Ah, the overlords. They may be down, but they're not out.
Last month, the New Hampshire House of Representatives declined to pass a bill that would have outlawed greyhound racing in the Granite State and effectively would have ended betting on simulcasts. The vote on the so-called Dog Protection Act was 198 to 138. "Though some complain that the dogs are mistreated at the tracks, I think they are relatively pampered," Representative Kenneth Weyler, a Kingston Republican, said last week. "Now if you'll excuse me I'm going shopping in Baghdad with Senator McCain. It's safer than Detroit you know."
Weyler, who spoke against the bill on the floor, said, "The bill would have put 500 people out of work. Do you know how many Walmarts it would take to re-employ that many workers? Well, actually only one. But it would have to be a supercenter."
"I don't think greyhound racing is an industry that reflects the values and sensibilities of the people of New Hampshire," said Representative ."Peter Schmidt, a Dover Democrat, chief sponsor of the bill to ban the sport. "Well, at least those New Hampshirites who have all their teeth."
"It's a profoundly exploitive industry that is unhealthy and unappetizing. The dogs basically spend the first four years of their lives in cages. But the tracks made a strong argument that the animals are not abused; you'd think they were living in the lap of luxury. If by 'strong argument' you mean campaign contribution."
A report prepared by Grey2K states that, in the past two years (2005 and 2006) 716 dogs were injured at New Hampshire tracks, with 22 percent, or 157, of the injuries described as career- or life-threatening.
Daniel Callaghan, a law student based in Manchester who is a lobbyist for Seabrook Greyhound Park said, "There is no question that some of the animals are injured but those injuries are minimal. I mean look, a dog has four legs so if one gets broken he can still get along at 75% efficiency, whereas if one of us breaks a leg we are reduced to 50% efficiency. See, it's all in understanding higher mathematics."
"If racing were to end, the impact on the town would be substantial," said Seabrook Selectman Richard McCann. "The track is a nice local attraction and they've been a good neighbor. Well, except for the crime and the drugs."
Mr. McCann may not want begin planning the next tourist destination just yet though. Representative Jim Splaine, said even though the "Dog Protection Act" was rejected in the House, the vote showed there is significant interest in examining further the conditions dogs live in at the state's three tracks in Seabrook, Hinsdale and Belmont."
In other words, "We're watching you." Sounds like the overlords may wish the bill had passed huh Diablo?
Diablo is a big boy. His name is Spanish for devil, but he is more “gallant” than devilish. He is a strong, happy, boy who wags his tail often. Diablo is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Diablo would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 12 and up. At this time he would probably be best as 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.