Friday, October 02, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog sense in the bright, crisp days of fall another year slipping away and the slow, inexorable darkness of winter spreading across the scowling horizon like the raven-black wings of death...erm...we mean will recall a few weeks ago when we "chortled in our joy*" at the impending demise of Gulf Deathcamp for Greyhounds. As this week has seen no overlords go to jail, nor has it seen anymore greyhounds turning up with illegal substances in their bloodstreams--although admittedly the week isn't over yet--we thought we'd take a little trip down to the Lone Star State (Motto: We aren't stupid, just under-medicated)  and check in on how the overlords were dealing with their own personal version of the end times.
Dead insects decorate cobwebs draping from aged, teal-colored chairs in a sea of stadium-style rows. Most of the chairs are empty. A smattering of onlookers clutch betting cards.
Whoa! Now, we have to tell you gentle reader(s), we were awake in English class the day they talked about foreshadowing and when you open with dead insects and cobwebs that cannot be good.
In August, the park announced it would cease live racing effective Jan. 1. The first floor will remain open for those who want to bet on simulcast races.
Yeah, that's sort of like saying, "We're closing down but we'll leave the door unlocked in case you want to get in out of the rain or something. Watch our for the rats though."
The park's management and city officials seem uncertain about the facility's future.
Really? You're probably the only people who are. The rest of us are all like stick a fork in it brother man 'cause it is done.
"Our city coffers will feel little to no effect from the partial closure, since GGP has been on the decline for many years," La Marque Mayor Bobby Hocking said.
"That dump hasn't made a buck for the city in over 15 years," Hocking said. "We get more from parking meters than we ever got from idiots who bet on dog racing." Now, now Mayor Bobby, let's not disparage the voters. After all, some of those idiots who bet on dog racing probably voted for you. This is Texas after all.
"It's an economic engine," Jimmy Hayley, president of the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce, said of the park. Hayley said it's the small things that make the park important, like jobs created for people like his grandson, who helped lead greyhounds out to the starting blocks during summers.
We see. Apparently you don't talk to the Mayor very often Mr. Haley. Or perhaps you should quit going to City Council meetings drunk because it looks like your economic engine is missing a few pistons.
In August, Nick James, former executive director of the Texas Greyhound Association, claimed the closing will eliminate between 250 and 300 jobs and 11 nearby kennels. Calls to nearby kennels found otherwise, as many denied knowledge or involvement with the park.
"Holy crap is that place still open?" said one incredulous kennel owner who asked not to be named because his family thought he was a used car salesman. "I thought in closed down years ago."
Like previous Texas tracks that closed live racing (Corpus Christi in 2007 and Harlingen in 2009), the La Marque facility will have something to offer gamblers with the simulcast races. "They're gamblers, they gamble," said Sally Briggs, the track's general manager, who suggested that regulars would continue to frequent the park.
"Besides, what else are they going to spend their Social Security checks on? Food? Rent? Have you seen these people? They couldn't win a game of checkers if they played a jellyfish, if you get my drift bless their little hearts." We're providing a real service here, keeping them off the streets so they don't wander out into traffic."
Some onlookers told a different story. While they reminisced about days when the atmosphere of packed races rivaled that of any sporting event in Texas, some admitted they didn't plan to come after live racing ends.
"Why should I come all the way out here to watch racing on the tee vee," said one patron. "I'll just stay home and watch  it on my own set soon as they tell me what channel it's on."

Well all righty then.  Maybe Ms. Briggs was on to something when she said the park was keeping these people off the street. What do you think Wilson?

This senior gentleman is looking for his forever retirement home that will spoil him rotten! Wilson can live with small dogs, but not cats, and 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.

*Just trying to culture up the place a little. The neighbors were beginning to complain.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know that know that hope, like the harlequin leaves, burns bright in the brisk fall sun, then drops withered to the ground as the reality of winter marches forth...erm...we mean know that, as the overlords have told us time and again, when they uncover chicanery in the process of exploiting helpless, innocent living creatures for (no) profit, they move with the vengeance of the lord himself to identify and punish those who would put the worship of Mammon above the welfare of the dogs.

