured and killed while we're losing the rent money? Oh we know. Florida!" It's right there in the travel brochures.
Just as important, greyhound racing track owners have made billions in revenue and made a big contribution to Florida’s economy over the years.
Wow, billions! Boy, we bet if you presented that in graphic format it would really be impressive. Wonder what that would look like?

 OK, so maybe not.
Well, by the looks of that graph they need all the help they can get, but here are our questions: If they're doing that poorly with protection from competition, what's the point of protection? And who is being protected? The overlords from the job market?
Right. We get that. Greyhound racing was in the tank so the state let the tracks open a new business rather than fold.
Those enhancements were added only because of the track owners’ continued commitment to their underlying business: greyhound racing.
OK, so you're saying in order to show their commitment to greyhound racing they created a whole new arena for gambling in the clubhouse away from the track that no one was coming to anyway? We don't think commitment means what you think it means.
Despite the promise to keep racing, many track owners now want the Legislature to allow them to get rid of greyhound racing while keeping the card rooms and slot machines. They want to create small casinos that will dot Florida’s landscape from Pensacola to Miami and everywhere in between. That’s despite the state’s constitutionally mandated prohibition of casino gaming, with the exception of Indian gaming controlled by the federal government.
Umm...maybe you haven't noticed but they already have the card rooms and slot machines so "create" has kind of already happened, know what we mean?
Oooo. injecting a little class warfare in there. Those evil millionaires against the poor yeoman small business persons. Elitist scum care only about making money at their tracks, as opposed to the owners, trainers and breeders who are in it for the love of the sport and of the dogs. You can tell the depth of this love by the number of tracks that have opened in states that have banned betting on live racing.
Many of our members are multigeneration owners, trainers and breeders. They love their greyhounds — and love racing.
Apparently you never met Ronnie Williams, or Ursula O'Donnell, or James "Barney" O'Donnell, or Lance LaFreniere or Nancy Guimond, or, well let's just say you need to get out more, Mr. Corey.
Asking the Legislature to end greyhound racing, or as it’s called in Tallahassee “decoupling,” is wrong for several reasons. First, it gives Floridians no voice in deciding whether they want to convert pari-mutuel facilities into mini-casinos. 
Well, like we said Mr. Corey that's already happened, and as for giving the voters a voice, it sounds like they've already spoken.
Gross receipts at cardrooms across the state rose from $2.8 million in 2001-02 to $125 million 2010-11. The state’s 10 percent tax has risen right along with it. Meanwhile, the amount wagered on horses, dogs and jai alai has seen a steady decline, from $1.7 billion in 2001-02 to $883 million 2010-11.
Have you had your hearing tested recently? Just asking.
OK, now we're beginning to think you just aren't paying attention Mr. Corey. Core operation? Dude, track owners are running away from racing faster than a republican runs from a fact checker.
Logically then, if there is no greyhound racing, why should these facilities be allowed to operate?
Oh! Oh! We know! We know! Because they are in business to make money and Honey, ain't no money in racin' dogs. Word up.
If track owners can’t succeed at greyhound racing, with a guarantee of a no-competition monopoly, they should simply surrender their pari-mutuel license to the state and give someone else the opportunity to make it a success.
Careful what you ask for there Mr. Corey. We're thinking there's more than a few track owners that would be more than happy to drop dog racing in someone else's lap and get on with the parts of their operation that can turn a profit.
Greyhound racing remains a viable form of entertainment in Florida.
Aww, Mr. Corey. You're so cute when your delusional.
The Sanford Orlando Kennel Club proves that point. With no other type of gaming, Sanford Orlando Kennel Club uses innovative marketing to make greyhound racing as popular as ever in Central Florida.
"[A]s popular as ever in Central Florida."  Which is to say not very popular at all, unless you count the homeless people who come into the clubhouse to get out of the rain.
It’s a model for the rest of the country. It just takes a desire to make greyhound racing work, and not undercut its success in order to convert tracks to casinos.
Darn straight Mr. Corey. All it takes is a desire and commitment to make greyhound racing successful. Just ask the folks in Iowa, right Noir?

Noir is a three year old female. She will need a home without cats or small dog.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, October 09, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're pretty sure the overlords don't read this blog much. There's that whole having to put on shoes and tie them, making sure your pants are on frontwards, then going down to the library to use a computer, plus you've got the typing, the little kids staring at you and people moving away. It's a hassle, you know? Much easier to stay home and hope the neighbor forgets to take returnables out of his trash again. Occasionally though we do hear from an overlord, usually to explain to us that the reason we have trouble seeing what is plainly a fact is because we have our craniums fully inserted in our rectums. This is sometimes followed by a personal testimonial concerning how that particular overlord goes above and beyond in the care of  his or her canine charges and if we truly cared about the dogs instead of being bought off by the obscene amounts of cash we collect for being mouthpieces for the animal rights wackos we'd be down at the track with the rest of the rubes losing our savings $2 at a time.

OK so a stopped clock is right twice a day thinks us. Maybe we have been overly critical of the people who put innocent creatures in harm's way on a regular basis in the futile chase after (no) profit. Maybe if we look carefully we will see that in fact the overlords do what they say they do. Maybe it's all just bad press, a vendetta by the animal rights wackos because they are jealous of the overlords, their talent; their prestige; their glamorous lifestyles. Maybe we should stop having Stoli for breakfast.
The Mayhew Animal Home, a rescue organization in London, is searching for someone to adopt Kiddo, a greyhound whose owner gave him away when he was no longer of any use.
Now, one way of reading that sentence is that Kiddo was given up when his owner was no longer of any use--which would make a lot more sense--but we're pretty sure it's the dog. But look, we don't know the details here. This could be a very complicated situation. There could be many reasons Kiddo "is no longer of any use." Maybe he was a therapy dog and the local hospital closed. Maybe he was a service dog and his owner had a miraculous recovery. We're sure there's a logical explanation.
Greyhounds can live well into their teens, according to the ASPCA, but are often retired from racing after just a few years old. Afterward, they are euthanized, sent to breeding facilities or surrendered to shelters.
 Well that is sort of logical because when greyhounds retire from racing, they're pretty used up, right Coach Hero?
According to an analysis by GREY2K USA Research Director Matt Read, greyhounds routinely race on little rest at the Mexico track. For example, a dog named Coach Hero has entered in a shocking 413 races since 2011. Nearly half of his races occurred after he received only a single day of rest, and nearly three-quarters of his racing starts occurred after he received two days or less. An examination of other dogs competing at the track shows that Coach Hero isn't the exception. When it comes to racing on little rest, he's the tragic rule.
 But you know, it's all good because the dogs come off the track and those that aren't killed head off to a new life as pets. They have a great career to look back on and a carefree, comfortable healthy life ahead of them. No harm no foul, yo?
Racing dogs on little rest is inhumane and irresponsible. It increases the risk of injury, and can cause a disorder named exertional rhabdomyolysis, in which skeletal muscles begin to break down. According to industry handbook Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound, this disorder appears in overworked greyhounds, which it defines as "two to three races or trials per week."
Oh. Umm...OK, we're going to need one of you overlords to borrow bus fare and get down to the library so you can tell us again how much you care about the welfare of the dogs and what a great job you do taking care of them. What's that you say Maxim? Don't hold our breaths?

Maxim is a three year old boy will need a home without cats or 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.