Take Stocky Hess, Ebro Greyhound Park president for example.
Greyhound racing will continue at the track in Ebro despite predictions from some racing experts that it is a dying industry, the track president said Wednesday."It's not like we have a lot of options here," Hess said. "Have you looked at the job market lately? Outside of bear baiting and dog fighting, not a big demand for our skill set. Working in a slaughter house maybe, but you need a lot of training for that, don't you?"
The owners of many tracks — along with ghost tracks that now offer only simulcast racing — are aiming to survive long enough for states to let them drop dog racing altogether and just run casinos."Our first concern is always the welfare of the dogs," Hess told reporters. "If we can just keep enough of them coming to the tracks to replace the ones we've injured and killed until we don't need them anymore, then you can do whatever you want with them...er...I mean then we'll work tirelessly to see that they are adopted into loving forever homes."
Revenues from live greyhound racing have been declining over the years, but track officials say revenues from simulcast racing and poker have eased the sting somewhat. Track owners have long wanted to be allowed to install slot machines at the tracks to bolster their revenues."It'd be great if the tracks could just dump these losers, then they could attract some people with real bucks," said Marc Dunbar, a Tallahassee attorney whose practice focuses on gaming and government law. "I mean, have you seen the rubes that bet on greyhound racing? On any given night there might be 15 people in the stands, and only four teeth in the whole group, but you walk into a casino and it looks like an AARP convention. Those blue hairs with their late husbands' insurance--that's where the money is, man."
Some dog owners and trainers say they favor slots going into the tracks as long as the law would require the tracks to continue to have dog races. In fact, they said the slot machines could bolster attendance at the track and the greyhound races."Think about it," said Teresa Duncan, who owns several dogs that race at Ebro. "Would you rather be in an air conditioned casino, sitting down at your favorite slot machine with your roll of quarters, or whatever while a server brings you drinks, or stand around outside trying to figure out how to read a racing form, watch a 30 second race, then stand around for a half hour waiting for the next 30 second race? It's a no brainer."
Joe Watson, a trainer of dogs that run at Ebro, said he is concerned about the future of dog racing. “I’ve got over 100 greyhounds,” he said. "If they end racing those dogs will be totally worthless. How am I going to recoup my investment? Oh sure, I could sell them to the Chinese for pennies on the dollar, but I'd still take a bath. Uh...I mean, how will I ever find that many greyhounds loving forever homes."
Well now, see Ivy? That's the kind of commitment we've come to expect from the overlords. We don't know why you were so worried when your career ended.
Sweet-natured little Ms. Ivy enjoys being with people whether it's time to play or time to relax. Did someone mention getting out the squeaky toys and a ball or two? Ivy never misses an opportunity to have fun, and will need a home with a 6' fence so she's not tempted to find fun outside of her yard, and even helps tidy up afterwards by taking all toys to her bed. R&R time is good too, best done with her close by--naturally-- since you never know when something might come along which would require some needle-nosed attention. Great company, that's our Ms. Ivy!! 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 here.