Well, it turns out every rule has its exception and so does the one that says to be an overlord you either need to be dropped on your head multiple times as a child, or be raised on a diet of mercury and lead based paint because it turns out there is at least one overlord who has broken the bonds of cruel fate. The governor of West Virginia.
Our Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin grew up inside the family's ongoing greyhound racing business which has made his parents one of the top winning owner-breeders and trainers in this state. And according to state records, their greyhound dog operation is the primary source of income for Freda and Earl Tomblin Sr. Tomblin also has many friends and political support from members of the greyhound industry and the casino’s too.Now, we're not sure what that says about the quality of candidates for office in West Virginia, but it does explain this:
- Overall health ranking: 43/50
- Prevalence of obesity 45/50
- Prevalence of smoking 49/50
- Immunization coverage 43/50
- Preventable hospitalizations 50/50
- Premature deaths 47/50
But let's not rush to judgment here. After all, the overlords are always telling us that the animal rights wackos don't know what they're talking about because they don't know the depth of commitment and affection the overlords have for the units...er...dogs. Now an overlord is at the helm so to speak. An insider. A man with direct experience and knowledge of the industry and the power to make sure, as overlord Blanchard told us last week, "Greyhounds are canine athletes who must receive excellent care in order to perform at their best. This includes good nutrition, plenty of water, frequent outdoor exercise and prompt veterinary care when needed."
We could be looking at the beginning of greyhound nirvana, right Dan Adkins; Executive Owner at the Tri-State Track in Cross Lanes?
He said there were only 25 deaths in more than 43,000 racing starts last year. According to Adkins, “If you compared these numbers to the NFL or even horse racing, this would be a very low percentage.”OK, see we're not statisticians or anything so this sort of sophisticated analytical stuff confuses us because we didn't realize that we kill NFL players. We thought they were just ignored until they were reduced to helpless dementia patients, or became so depressed they committed suicide.
According to the most recent state records available, at least 3,208 greyhound injuries have been reported at Adkins track since 2005, and nearly 200 dogs have died. Further, it’s likely that the actual number of injuries and deaths is even higher because we learned during our investigations back in 2008 that the majority of off the track incidents go un-reported.See what we mean? Now when we apply our admittedly meager mathematical skills to this issue we find that there are six years between 2005 and 2010 (we're going to assume the figures for 2011 aren't in yet). If you divide six into 200 you get about 33, which--and again we're not experts so take that into account--is more than 25. And we're sure the 3,208 injuries just slipped Mr. Adkins' mind or he would have explained to us that if you compare those injury rates to the injury rate at the Battle of Gettysburg, you would find greyhounds are injured at a very low percentage.
At the Wheeling WV dog track, 707 greyhounds were reported injured between January 2008 and September 2009. More than one hundred of these injuries involved broken legs, and other reported injuries included dislocations, broken ankles, lacerations, fractured skulls and spinal injuries. Additionally, 62 dogs died or were euthanized during this period.Hmmm...Mr. Adkins is reporting 25 greyhound deaths in a year, while at a similar track just down the road, they are reporting 62. That's more than twice what he said. Why would the Wheeling track inflate their death rate like that Mr. Adkins? Perhaps you should apply some of your advanced statistical analytical skills to their records. Well, anyway, that was then and this is now. Overlord Tomblin is at the controls and like all overlords, the welfare of the dogs is his first concern so we're sure things are about to change. Right governor Tomblin?
Does Governor Earl Ray Tomblin have a close-vested interest in keeping greyhound racing in WV? It’s not a political decision; it’s about family and friends who depend on dog racing to live. Bottom line, to ban racing would take away his parents primary source of livelihood.Well, you might think that but there was that time when his parents locked him in the barn for a month because he kept telling the neighbors his parents were breeding greyhounds for racing and not in the used car business like they wanted everyone to believe. What do you think Rusty? Time for a little payback?
Rusty AKA Hemi is very friendly and outgoing. He is playful, but calms quickly. He is very easy going, well-mannered and adaptable. He is so gentle and sensitive that he would make a great therapy dog. He is a happy boy who wags his tail often and gives kisses. He loves attention from everyone. He follows his foster family around the house and he is his foster mom’s shadow when she is home. He chatters his teeth when he is excited and he likes to talk when his foster mom comes home. He loves toys and likes to toss them in the air. He is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Hemi would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 6 and up. He is good with other dogs and would love another dog to snuggle with. 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.
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.