Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

A couple of weeks ago we told you about Overlord Dale Popp who is the General Manager of Tucson Death Camp for Greyhounds. As you may recall they were 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.
It seems the disappearance of almost 40 dogs attracted the attention of several animal rights whackos who alerted the local media. Said media then proceeded to get all up in Dale's grill and were like Dude, where's the dogs? Can we see the dogs? Bring out the dogs.

Now, you probably think because of the long history and tradition of transparency at TGP that overlord Popp brought out the dogs, let the reporters check them over, gave a tour of the kennels and everyone went home with a smile on their faces--except of course for the animal rights whackos who were shown once again to be more concerned with casting aspersions on the character of the overlords by spreading lies about their commitment to the units than about the units themselves.

Well, that just shows how little you know about the wholesale commodification and meaningless death and injury helpless, innocent living creatures are subjected to in the pursuit of (no) profit because not only did overlord Popp refuse to produce the dogs, he wasn't about to let them crazy reporters with all that video equipment anywhere near the kennels. Although, in his defense, he did respond to their allegations.
Popp said at the time, “The dogs aren't unaccounted for. They are accounted for.”
Not only that, he enlisted the aid of overlord Alicia Heiserer for confirmation.
TGP controller Alicia Heiserer emailed us, saying, " seems as if you really think something is up with the dogs that you had listed to Mr. Popp. Fortunately, we know the whereabouts of each one of them and they are just fine."   
So, case closed, right? Umm...not quite. It seems the overlords'  definitions of "accounted for"  and "just fine" are a little different from everyone else's.
Turns out, not all the dogs are fine; one of them is dead. That would be "Last Two Stars." The Feb. 21 race was her last. She died the next day of a twisted gut, and was cremated. She was two and a half years old.
 OK, before you get all up on your high horse in the overlord's defense, they knew she was dead so technically she was accounted for and her crate has been filled by another greyhound so in that regard things are just fine.
During the July 11th interview, Popp replied to our list with what TGP said was the status of all the inactive dogs. It showed “Last Two Stars” was petted-out, meaning adopted.  But when we asked the Arizona Department of Gaming to confirm that, a spokesman said "Last Two Stars" was in fact dead.
Hey, no system is perfect, you know? Probably someone just checked the wrong box.
Popp said, “That piece of information wasn't obviously, wasn't accurate. “Last Two Stars”, and “Xtrem Stars” were inverted. “Xtrem Stars” is the one that was petted-out. “Last Two Stars”, um, had a twisted gut, and has, uh, been, was, has deceased.”
Well there you go then. Simple case of mistaken identity. Happens all the time, besides all greyhounds look alike to him, right overlord Popp?
We asked Popp, “Isn't that a huge mistake to make, though? That you as the general manager didn't know a dog was dead here?” He replied, “Any mistake is huge when it comes to the safety and well-being of the dog.  Am I surprised that I didn't know? Yeah.”
Popp also admitted that he was surprised when he found his way home after work without stopping to ask for directions, when he got his shoes tied in less than three tries and when he remembered which end of the toothbrush to stick in his mouth.
Randell Graham is a greyhound owner and trainer at TGP, the only one to come forward so far to respond to our first report. Graham had three dogs on the inactive list, and showed us their tattoo numbers, which matched those on the list. Graham said, “When we try to lay them up and give them a rest, we're accused of making them disappear, or they're missing, and it's, in my opinion it's become a double standard. And I wanted to clear my name.”
Good for you overlord Graham, but we're not quite sure what you mean by double standard. Lying about the welfare of the dogs, hiding their true condition and refusing to let independent observers verify what you are saying seems to be the only standard.
Regarding the fact that Popp told us two weeks ago that “Last Two Stars” was adopted, when she had been dead since February, we asked Popp, “Going forward, do you intend to get to the bottom of this?” He said, “Of course I do.” We asked, “How?” He replied, “By doing exactly what you're doing. Asking questions and investigating.”
Yeah. OK, but if your definitions of asking questions and investigating are like your definitions of accounted for and just fine, we've got a bad feeling about this. What about you Daisy? You going to sleep any better knowing Popp is on the case?

