Greyhound Victory


Greyhound racing in the state of Florida continues, but with more restrictions in place in order to monitor their standards of care.

Greyhound racing in the state of Florida continues but with more restrictions in place to monitor their standards of care.

Paws Up!
To the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for filing a new rule to protect racing greyhounds in the state.

According toa news story, “Florida greyhound trainers will soon have to be more transparent with their dog care. A new state animal welfare rule…requir[es] trainers to notify state regulators every time a dog dies at a track or kennel. Trainers at the state’s 13 greyhound tracks also will be banned from keeping more than one dog per cage and be forced to maintain a roster that identifies each dog. Racetrack officials have to complete weekly walk-throughs of kennels.”

Greyhound racing is still a viable “sport” though its numbers are on the decline. However, the guess is that anywhere from 20,000 to as many as 50,000 greyhounds are born each year and anywhere from 20,000 on up are killed either as puppies unsuitable for racing or retirees whose racing careers are over. While NHES would ultimately prefer to see the sport banned outright, protection of the dogs in the system is of paramount importance.

Take Action: Florida residents, contact the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to thank the agency for protecting greyhounds. Residents of other states where greyhound racing occurs (Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, and Iowa), contact your state agency that oversees greyhound racing to determine if they are protecting the dogs who race in your state.

Leon M Biegalski, Director
Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering
1940 North Monroe Street, Suite 50
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1035

When you think about it…who’s the real winner/loser in the animal racing industry?

We are crossing our fingers that every horse in today's big races at Churchill Downs crosses the finish line safely.

We are crossing our fingers that every horse in today’s big races at Churchill Downs crosses the finish line safely.

Why do we race animals? What is the thrill for us? For them? When we bet on the animals, sometimes we lose our proverbial shirt; sometimes we win a few dollars, sometimes many dollars. But who are the real winners/losers? Regardless of the outcome of the race, the animals always lose. They lose because they are being asked to do abnormal and unnatural feats of endurance and strength. They lose because so many have to be born in order to get one champion. Those who don’t make it are often killed when quite young, sold to research laboratories, or relegated to live their lives in substandard conditions. They lose because when they are too old to race or have an injury, it is often more expedient for the owner to shoot the animal in the head or pass him or her off to a roadside zoo or circus than make a lifetime commitment to the animal. The winners: there are none. When we engage in racing animals or betting on animal racing or even watching animal races, we lose, too. We lose a bit of our humanity, our compassion toward the animals forced to race. So, when you think about it…no one wins in the animal racing industry.

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Sled Dog Sponsors

PawsDownPaws Down!
To the sponsors of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race!

Dogs in the Iditarod endure cruel living conditions and extreme training.

Dogs in the Iditarod endure cruel living conditions and extreme training.

Again, numerous corporations and organizations have decided to support the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, regardless of the inhumane treatment sled dogs suffer before, during, and after the event. The cruelty begins shortly after birth when puppies as young as four months are permanently tethered outdoors in preparation for their year-round training. The only time most of the dogs are ever off their tethers is when they are attached to dogsleds for training. Their training is often brutal, causing some dogs to be eliminated from competition, and possibly destroyed, because of injury and illness. Dogs who can no longer race or were never race-worthy to start are often shot in the head. Such animal cruelty is not to be tolerated and would not be if “generally accepted dog mushing or pulling contests” weren’t exempt from Alaska’s animal cruelty laws.

The Iditarod is a race about prize money and not about saving lives as the event it supposedly commemorates did. Today’s Iditarod is, instead, about losing lives. Since 1997, over 29 dogs have died; over 130 have died since records started being kept. There are no statistics for those who die during preparation for the race or from complications after the race. The dogs who do survive suffer from pulled muscles and stress fractures. They become sick with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, bleeding stomach ulcers, and hypothermia. For these reasons, the Iditarod should be abolished.

Take Action:
Contact the sponsors (PDF file) of this event and urge them to withhold their sponsorship in future races. If no one sponsors the event, maybe those competing in it will stop holding it.

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When you think about it…good can come from evil.

Keep the good news coming, look into adopting a retired greyhound!

We know what happens to racing greyhounds when they are no longer able to race. They are either killed or, if lucky enough, find themselves rescued by one of the many greyhound rescue organizations around the country. But what happens when a greyhound racing track closes? What happens to the property?

According to an organization dedicated to ending greyhound racing, GREY2K USA, 26 tracks have closed for live racing. One of those tracks was auctioned off with plans for a business and accompanying housing units. Another will become the site of a complex of new school buildings. A third will soon be the home of a new Boys and Girls Club; and two were demolished to make way for the creation of hundreds of homes, a town center, church auditorium, and a 20-acre park. Still another will be home of a new municipal center and an animal adoption center.

How fitting is it that land once was used to race greyhounds is being used to support communities with homes, businesses, centers for children, and safe havens for abandoned animals.

