Warped Mentality: Dog racing insiders stunned by live baiting; ignore suffering and deaths of dogs

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Yep – here it is, as expected. The stunning news about live baiting in greyhound racing in Australia is fresh off the presses and already the talking heads inside the industry are in full propaganda mode.

And the owners of some dogs seized in the wake of the investigation are calling for their return. They are concerned for the welfare of their dogs, according to a story posted today on the Australian Racing Greyhound site.

Really? I wonder if any of the trainers or “owners” showing concern for the dogs taken during this investigation ever expressed concern for the dogs regularly killed in racing, breeding practices or in discarding the dogs that never make the grade in training?

Don’t tell is you’re worried about the welfare of dogs being housed during a criminal investigation while you never show concern for the ongoing deaths and injuries supported by the industry.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports one “owner” used a threat this week of a Supreme Court injunction to get his two dogs back. Two of xxx dogs were under the care of Darren McDonald, who was a central player in the live-bailing scandal.

But Brad Canty gets his dogs back. It is possible that the caving in is well underway for this investigation.

And article by the Herald Sun seems to suggest the betting on dog races hasn’t slowed down. Despite the cruelty exposed and the news that the outcome of races were likely skewed by illegal training practices, the fans of dog racing just can’t let any of that get in the way of supporting the industry.

Here in the US, where the gambling isn’t clean I’m sure and dog racing is equally disgusting, at lest there was outrage over even a hint of cheating in the NFL playoffs.

In Australia’s greyhound racing, it seems a lot of gamblers are more than willing to be cheated out of their money. If it means they’ll get to watch dogs risk their lives, then it’s “here, take my money; cheat away.”

The Herald Sun quotes GRSA chief executive Matt Corby as saying:

“There is some forgiveness for an industry that says ‘we can’t be that and we need to change it’ and that’s unconditional.”

So after decades of abusing dogs and in light of the exposure of probably decades of animal torture at training facilities and after many, many years of animal-welfare advocates calling for an end to the suffer, you are calling for forgiveness.

Nothing about the dogs still dying in races. Nothing about the severe injuries and suffering. Let that go on?

If you really want forgiveness, shut down the industry and work to find loving homes for the dogs. And stop with the propaganda.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Outrage and concerns from inside greyhound racing are a farce

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So some greyhound racing insiders in Australia continue to issue statements that feature everything from concern to disdain over the live-baiting scandal. Much of it screams of artificial outrage

In reality, you don’t get to be involved in an industry that regularly kills and injures dogs and then come out with fake outrage when yet another scandal breaks out.

The Courier Mail out of Australia hit the right tone with today’s headline: “It took activists, not the greyhound industry, to uncover its sins.” In the editorial, Terry Sweetman states:

“The greyhound game is obviously incapable of regulating its own affairs and, if it is to survive, demands more government oversight and intervention.”

And then the writer rightfully calls out a proponent of dog racing:

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says he will meet state ministers to ensure the industry “remains” viable, strong and ethical.

It might be viable and it might be strong, but “remains” is patently not the appropriate word when it comes to the ethics of some in this industry.

Of course, dog racing isn’t viable either. But then the Agriculture Minister goes on to slam the animal-welfare groups that exposed the horrors at the live-baiting facilities. It seems he doesn’t like the fact that they trespassed to gather the video.

I get it that trespassing in general is sticky. But if you are engaged in criminal activity – particularly to this extreme  degree, you shouldn’t get to hide behind property rights. The rights of the victims far exceed the property-rights of the criminal.

What if it was a child being horribly abused and someone spotted it from the street, entered the yard, called 911 and shot video on his phone as the police cars approached? That citizen would be praised as a hero.

It appears more people could be charged as the investigation unfolds. The West Australian reports another five trainers have been suspended by Greyhound Racing Victoria.

And get this. The Courier Mail notes Victoria has a “Racing Integrity Commissioner,” – Sal Perna. Now that’s an individual with a tough job. He has to convince people there’s integrity in dog racing. But I guess when we think about it, it has become relatively easy to use propaganda to convince really gullible people that down is up or they can fly to the moon on a crock pot. (Or is that a crack pot?)

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Fallout continues from live baiting scandal in Australian greyhound racing

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From a key sponsor in Australia pulling out to officials cleaning out their offices, the backlash from the live baiting scandal is hitting the greyhound racing industry. The question is – will the right thing happen and will the fallout lead to the complete crumbing of the industry, into the dustbin of history.

The Greyhound Racing NSW board has stepped down, according to the Northern Star. I’m sure these resignations are more about appearances than they are about truly recognizing how horrible these acts really are.

