Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

People tell us we're too hard on the overlords. Ironicus, they say, just because they are reanimated bags of stillborn worm effluvia who were dropped on their heads as infants and lack the gene for compassion giving them all the empathy of a wounded scorpion is no reason to cal them names.

Well, OK. In the interests of Fair and Balanced we'll entertain that thought. What would be a good reason to call them names? The fact that they're trying to keep a dead industry alive so they don't have to go out and get real jobs? The fact that everybody is getting tired of propping up their dead industry? The fact that even other aspects of the gambling industry don't want to have anything to do with their dead industry? The fact that even people who aren't involved in decisions about their dead industry are getting involved just long enough to say, "Dump these losers. It's a dead industry." 

Wait, you don't have to choose. Even better, why don't we let one of the overlords speak for himself. We mean, why should we expend all that energy pointing out the obvious when every time an overlord opens his or her mouth they do a much better job than we ever could explaining to people that the heartless exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is a career choice just below Satan's chauffeur. Take it away Dick (no pun intended) Adler:

This article had one of the most sensationalist and misleading headlines I've ever seen in "Florida's Best Newspaper." I mean, an article about greyhounds dying at the tracks that used the word "Died" in the headline? What kind of irresponsible journalism is that? What's next? Articles on the sports page that have headlines telling us which team won? That way lies madness I tell you.

Derby Lane runs eight programs per week, with 15 races per program, for a total of 120 per week, or almost exactly 500 per month and still the track loses money like a drunken sailor with holes in his pockets. With eight dogs in each race, the total comes to 4,000 entries per month, or 28,000 in the seven months covered in the story which proves the point we've made all along that greyhounds love to run when we make them. Add in schooling races and the total rises to at least 30,000. Of that number, there were 12 deaths, and I'm not sure all of those were race-related because it doesn't count if the dog dies off the track. Even if they were, that amounts to a death rate of 0.04 percent (four one-hundredths of 1 percent), which is an incredibly good safety record. Yet it didn't even rate one sentence in the massively slanted article. It's like your reporter was more concerned with the well being of the dogs than our ability to manipulate statistics and I ask you, is that what journalism has come to today?

It should also be noted that the gaming camels would not even have gotten their noses under the tent if greyhound racing didn't provide a ready-made venue. Just look at other states that don't have greyhound racing. Do you see any gambling casinos in those states? I didn't think so. And now they want to bite off the hand that enables them to feed. Well, to be fair, bite off the hand that's dragging down their profits by requiring continual subsidies to stay afloat, but let's not quibble over semantics.

Finally, the vast majority of retired greyhounds are either adopted or return to the farms and it doesn't matter  that by now you know that isn't true because we're going to keep saying it anyway. One hundred percent of mine that aren't killed get adopted through the excellent adoption programs that exist, both locally and nationally. This is possible because retirement is an ongoing process of avoiding responsibility by dumping perfectly healthy, but money losing greyhounds on the public, with a limited number being retired at any one time as I rotate my inventory. What do you think will happen if every racing greyhound is suddenly "retired" at the same time? Unfortunately, I think the answer is obvious. Obvious because it's a stupid argument. First of all all greyhounds would not be retired at the same time, even if they were the public outcry would force the authorities to step in and protect the dogs like they did when Dairyland closed. So the whole argument is idiotic, but hey, I'm an idiot so you've got to give me some points for consistency.

The article may have done enormous — and needless — damage to both the greyhound racing industry and the greyhounds themselves. Well, actually publicizing this sort of thing helps the greyhounds because it raises public awareness about an inherently cruel and barbaric industry, but since no one gives a rat fart for the industry I'm just hoping some of that compassion will rub off on us.

Yeah, well nice try there Mr. Adler, but we're thinking it's gonna be a no go on the compassion thing, right Gryffindor?

Gryff's tail never stops wagging. He is always cheerful and smiling. He loves a good scratch on his hindquarters and a  friend to play and snuggle with. He is an outgoing and friendly guy who is always ready to go anywhere and do anything with you! 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.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Department of High Energy Responsibility Avoidance here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The DOHERA is a division of the You Made Us Do It Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of Why do You Keep Looking At Us Like That, Inc.

