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This is Gary Grady, Tom’s older brother. I am very sorry to say that Tom died at home September 15.
As he mentioned on this blog, in March of 2015 he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a particularly deadly type of brain cancer. He initially responded well to treatment, experiencing few side effects, but earlier this year the tumor began to grow again and he was hospitalized for a few weeks in July. He kept apologizing for being a burden, saying that he was the youngest and he should be taking care of us. Finally he was placed in home hospice care and after a steady decline he finally simply stopped breathing. Toward the end it was very difficult for him to express himself, but he still got jokes and smiled and laughed.
Tom was a life-long athlete and sports enthusiast who played on the longest-lasting recreational softball team in his area. As a volunteer he officiated at basketball games and coached youth soccer. One of his teams, the Pink Panthers, gained the state championship for girls in their age group, but he emphasized enjoyment and sportsmanship over winning. Once when officiating at a basketball game a young boy who had not scored a point all year had a free throw. The ball went in, but the boy stepped a bit over the line. Determined not to take away his one point, Tom pointed at the scorer’s table and said, “Count it!” This drew angry reactions from the other team and their supporters, but the coach later came to Tom and apologized, saying that after thinking about it he realized that Tom had done the right thing. The boy’s father told Tom, “You made my son’s year.”
Tom was fortunate enough to have his a dream job, becoming a sports and features writer for the Wilmington North Carolina Star-News newspaper. The sports editor wrote an excellent article about Tom you can read here.
Animals, especially pets, and more especially dogs, were his other great passion, and he wrote a column about pets for the newspaper, often arguing against cruelty, as he did for many years on this blog and his Facebook page.
A memorial service for Tom will be held Saturday, October 1, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, on the softball field where he played for many, many years. Details can be found here.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
There is really somethings wrong with anyone who hunts down an endangered species for “sport.” Maybe it’s a lack of education from these folks or maybe it’s something more.
But there are no excuses for engaging is this level of behavior – where individuals torture and kill animals – that we might never see again on the face of the Earth.
It would be extremely difficult to get more selfish and cruel than that. The individual who gunned down a lion earlier this year tried to use the warped excuse that he didn’t known the lion had a name.
The lion clearly has a higher IQ than the hunter. I just gave every endangered species on the planet a name. So that takes care of that.
In August 9 article by the Star Tribune included an interview with another tropy hunter. He was asked about his killing trips. He said, “This is who I am.”
Trophy-hunting dentist Jim Derhaag called trophy animates a “three-dominional picture that is a memory for me.” The animals take away a vastly different picture, one of extreme suffering.
Let’s be VERY CLEAR. This asinine notion that killing endangered species is a good way to save endangered species is just that – asinine. They cannot kill their way to more animals and certainly humane safaris are way more efficient and humane.
Yes – humane. It’s an important phrase that no one can argue against.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
After some time away from the blog, I am back.
To update, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in early March and underwent surgery immediately. About 75 percent of the rumor was removed and I’ve undergone chemo and radiation treatments and more.
On the one hand, I’ve been given a though diagnosis and a though possible outcome. But if by nothing more tHan massign determination, I will beat it.
My healthcare slogan is – “I’m a lean, mean, tumor-fighting machine.”
I’d like to thank my family for their support, in many ways. It has been an up and down ride and my vision – due to a partisan field-of-vision loss – has been impacted.
But getting to the main theme today, I am going to continue my mission of speaking out for animals. I will continue to focus on topics such as the evils of puppy mills and greyhound racing and so much more.
I will also dive into more positive topics and even some humour on occasion to mix things up. And I’d like to bring in updates on my cancer battle, as I want to be an advocate for others battling cancers – for humans and animals.
Please follow the blog and hollow along on Twitter.
– TOM GRADYPACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
I continue to collect the on-going statements out of the greyhound racing industry that not only boarder on asinine, they wallow in it.
But let’s start with May 22, when Terry Frei wrote a column for the Denver Post that contained the following: “In a perfect world, live racing could stand on its own four feet. ” He was writing mostly about horse racing, the equally-evil brother of dog racing.
“In a perfect world,” you Mr. Frei would not be writing about horse or dog racing. In a perfect world, both industries would be banned forever.
You apparently are not aware of the abuses in both industries, where horses and greyhounds are sent off to be shot, have their heads cut off or are slaughtered.
This next story goes back to February, but it’s worth a focus on this post. The Florida Greyhound Association does not support a call for decoupling in the state, of course.
David Bishop of the Florida Greyhound Association was quoted in an article by the Broward Palm Beach New Times as saying: “The Florida Greyhound Association fully supports reporting at-track injuries and deaths, but this is more than just gathering numbers.”
Once again, we see an official from greyhound racing admit there are injuries and deaths in dog racing. But they still want to race dogs. There is no reason whatsoever in that position.