Clearly, one of the individuals at the forefront of the response now to this story does not understand what is really going on.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Troy Grant was quoted in the Northern Star piece as saying:

“The review will develop a new model of governance to ensure the integrity of the industry and the abhorrent practice of live baiting is stamped out for good.”

No Mr. Grant; it’s too little too late. You don’t get the keep giving this industry a get-out-of-jail-free card. What happens when the next report splashes across the headlines? You will march out with another plan to save the industry?

How about saving the dogs for once? How about addressing the ongoing deaths and injuries in this industry?

And what about the news now that whistle blowers in Australia were being intimidated and threatened, as reported on the Stuff website out of New Zealand.

ABC News ran this paragraph Feb. xx:

NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant said he dismissed the board because his government wanted to restore the integrity of the industry.

If this wasn’t such a serious story, that line would be comical. It’s hard to restore something that never existed.

New South Wales Greens MP John Kaye wants to suspend industry operations while the review is underway.

The Independent out of the UK notes the animal racing carnage in Australia is not limited to dog racing. Approximately 125 racehorses die on Australian tracks every year.

And about that major sponsor of dog racing pulling the plug – it is Macro Meats. A Herald Sun story suggests this company is the “biggest individual supporter” of the industry in Australia.

Hopefully, many more sponsors will follow.

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Predictable Mentality: Greyhound racing industry insiders claim abuse is isolated

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We could see this one coming. In light of the ABC Four Corner’s report on live-baiting running rampant throughout Australia’s greyhound racing industry, officials are claiming these are only isolated cases.

What you’ll see now is the industry claim it will fix this and toss out the offenders.

In an article posted today on the SBS.com site, the industry is calling for more powers to be granted to it. The story puts the number at 70, for trainers implicated in the live baiting scandal.

We’re told Greyhound Racing Victoria is going to use “enhanced surveillance technology” and put in place more welfare officers. So the same folks who completely failed at protecting the dogs – on a monumental scale – are jumping out to say they are going to look out for the welfare of dogs.

The same people who lead an industry where dogs are killed and are injured every day want to lead the effort to fight for the welfare of the dogs. Animals Australia reports approximately 8,000 “young and healthy greyhounds are discarded and killed each year without ever making it to the racetrack.”

It is unrealistic on a galactic scale to believe these people are in any way ready to look out for the welfare of animals. This would be like putting the fox in charge of the hen house – with cameras.

There is only one way to fix this boiling, stinking vat of gambling mixed with animal cruelty. Ban the practice – everywhere.

Over and over again in the ABC Four Corners report, trainers who carry around awards from the industry were seen on hidden-camera video at live-baiting facilities. Some are shown completely denying either they or anyone is engaged is live baiting.

The report features a number of dog racing’s top players. But the spin will suggest they do not represent the industry. I guess they’ll want us to forget the wave of honors we see heaped in these same people in the years and months prior to the report.

So with a history of decades of abuse in greyhound racing across the globe, we keep hearing industry insiders claim everything is great now and they’ve cleaned up their act. But now we have this widespread torture of animals in Australia exposed and the reports of injuries and deaths in huge numbers on tracks in the United States – and the abuse goes beyond these two regions.

How long will the industry in Australia and the US and beyond be allowed to keep claiming every horrific disclosure is just a rare occurrence? How long will the insiders be allowed to say, “Oh wait – NOW we’ll do something about it.

It’s 2015 and after decades of abuse in dog racing – the governments of nations that are suppose to lead advanced societies need to finally end this abuse. No more excuses. No more chance. No more self-policing from the industry.

The greyhound racing industry is unable to police itself – in the US, in Australia or anywhere. Self-policing has only allowed brutality in Australia and other countries and decades of deaths and severe injuries and suffering in the United Stats.

With the GREY2K and ASPCA report out of the US and the ABC report out of Australia, the case is closed. As for the industry leaders, ignorance of the abuse, suffering and death is no excuse and looking the other way is no excuse and certainly being a party to this would be inexcusable.

It cannot be allowed to continue. Anyone who sees this ABC report who has at least an ounce of compassion in their soul will be sickened by it.

This is the last straw. We’ve heard too many excuses. We’ve heard too many times over many years that the dog racing industry will clean itself up. It should be banned and criminalized today. End the suffering today!

I will have much more on this story and the GREY2K/ASPCA report very soon. The news is coming out at light speed and I am still reviewing that very important report.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Barbaric practices in Australia’s greyhound racing are exposed

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We’ve heard the lies before from greyhound racing insiders, going back many years, but the ABC Four Corners report out of Australia should finally rip the biggest scab of all from the barbaric industry.

We’re seeing the horrible reports of deaths and injuries in the United States, as finally the horrific numbers are seeing more sunshine. What’s going on in Australia is especially barbaric and measures up directly with dog fighting.