If you follow the news you may have noticed that the last week wasn't very kind to the overlords in Florida, due to a new regulation that forces the overlords to report inventory breakage...erm...we mean greyhound deaths at the tracks. As you may imagine, when people with souls read that a greyhound dies every three days at a Florida track they were a wee might upset and took their ire out on the committed, caring professionals who care for the units...erm...greyhounds.

Well, never one to accept a responsibility they can dodge, or face up to the fact that the heartless exploitation of innocent creatures in the futile quest for profits reflects a moral compass better suited to a scorpion, they immediately took to the nearest media outlets to defend themselves by, you guessed it, blaming someone else.
The Florida Greyhound Association and its affiliate, the National Greyhound Association, are defending the treatment of the racing dogs in response to an article in the Sunday Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times that reported that 74 dogs have died on race track property since the state started keeping records in May.
"First of all we resent the media hype surrounding this issue," said Jack Cory, lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association. "These dogs didn't 'die' at the track. They were simply retired with extreme prejudice, that's all."
"1(sic) early death of a Greyhound is to (sic) many, BUT unfortunately accidents and illness happen with death resulting everywhere in Day Care Centers,'' Cory wrote.
"I'm sure we've all been touched by the sight of a pre-schooler coming out of the far turn, tripping over a loose shoelace and going down," Corey continued. "It's unfortunate. It's sad, but it's part of life."
"Nursing Homes, Hospitals even at DCF where 432 Children died from Abuse and Neglect in 2012. I am not comparing a Greyhound to a Child but accidents and illness do happen with death resulting!
Who hasn't been affected by the sight of eight octogenarians getting their walkers tangled in the first turn and going into the wall, or hospital patients losing control of their hospital beds on the backstretch and crashing into one another, or foster children forced to race in extreme weather conditions? It's heartbreaking, but it happens.
They are unfortunate and many could be stopped with our 3 point safety plan!"
When asked to detail the points in the safety plan Corey gave this breakdown:
1. Stop passing transparency laws
2. Don't allow media or regulators on the tracks
3.  Take our word for it

Later Corey's office issued a press release in response to the newspaper stories spreading across the state.

 The Division of Parimutuel Wagering (PMW) does NOT have a Report! Instead they have 212 pages of emails and faxes, many of them confusing. We mean dogs are dying and getting injured all over the place every day! Who can keep track of all that?

Not one case was opened for animal abuse or neglect. Not one! The Florida Greyhound Association and the National Greyhound Association have a zero tolerance  for any animal abuse and neglect. Now, killing an animal outright in the service of profit for us, that's a different story, but abusing, or neglecting? Not us buddy.

There were over 8,000 racing Greyhounds in Florida during 2013 unfortunately 70 of them died,  but that was less than 1%. What other warehousing operation can boast of an inventory breakage rate of 1% huh? Just name one.

This is very sad but should not be exploited by out of state radical "Animal Rights" groups, for political or fund raising purposes,  that condoned the killing of 250,000 Shelter Pets in Florida last year. I have no idea how that last phrase fits with the first one, but the point is CAN WE CHANGE THE SUBJECT PLEASE?

 If Live Greyhound Racing were reduced or eliminated these 8,000 beautiful Greyhounds would be put at risk of becoming someone's pet.

 Over 50 % died because of the Track Related circumstances and Track Managements Failures! 37 Greyhounds died because of Track Related circumstances and the Track Management's failure to maintain their Compound properly. Legislation may be necessary to stop track owners from making us race our dogs on their tracks.

The Florida Greyhound Association and the National Greyhound Association have a very strong safety and inspection program on the farms. Sure, when they get to the tracks it's a crap shoot as to whether they'll survive or not, but on the farms they're safe.

Hmmm...we never thought of that. See Charlie? If you had just stayed on the farm you wouldn't have risked getting killed or injured every time you raced, so it's your fault!

