Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

For years the  overlords have maintained that if they could just get the word out to a wider audience about the heartless exploitation of innocent animals for profit...erm...the exciting sport of greyhound racing, the rubes would come back...ah...we mean fans would once again flock to greyhound racing tracks and the world would rediscover the thrill of 40 mph canine athletes flashing past them as the crowd cheered their favorites on to victory. And hopefully their favorites wouldn't break any bones, or get killed in the effort. And hopefully once their favorites were done racing they wouldn't be summarily murdered, sold to medical research or just dumped somewhere to fend for themselves.

And you know, the overlords might have a point. We mean, there's no national coverage for greyhound racing. They don't have any events that would attract the big media like the Kentucky Derby or the Indianapolis 500. The only coverage they get is from local papers where there is a track, and that's usually limited to who got arrested lately.

See, what the overlords need is some way to get the word out to the whole country, some major network or nationally circulated newspaper so say  "Hey. We're Greyhound Racing. We Kill And Maim Animals For Your Enjoyment And Our Profit."

Hmm...that sounded better in our heads. But that's the point. The overlords need professionals with national experience and contacts. Like we said, a major television network or a newspaper with a national following. A paper like, say the Wall Street Journal.
Greyhound racing—the sport Winston Churchill called "animated roulette"—is going to the dogs. For decades, greyhound racing captivated Britain's working class. As World War II drew to a close in Europe, attendance levels at the U.K.'s 200 tracks reached a peak of 50 million a year.
 Bam! There it is. See, right away you got greyhound racing connected to a national icon like Churchill, and a statistic--50 million fans. We bet you're already thinking, "Hey this greyhound racing thing. What am I missing?" Well read on...
But the popularity of this former national obsession began to wane. Competition from the new medium of television and a wider variety of leisure options for working people led to a decline in attendances. Tracks began to close, and they've been closing ever since. Only 25 remain in the U.K. today, attended by just 2 million people in 2010. Walthamstow Stadium is the most recent casualty. It was one of the last remaining tracks in London, and an icon of the sport, but was forced to close its traps for good in 2008.
Ha! See? Just a few words from the national press and we bet you're thinking of becoming one of those two million fans that...uh...used to be 50 million. Is that right? Somebody interview an overlord.
Paul Walden, a former trainer in Swindon in Wiltshire, whose family has been training dogs since the 1930s, recently quit the business altogether as it was bleeding cash. "I've given up. I couldn't make it pay any longer," he says. "The prize money is being cut but everything else, like diesel and dog food, is going up. Once the owners start disappearing, breeders aren't prepared to have more dogs and trainers don't want to go through the hassle if there is no demand. I have gone back to painting and decorating."
This isn't turning out the way we had planned. Who OK'd the phrase "bleeding cash?" Somebody get rewrite on the phone and let's see if we can balance this with more on the American greyhound racing industry.
Greyhound racing's decline is being felt globally. According to figures published by the Associated Press, there are only 25 tracks left in just seven states in the U.S. compared with 50 tracks in 15 states a decade ago. The amount of money bet annually on races in the U.S. fell from $3.5 billion in 1991 to $1.1 billion in 2007.
Crap. Maybe national attention isn't the best thing for greyhound racing after all, is it Ashley?

Ashley is very outgoing and active. She is very playful and very affectionate. She will put her face in your lap and will nudge your hand for attention. Her “mission in life” is to empty the toy box. She likes to put them on the area rug so she can climb on top and take a nap. Ashley would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, ages 10 and up. She is good with other dogs of all sizes and would probably be fine as an only dog. 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.

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