The video report by Four Corners opens with an on-camera interview with Debra Arnold – president of the United Queensland Greyhounds Association. She denies any knowledge of live baiting

But the report immediately shows her at a live-baiting session. This practice is used to train the dogs to go after the mechanical rabbit more aggressively during races.

Thankfully, Animal Liberation Queensland and Animal Australia have been working to expose live baiting across Australia.

A number of big-time names in dog racing there are exposed in the report, some of them outright denying any knowledge of live bating. And then we see videos of these very same people directly involved in the practice.

These people are in the same scale with those who operate dog-fighting operations. On an evolutionary scale they rank at the bottom, just above terrorists and those who abuse children and on par with dog fighters.

The videos in the report show operators laughing and joking about the suffering of the animals. It is disgusting on a scale I can’t put into words. In one clip, the evil operator laughs as he notes the brutalized animal with a broken spine is still alive. Yes, he laughs. These are people with no moral compass whatsoever.

Some of the top names in the sport are exposed – so this isn’t some lower level operation. Some of the videos show people celebrating at big greyhound racing events, from awards banquets to major races.

Because of these horrors that have been exposed and with the lies of denial so easily spewing from the people involved, the only option is to ban greyhound racing in Australia forever.

And of course, we’ve seen denials  in the United States. Racing insiders deny dogs are being killed and claim 95 percent of all racing dogs here make it out of the industry alive, as either pets or being cared for within the walls of the industry.

Are we supposed to actually believe that? No reasonable person would. And no reasonable person could believe much of anything out of anyone directly involved in greyhound racing in Australia – now or in the future.

Now that the horrors are on full display, the companies that are sponsoring greyhound racing across the world need to understand that any further sponsorships means they are putting their stamps of approval on these horrors.

As for ABC Four Corners, this is what journalism should be about. We need more of this sort of reporting on any number of topics, where people or industries are abusing people or animals.

I’ll be posting more about this news this week, including how it ties into ag-gag laws and what other sites are reporting.

Stunningly Clueless: TV show and guest promote puppy stores

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In an era where the horrors of puppy mills are gaining more and more attention on a national scale, we are still regularly reminded that the message needs even more exposure.

Stores that sell puppies are still in business because enough people are still uneducated concerning pass-production breeding operations. Too many people still operated under the false notion that they’ll know what they’re getting if they buy puppies in stores or by merely visiting a website.

It is one level of clueless to buy a puppy without visiting the breeding operation or otherwise taking steps to ensure the level of quality for the breeder – but it takes clueless to an extreme level to actually blindly promote buying puppies from stores.

Thanks should go out to Kathy and her blog “Raining Cats and Dogs” on the Chicago Now website for exposing a story that highlights clueless to Level 10.

Fox 32 Chicago aired a fluff piece leading up to Valentine’s Day, where a guest gleefully suggested that people surprise their loved one on the holiday with puppies from stores.

As Kathy rightfully noted in her blog post from Feb. 14, people should never give animals as surprise gifts – especially when it comes to this sort of purchase. Pets are a lifetime commitment – not a box of chocolates or a necklace.

Check out the video posted on link above and observe how happy the guest is to offer up such terrible advice. And the host just bubbles his way through the segment too.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Huge spike of late in greyhound racing news

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The Pack News Wire is off the charts for breaking news out greyhound racing – in the US and overseas.

Of course, in the United States we are getting legislative reports that bring hope that we might see at least the decoupling of dog racing from casinos. If casinos in states like Florida and West Virginia are allowed to drop dog races, we could see a substantial number of tracks shut down.

This would be great news for the dogs.

A WUSF article from Feb, 13 quoted David Bishop of the Florida Greyhound Association. He challenges the extremely troubling findings of the new report published by GREY2K USA and the ASPCA. He is wrong about the report, but I hope his prediction comes true very soon.

“Let’s make no mistake about it. If passed, it would end greyhound racing in the state of Florida.”

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs) of Florida is a proponent of decoupling and he was joined by Republican Representative Matt Gaetz at a news conference this week. Hopefully, they can introduce at minimum a decoupling bill right away.

NWFDailyNews.com quoted Gaetz Thursday as saying, “I am convinced we will sometime soon see the end of greyhound racing, a barbaric practice that has no place in our society.”

Moskowitz was quoted in an article by the Florida Times-Union:

“This is about businesses being able to make a decision for themselves. Florida, for all the talk about free enterprise, for all the talk about liberty, for all the talk about not having government in the way of over-regulating, Florida actually mandates that a business runs its business like it’s 1997.”

And then there’s Jack Cory, who the Times-Union quoted as a lobbyist for greyhound breeders and dog trainers.