This sweet girl is with a rescue group called Alex’s House, who asked if we could please cross post her info. If you are interested in her, please contact them at: 316-321-1597.We don't know if Daisy can live with cats or small dogs, or if she can be 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 and here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

OK, it's pop quiz time here in the marbled halls of IM Central. Complete this sentence:
In the future, the state’s thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries could feature:
Here are your choices:

A. Lectures by Veterinarians on the physical harm that can occur to racing animals.

B. A chapter of Gamblers Anonymous.

C. Workshops on the ethical aspects of commodifying sentient living creatures solely for profit.

D. Career counseling for the overlords.

Done? OK let's see what you picked.
Off-track betting at upscale sports bars and, perhaps, country clubs around the state.

Racetrack-sponsored social gaming sites with prizes, such as free hotel
accommodations, redeemable at the racetracks.

More flexibility for the state Racing Commission to reduce or increase racing days at the state’s four tracks, based on fluctuations in purse fund revenues.

Legalized sports betting at the racetracks.
 Hmmm...not quite what we were looking for, but we see your point. Anything that takes the emphasis away from racing is likely to help racing. You might be on to something here. Care to elaborate Racing Commissioner Bill Phillips?
“What it points out to me is people in this industry are willing to sit down and work together to stimulate and grow the industry,” he said Tuesday, after subcommittees presented their ideas for revamping racing in the state.
Gotcha. So the thing to do to stimulate and grow the industry is to give people things to do other than watch innocent animals risk life and limb for losers betting the rent money. Sounds like a plan.
Proposals for economic growth and revenue enhancement ranged from the more conventional -- such as advanced deposit wagering, which allows players to set up accounts so they can place wagers from their smartphones or tablets – to the extreme of legalizing sports betting at the racetracks. It  was brought up as something that obviously would be a game-changer,” Erich Zimny, vice president of racing operations at Charles Town Races, said of the latter. “How realistic that is, is another question.”
Oh we're with you there, Mr. Zimmy. Anyone dumb enough to think they are going to make money betting on whether an animal will get around the track without killing or injuring itself is probably not going to be too adept at operating a smart phone or a tablet. In fact, if they even have a tablet it's probably the kind the doctor prescribed for them, you they'd stop hearing the voices. Besides, even Sam Burdette figured out that losers bet and bettors lose and he's not exactly Stephen Hawking's long lost brother, know what we're saying?
Phil Reale, who lobbies for both thoroughbred and greyhound owners, suggested that OTB would work well in sports bars and country clubs. “Upscale sports bars are an absolute home run,” he said, adding, “It’s the kind of clientele you’re looking for.”
Well, we can certainly understand that Mr. Reale, but we have to say upscale and the wholesale exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit are not ideas that are usually connected. And country clubs? Seriously? "Jerry, here are my keys. Pull the Mercedes around while I bet two bucks on some poor, helpless dog in Florida will you? I'm meeting with my broker at two."

We're just not seeing it.
Also suggested were racetrack-sponsored social gaming sites, with winning prizes redeemable at the racetracks, as a way to entice Millennials to visit the facilities.
 OK we can see that, but what kind of prize would you offer? It's not exactly like you're in a position to be giving away cars and stuff. Oh we know! How about something like the collar from a dog that electrocuted itself during a race. It's not going to cost anything and it might make a nice memento for whomever bet on the deceased unit.
Among marketing and advertising proposals was a suggestion to promote racetrack casinos not only as entertainment venues, but also as major employers and economic engines in their regions.
Hey, we like that. We can see it now...billboards all around the state: "Visit your local race track so the poor schmucks who work the minimum wage no benefit jobs don't have to go on welfare." That's bound to bring them in, right Sue?

I am very puppyish and have a lot of energy for being almost three years old. I am curious about everything as it is all new to me. I love to follow my foster parents around and I like to see what they are doing. I love to look at myself in the mirror and see how beautiful I am. I do a little “happy dance” when my foster parents get home.

