Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Hound Blogging

We've written many times about the impression we have that greyhound racing isn't exactly a growth industry. Why do we have that impression you ask? Oh we don't know, perhaps because of this, or this, or this. Through it all though, the overlords have kept the faith. If by keeping the faith you mean totally deluding themselves. Now however it seems some cracks are forming in their cheery facade.

A battle between an 85-year-old owner of racing greyhounds and Palm Beach County's only dog track spilled over into court this week. Angry that track officials last year banned her from the grounds, Jan Barker Paisley sued the Palm Beach Kennel Club, claiming it illegally yanked her owner credentials in retaliation for her complaints about safety issues at the club on Belvedere Road.

At first we wondered about the efficacy of Ms. Paisley's strategy of suing her fellow overlords, since zero plus zero is still zero, but hey, it's not like there's anything more interesting going on, what with the writers' strike and all, so let's listen in.

Paisley claims in the lawsuit that as a regular at races for 50 years and a greyhound owner since 1985, the kennel club's action deprived her of her "one passion in life, watching her dogs race and caring for them." When it was pointed out that was two passions, Ms. Paisley replied that the racing part was really what she meant. "I threw in that caring part in case there are any animal rights whackos out there."

The stage for the suit was set when track officials had sheriff's deputies remove the Lake Worth resident from the clubhouse for trespassing. "She was interfering with the other customers," said a track spokesperson. "OK, the other customer, but what if someone else had stopped in?"

When she returned the next day, she was detained and led off the grounds. "We're pretty sure she was just lost, but we didn't want to take any chances," the spokesperson said.

Although she still owns at least one dog that races at the track, she has been unable to attend races as she has for roughly a half-century, said her attorney, Larry Bray. "I think it's pretty obvious my client doesn't have a lot going for her," he added.

In the lawsuit, Paisley claims track officials were angry over her repeated assertions that dips in the track and the absence of pads on track rails were causing dogs to get injured. Two of her dogs, Tips of Gold and Hornpopperharry, were forced to retire last year due to injuries, she says in the lawsuit. "Well, of course lack of safety protocols causes dogs to get injured," said a track spokesperson. "What's your point?"

Track General Manager Arthur Laughlin wasn't available for comment because he fell while walking the track before a race and broke his leg.

Bet you'd like to send him a get well card, huh Joe?

Joe is very loving, affectionate, curious, confident, easygoing, and calm. He gives hugs and kisses to show affection. He looks funny sometimes because he walks while he tries to scratch himself. This Florida boy is also afraid of the snow! He romps around the house, running from one area to the other. He’s playful and loves to go for walks. He’s sweet and listens well. Joe would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 5 and up. He does well with other dogs but would probably be okay 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.

Mr Shortpants update: Mr. Short Pants AKA Tyler is a sweetheart he is a very “dog-like” greyhound. He loves to go outside and play, even when the weather is cold. He loves to play. He plays tug a war with the other dogs and catches balls. He is a big love. He looks like he has short pants on with his coloring. He is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program.

And if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance for Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

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