Monday, June 02, 2008

Monday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you from the Department of Special Circumstances today. Frequent readers of this blog will note their friends have started avoiding mean that they will note that Fridays are the traditional Hound Blogging day, but it's not often we are treated to the literary stylings of one of the overlords. First of all there's that whole spelling and grammar thing to be dealt with. Very problematic when your formal education ended in the third grade. Never mind that you were sixteen at the time. Then there's saving for a postage stamp. That can take weeks.

Add to that this overlord isn't just any overlord, but Gary Guccione, who is the Communications Coordinator, American Greyhound Council which means, not only can he type, but he owns his own dictionary! Well, you can see we really had no choice but to take a time out from our regularly scheduled posting and give Mr. Guccione the floor:
The May 23 letter from Tom Kortie about greyhound racing reflected the writer's lack of knowledge about the sport.
Doggone right, Mr. Guccione. People go out and read newspaper articles and see news reports about greyhounds turning up dead, or dying, or just disappearing and then think greyhounds are turning up dead, or dying or just disappearing. Where would they get an idea like that?
More than 90 percent of all registered greyhounds are adopted or returned to the farm as pets or breeders when they retire.
OK, we think we can help here. Mr. Guccione may be the Communications Coordinator, but math? Ah, not so much. So let's go to the numbers. In 2006 according to the racing industry there were 3768 litters of greyhounds which were approximately 24,567 animals. Of those 22,951 were registered to race. Now, subtract 22,951 from 24,567...erm...carry the a little dance...get down tonight and we come up with 1,616 dogs that never got registered. We're sure they were adopted. Oh, wait. There's no record of them at all. Must be an oversight, huh Mr. Guccione?

Now take the 22,951 who were registered to race, subtract the approximately 14,800 that we know were adopted >sound of calculator whirring and clicking<...factor out the 1200 that were returned to the farms for breeding...divide by pi...take the square root...and viola! We have 6,951 units unaccounted for. Now, when we went to school that 6,951 is a little less than a third of 22,951 which means--and we'll spare you the higher order math here Mr. G--that means about 66% of the dogs were adopted. In America 66% doesn't equal 90%. Oh, wait. If we figure in those puppies that...uh...failed to register...the number drops closer to 60%. Well, 6 and 9 are easily confused. If you stand on your head.
Meanwhile, greyhound tracks and organizations spend about $2 million a year to fund and promote adoption efforts.
You bet. And as long as those tracks and organizations keep their mouths shut about the industry and tow the company line, they'll continue to get the dough.
The writer has adopted two greyhounds that he describes as "amazing." Greyhounds make great pets in large measure because of the quality of care they receive from the farm to the track.
Right again Mr. G. Nothing prepares an animal for pet life better than being stuck in a two and a half by three foot crate for up to 22 hours a day, being fed 4D meat, then being placed on a track with seven other dogs and being asked to run at 40 miles an hour after a mechanical lure. Oh, and try no to get hurt there little doggy because if you do...well let's just say your medical benefits are not top notch.(PDF)
In cases where industry members fail to meet their responsibility for humane care and treatment of greyhounds, they are banned from the sport for life.
Right on! Throw the bums out! Wait a minute. Who's the designated tosser? The National Greyhound Association is a registry organization. The NGA’s registration database is used for identification purposes within the racing system. Registrants pay a series of fees for the privilege of registering their greyhounds. The organization subsists on registration fees, penalties and a percentage of the sale price of greyhounds sold at NGA sponsored auctions. Beyond providing greyhound identification information, the NGA has no authority over the care, treatment or disposition of greyhounds at racetracks. Can't be throwing out your own customers.

The American Greyhound Council is comprised of rotating members of the NGA and the American Greyhound Track Owners Association. Its purpose is to address public relations nightmares brought on by increased public scrutiny. Hence Mr. Guccione's letter.

The American Greyhound Track Owners Association (AGTOA) is a trade organization that represents the interests of dog tracks throughout the country. You know, get poker and slots to make up for the fact no one comes to see the anymore.

State governments usually oversee dog racing through an assigned department or commission. The rules and regulations of almost all racing states fail to stipulate humane conditions for the animals. is it exactly that's doing the bum throwing here, Mr. G? You got any idea who that might be Trixie?

Trixie is very affectionate and wags her tail a lot. She loves to greet visitors for a pet. She’s pretty vocal; she loves bark at anything that moves outside. She’s very friendly. She’s a love bug she comes up and lays her head in your lap. She’s very sweet; she follows the foster mom around everywhere she goes. She likes to play once in a while. She has a cute cowlick going from the head right down the back of her neck. Trixie would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children. She is good with other dogs, and would probably be good as an only dog.She would do best in a single family home, as she tends to bark at things she sees outside the window. 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.


Unknown said...

Thanks Ironicus for the excellent blog.
The tracks in Massachusetts are holding their annual propaganda affair/adoption expo in mid June.
Unfortunately, a columnist for the Boston Globe fell for the rhetoric and gave them a free advertising. Several friends of mine saved the article and gave it to me as they thought it would be a "nice" day out. Somehow, subjecting my greyhound to a 'fun' run at a track does not appeal. The GPL is an excellent resourse for info., but I think it will take 'being out there' in public, educating people one on one to get the message across.

divagirl said...

Excellent, usual! You really do your homework Ironicus.

Yes, the numbers just don't quite add up, do they? But then, for him to give the actual accounting of what happens would not be beneficial for the industry. To say the least.

I like the GPL site mentioned by Susan as well. And I "take my greyhound out in public" every chance I get. And I tell her story to everyone we meet...and that's a lot of folks. Greyhounds are people magnets. When they aren't sleeping on the couch that is.

Anonymous said...

Well, I forced myself to watch Kim Brinkman's film on Greyhound Abuse.
What else does it take?
The real problem is there are cruel people and crooked people and irrational people all involved in the Greyhound "Industry".
Not one is moral. Not one is upstanding. And not one tells the truth.
NGA we will bring you down like no Greyhound you have ever dissected or torn apart. And intentionally.
Get ready. And better change your cell numbers.