Except when they don't.
New details emerged Monday about the scope, as well as the possible source, of recent positive drug tests for greyhounds racing in Dubuque. Twelve greyhounds who were at Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque now have tested positive for ractopamine, a drug that is believed by some to have performance- enhancing qualities, according to Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko.
"See, this is what happens when you investigate things," Ohorilko told reporters. "And you guys wonder why we like to stay in our offices."
Nine of the greyhounds are from a kennel for Stidham Racing LLC, while the remaining three are from Robert Hardison Kennel, Ohorilko said. Stidham Racing is owned by Jon Stidham, a member of the Iowa Greyhound Association Board of Directors, while Bob Hardison, owner of the other kennel, is also on the board of directors and serves as the organization's president.
Hey come on now Mr. Reporter. Why was it necessary to point out that both of these alleged miscreants sit on the overlord Board of Directors? What are you implying? The fish rots from the head down? Are we to infer that you think the wholesale commodification and heartless cruelty inflicted upon trusting greyhounds incarcerated in the Iowa death camps is a feature and not a bug?
In the wake of the positive tests, neither kennel is being allowed to enter dogs into races at Iowa Greyhound Park. Meanwhile, trainers Alicia Bushey, of Dubuque, and Jessica Hughes, of Bellevue, Iowa, have been suspended, pending a hearing.
Ha! See that Mr. Reporter? What were we saying earlier about the vengeance of the lord, huh? The wicked shall be called to account! Those undeserving of the great honor of caring for the units...erm...we mean the dogs shall be stripped of their responsibility and driven into the night. Tell us, oh great and powerful hearing board, what say you to those called before you to atone for their failure to live up to the high ideals inherent in the practice of putting man's best friend in harm's way on a regular basis as the overlords chase the few remaining coins in an industry zombie walking through its own demise?
Both trainers were scheduled to appear before racing stewards Monday, but their hearings were postponed for the second time in five days. A new date has not been set.
"We're hoping if we keep postponing the hearing long enough people will just forget about the whole thing," Ohorilko said.

We see. So basically what you're saying is you subscribe to the Florida theory of oversight. So do you have any explanation for the epidemic of ractopamine spreading though your state?
Preliminary tests of the dry food supplied to greyhounds indicated some ractopamine contamination, providing a potential clue about how the drug was introduced to the greyhounds, Ohorilko said.
What? How can this be? We are told almost daily by the overlords that the greyhounds are elite athletes who must receive only the best care to perform at their peak. Surely you aren't saying the overlords scrimp by feeding them contaminated food? How could you even consider such a scenario? Tell them Chief. You had steak and eggs for breakfast every day didn't you? And the kennel had its own personal chef, right? By the way, what happened to your leg? Slip on some spilled foie gras? Would you like some ractopamine for that?

Chief is fine with small dogs and cats, and can be an only dog. This sweet boy is looking for a forever home with plenty of toys to play with, and a loving family. Chief is very good at supervising his family and likes to be with his people. 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, September 18, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Hello and welcome to this week's installment of What Foreign Substance Are They Putting In The Greyhounds Now. Tonight's episode takes us to Iowa where the overlords are shocked we tell you shocked to discover that there is chicanery at the track.
Scientists will study whether the death of a greyhound in Dubuque has any link to the use of a risky performance-enhancing drug found in other animals from the same kennel, a regulator said Thursday.
"Scientists" will investigate what killed that greyhound? Man. That can't be good. Was Dr. Hakim Hamici not available? Oh yeah, we forgot. He's never available.
The commission is looking into dogs that have tested positive for the banned substance ractopamine. Ohorilko said two or three dogs from two kennels have tested positive for the drug, which is widely used in the U.S. as a feed supplement to help pigs, cattle and turkeys increase muscle mass. Other samples came back as suspicious and additional testing is underway at Iowa State, he said. In response, trainers Alicia Bushey, of Dubuque, and Jessica Hughes, of Bellevue, Iowa, were suspended Saturday, pending a hearing.
Hey come on. The track just opened a couple months ago and you're already going all Inspector Clouseau on them? Sounds a little fishy to us. Almost like there's some sort of conspiracy going on. Dean Miner doesn't race his dogs there, does he? Just asking.
Jerry Crawford, an attorney for the Iowa Greyhound Association, which operates the track, said all “evidence points to no wrongdoing” by any kennel employee. He said he believes the dogs ate the drug when it came in their food, unbeknownst to the employees. He said kennel employees have passed polygraph exams conducted by retired law enforcement officials in which they attested that they never gave the dogs ractopamine.
When questioned about the results of the polygraph tests Mr. Crawford defended his decision to hire the retired law enforcement individuals himself to administer the test and not to make the results public. "Just trust me on this," Crawford said. "I'm a lawyer."
As for the death, Crawford said he suspects it is from a lung infection but “has no idea” whether it could be linked to the drug.
 "Look, we lose dogs all the time for all sorts of reasons," he said, "the sad part is that dog was making somebody money and now he's not. Let's keep the real victim in mind here."
Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko said the source of the drug hasn’t been confirmed, and that samples of meat the dogs were fed are being tested. He said regulators haven’t seen the substance in Iowa racing before.
 "We also haven't seen just one track in the state either," Ohorilko said. "One track with a bunch of desperate losers trying to suck the last few bucks out of a dead industry by trampling over one another chasing the next two dollar bet."

Well now that's a little harsh isn't it Mr. Ohorilko? After all, the overlords have told us time and time again that the wholesale commodification and heartless curelty involved with placing innocent living creatures in harm's way in the pursuit of (no) profit is all about the dogs. You've probably heard that many times, huh Bates? By the way, what happened to your leg? Would you like a little ractopamine for that?