Our moral compasses tell us that admitting that dogs are being killed for gambling profits means the industry should be shut down immediately.
The industry also continues to make the bizarre claim that ending greyhound racing would lead to an increase in gambling. This is tinfoil-hat stuff. The industry would love to see the now-empty stands at dog tracks filled with people gambling on dog races.
That would increase gambling – right? So dose the industry not want to see an increase in gambling on dog racing??? Come on folks – let’s not go off on wild tangents that you really can’t possibly believe are true – at least I hope.
The dog racing industry suggesting it thinks an increase in gambling is a bad thing would be like Kim Kardashian saying she’s going to drop TV appearances and drop fashion and just wear sweatpants to major events.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
It has happened again; ANOTHER huge oil spill, this time along the California coast, due to a pipeline break.
TV channels are filled with oil and gas advertising – probably exceeded only by healthcare and medication ads. But the oil and gas ads like to spread the message of how great they are and how safe oil drilling, pipelines and the industry overall are.
Those of us with working brain cells know that’s a load of crap. We regularly have big spills and the horrible images of wildlife suffering that go with them. Big Oil only cares in dollar signs. They shed tears for their lost profits.
Reports suggests at least 105,000 gallons of oil spilled along the California coastline. The Big Oil reps tried downplay the numbers initially and at least one clueless individual jumped out of the gate to suggest no animals had been harmed.
Tens of thousands of gallons of sludge spilled along the coastline and these folks didn’t realize animals live in the water or fly into the water. They saw the images and were unable to connect the most simplistic of dots. That is a duuuuhhh moment on a galactic level.
There are elementary-school kids all over the country that could figure out in a minute that oil spilled where animals live will impact animals. How does an oil company hire anyone who is unable to think on this level.
These people have nothing on their minds beyond profit. They can’t help themselves. And they have to downplay the seriousness of ANY spill, because nothing trumps profit.
With all of the evidence that comes with each spill, some politicians are still pushing hard for the Keystone XL Pipeline. On the subject of climate chance, many of the them proclaimed they are not scientists. That is an understatement – also on a galactic scale.
North Carolina – my home state – is close to approving offshore drilling. Politicians will ignore the current images and the same politicians will act as though they are surprised when a spill hits an offshore rig in the Atlantic.
Too many politicians will watch the coverage of spills and the severe impacts and will not care, even a little bit. If their big-money donor who hold the puppet strings don’t want them to respond, they won’t.
That sucking sound you hear is the spinal fluids leaving the backbones of every politician who backs Big Oil.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
It is predictable and disgusting at the same time – the news that the West Virginia Racing Commission has handed over more than $10 million to greyhound breeders.
This dying industry is being held up to just benefit a few. The casinos could drop racing and hire the employees into the rest of the facilities. But they can’t because some elected officials in states like Florida and West Virginia are in their seats for no other reason than to benefit the few. These officials certainly are not there to represent the public and they certainly do not have any concern for animal welfare.
We should offer our thanks to the elected officials who are pushing for decoupling legislation.
The money being given to breeders could instead help with job training and caring for the dogs in need of new homes when greyhound racing shuts down for good.
And then there’s the breeding. My wife and I know of one couple in our state that has adopted four rescued racing greyhounds who all died of Osteosarcoma, a nasty form of cancer.
We have faced cancers with our rescued greyhounds. And we keep running into people at veterinary hospitals who tell their emotional stories of racing greyhounds with cancer, many at far too young an age.
When I’ve debated the pro-dog racing crowd online, they typically throw out the tired line that other big dogs get Osteosarcoma. My response includes the fact that comparing bad breeding practices with with bad breeding practices is a losing argument – every time.
And we have always argued about inbreeding. The racing insiders call it “line breeding.” But line breeding is just inbreeding on steroids. Every time we adopt a new, rescued greyhound, my wife goes on the racing site and looks up the dog’s lineage.
Way more often than not, she finds family connections to our current and previous greyhounds. And we find the same dogs are regularly listed as the parent or grandparent or great-grandparent of an unending list of dogs.
That’s inbreeding and it’s a small gene pool and both are not what we want. But in greyhound racing, the post-racing career doesn’t matter to the insiders. It’s about the profit motive.
I’ve written about cancer in dogs for many, many years and I’ve researched into the issue – a lot. Now that I have brain cancer, I plan to ramp up my efforts in speaking out against bad breeding that lead to cancers in dogs.
$10 million to breeders? That money could have gone to job training for track employs – as the state legislatures do what they should do today – shut down dog racing. Thanks to a request put in by Grey2K USA, these payments where brought to light.
The money came from the Greyhound Breeding Development Fund. It’s almost too nutty to believe. But we’ve heard enough out of racing to not be shocked.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
Johnny Depp is in a spat with government officials in Australia over the screen actor’s two dogs, who he reportedly brought into the country without quarantining them for the required time period.
