It seems the overlords at Tucson Death Camp for Greyhounds are having a bit of an inventory problem.
Dogs at Tucson Greyhound Park typically race on at three days’ rest. About three dozen greyhounds have not raced at TGP in at least six weeks, including three that haven’t raced since February. Some greyhound advocates are worried about the condition and whereabouts of these dogs. The track says nothing is wrong.Well of course there's nothing wrong. Dogs disappear from Tucson Death Camp for Greyhounds all the time. Jeez, if you were to send a reporter out to the track every time a dog went missing, you'd have to put that person on the track payroll because he or she would be there so much. Besides, this isn't anything to concern yourself with is it General Manager Dale Popp?
“The dogs aren't unaccounted for. They are accounted for.”There you go then. Right from the horse's...um...mouth. And you can bet if Mr. Popp says it, it is true because he has that long tradition of transparency and honesty that is the hallmark of TGP to uphold.
Popp said the vast majority of the greyhounds in question, more than 30, are simply resting in their kennels at the track, mainly due to poor finishes. Dogs that don't finish in at least 4th place in six straight races must be rested, or "re-schooled." Popp says most of the others were "petted-out", meaning adopted.See, it is a common misconception that units that are no longer profitable are dumped faster than you can say Donald Trump espouses logically cogent, sophisticated policies, if you could say that without your head exploding. Those truly knowledgeable concerning the wholesale exploitation and wanton cruelty that results from putting innocent living creatures in danger of death and injury in the heartless pursuit of (no) profit are aware that dogs who are not able to finish in the money are withdrawn from competition until they can become suitably rested and be examined to ensure there is no medical reason for their performance because they are highly prized professional athletes who represent a huge investment of time and money on the part of the overlords and that investment will be protected at all costs. Just ask Ursulla O'Donnell, or Ronnie Williams. Well, Ron is still in jail so he might be a bit hard to reach. Maybe Frank Ritt and Bruno Steinmann will be available instead. They got out a while back.
We asked Popp, “If the conditions are good back there (in the kennels), and the dogs are not injured, and they're well-treated, why can't you let our camera back there to show that to the public?” He replied, “Because I don't trust the portrayal of the media.”Ha! You slippery media types aren't going to get one by Dale Popp, nosiree. He didn't just fall off the turnip truck. You want to go back there and film the injured and sick dogs stuck in their crates, the unsanitary conditions and the general lack of care and compassion greyhounds get in the kennels, then you're going to go out and put that on your TV machine for everyone to see and give all the people the wrong idea about greyhound racing. Well, not on his watch you're not!
Popp added, “It's not unusual to give dogs a rest even if you can't find anything wrong with them, just to give 'em a rest.” We asked, “For six weeks or longer?” He said, “That might be a little bit extreme. So maybe a six-week dog, maybe he is injured.” We replied, “But the only way to know how severe, if at all severe, these dogs are injured, is for you to show them to us.” He said, “No, no.”Sweet Jebus on rye with mayo will you people get down off your verification high horse? The man just told you everything is fine and you want proof? What more proof do you need? Why would he lie? What could he possibly gain by trying to hide the institutionalized brutality that results from the callous comodification of helpless greyhounds from public scrutiny?
Karyn Zoldan, a greyhound advocate who has adopted dogs that used to race at TGP says, “They're not on the injury reports and they're not on the sign-out sheets, so where are they?” Sign-out sheets, also called "disposition reports," are required to be filled out whenever a dog leaves the track. We asked Popp if he had the sign-out sheets; he said he did. We asked if he would give them to us. He said, “Actually, “I just turned them over to the state.”Now, we know what you're thinking and before you get all up on your high horse we'll tell you that Popp is not required to keep copies of the disposition reports, so no, he can't show them to you. Besides, even if he wanted to make copies, the secretary was out that day and who knows how to run that copy machine? We mean really, have you looked at that thing? Has more buttons and lights than the space shuttle.
However, Arizona Department of Gaming spokesman Greg Stiles told the News 4 Tucson Investigators in an email, “The state does not have copies of the disposition reports as they are the responsibility of the track."In a followup e-mail Mr. Stiles wrote: Christ, is that place still open? I thought it closed years ago. What a hellhole. I wouldn't send an inspector out there on a bet. Who knows what diseases they'd come back with."
We said to Popp, “The average viewer here might be thinking, 'Why doesn't he show the dogs if he has nothing to hide?” He replied, “The average viewer, and if it's not a special interest group or a member of the media, right now, again, this is my opinion, the average viewer, is welcome back there.”There you go. You heard the man. Call your friends and relatives. It's Road Trip Time, right Aladdin? Well as soon as the cast comes off. Get that while you were "resting" did ya?
This sweet, two year old boy is new to us, so we will have more information about him soon. 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.