When you think about it…isn’t it time to close all greyhound racing tracks and turn what were places of despair, death, and degradation into places of hope, happiness, and joy?

Corporate Commercials

Paws Down!
To CareerBuilder and Skechers for demeaning animals in their 2012 Super Bowl commercials.

Commercials featuring animals such as chimpanzees or racing greyhounds rarely show the whole story.

Once again CareerBuilder has shown chimpanzees as bumbling fools who like to play tricks on humans. Using wild animals in commercials sends a dangerous message to people who think they can maintain a chimpanzee as a pet. Wild and exotic animals, such as chimpanzees, can be unpredictable. In addition, whether stolen from the wild or captive bred, wild and exotic animals are deprived of their natural habitat, food supply, and companionship. Further, many of them are shipped around the country/world, which induces stress that causes much suffering and sometimes death. Once they become too old or dangerous to perform, they may be left to languish in cages or are sent to roadside zoos when they are no longer considered economically viable.

The Skechers commercial promoted an abusive sport, greyhound racing, to sell its product. Dogs born into the racing business suffer serious injuries during training and racing. These injuries are rarely treated. Dogs who are not able to race are often shot. While on the racing circuit, dogs are continuously confined in cages barely large enough for them to move around in. Racing greyhounds are given minimal veterinary treatment and suffer from poor nutrition. To ensure dogs race well, trainers often use performance-enhancing drugs. In addition, dogs often race in extreme temperatures in both summer and winter. Live animals, usually rabbits, are used in greyhound training—those animals are typically torn apart by the dogs once they are caught.

Take Action: Urge both of these corporations to discontinue using animals in their commercials. CareerBuilder should be advertising the human animal as we are the focus of the business. Skechers products are meant for human use. Showing humans racing would be a far more effective way to sell a product than using animals abused in the dog racing industry.

Matt Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer
CB Corporate Headquarters
200 N. LaSalle St., Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601
Tele. No.: 800-638-4212

Robert Greenberg, Chairman and CEO
Skechers U.S.A., Inc.
228 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Tele. No.: 310-318-3100
Fax: 310-318-5019

Career Builder

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Ask for Justice for Starved Louisiana Horses

The malnourished horses were Thoroughbred racehorses.

At least 25 dead horses were found at Hillcrest Farm in Sabine Parish, Louisiana, and 52 weak and starving horses were confiscated. Since being rescued, more have succumbed to starvation but most are being rehabilitated. As investigations continue, the number of dead horses found on the property is expected to rise. A case so appalling and so large cannot be ignored. Mental health professionals have found such a blatant disregard for life to be a serious warning sign; individuals who commit such acts of animal abuse often mistreat humans as well. Thankfully the owner, Charles Ford, has been arrested by the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney (DA) seems to be building a strong case.

Help NHES ensure that Charles Ford is charged for his alleged animal abuse and that future abusers in Sabine Parish are also arrested and charged. Call or write a thank-you letter to the sheriff for taking action and arresting Ford. Also, call or write to the DA to strongly urge him to charge Charles Ford to the fullest extent of Louisiana law for the crime of cruelty to animals. Ask that he be charged with one count of animal cruelty for each horse found on the property, alive or dead that Ford be barred from ever owning animals again.

Sheriff Guffey Lynn Pattison
Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Department
PO Box 1440
Many, LA 71449
Tele. No.: 318-256-9241

The Honorable Don M. Burkett
District Attorney of Sabine and DeSoto Parish
495 S Capital Street
Many, LA 71449
Tele. No.: 318-256-6246

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Greyhounds Vindicated

Paws Up!

To Washington County, FL, judicial system for prosecuting a greyhound trainer for the deaths of numerous dogs, and to the judge for meting out the maximum sentence under Florida law.

According to news reports, “Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson…accepted [Ronald John Williams’] plea to 39 counts of felony animal abuse.” And, sentenced him to five years on each count to run concurrently with no credit for the nearly one year he spent in jail.

Photo by glindsay65/Flickr

Williams had been charged with 39 counts of felony animal abuse for having abandoned over 40 racing greyhounds at the Ebro Greyhound Park, Ebro, Florida, in late 2010.

Take Action: The first action any of us should take is to avoid entertainment and racing venues that feature animals. The fewer people who attend these events, the less likely greyhound racing, for example, will continue. Greyhound parks are closing around the country because of lack of attendance. If greyhound racing goes on in your state, write your legislators urging them to legislate against this vicious and cruel “sport.”

Residents of Florida, thank the members of the Washington County judicial system for prosecuting this case to the fullest extent of Florida law.

The Honorable Christopher Patterson
Circuit Court Judge, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit
1293 Jackson Avenue
Chipley, Florida 32428

Glenn Hess, State’s Attorney
c/o Washington County State Attorney’s Office
PO Box 590
Chipley, FL 32428

Northwest Florida Daily News
WCTV Florida/Georgia

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