More tracks closed, more states decided animal exploitation wasn't a business they wanted to associate with and more overlords discovered the help wanted section of the newspaper. Still, the end of one year is the beginning of a new one and where there is youth, there is hope, so as sure as the old year seemed to continually slap the overlords upside their empty little heads with the reality that people with souls are not amused by their presence, the overlords took that as a sign that prosperity was just around the corner if they could hang on, tick-like to the backs of the dogs a bit longer.
Take Florida for instance, racing central for what's left of the industry. Things could be looking up there, right Linda Robertson?
Dog racing has been in decline for 20 years. In Florida, where 16 tracks survive, the handle, or amount wagered, on racing has dropped from about $620 million to $300 million in 10 years. Pari-mutuel wagering on dog racing, horse racing and jai alai has fallen 44 percent in the past 10 years, from $1.7 billion to $958.5 million, and state tax revenues have fallen by 55 percent as a result. The handle at Miami's Flagler dog track was $25 million last year.See? That's not so bad. Every industry has ups and downs, so what if racing has been on a down for 20 years and shows no sign of every having an up again. When the alternative is getting a real job, you take you victories where you find them, right Juan Fra, Magic City's general manager?
``Live racing is a money-loser,'' said Fra. He's spent his entire career in the business, starting as a 15-year-old leadout who walked the dogs through the post parade to the starting line. ``I feel bad for the people on the greyhound side. Like fishermen, it's what they know. But you've got to adapt. Luckily, I love poker.''Yeah. We played poker with some fishermen once. Got cleaned. Get it? Cleaned. Like a fish, you know? Hey the humor is subtle on this blog. Try and keep up, will you?
OK, so people don't want to watch innocent animals risk their lives on the track anymore so the overlords can make the trailer payment. What happened? Where did animal exploitation go wrong Mike Scofieldson?
Although there are no rules governing Greyhounds Racing in many countries, that doesn't stop people from drugging their dogs for better performance. In addition to that, the poor treatment with chemical enhancements has resulted into health problems as well as the rough nature of the dogs. Mistreating the dogs will have not only a negative effect on the dogs, but also the way the sport is seen around the world.OK we get it. When people see innocent animals being "mistreated" in ways that injure their health,and result in pain and suffering, risk, and in many cases take their lives, they get the perception that maybe greyhound racing "bad."
Where do people get crazy ideas like that?
FOX 4 drives over....spot a few dogs out for a walk...and then a security guard stops us.Oh. Yeah. Well, there is that. Say Silver, how would you feel about wearing a wire?
Security Guard: "Well....all the management is in a meeting off site so there's nobody here who can help you."
FOX 4: "We had heard some concerns about some of the kennels. Is there anyway we can get some video in there?"
Security Guard: "No ma'am, absolutely not."
here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
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.
Eds. Note: As this is the last hound we are going to feature in 2010, we remind you of an Ironicus Maximus tradition because we're still sober enough to remember it ourselves. In this tradition we take the last skinny dog of the year and follow her from kennel to kouch. See how we played with the letter K? That's more subtle Ironicus Maximus humor right there. Funny too. Did you know K is the funniest letter in the alphabet?
Trust us. We know about these things.