Whilst surfing around the overlord side of the intertoobz the other day we ran across this particularly distressing headline:
Now, for those of you keeping score at home, the track owners are the individuals who own the real estate upon which the overlords eke out their tick like existence on the backs of the greyhounds brought into this world for the sole purpose of making them rich.
And therein lies the problem.
What used to be a glamorous, lucrative sport has become a money-losing proposition that brings a black eye from animal-welfare groups. “This is an industry that is dying in Florida and all over the country, and it’s dying because of competition from other forms of gambling,” said Carey Theil, an anti-greyhound racing activist and the executive director of Grey2K, a nonprofit group that campaigns to put an end to dog racing in the seven states where it remains legal. “It’s dying because of concerns about the way dogs are treated in this industry.”Ha! Just what we would expect from a well known animal rights wacko like Theil. See, here's the problem with people like Theil: they're not overlords. Anyone in the industry will tell you that until you've actually been an overlord you can't say anything about racing, no matter how much you've read, or seen, or studied. We call this the There is no Australia gambit. And there you go. Since Theil has never personally participated in the institutionalized cruelty that is greyhound racing, he can't talk about it. As the lawyers say, ipso facto, cavet emptor, cave canem case closed. We're sorry. What did you say Izzy Havenick owner of the Naples–Fort Myers Greyhound Track and Poker Room?
“The state of Florida law mandates that we continue to run the dogs in order to keep the poker room open,” he said. “We’re legally obliged to keep a business operating that loses $2.5 million a year.”Ruh Ro. Sounds like Mr. Havernick has been to Australia. And he didn't like what he saw.
Betting on greyhounds has fallen by more than half in Florida over the past decade. The dog races now compete for the attention of a generation that came of age with the Internet. “Most people my age and younger have no interest in going to some facility and watching an animal run around in a circle,” Havenick said.Hey! That's not fair. This is the exciting, glamorous, lucrative world of greyhound racing we're talking about. Fun for the whole family! You can't belittle an action-packed sport like this by calling it animals running around in a circle just because the animals...umm...run around in a circle. OK, you may have a point.
Florida state Sen. Maria Sachs said that the state of Florida loses money on greyhound racing, spending $1.8 million more to regulate the industry than it receives in tax revenues. “We, as a state government, should not be putting money into a sport that is actually inhumane and is losing revenue,” she said.OK, $2.5 million plus $1.8 million. Let's see, 8 plus 5, carry the two, put your left foot in, take your left foot out...Man! That's some serious coin. Why, that would buy almost 100 teachers, not that we're saying providing subsidies so the overlords can make their trailer payments isn't just as important as educating the next generation of Florida citizens. Not saying that at all, nosiree.
Former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is fighting for one group that opposes decoupling: the people who own and train the dogs. The track owners, he said, shouldn’t be so quick to throw the dog owners under the bus. “They’ve had a lot of benefits of having a monopoly in this arena and made billions of dollars,” he said of the track owners. “If they don’t want to do it anymore, fine. Relinquish the license. Put it out to bid.”Yeah. Where's the loyalty man? In a business where part is making money and part isn't you want to drop the part that isn't. Not fair. You should give up the whole thing. We're all family, right. We all sink or swim together, right? What's that you say Roma? As soon as you finished out of the money you were dropped like a hot rock and replaced by some other dog? Well, that's just business Roma, nothing personal.
Hi, my name is Roma. I am a sweet and beautiful red-fawn greyhound (just look at my picture and you will see). I am currently in foster living with two other greyhounds showing me all the things I need to know about house rules (no accidents on my record!). The best part about being in a home is becoming a part of a loving family! I have a soft bed for sleeping, great food, snacks, lots of toys, a big yard to play in, and I get lots of hugs and kisses. Oh, I love going on walks too! Life is GREYT! I enjoy being close to my family, just in case my foster mom wants to give me a good ear rubbing (look at my cute ears) and sometimes a belly rub. I enjoy quieter times too, like snuggling, and watching TV together. My foster mom calls me her “sweet Roma tomato.” I have to agree, I am pretty sweet (not sure about the tomato thing–what is a tomato)? When she calls my name, my tail wags non-stop, as I rush to get lots of hugs and kisses! I am looking for my forever loving home! What are you waiting for? Come and get me! 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.