Bates can live with cats and/or small dogs, but we don't yet know if he 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, September 11, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the path to enlightenment is circular...erm...we mean know that on numerous occasions we have discoursed on the plethora of banned substances that course through the veins of both the overlords and their canine charges. In the interests of full disclosure we feel it necessary to point out that as charter members of the Stoli for breakfast club we are not in a position to sit in judgment on the particular conscious altering choices that the overlords might make, only to point out that, like us, they make a choice whereas the greyhounds do not. Which brings us to one Brian J. Webb.
A Mardi Gras Casino greyhound tested positive for cocaine, but the dog's trainer apparently got off on a bureaucratic technicality regarding the Division of Para-Mutuel Wagering's inspection manual.
When asked to explain what the "technicality  regarding the Division of Para-Mutuel Wagering's inspection manual" was, Chelsea Eagle, Deputy Director of Communications for Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation said, "Well, basically, no one in the office had read the manual. That thing's like a zillion pages long. And no pictures! What do you want from us?"
According to a report filed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, inspectors paid trainer Brian J. Webb a visit several weeks later to interview him about Waylon Hambone testing positive for the illegal drug.
We have secured a transcript of that interview which we present for your edification:

Interviewer: Do you know anything about your dog being high on cocaine?

Webb: No.

Interviewer: OK thanks.

The Bureau also conducted followup interviews with Webb's two assistants, Tyus Hall and Ghloam Quintero. The trascipt of those interviews is reproduced in its entirety below:

Interviewer: Do either of you know anything about how one of your dogs came to have cocaine in its bloodstream?

Hall: What?

Qintero: I can hear colors man!

Interviewer: OK thanks.
Webb's case has gotten lost in the bureaucratic shuffle of antiquated rules, even in the face of at least twenty greyhounds that have tested for cocaine in recent years.
"Now look," Eagle said. "The Department's position is that most of those people are high most of the time. How else are you going to get through a day where you routinely put innocent living creatures in harm's way for no good reason and even less money? If, occasionally some of those...uh...coping enhancers find their way into an actual greyhound, well, that's just a cost of doing business, you know?
According to records, Webb is no stranger to run-ins with the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in the past. On March 24, he was fined by the state for an unspecified incident recorded on December 17, 2014 — three days after Waylon Hambone's positive test result.
When asked to explain why the incident was "unspecified" Eagle said, "It's my understanding that everyone was drunk at the time and no one has a clear memory of what actually happened."
Further records show that a Brian Webb from the Dubuque, Iowa, Greyhound Park was suspended in 2009 for 32 days for "the use of profanity, fighting, threatening, and intimidating behavior on facility premises." Webb was cited after he "made intimidating and threatening physical contact with another licensee." it seems the heartless commodification of innocent living creatures in the pursuit of (no) profit tends to make one rather testy. This surprise you at all Ripkin?

Ripken can live with cats or small dogs, but we don't yet know if he 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, September 04, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the What Was Your First Clue Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The WWYFCD is a division of the Plain As The Nose On Your Face Company, a wholly owned subsidy of Well Duh, Inc.

It seems The good people of Australia have taken a look at greyhound racing and are shocked we tell you shocked to find that all is not as the overlords keep telling them it is.
The RSPCA is calling for a string of reforms to improve the welfare of greyhounds in the South Australian racing industry and deter breeders from live baiting and doping. RSPCA SA chief executive Tim Vasudeva says an integrity agency is required because the industry is incapable of regulating itself.
 Oh come on Mr. Vasudeva, that's a little harsh don't you think? We mean surely an industry that commodifies innocent living creatures and regularly places them in harm's way in the futile pursuit of (no) profit, then abandons them like used bird cage liners when they're no longer useful must have the best interests of the dogs at heart; must give them the highest level of care and support; and must provide for their well being. This goes without saying.
"We don't believe there is any genuine willingness to look at a serious path for reform," Mr Vasudeva said in Adelaide on Monday. As an example of the industry's failure to self-regulate, Mr Vasudeva spoke of case earlier this year in which the RSPCA and police found controlled drugs at a leading greyhound breeder's property in Two Wells. He said the RSPCA informed the GRSA of the discovery and asked officials to test the dogs - but they didn't do it. "As far as we're concerned they're not interested in knowing whether doping is going on in South Australia," Mr Vasudeva said.
Well in the GRSA's defense it was never conclusively proven those "controlled drugs" were meant for the greyhounds. We mean, when you're an overlord it's not like you chose that career because you couldn't get into medical school, you know? Being a third grade dropout who is a borderline sociopath kind of limits your options is all we're saying. Indulging in a little illegal conscious alteration from time to time is a small reward for having to get up every morning and look at yourself in the mirror.
"You cannot have an industry where perfectly healthy greyhounds are being shot just because they're not quick," Mr Vasudeva said.
Umm...Mr. Vasudeva? You do have an industry where perfectly healthy greyhounds are being shot just because they're not quick. Let's keep our focus here.
Mr Vasudeva said it was "quite clear" the industry was aware that live baiting was occurring.
Well, sure. Look, it's pretty clear the overlords don't give a freeze dried rat's patootie about the greyhounds if they can't suck a few bucks off of them, so why would you think they would care about the rabbits, or cats or whatever other animal whose unneeded and violent deaths they caused? You know, you can say a lot about the overlords (and we do) but one thing you have to admit is they're consistent, right Ayla?

Ayla is an eight year old girl who is not okay to have a feline brother or sister, but will need a medium to large canine furry companion. 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.

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