Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, it should be obvious by now to regular reader(s) of this blog that your lives did not turn out the way you mean it should be obvious that we like to make fun of the overlords. Yeah. Make fun. Of them. Anyway, we here at IM Central have never been the type who kick people when they're down, and lately, the overlords have been, well, as our old daddy used to say, so low they have to look up to see down.

Sedgwick County voters decided not to allow a resort casino in the county or add slot machines to Wichita Greyhound Park. "I don't get it," said Doug Lawrence, the Kansas Greyhound Association's executive director. "Greyhound exploitation is such wholesome family entertainment. I can't understand why people wouldn't want us to prop racing up by adding more ways for them to lose their rent money."

Lawrence said Greyhound Park owners plan to close it within 90 days, eliminating around 300 jobs. "And no, I'm not counting the dogs in that total," Lawrence said. "But yeah, the 300 counts all the people who ever worked here. We only got about six working right now, well if you count the drunk ones too."

Man. Add to that the folks in Massachusetts who are working to kick the overlords out of that state all together and you've got the perfect srtorm of rejection. But wait. The Empire Strikes Back:

This letter was created by the hard-working, tax-paying Massachusetts greyhound kennel operators, owners and trainers responding to a letter recently published in newspapers across the state by Wayne Pacello, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.

OK, we're going to overlook the fact that it took a whole industry to write a letter to the editor and instead respond to that "hard working" adjective by asking, who is it that runs around the track again? Who dies if they don't win? Inquiring minds want to know.

We would like to clear up some misconceptions, written by Mr. Pacello, about our business in Massachusetts with cold, hard facts:

Facts are best when cold, and hard. Steely eyed facts whose gaze sends shivers down the spines of the factless. Determined facts, who have a job to do and aren't afraid to do it. Facts that park in a no parking zone and just don't care. Facts that are packing heat. Lets meet the facts.

Why would owners who have invested thousands of dollars in each of these athletes (greyhounds) treat them cruelly or inhumanely?

Umm...last time we checked a question isn't a fact, but let's see if we can help you out. Since the industry is dying anyway, and the pool of available money is getting smaller and smaller it's more cost effective to dump a dog that isn't profitable and replace it with another. So as the money dries up the pressure to perform or else mounts up...on the dogs.

The animals conscripted into this industry often spend up to 22 hours a day in confinement — in small kennels that do not allow them to move around or socialize.

Now that sounds like a fact. What say you industry that doesn't apparently have any one person capable of writing a letter?

Racing greyhounds in Massachusetts are housed in climate-controlled buildings consisting of relatively large crates, in relations to the size of greyhounds, with the dimensions written into the existing rules and regulations by a committee comprised of representatives of the Massachusetts State Racing Commission, its veterinarian, MSPCA and Grey2K. These crates are comparable to the largest crate sold at PETCO for dogs like Great Danes and St. Bernard.

So, if the dimensions are "written into the existing rules" why is "relatively large crates" the best you can do? And even though they are "comparable" to the crates for Great Danes and St. Bernards, how many Great Danes and St. Bernards spend 22 hours in their crates? Ever fly coach? Ever fly coach for 22 hours?

The most important part of a greyhound's day is his or her recreational time in the kennel yard.

Well, duh. Sure it is if you're spending 22 hours in your crate. Heck, prisoners get more time out than that. Even prisoners in Iranian prisons.

There has been no documented evidence of cruelty by an owner/trainer to a greyhound in Massachusetts since racing was legalized in 1935.

Erm...Racer C.G. Dude had a heavy gauge wire inserted into the sheath of his penis without anesthetic by trainer John Duncan at a track in Raynham, Massachusetts, supposedly to keep the dog from sexual arousal that might alter his racing performance. Duncan reportedly performed the procedure regularly on male dogs in his care.
Boston Globe / Larry Tye, Robin Romano
November 8, 1992

Well...Six greyhounds were reportedly found in serious neglect in an unheated kennel near Rayhnam Greyhound Park. Kevin Holloway of Halifax, Mass, a former kennel worker at the track, was charged with six counts of cruelty to animals following a month-long investigation by the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). According to an ARL source, a total of nine malnourished greyhounds were found at the kennel and showed signs of long-term neglect. Holloway reportedly told investigators that he 'got in way over his head…and did not feed them all the time.' A Raynham track official claimed to have reported the deplorable conditions to the National Greyhound Association, the industry's breeding association, a year earlier.
Sources: Taunton Daily Gazette, The Boston Globe (2/9/00); WFXT-25 - Fox 25 News Ten

Uh...87 greyhounds burned to death in a fire at the wooden kennel compound in Lynn, Massachusetts when flames ignited the shredded paper lining their cage. The independently-owned compound houses an estimated 1,000 dogs racing at Massachusett's Wonderland racetrack. The state has no restrictions in its racing rules and regulations regarding housing and general treatment of the dogs.
Boston Globe/Bryan McGrory
February 14, 1992

OK, negligence isn't necessarily cruelty, we'll give you that one. Dogs are still dead though. Just saying.

Greyhounds were born to run. As "bird dogs," they see, hear and chase. They are at their happiest going to race.

No, you are at your happiest when they are going to race because you're anticipating being able to make another trailer payment. Greyhounds like to run, but they're just as happy running in a park or around a backyard where their lives aren't at stake. Right Pluto?

Decaf AKA Pluto is very well-mannered, easygoing and mellow. He has funny ears. He enjoys attention, but is also fine to be resting alone. He enjoys finding a sunny spot on the floor. He doesn’t like it when his foster mom takes a nap on the couch; he wants her to wake up and he will push his head against her. Pluto would do well with a family working part-time or a stay at home family. He needs a home with no children. He is good with other dogs and he’d be fine 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.

UPDATE: OK, we're guilty of a little Ironicus reader profiling. One guy's life did turn out the way he'd hoped. Stop by and wish him and his lovely bride a happy tenth anniversary. As for the rest of you...Stoli's in the freezer


George said...

it should be obvious by now to regular reader(s) of this blog that your lives did not turn out the way you hoped

That's a fine how-di-do for a Friday.

George said...

To be honest right back at ya, while marrying Amy and ending up with Mookie and Nigel are things beyond my wildest dreams, I did not become: 1)a rock critic for the Village Voice; 2) a cutting edge stand-up; 3) a poet who would make John Ashbery cry with jealousy; 4) the second-coming of Clarence Darrow; 5) a better person.

James said...

Mmmmm, Stoli.

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