Charlie is playful, happy, and curious about the world around him. He is very affectionate, adaptable, and loves to go on walks/car rides and is very happy meeting new people at meet and greet activities. Although Charlie gets along very well with his two other doggie roommates, he is not currently prepared to be introduced to a home with cats or other small animals. Charlie would do best with another dog and an active family (without young children) that will include him in their activities. He has a problem with sleep startle and his foster family is working very hard with him to overcome this problem. Charlie is looking for a patient, loving, stable, and committed forever family that will be invested in helping him reach his fullest potential. 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.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Hey, you remember back in school when you had that crush and you wondered if the feelings were mutual? Remember how you would rack your brain trying to decode whatever the object of your affection said, or did (or didn't do)? Perhaps you even went as far as to write the classic note "I like you. Do You like me? Check one: Yes.   No.   Not Sure.   Don't make me get a restraining order." OK that last may be more particular to our experiences with affairs of the heart, but the point is, sometimes it's wicked hard to discern people's feelings.

And sometimes it's not.
Proposed legislation would phase out dog racing over the course of several years. Iowa's two remaining dog tracks -- Mystique Casino in Dubuque and Bluffs Run in Council Bluffs -- would pay a combined settlement of $70 million to greyhound breeders. $15 million would come from Mystique, which operates as a non-profit organization owned by the city of Dubuque, and the remaining $55 million would come from Harrah's, the private company that owns Bluffs Run.
 Seventy million dollars top make the overlords go away. Seventy Million! That's like putting a check the size of Montana next to NO. And $70 million's more money that the overlords make in...well in forever because the overlords don't make money.
“It’s not a business model that can sustain itself on its own,” said Bo Guidry, executive director of Harrah’s and Horseshoe casinos. “Since 1991, wagering in Iowa on live greyhounds has declined by 95 percent. We are being forced to subsidize an industry that has passed its time.”
Well, technically Mr. Guidry, greyhound racing isn't a "business model" at all. It's the heartless exploitation of innocent living creatures for minimal profit that causes untold suffering, injury and death to thousands of greyhounds a year by treating them as commodities without rights, feelings, or needs so that a handful of scruple-free losers can avoid gainful labor, but let's not quibble about the terminology right now and get back to that $70 mil you're willing to pay to send the overlords to Walmart greeter school.
Guidry said that for nearly two decades his casino has had to provide up to $10 million a year in subsidies to keep the track running with nothing in return.
Now that's a little harsh Mr. Guidry, don't you think? We mean, it's probably not true that you got nothing in return.  There's the devaluing of property around the tracks, the increase in crime, the urban blight, the drunks and drug addicts. OK, so that's not the kind of experience you want customers coming to the casino to have, but look at the bright side...OK there is no bright side. Seventy mil is cheap, let's get these losers out of here, right Reputable?

I am a very laid back, handsome boy. I am very friendly. I love everyone I meet. I need to be coaxed into crate a little bit but once I’m in there, I’m okay. I’m very curious, inquisitive and smart. I’m very gentle at taking treats. I haven’t yet seen a cat or a small dog. I am fine with my foster’s mid-size dogs. I love playing with my squeaky toys. I am learning how to go up and down the stairs but I still need to work on it to get better. 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.

Cloud update: Cloud is adopted! Happy forever couch dude!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall a time before the current ice age when the earth, now barren, windswept and empty was once lush, green and fecund...erm...we mean will recall the name O'Donnell which to greyhound racing is like the name Ford to automobiles, Harley Davidson to motorcycles, or Boehner to incompetence.

And speaking of incompetence, that brings us back to the current O'Donnell in the news, one James "Barney" who seems to think that the mere fact that a person is deceased should not preclude that person from carrying out his official functions.
One of the largest greyhound kennel operators in the state used the signature of a dead Miami veterinarian to forge the vaccination records of dogs racing in South Florida, St. Petersburg and Jacksonville, according to a complaint filed last week by state regulators.
First of all we have to give credit to the state regulators for actually attempting to regulate. This represents an important departure from their usual approach to oversight which might be best described as laissez faire except when they're not paying any attention at all.

