Friday, May 08, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Let's see. What fresh hell has descended on the overlords this week? Overlord treating his canine charges to the highest level of care because they represent such a large investment of time and money and thus deserve only the best?
An Austin man is charged with nine counts of animal abuse after finding 14 severely underweight Greyhounds in his care that he was supposed to be training to race.
 Nah, overlord training techniques and care philosophy have been well documented. So it looks like just another week of innocent living creatures trapped in the death camps as an ever dwindling subset of barely sentient swamp lichen strive to avoid gainful labor by subjecting more helpless greyhounds to potential injury and death in the cruel and heartless pursuit of (no) profit. But wait, what's this?
Lawmakers consider folding on West Virginia’s greyhound industry.
Whoa. That can't be good. What's up Mountain Staters?
When Sam Burdette first visited the Tri- State Greyhound Park in Cross Lanes in the mid-1980s, he didn’t even know how to read the program. The sheets of paper were filled with an overwhelming array of fractions and decimals, arranged in almost indecipherable rows and columns.
And now he's the head overlord in the state.  What a success story! What commitment! From barely understanding what the sport of wholesale greyhound abuse was like to becoming its chief spokesman and advocate. We salute you Sammy boy. Tell us more of your journey.
Burdette was a civil engineer, comfortable with crunching numbers. He started keeping a notebook, making hypothetical bets on races based on the handicapping numbers in the program. “Each day I’d tally it up and see if I was ahead or behind. I was approaching it from an analytical standpoint.” The experiment ran for three months. By the end Burdette realized if he had used real money, he would be $200 behind. “I said, well, you can’t buy groceries with that. My object was to take money away from the racetrack, not leave it there,” he says. “To this day, I don’t bet.”
 How inspiring! Wait, what? Sam, are you sure that's the message you want to send? We mean, when the head overlord in the state says the first thing he learned about greyhound racing was it's a scam, that really isn't helping the industry's public image.
Nationwide interest in greyhound racing started declining. In 2001 there were greyhound tracks in 15 states around the country. West Virginia is now one of only seven states that continue to race dogs, and the sport has grown increasingly unpopular in this state as well.
See what we mean? OK, sure the decline is probably more due to the fact that you abuse, injure and kill man's best friend than the rubes figuring out losing the rent money two dollars at a time is not a ticket to riches, but still it can't be helping.
In early 1994 the West Virginia Legislature legalized video lottery terminals—better known as slot machines—at state greyhound tracks. But over time, the slot machines that were supposed to help the greyhound industry began to overtake it. “People switched over from racing to slot machines. They and sit there in a trance and push that button,” Burdette says. He likes to joke—not incorrectly— that it used to take all night to lose $50 at the dog track. With a slot machine, it can take just a few minutes.
Well, Rubes B Rubes Sammy boy, but you gotta give 'em this: They're efficient.
Although it was clear the greyhound racing was suffering, no one had collected the evidence to prove it. So in 2014 the legislature ordered a $68,000 comprehensive study of the industry. The Spectrum report found live wagering on races fell by 55 percent between 2004 and 2013, from $35 million to $15.8 million. Researchers also found the greyhound industry now largely relies on video lottery and table games revenues for its purse awards. The additional revenue still wasn’t enough to stem the decline in purses, however. 
Well sure it sounds bad when you say it like that, but we all know the brutal commodification of defenseless greyhounds for (no) profit is poised for a comeback. Just ask the overlords in Des Moines. Uh, you'll have to leave a message though, they're off begging for another $5 mil on top of the $32 mill they already got so they can open without going into debt for the first week or so.
As surprising as some of the findings were, the report only confirmed what many people—lawmakers, greyhound breeders, and track officials—already knew. “It’s not only decreasing in popularity, it’s dead,” says Danny Adkins, vice president of Mardi Gras’ parent company, Hartman & Tyner, Inc.
Oh Jeez, that's a little harsh don't you think Mr. Adkins? Usually when death comes up in relation to racing we're talking about another dog, not the whole industry.
Burdette says members of his organization are well aware of the state of their industry. “As times change, as technology changes, they have to change their business model. If it’s no longer beneficial to have greyhound racing, fine.”
Oh sure, that's easy for you to say Sammy. You quit pouring your money down that rat hole years ago. What about all the stupid people, what are they going to do? Just take their social security checks and set them on fire? That's no where near as exciting as watching trapped greyhounds flying around a track breaking bones. And what about your fellow overlords? What other career values a skillset that includes lack of empathy, willful ignorance and levels of dishonesty and disconnectedness from reality that rise to sociopathic levels? What's that you say Gunner? Maybe they could get jobs with Comcast?

 

I am like a gigantic puppy. I am very friendly and sweet. I love to get a lot of attention. I love to be petted and cuddled. I am very smart and learn things quickly. I listen well. I love to play with my toys and run in the yard. I get along with dogs my size but no small dogs or kitties either. I am housebroken and I don’t mind being in my crate. I walk well on the leash.  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.

3 comments:

Nancy said...

From the inside out. Well done.

Robert Gross said...

This guy isn't a greyhound trainer. Never affiliated with the NGA. Kind of like the way you pretend to be a teacher.

Robert Gross said...

This guy isn't a greyhound trainer. Never affiliated with the NGA. Kind of like the way you pretend to be a teacher.