“It would be the end of greyhound racing and the beginning of the expansion of 13 casinos,”

I keep seeing this argument used by dog racing supporters. It amounts to one gambling operation slamming another for being a gambling operation. The quote can be translated to “If we no longer get to operate our gambling operations that kill and injure dogs, it will only lead to more gambling that doesn’t kill or injure dogs.

I don’t gamble at all and don’t even buy lottery tickets. But that’s another strong case for banning greyhound racing. Let people bet on cards dice or machines.

We continue to see more news about ending dog racing in West Virgina, where a new report shows what a loser the industry is on an economic level in the state, as it is in Florida.

The MetroNews ran a commentary Friday by Hoppy Kercheval, who quotes State Senate Finance Committee Chairman Mike Hall (R-Putnam) as saying, “Something is going to be done; it’s just a matter of time.”

In Australia, the news is nothing short of disgustingly cruel. The Sydney Morning Herald reports more than 20 greyhound owners and trainers have been suspended for using live animals as bait and lures for training.

After the raids on the sites, it is alleged that live rabbits, piglets, lambs and poultry were being used in the barbaric training. This industry has a long history of animal cruelty and in recent years, despite new reports such as this, the insiders want us to believe things have changed.

The Courier Mail out Australia reports Racing Queensland has created a task force to address the reports of live baiting and other acts of cruelty.

ABC Four Corners is set to broadcast a report this weekend titled – “Making A Killing.” The article suggests the piece will expose the “gruesome underbelly’’ of greyhound racing.

Here we are in 2015 and every time new reports of cruelty, drug use and cheating come out of dog racing, its defenders act as if it’s something new. And in this case, somehow they decide that it’s finally time for an investigation.

Another trainer in Australia is under investigation for allegedly shooting and killing two of his racing dogs.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Report: Kennel passes AKC inspection days prior to horrible conditions being uncovered

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It’s another bad grade for the America Kennel Club and the current rubber-stamp system of inspecting breeding operations. The Humane Society of the United States reported yesterday on a breeding kennel in Mississippi, where a former American Kennel Club champion dog was founding living in feces.

Wild Bill, an Australian Cattle Dog had been living with 60 other dogs on what is being described as a puppy mill.

In the report on his Humane Nation blog, Wayne Pacelle states:

Some of the worst facilities wave around their AKC credentials like a badge of honor, and draw consumers away from better sources of dogs, such as animal shelters and rescue groups and responsible breeders.

As is the case in greyhound racing, when a dog is no longer making money, it becomes disposable for the puppy-mill industry.

We need a system of regular inspections by qualified inspectors in every state in the nation.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Anti-adoption column is stunningly misguided

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A reader posted a link to a column that can best be described as misguided. I was stunned that anyone might come to the conclusions that writer Erin Auerbach reached after her experiences in adopting homeless dogs.

She leads off her Washington Post opinion piece from July of 2014 with a quote that goes to the heart of why we adopt homeless pets -“Why buy while those in shelters die?” And then she abandoned the statement of compassion completely.

Auerbach notes she adopted homeless dogs before writing the column. But somehow she came to a point where she switched her mentality.

She faced the pain of loss after a couple of her rescues faces illnesses and now it means her love will go to dogs purchased from breeders only  – not the very animals in need she previously helped.

She states – “Rescue and shelter dogs are a crapshoot.”

Unbelievable. The crapshoot for dogs comes as the result of horrible breeding practices that result in health and mental disorders. The crapshoot comes as a result of abuse or neglect. It is a subset of humans who created these problems.

But rather than speak out against those people, she calls the dogs a “crapshoot.”

I could better understand if someone was stung by the loss of a pet and stated they just cannot go through that pain anymore. But to go there and jump off track to say you have the love to give, just not to the rescue pets, is unimaginable to me.

She might not have wanted to come across this way, but her writing feels like she is blaming the dogs. The reality is the fault all lies with poor breeding practices or abuse or neglect or being taken from a mother too soon – all the fault of some humans.

She also misses an extraordinarily import principle. We don’t rescue dogs just to give something to ourselves. We rescue to save lives and offer compassion and love to animals in need.

To put it bluntly, Auerbach’s piece was irresponsible and she should produce an apology.

Thankfully, Lisa LaFontaine, the President and CEO of the Washington Humane Society wrote a column for Huffington Post to counter Auerbach’s claims.

LaFontaine is on the front lines of the problem and the effort to educate the public, while Auerbach has produced something that could steer people away from saving lives through adoption.

If everyone or even a substantial number of people took Auerbach’s advice it would lead to millions more homeless pets dying every year. It is bluntly irresponsible.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic