An End to Greyhound Racing?

Everything that doesn't fit anywhere else!

Postby SisMorphine » April 21st, 2006, 1:37 pm

Back last fall I helped gather signatures for the first stage of passing a bill in MA called the Dog Protection Act. The main focus of the bill is to end Greyhound Racing in MA. It also has tidbits in there to make stiffer fines and consequences for fighting dogs and higher protection for police and service dogs.

Well we got enough signatures to pass the first step. Now we are getting ready for the next step in which we have to collect 10,000 new signatures during a 5 week period. But I have an issue.

Since collecting the first round of signatures I have met some AMAZING track kennel owners. They are great people who care deeply for the Greyhounds who are in their kennels. So if this bill is to pass into the final stage (which would be getting it on the voting ballot) that would mean that these fantastic people could be out of a job.

In my opinion it is not abusive to race Greyhounds. THEY LOVE IT! I cannot pass a track with Wally in the car without him getting all crazy excited. They love to run, they were bred and raised to run. Wally came from a very caring kennel who has actually sent me an email saying that he was their favorite dog ever.

What is abusive is the way that some kennels treat their Greys. Some are kept at an absurdly low racing weight and are absolute skin and bones. Others are beaten, though this isn't exactly common because an abused Greyhound will not race, so they do have to keep them some sort of happy. And my biggest problem is the ease in which the owners (not the kennel owners, but the dogs' owners) will put them down when their racing career ends.

And I also support the other parts of the bill which do not involve Greyhounds.

So now I'm torn. I have no clue what to do and I'm getting badgered by Grey2K to sign up to petition again soon. All I can think of is this one kennel owner I met who cried when his favorite dog (who was in AMAZING shape . . . as all of his kennel dogs were) was adopted to a home after retirement. I don't want to put this man out of a job. Dogs are his life. If I am ever to get a Greyhound again I want it to be from his kennel specifically. What if this bill passes? What if he is out of business and cannot feed his family anymore?

Guilt guilt guilt.

I just don't know what to do.




Okay, rant over.
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Postby Jenn » April 21st, 2006, 1:53 pm

Dang Sis, that's tough.. Really tough!
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Postby mnp13 » April 21st, 2006, 2:05 pm

What about talking to whomever is sponsoring the bill and expressing your concerns?

As always, the crappy owners are the ones who end up 'making' laws like this happen.

Perhaps it needs to gear more towards inforcing humaine treatment and not banning it. Unfortunately, dog racing is not PC...
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Postby msvette2u » April 21st, 2006, 2:12 pm

But that's the problem with PETA and those types, wanting us to be our dogs' "guardians" instead of owners. It's more PC to not "own" a dog or work it in any sort of way. Oops. That's probably a whole 'nother can of worms.
I think racing, if done right, like the owner Sis mentioned, is fine. It's the overpopulation and the starvation conditions, and as she mentioned, the ease of getting rid of dogs who aren't making it or who have retired, that bothers me too.
Would regulation help? Isn't some regulation in place to prevent cruelty to those animals?
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Postby Karen » April 21st, 2006, 5:52 pm

Sighthound owners have to band together. First it is evil greyhound racing and now in CA it is coursing with sighthounds after rabbits that left unchecked will be a plague. Remember those films about the rabbits in Australia?. Coursing goes then coon hunting (already under fire) then fox hunting (outlawed in GB and the bugger foxes are laughing all the way into London flat gardens). After that it will be the bird doggers Thank God for Ducks Unlimited and the Sportsmen's associations they are fighting this tooth and nail.

I would definitely try to undo what you already have done in an educated way. Start a report/paper with the underlying theme you've had a change of heart and opinion through education. Lay out in facts and substantiated stories how the racing community can be improved on. The fact that MA rakes in billions in tax revenues is an incentive to keep it going.
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Postby SisMorphine » April 21st, 2006, 6:15 pm

Thanks, Karen, that's a great idea. Maybe I can get ahold of that kennel owner and interview him.

They had a huge article in the Globe when we first started collecting basically saying it's not going to pass because MA does bring in so much revenue.

I'm going to call for better kennel and racing regulations instead. What REALLY sucks is that the Greyhound board that I'm a member of does not allow you to even discuss racing . . . how rediculous is that?! It is the biggest Greyhound board on the internet and anyone who questions racing, or questions questioning racing, gets banned. How absurd is that when it's such an important issue?
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Postby SisMorphine » April 21st, 2006, 6:19 pm

mnp13 wrote:What about talking to whomever is sponsoring the bill and expressing your concerns?

Grey2K is very PeTA-esque in it's ideas, which is what I'm now seeing. I hate learning things too late! I hate that I had helped to collect signatures . . .
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » April 21st, 2006, 8:19 pm

I'm going to call for better kennel and racing regulations instead.


That sounds like a good answer to me.

I guess you need to decide if the good makes up for the bad... if the good kennels outweigh the abuse/overpopulation/etc.. I don't really know anything about racing, so I don't know how the two compare... if one is more prevelant than the other. Calling for better regulations will seperate the two, but it seems that with every call for a new law or regulation, there are always positives and negatives, and it ends up being settling for the lesser of two evils, so to speak. So I'm sure it will be a long process of deciding what is most important to you, and what is in the best interest of dogs and people alike.

Good luck with everything, and thanks for looking out for the pooches. :)
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Postby luvmyangels » April 21st, 2006, 8:29 pm

Wow it sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you. But everyone here has some really great ideas. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you ask a question and everyone can give you some positive ideas. Best of luck and I hope everything will work out for the best.
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