An animal rights Super Bowl fantasy

Just say no to pigskin (unless it’s on a pig) – click image

Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations

It’s Superbowl Sunday, and even as I type, the six-hour pre-game show has commenced. We’ll tune in later, for the actual game. Yes, we’re football fans, a somewhat shocking revelation to friends who know us only for our more conscience-driven pursuits. We’ll be cheering for, well, who cares. I default to the NFC when I don’t have a dog in that fight, to use a football-related (OK, Michael Vick-related, close enough) term. Go 49ers, ho-hum. Then again, ravens are birds–and birds are good, and the Edgar Allen Poe/Baltimore connection is most compelling to a former English teacher…so…Go team! Continue reading

Dog Racing is No More in New Hampshire

David Cassuto

Greyhound racing is all done in New Hampshire.  Governor Lynch has signed House Bill 630, which prohibits dog racing in the Granite State.  Huzzahs all around.  Read all about it here, here and here.

The Truth About Track Closings

Jennifer Krebs (Board of Directors, GREY2K USA)

There was a lot of press coverage recently regarding the latest dog track closings in Arizona, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.  The closing of Phoenix Greyhound Park and Dairyland Greyhound Park was good news, in that they are more evidence of the gradual implosion of the dog racing industry – more proof that the tracks without the financial support of slot machines (known as racinos) simply aren’t viable.  The closing of Raynham Park was even better news, as it is the result of the first-ever dog racing ban achieved through the citizen’s initiative process, Massachusetts Ballot Question 3.

Unfortunately, much of the press coverage and public discussion of the tracks’ closings didn’t paint it as positive progress for the greyhounds.  You may have read some of the headlines, or the threads on greyhound discussion forums, referring to the ‘glut’ of dogs displaced by track closings… and dire predictions of a so-called ‘greyhound tsunami’.  A fraudulent e-mail was widely circulated, stating 900 greyhounds at Dairyland were going to be euthanized when the track closed, if they weren’t found homes immediately!  It is rare that the racing community and the greyhound advocates working to end racing agree on something, but that e-mail was met by a chorus of groans from members of both camps.  The last thing that people on either side of the issue wanted to see was panic-driven misinformation.  Continue reading

Fast Friends – Adopting a Racing Greyhound

In my first guest post on Animal Blawg, I talked a little bit about my addiction to retired racing greyhounds and I mentioned that we have adopted six since 2003.  A few of the comments in response talked about what wonderful companions retired racers make.  Of course, this topic is near and dear to my heart, but it’s also a timely one in light of some recent changes to the dog racing landscape.

2009 has been unprecedented in the number of racetracks that have closed or ended live racing, and the same is expected for 2010.  This year, five tracks have already ended live racing, and three more will join the list at the end of this month:  Dairyland Greyhound Park in Wisconsin, Phoenix Greyhound Park in Arizona and Raynham Park in Massachusetts.  While the numbers of greyhounds being bred to race is down significantly, there will be a resulting influx of dogs being retired each time a track closes.   Continue reading

Greyhound Racing – The Industrialization of Man’s Best Friend

My name is Jennifer Krebs, and I am an addict.

My addiction is to racing greyhounds and advocating for them.

The first time I saw a retired racing greyhound up close and personal was in 1993 in South Florida.  I fell completely in love, but it was a full ten years before I realized my dream of adopting one.  In 2003, I adopted my first greyhound, and my husband and I have adopted five more since.

I spent the first five years of greyhound ‘parenthood’ primarily supporting adoption efforts.  About a year and a half ago, that focus changed to working to end greyhound racing.  For me, it was an evolution from supporting the Band-aid to supporting the cure.

Dog racing is a cruel and inhumane sport.  Over 20,000 greyhounds are bred to run for their lives every year.  At dog tracks across the country, thousands of greyhounds languish in small, stacked cages inside dimly lit buildings, seeing the light of day only for brief periods of time when they are ‘turned out’ to relieve themselves.  They are fed raw 4-D meat (‘D’ for dead, dying diseased or disabled), which contains denatured charcoal to discourage human consumption.  Once or twice a week, they are taken to the track to race, where they face the chance of injury and death.  They suffer broken legs, lacerations, paralysis, severed tails, cardiac arrest and heat stroke.  Every day, the ‘careers’ of racing greyhounds end when they are no longer competitive, and their lives hang in the balance.  Some of them are rescued by adoption organizations.  Others meet an untimely end in any number of ways, of which euthanasia by a veterinarian is the most humane.       Continue reading

Massachusetts Greyhound Track Holds its Last Race

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Lindsay MacLeod

The Greyhound Protection Act (GPA) is a Massachusetts statute that will phase out commercial dog racing by 2010. It was enacted as Question 3 on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Massachusetts.  It will shut down Massachusetts two remaining race tracks, Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park and Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, by January 1, 2010. Violators would face minimum fines of $20,000 by the State Racing Commission.

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