So now the dogs are being threatened with euthanasia if Depp does not take then back to the US.
Depp certainly carries his share of the blame for not addressing the requirements and therefore putting the dogs and others at risk. He should know better.
But Australia is a nation that allows greyhound racing and the government is still closing its eyes to the history of abuse and the current scandal over the use of live baiting in the so-called training of the dogs.
So Australia – if you really want to do the right thing for animals, show us some real steps. Announce tomorrow that due to the preponderance of evidence, greyhound racing has been immediately banned – forever.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
The recent news concerning a man who broke out a car window to save a dog locked in a hot car should signal a change in Good Samaritan laws across the United States.
Our laws in general and across the board should be based on logic.
We don’t know all of the details about this case out of Athans, GA. But in general, a person should be able to save an animal in distress and be protected from prosecution, should it be found he or she acted appropriately and to save an animal from suffering or near death.
It is idiotic to even suggest that a person should let the suffering go on, because the damage to a car is wrongly perceived to be more important than the life of an animal. Who could have that mentality now?
We other inhumane laws, like those that suggest the life of an animal has no more value that a stolen TV. Who could think that way in 2015? We should be better than that as a society.
It seems we still have people in charge in the United States who believe a woman or girl who has been raped has limited rights. We’ve seen recent interviews that suggest these people want to minimize and marginalize what the victims have gone through.
We don’t live in the 1920s. And we can’t allow people without souls or an ability to feel compassion to run the country.
Back to the case in Georgia, if it is found that witnesses are correct and the dog was locked in the care for an extended period, the charges filed against the man who broke out the window should be cropped. And the driver of the care should be charged.
Let’s get these laws changed and make the rescuing of an animal in a health crisis something that people are honored for doing.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
The horrible system created by Class B pet dealers could soon be a thing of the past. It would be one more step into the direction of stopping another cruel practice.
On his A Humane Nation blog, Humane Society of the US top dog, Wayne Pacelle stated earlier this week: “Of the two remaining Class B dealers, one had only four dogs in its most recent inventory and the other is facing formal enforcement action from the USDA.”
Pacelle also notes these dealers get the dogs they sell from “flea markets, shelters, auctions, and even the backyards of unsuspecting owners.” Many end up in research labs.
Thank you to the HSUS and to everyone who fought to make this happen. Hopefully, we’ll see a complete end to the Class B system very soon.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
On an international scale, the greyhound racing industry is stepping all over itself to (unintentionally) prove it should be shut down forever. The scandals are growing faster than a Fortune 500 CEO’s net worth.
The negative news out of Australia’s dog racing industry is fast-paced – to put it mildly. The Herald Sun reported today that a trainer has been accused of using amphetamines on two dogs.
Jenny Hunt has been suspended for 18 months.
And also today, two other trainers, this time at a Victorian track, were suspended for live baiting. 9News out of Australia reports reports 15 trainers and handlers at one facility were suspended in February.
On Tuesday, an article from TheDogs.com.au cropped up on the Pack News Wire. Yes, you guessed it, Greyhound Racing NSW has disqualified a trainer for 12 months.
And it gets worse Down Under. ABC.net reports Greyhound Racing Victoria basically looked the other way when it came to one of the training facilities at the heart of the five bailing scandal.
From the ABC report: The CEO of RSPCA Victoria, Dr Liz Walker, said that GRV’s failure to inform it of concerns at Tooradin demonstrated why self regulation in the industry had failed.
In Australia, individuals are being suspended on a regular basis. The insiders continue to act as if they are surprised by the news. Top-level trainers have been caught abusing animals and these folks are surprised. We’ve seen greyhound-racing abuse scandals involving abuse for decades around the world and these people are surprised?
The West Australian reported on May 8 that a “leading greyhound racing identity” had been “stood down” over his recent conduct.
The Queensland Times ran an opinion piece on May 8 under the headline – “Clean up the mess and get on with the show.”
I would prefer – “Clean up the mess and ban the show,”
wrote the column and tried to compare scandals in cycling and rugby and the fact that these sports have not been shut down. The difference he fails to get is animals are involved and abuse and deaths are regularly involved with dog racing.
Dogs die on the tracks and dogs are discarded that don’t make the grad. And we’re fining that the training practices are horrible.
This isn’t hard to understand and only those with dollar signs to gain fail to understand. The writer tries the tired old excuse of claiming animals are abused in other ways, like hunting. But you can’t excuse one evil by claiming there are other evils.
That is a horrible thought process that perpetuates more abuse. So others who abuse animals in horrible ways can just say, “we get to abuse animals because the greyhound racing industry abuses animals.”
We must continue to work to end all of the torturing of animals. No one should get a free pass out, based other people abusing animals.
There is no way we should let this industry police itself. – anywhere. Of course, the solution is to ban dog racing everywhere. How many more abuse mulligans do they get?PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic