Friday, September 7, 2007

Greyhound News! Greyhound Protection Act

The Committee to Protect Dogs, based in Massachusetts, is seeking to put a Greyhound Protection Act on the voting ballot, which proposes to end greyhound racing in Massachusetts by 2010. The Committee is about 2,000 volunteers strong, and supported by many animal welfare organizations throughout the state.

The two greyhound racetracks in MA are the Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere and Raynham Park in Raynham.

According to a September 5 article in the Boston Globe, dog track officials say that their dogs are spayed/neutered on site, spend most of their time out of their crates, maintain a healthy diet, and that they have a "100%" adoption rate. To read that story, click on this link.

According to the Committee's just-released report, which facts are assembled from state documentation records, Massachusetts dogs within the past several years have tested positive for cocaine, and their raw food diet contains "4-D" meat, which is from dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock (i.e., "downed" livestock). Consumption of "4-D" meat can lead to salmonella and other severe illnesses. More information about illnesses and documented injuries is available in the PDF report found on the Committee web site (see below).

Well, I beg to differ with these track officials. Track officials in MA have filed letters and reports with the state clearly saying that the dogs are "turned out" (to urinate) four times daily (on-site witnesses report that it is less often at many tracks; MA state requirements say they must do so more often). And, while it might be arguable about the quality of diets fed at various tracks, the fact is that greys get no dental care, which leads to illness as their racing diets are soft food (veggies, eggs, meats, etc.). While at some kennels the crates might meet height and width standards, the dogs either have no bedding or shredded paper bedding. This is, in part, why you see so many with no hair on their body parts - it's been rubbed off; this other part is that the dogs suffer from thyroid problems. All dogs need to be 'vetted' when they come off the track: dental work, spaying/neutering (never done on track), transition to traditional dry/canned dog foods

When my girl Bastet came off the track (race name: Pa's Ions Cash), she did not have hair on her tail, the underside of her neck (the ruff) and belly, her hind end and hind legs, and the back of her front legs; it took several years post-track for her hair to grow back. She had gingivitis her entire life. And, she was diagnosed with canine babesiosis, a chronic and often fatal disease caused by ticks (many track dogs suffer from ticks and related illnesses). And she was one of the healthier greyhounds I've ever seen. The ASPCA spayed her prior to adoption.

I could tell you real horror stories about greys - ears lopped off so their tattoos won't be traced back to the kennel, mass graves, etc. - but you can find it by Google-ing images.

Here is contact information:

The Committee to Protect Dogs
P.O. Box 442176 Somerville, MA 02144

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