I learned how to go up and down the stairs my first day in my foster home. I am housebroken. I need some work learning how to walk on a leash. I get along with dogs of all sizes. I have loved all of the new people I have met. I am learning how to play with toys. 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, July 17, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Out Of Sight Out Of Mind Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The OOSOOMD is a division of the Dogs? What Dogs? Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of  Oh, You Mean Those Dogs, Incorporated.

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' 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.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, vacation. That blessed time of the year when, instead of being at work thinking about being some place else, you are some place else thinking about all you'll have to do when you get back to work. And so it has been with your friends here at IM Central. We won't bore you with the details except to say all the charges have been dropped and the damage repaired.

So, back to business, and as you know that business is shining the light of truth in the dark corners of the vile and tangled swamp which is home to the overlords and seeing what scurries away. And what better place to watch overlords scurry than Tucson Death Camp for Greyhounds where it seems people with souls have noticed the number of injured greyhounds being dumped on them by the track has taken a dramatic rise. Why it's almost as if the wholesale exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit has led to putting the desperate grasping for the few remaining dollars above the safety and well being of the units. We, of course, know this cannot be true as the overlords have told us on many occasions about the depth of their commitment and the lengths they will go to see that the dogs are well cared for, right general manager of Tucson Greyhound Park?
Dale Popp said he wanted to set the record straight, after animal advocacy groups cited concerns about mistreatment of greyhounds at the race track.
 Well of course he does. Honesty and transparency have long been hallmarks of the way overlords interact with those who question their priorities. Especially at Tucson. So enlighten us Mr. Popp.
Popp said he takes the welfare of the dogs seriously.
Ah. Well, thanks for clearing that up. Glad to know you're on top of this.
In the past few weeks, rescue groups have taken in 28 greyhounds, 24 of which were former racing dogs, with injuries ranging from broken legs to heat stroke. The groups have already spent more than $30,000 to treat the dogs, and volunteers estimated the cost to exceed $100,000 this year. when you say you take the welfare of the dogs seriously you mean unless it costs you money then it's, there's the gate Fido, limp your scrawny butt on out of here if you can't earn your keep.
Popp said greyhound racing may be a business, but workers at the park love their dogs too. "There are some very hard working people behind the scenes to take care of these dogs," Popp said.
No kidding? So where are those hard working people when a dog gets hurt? Oh wait, we know. They're the ones who cart therm over to the fence and dump them on the rescue groups right? Greyhounds can weigh 70 or 80 pounds each so when you have to cart that many to the used up pile that can get to your back, you know? Guess that's what makes it hard work.
Popp said kennel owners who brought in the race dogs were very passionate about the sport. Many of them had nicknames for the dogs and brought them treats regularly.
Aw. That's really cute. So when the owner is standing at the rail watching the dog race he can say, "Oh look, Flopsy broke his leg. What a shame. Well, clean out his crate and call the breeding farm. We still got three more races to get through." Touching. Really touching.
Before every race every dog undergoes a medical examination.
So if it has a broken leg, or has been electrocuted before the race you'll know it right away. Good thinking. Safety first we always say.
"Everything we do is monitored by the state," he said. "Not just that, they also do surprise kennel inspections."
Yeah. Except your state monitor is Rory Goree. The man is about as useful as a pitching coach on a T-ball team.
Staff members said the first few inches of the track is soft fluff so dogs don't injure their paws.
Got it, but legs, backs, necks, spines, inability to tolerate large voltages coursing through their bodies...mmm...not so much. Lucky you got out with all your parts still working, huh Dusty?

I am a young girl, just turning two in August. I am sweet, gentle and very friendly. My foster mom says I am very good. I am playful. I am housebroken. I love other dogs. I have loved all the kids I have meet so far. I can go up small flights of stairs but have not tried long flights yet. I love to go for walks and play with toys. I am just a little jumpy at unexpected noises but I have only been off the racetrack a week so I will get used to things. 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.