Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

We're in a kind of meta mood here in the marbled halls of IM Central this week, so instead of our usual critical exegesis of a particular overlord, we thought we'd take a step back and look at the whole fetid blister on the buttocks of polite society that is the heartless exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit...erm...we mean the exciting and vibrant sport of greyhound racing.
Greyhound racing is illegal in 39 states, and waning interest and profits have shuttered racing in four others. In most of the places where it continues, track operators want lawmakers to boost or continue to boost their businesses.
Well, if by "boost" you mean continue to pour tax money down the racing rat hole while other, more needed social programs and services are underfunded, or don't get funding at all, so yeah, "boost" about covers it in the same way a shoplifter might say "I'm going to boost a Gucci from Nordstrom's."
Two tracks, one in Birmingham and the other just outside Mobile, hold live racing year-round. Each is regulated by a county racing commission rather than the state. The tracks are not required to report greyhound injuries.
Hey, come on, this is Alabama we're talking about, a state that ranks 47th on the list of healthy states. We're sure they'd require reporting greyhound injuries if so much of their time wasn't taken up  reporting their residents' deaths by heart attacks. Let's head over to Arizona and see what's going on.
The state’s lone track, Tucson Greyhound Park, holds live racing year-round. In May, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that requires the track to report dog injuries to the Arizona Department of Racing.
What we have here is the classic good news, bad news situation. The good news is the overlords have to report how many greyhounds they injure trying to keep themselves out of the labor pool. The bad news is they have to tell the Arizona Department of Racing which is sort of like confessing a string of bank robberies to an illegal immigrant who doesn't speak English. And is drunk. And deaf.What's going on in West Virginia?
Southland Park in West Memphis, adjacent to Memphis, Tennessee, opened in 1956. The state’s only track is among the nation’s largest, with capacity to kennel about 2,000 greyhounds and an average of 6,000 races a year, many with nine dogs per field. As is standard at horse tracks, an on-site commission veterinarian examines dogs that are pulled from a race due to injury and decides when they can return to racing.
Well, unless they're dead of course. The overlords generally tend not to race them much after that. Now you might think, what about a dog that is injured and can't return to racing. Like we said, unless they're dead...
The birthplace of greyhound wagering in the U.S. nearly 90 years ago, Florida has a dozen of the nation’s 21 active dog tracks. This spring, the Florida Legislature rejected a bill that would have ended the requirement that dog tracks hold races on-site in order to keep their gambling permits for casino-style games. Lawmakers then considered and eventually also turned down a measure to require tracks to report all dog injuries to the state. Reporting greyhound deaths became mandatory for Florida tracks last year.
Now, if you're an overlord this is a very important distinction. See, if a dog is dead, well, it's dead. Inventory spoilage. Throw it out and get another, but if it's injured, that's different. People are likely to say, OK, the dog is injured, you gonna fix it?  This represents a dilemma for you because of all the hot air you expend telling people how racing is all about the dogs and how much you invest in them and how much you care for them, so these people just naturally expect that when a dog is hurt giving you its all, you would feel some responsibility to that dog. These people just do not understand greyhound racing, so it's better for everyone if they just don't know what happens to injured dogs. Actually, it's just better for the overlords. Let's move on to Iowa.
In May, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill that will shutter Bluffs Run Greyhound Park, part of a Horseshoe casino complex in Council Bluffs, by 2016. The compromise law, similar to the one that failed to pass in Florida, will allow the Iowa Greyhound Association to continue operating a track at the Mystique Casino in Dubuque.
 And this is why they say Karma has no menu, you get what you deserve. The Iowa Greyhound Association is going to operate the track in Dubuque on their own dime. No subsidies. No tax breaks. No free money from anywhere, just them and the four people still interested in greyhound racing in Iowa. What can go wrong? Next up, Texas.
Gulf Greyhound Park near Galveston is the state’s only track with live racing, though two other tracks that normally only offer simulcast racing have recently been allowed to hold brief, one-time-only meets.
OK if you can hold "brief one-time-only meets" plural, doesn't that kind of contradict the idea of one-time-only? And what's "brief?" Do the dogs run in their underwear? We're confused. What about you Lester?

I am a joyful and happy boy. I love to play with my toys and meet new people. I love to go for walks and I am learning to do better on the leash. I get along great with all size dogs. I do not mind being in my crate. I am housebroken. 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.

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