Anyway, as you might imagine, claims and counter claims have been flying thick as fast in the Bay State resulting in all kinds of confusion amongst the populace. Should a paltry few ne'er do wells be allowed to continue a cruel and abusive practice that is dying out anyway?
Truly a quandary, no?
Not to worry, oh concerned, but somewhat slow public, the Salem News is on the job. They sent crack journalistic reporter Lois La...er...Barbara Anderson to a recent debate where she used her highly honed journalistic reporter skills to ferret out the truth like a...well...ferret. Let's listen in, shall we?
Chip Ford and I were there because he was arguing for "Yes on 1" and I was trying to decide about Question 2. I thought I had already made up my mind to vote for Question 3 because I'm an "animal nut" who always votes yes on animal rights issues.Oooh, a complication. As an "animal nut" she automatically likes animals (probably a vegan too), but as a journalistic reporter and graduate of Bill's School of Journalistic Reporting and HVAC Repair Academy she can not let her personal feelings get in the way of her single-minded march to the truth.
As I watched proponent Christine Dorchak accusing greyhound owner and trainer John O'Donnell of inhumane treatment, I began to wonder: Why would people who had invested in a dog to win races mistreat him in ways that would prevent his maximum performance?Umm...because it's easier to bring on a new dog in the hopes it will win right away, than invest in a dog that is losing. See, greyhound racing is sort of like buying Lotto tickets. If this week's ticket doesn't win, you don't save it until next week, you throw it away and get another one. (This is the foreshadowing we warned you about. Pretty fancy huh? Wait until we get to the chapter on sarcasm)
I read the voter information booklet, noted that dogs are sometimes injured while racing. The little quote about the sailboat kept returning and transforming itself: A greyhound who doesn't run won't be injured, but what are greyhounds for?Oooh! Oooh! We know! Pick us! Pick us! See, greyhounds are just as happy running around in your backyard, or in a park and in those places there's a lot less of a chance they'll get hurt because there isn't a highly electrified rail on their left, they aren't running on a track that may not have undergone proper maintenance and there aren't seven other greyhounds inches away from them running just as fast who may bump them or fall in front of them. How'd we do?
I wondered: If greyhounds could vote, how would they vote on Question 3? So Chip and I went to John O'Donnell's kennels to ask them.See, that's something she learned in journalistic reporter school--go to the source. We just hope she knows how to speak greyhound.
As O'Donnell opened the doors to the stacked cages, each dog walked or leapt into the one with his name on it. For sure, cages make me uncomfortable, but I have friends who keep their pet dogs in crates; though I'd never do that with my own, I'm getting used to it.Oh, well as long as you're getting used to it, we guess staying in a crate for 18 - 22 hours a day isn't so bad. As long as you're not the one in the crate, huh?
Some cages had a number — the ideal racing and health weight — controlled by weighing the food, which looked good enough to share.Really? What are they paying you at the paper?
I learned that it is illegal in Massachusetts to euthanize a greyhound until a reasonable effort is made to place them for adoption, and that effort seems successful because many people want these gentle, retired "athletes," as the trainers call them. This makes them more protected than shelter animals.That's true. OK, don't count the chances of getting killed or injured on the track, sold for medical research or shipped off to a low grade track and an uncertain future, but other than that, these dogs are living the life of Riley. As long as Riley keeps winning that is.
Honored as hunters and pets by ancient Egyptians and British royalty, the greyhound was brought to America in the late 1800s to help Midwestern farmers control the crop-eating jackrabbit; coursing events soon followed.That's true too. It's only in the last few years they've lost that honor and become profit centers for people unable to be trained to say "Welcome to Walmart."
Official racing may be in decline already; with the many protections built into Massachusetts regulations, but I can't bring myself to vote to end it now.OK, we're guessing she doesn't speak greyhound, or at least doesn't know the cuss words. What do you think, Bongo?
Bongo is very sweet and loving. He follows the Foster Mom all around the house and pushes his way in between other greyhound 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. He’s always looking for squirrels in the yard. He jumps up and catches a toy and he likes to play tug-of-war. He will catch toys if you throw them up in the air. He enjoys playing with people and the family dogs, running through the house and having a great time. Bongo would do best in a home with another average to larger size 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. He can jump a standard 4 foot fence if he really wants to do it. 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.