Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Greyhound Racing and Other Animal Abuse

I remember many years ago reading that Greyhounds "stand well for bleeding," which was one reason why many racing Greyhounds ended up in research labs.  You could say, in those days, that those poor animals were the "lucky" ones even though many of us were utterly horrified.  Many were shot, their bodies dumped, when they lost races. Or clubbed to death and then dumped.

Greyhound rescue groups began to spring up around the country. They did, and still do, as much as possible but it's virtually impossible to save every dog. The count I've read was that 16 States still allow Greyhound racing, (www.greyhoundracingsucks.com/grs_statesthatallowLinks.htm), although I have seen the figure at 15 States elsewhere.

Let's get our facts straight about these lovely creatures. They are Sighthounds. They hunt by sight, going after moving prey. Running is natural for them and they enjoy it but Greyhound Racing is something else. It is pure exploitation and not every dog is meant to race. Those who lose, because it's a money-making venture, are disposed of as quickly as possible. The ones trained on a live lure are less likely to be rescued and adopted because you simply cannot trust them around the family cat or small dog.  That's both nature and nurture.  

Why are people still making money from this alleged "sport?"  Why are companion animals - and all dogs and cats are certainly companion animals -- considered "Livestock" in most Midwest States? Where is their protection from abuse? How can animal cruelty laws be passed in any place that considers a pet "livestock?" This is beyond an archaic attitude. Laws need to be changed by those living in States where dogs and cats are designated as "livestock" and they need to start campaigning now. Rescue Groups are trying but they need more help. Don't just sit there and say that "someone else" will do it. Each of us is "someone else." 

Contact your local rescue group and find out how you can get involved in changing legislation. It's not just the Greyhounds who are at stake here. It's every dog and cat. Abuse of animals is the precursor to abuse of people. I'm not making that up. Go and investigate for yourself. Read the published literature.  If you don't care about animals, hopefully, you care about people. If we cannot do something to animal abusers to stop them, how can we hope to stop them from escalating into abusers of people? When is enough, enough? When will people be motivated enough to stand up, be counted, and work for change?


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Darlene,

Very interesting blog. Thank you for your love of the greyhounds. One minor point however, there are only eleven states which currently have greyhound racing. Three tracks have just closed, and more may be closing soon.

Greytgirl

Darlene said...

Thank you for the update. What a relief to hear that tracks are closing and States are becoming more educated. I hope the same will happen in my State where, unfortunately, Greyhound racing is still allowed.

Sue Janson said...

Darlene,
This is a great blog and I hope lots of people not only read it, but take action. The Greyhound Racing Park was closed down in our city over a year ago. I was delighted.
Unfortunately, my state is one of those mid-west/central plains states that considers all dogs cattle. My local rescue group has fought long and hard to get animal abuse laws to carry stiffer sentences other than just a slap on the wrist. It took a small black puppy found in a trash bin with all four legs tied with wire and covered with chemical burns to finally wake up this city and make animal abuse a felony. The puppy died even with heroic vet efforts, but at least his short life was not completely in vain. The teenagers who abused this puppy were finally caught and this was not their first animal abuse incident.
Thanks so much for taking a stand on this important issue.

Darlene said...

Thank you, Sue, for posting and for telling us about what has transpired in your State. I hope that more people will take action. Thank you for what you do to help the animals who cannot speak for themselves.

Michelle Young Cuenant said...

Darlene...how wonderful that you extend yourself for all dogs (and cats) right around the block...you told me a year ago that big bucks and big powers still prevail . And after reading Grey2k, it is these" hangers-on", like George Carney, who refuse to admit just some of the atrocities let alone let go of their long-held purses ...a buck is a buck at no matter what cost to the Greyhound....can you imagine a guy posing in front of a "concrete" Greyhound and vowing that he has been around for 40 years and "they are not going to have an easy day with George", while compassionate people try and change the Law bannig Greyhound Racing this November?
Well, if George Carney is proud of his "no conscience" attitude, and he is indeed Irish, may his "luck" finally run out along with his Greyhounds, free forever and hopefully, not broken.
Michelle Young Cuenant

Anonymous said...

I wish we could say that greyhound racing was banned in Australia. But at present in NSW even greyhound pets have to wear a muzzle in public, contributing to peoples perception of them as dangerous and making it hard to re-home ex-racers.

Few people want to walk a dog with a muzzle.