Very informative article digs deeper into Iowa greyhound racing

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The negative news out greyhound racing continues to roll out at a fast pace, for an industry already buried under decades of negative news and information. How any state could allow this sort of activity within its borders is beyond belief.

The Des Moines Register’s latest article on Iowa dog racing, published Wednesday, contains the following, from an interview with Mystique (Casino) General Manager Jesus Aviles:

Aviles said in an interview he views Iowa’s greyhound industry as being controlled by a handful of people that are reaping huge rewards from greyhound races that are no longer attracting race fans or wagers. He provided statistics showing that the top 10 purse recipients in Iowa are pulling in an average of $712,413 annually and that $5.6 million in annual purse payments are leaving the state of Iowa.

Pretty stunning, isn’t it. But there’s more. Rick Dickinson, president of the Greater Dubuque Development Corp. is saying the industry is stalling on a proposed deal with the states casinos. The casinos want to drop the state-mandates to hold dog races. The racing insiders want a deal and some payout and to be allowed to open dog tracks elsewhere in the state.

Dickerson is quoted as saying, “They want to play “rope-a-dope” until the end of the session and then start over again next year.”

If only enough members of the state legislature would just vote to ban dog racing altogether, the could come to a wonderful end for the dogs.

But get this, the article reports Iowa’s two casinos are hemorrhaging around $13.5 million per year, in losses coming from subsidizing the two dog tracks. The casinos have offered to pay the dog-racing industry $70 over seven years, in a deal shut down the racing.

The racing side wants $95 million. It’s crazy. A payoff is hanging over the heads of the dogs. If the industry gets even $70 million, it should be forced to pay for the costs of medical care and boarding for the dogs, as they are transported to rescue groups.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Big month for greyhound racing news

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Iowa could take a big step in the direction of ending greyhound racing in the state. The Newton Daily News reports the Dubuque City Council will ask the state government to drop the mandate on holding dog races at Mystique Casino.

The article includes this paragraph:

But since then, city officials said, the greyhound racing industry has fallen into a “death spiral,” turning the once lucrative track into a financial drag.

Certainly, the racing greyhounds across the nation face a death spiral every day. But the article also notes $4.5 million in subsidies was handed over to the state’s racing industry last year and over the last three decades, $55 million has been diverted from “charitable organizations and the city’s capital projects fund.”

The state pulled money earmarked for charities and gave it to the dog-racing industry? Who could do something like that?

At the Mardi Gras Casino in Charleston, W.Va., allegations are out concerning a track employee abusing greyhounds. The accused told a commission he was having a bad day.

The Charleston Gazette reports:

… 4,700 greyhounds were injured at the state’s two dog-racing tracks within the past five years. More than 1,400 of those injuries were catastrophic, career-ending injuries, according to the study.

In Australia, the news is extremely horrible. The Illawarra Mercury ran an article Monday concerning the disappearance of thousands of greyhound puppies each year. In 2011 alone, 3,440 puppies were born but went missing before they were named.

This has been the fear about dog racing for many, many years – that puppies are “culled” before even being given the chance to survive. It is estimated that 28 percent of the Australian racing dogs are killed as puppies.

And then there is the following from the article:

Other submissions told of abuse of dogs kept in bare paddocks with little care and no socialisation. Some were kennelled in darkness to control barking and had Velcro attached to their paws to stop them making noise.

The article suggests injured dogs or those deemed too slow for racing are killed by the thousands each year.

The stories out of New Zealand are horrible as well. A Yahoo Sports article from Nov. 15 quotes an animal-welfare advocate as saying dogs there are killed when they are no longer of value to the industry.

And yet – somehow – greyhound racing continues. And states such as Florida and Iowa are not just ignoring the horrors, the elected officials there are in full support, requiring the industry to exist.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic