Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, the overlords...no one cares more about the fate of the units...er...dogs than they do. Think about it. After you've exploited a dog for every penny you can, after you've managed to avoid actual work by taking advantage of a greyhound's natural joy in running, even if it is running around an oval with too many other dogs, inches from death so social security recepients with third grade eduacations can win enough money for a pack of cigarettes, you can go up to that dog's two and a half by three foot cage and say thanks for the effort, I'm letting you go.

As the greyhound racing season ends in New Hampshire, what happens to the dogs? They aren't euthanized, officials say, and some get better treatment than most house pets.

Some?

At the Lodge at Belmont, most of the 250 dogs go on racing at other locations. This year, 90 dogs remain, with 70 going into retirement. These dogs go up for adoption. But for the second year in a row, the influx of dogs coming in from The Lodge and other tracks in the state are causing an overflow, according to Ken Wright, director of the Central New Hampshire chapter of Greyhound Pets of America.

"We'll ship as many as we can off to the low grade tracks where conditions are even worse than here, sell a bunch to medical experimentation and try to get rid of whatever's left over," Wright said. "We operate on the out of sight out of mind principle here, so a dog that's gone is a good dog."

But hold on. Because some overlords care so much for the units, they do everything within their power to see that adoption is the fate for all their unprofitable inventory.

Well, maybe not.

A former owner of greyhound racing dogs has accused an Iowa man of pretending to adopt more than 1,000 dogs, then selling them for medical experiments. "I care about my units...er...dogs," said George Panos, who raced greyhounds out of a kennel in Hudson, Wisconsin. "And this guy took dogs I thought were going to be adopted and sold them. Worse, I didn't get a cut."

Daniel Shonka of Cedar Rapids sold the dogs to a medical research firm in St. Paul, Minnesota, for an estimated $400 to $500 each. The firm used the dogs for medical tests, implanting them with cardiac devices such as pacemakers, the lawsuit said. The dogs were then euthanized.

Shonka could not be reached for comment. "He's on a collection trip out west right now," said a spokesperson from his office. "But he categorically denies Panos' charges. It was more like $300 per dog. Do you know what shape a racing dog is in when it comes off a track? We're lucky we got that."

OK, let's see if we got this straight. After a greyhound has done all it can do to keep the overlords from having to actually work for a living it is either killed, sold for medical research, or adopted. OK, that's a one in three chance for a life after the track. Well, unless it's given to an adoption program that sells it for medical research. Bongo, you are one lucky puppy.

Bongo is very sweet and loving. He follows the Foster Mom all around the house and pushes his way in between other 2 greys in house for all the attention. He loves to look at himself in the mirror and throws his toys all around the house when he plays. He loves his squeaky toys. His foster mom is training him to sit and he’s ½ way there. He is very pretty and loveable. Bongo would do best in a home with another dog to keep him company, as he tends to be vocal when left alone. For that reason, he needs a single family home with someone home more often. He is good with well-mannered children, ages 5 and up. He would okay, as an only dog if someone were home more often to give him attention. 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.


2 comments:

Los Brushes said...

Hey, thanks for giving me a shout out last week. Great job with Friday Hound Blogging... check out those ears!

Keep telling the world how it is for hounds... as you know we have three at home, all with troubled pasts. Great dogs, those greyhounds...

Ironicus Maximus said...

Most welcome, although we hope for the day when we don't have to write about homeless hounds.