But back to our story. It seems James  "Barney" has come to the attention of somnambulant regulatory officials both for what he wasn't injecting his dogs with, and for what he was.
Last year, during unannounced inspections, state investigators found syringes in his kennel which they said tested positive for a variety of anabolic steroids, including testosterone, boldenone, and androstenedione.
 "Hey, testosterone, rabies vaccination. How am I supposed to know the difference?" James "Barney" said. "My Vet died you know." Well, that is a point JB. Didn't you get a replacement?
O’Donnell said Vega’s assistant assumed care of the dogs. “After Dr. Vega died [the assistant] said, I’m taking over,’ I said, `Alright.’ And he came and vaccinated the dogs.”
It turns out the "assistant" was actually one of James "Barney'" childhood friends. You know, the kind that only he could see?
O’Donnell said in recent weeks he began looking for the assistant now that questions are being raised. “Right now I’m trying to find the man and I can’t find him,” he said. “I’m trying to find him to see if he is still alive too.” O’Donnell said he just assumed the man was legitimate. “He used to come with Vega and then sometimes he’d come alone, if we had vaccinations sometimes he’d show up by himself,” O’Donnell said. Was he a licensed vet himself? “I can’t answer that, I never asked him,” O’Donnell admitted. “I never asked to see his credentials.” O’Donnell said in hindsight that was a mistake.
Hey, don't be so hard on yourself James "Barney." After all, if you think about it, you're whole career is based on not asking too many questions. Questions like what's in the food? Where are you taking these dogs? Is that leg broken? Sometimes it's better not to know, right? Well, better for you. For the dogs, not so much.
Investigators also claimed they found an unknown substance inside two Absolut vodka bottles. Although clearly suspicious, investigators from the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation never bothered to have the contents analyzed.
"Truth be told, Wally emptied the bottles on the way back to the office," a spokeswoman for the agency said. "Guy has a bit of a drinking problem, but you would too if your job was to watch over a bunch of losers, idiots and sociopaths like we do. Anyway he's no worse for wear as a result. In fact he's been looking pretty buff lately."

Maybe he can get on with a major league baseball team. So what are you going to do about old JB now that he forced you to leave the coffee shop and drive out to his kennel.
The state is now asking an administrative law judge to revoke O'Donnell's license to race greyhounds and fine him $96,000.
Whoa! $96,000. That's some serious coinage right there. But dudes, JB is 84 years old. He's been an overlord all his life and he has two things to show for it: Diddly and Squat. You'll be lucky to get 96 cents out of the guy. Wait, maybe his friends in the industry can help out.
The operators of the racetracks in Jacksonville and Hallandale Beach said they have suspended O'Donnell's contract as of Monday morning, banning his dogs from racing there.
Oh now that's just piling on right there. Won't anyone stand with James "Barney?" After all the guy's been an overlord for 60 years. Think of all the contributions he made to the industry in those 60 years. All the sacrifice. OK, so it was the dogs that did all of the sacrificing, but let's not quibble. Is there no one who will come to James "Barney's" aid?
Gary Rutledge, lawyer for the Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, said that track's contract is with O'Donnell's wife, Pauline O'Donnell, who has not been charged and her dogs will continue to race.
Kudos to you Mr. Rutledge! Finally someone who truly understands the credo of the greyhound racing industry: Anything for a buck. "We're a small industry and so we're like family," Rutledge said. "The Manson family, but family just the same." No argument here Mr. Rutledge. What do you think Willis?

I am a very happy, playful boy. I am very smart and will make a great family member. I am housebroken and don’t mind being in my crate. I get along great with small dogs. I can go up and down the stairs. I love to go for walks and play with toys. I would do well with older, well-behaved children. I have loved everyone I have met. 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.

Cloud update: Cloud is a fast learner that strives to please. He's playful, obedient, and will lay with his head in your lap and get his ears scratched for hours.