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Question would end greyhound racing, clamp down on dog fighting

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Marty, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Marty

    Marty Banned

    [size=-1]Worcester,MA -- [/size] Gene Bonita, a self described "steady action player" with a weakness for greyhounds, sits in front a sprawling bank of television screens at the Wonderland Greyhound Park steadily making bet after bet - like he's done for the past half century.

    "Discipline is the key factor, which I lack," the 68-year-old former barber jokes, surrounded by other gamblers, their eyes flicking between racing sheets and the blue light of the television sets. "As long as you don't let it swallow you up, it's OK. I pay all my bills."

    Bonita, who splits his time between Florida and Massachusetts, said he wouldn't know what to do if the track closed. He spends five days a week at Wonderland and is on a first name basis with many of the other gamblers.

    But supporters of a ballot question that would phase out greyhound racing in Massachusetts by 2008 say there's a major downside to the tracks.

    They say greyhounds are at risk of serious injuries, from broken legs to cardiac arrest, and that the safety of the dogs should outweigh the entertainment value of racing.

    "Dogs deserved to be protected. They perform a special service to all of our lives. They are our friends," said Christine Dorchak, chairman of the Committee to Protect Dogs. "They belong in our homes."

    It's not the first time Massachusetts voters are being asked to weigh the future of greyhound racing.

    In 2000, a ballot question that would have outlawed greyhound racing in Massachusetts was narrowly defeated. The question would have shuttered Wonderland and the Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park in Raynham, the state's only other greyhound track.

    Track owners battled back, denying allegations of abuse and saying the initiative would put 1,200 employees out of work.

    This time around, advocates of phasing out the racing are hoping to expand support by broadening the question.

    The proposal would also toughen sanctions against dog fighting, letting police seize all dogs found during raids - not just those discovered fighting. Police could also confiscate dog fighting paraphernalia, making it harder for fight organizers to relocate.

    Advocates point to the recent arrest of four Lawrence residents for scuffling with police investigating a house suspected of being used as a dogfighting training ground. Neighbors told police that pit bulls were frequently picked up and dropped off at the house. Police took custody of two pit bulls tied to the front door.

    A third portion of the question would increase criminal penalties for anyone found harming police dogs, guide dogs or seeing eye dogs.

    "Voters recognize that dogs deserve to be protected from individuals and industries that do them harm," said Carter Luke of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    The question is being sponsored by the MSPCA, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Humane Society, and the greyhound protection group, GREY2K USA.

    Racetrack owners are again vowing to fight back. Earlier this year, the owner of Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park went to court to try to block the question from the ballot.

    The past few years have been tough on the state's racetracks. They unsuccessfully lobbied for the right to install thousands of slot machines to boost revenue. And simulcasting - the right to show races from out-of-state tracks - was temporarily shut down earlier this year.

    Gamblers like Bonita, who describes himself as a "animal lover," say they hope the tracks can weather the latest challenge.

    Bonita worked for 47 years as a barber - first at MIT and later in Harvard Square. He said the Vietnam War made haircuts unpopular and forced him to relocate to the Long Beach Naval Station in California until civilian haircuts made a comeback.

    He said he just doesn't see dog racing as animal abuse.

    "I've been around dogs all my life. A lot of my friends have dogs," he said between bets. "I've pretty much gambled all my life. ... I just can't see giving it up."

    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060708/APN/607080665
     
  2. simms

    simms CH Dog

    My oppinion is the extreme opposite from these groups and supporters of this bill.

    Ridiculous.....these animals are not pets, they dont belong in JoeQ house. Not to metion the loss of jobs,bad move on the states part.
     
  3. 14rock

    14rock GRCH Dog

    This has been on-going for awhile, PETA is targeting ANYONE with an animal and trying to take their rights from them. Let the greyhounds race, its what they love to do. Your dog loves being a lazy couch potato? So be it, but dont judge us for having working dogs.
     
  4. simms

    simms CH Dog

    The way I see it.....We as the ppl need to stand together, wether you agree with one particular aspect of working animals as opposed to another....this is a all or nothing situation with the ppl that want to put an end to all working aspects of animals.

    They want to rid the functions of any and all aspects of a working animal.....IMO, That is Cruelty at its finest.

    Starting with the loss of selective breeding...ie, the standard in wich the animal was bred and developed for.

    All the health testing in the world aint worth a shit, if the #1 process of selective breeding for any working domestic animal is not practiced.

    That is a Cruel state to bestow on domestic animals.....
     
  5. asaj

    asaj Big Dog

    Whats next? Hunting dogs can not hunt, because they can get a splinter in their paw? Horses can not race and humans can not ride them because it can hurt their back?
     
  6. Nigerino.com/

    Nigerino.com/ CH Dog

    Yes that is what (they) want! :eek:
     
  7. pennsooner

    pennsooner CH Dog

    Yeah, the hard core AR people are pretty clear on this: NO domestic animals at all, for anything. But from their point of view, working animals are more "exploited" so they are starting there first. They also figure that working animals are easier targets since a lot of city folks perceive working animals as cruel since its so far from their day to day life.


    As an ideology, the AR stuff is more radical than Communism, since the rise of civilization and the domestication of animals go hand in hand.
     
  8. Riptora

    Riptora CH Dog

    " Bonita, who splits his time between Florida and Massachusetts, said he wouldn't know what to do if the track closed. He spends five days a week at Wonderland and is on a first name basis with many of the other gamblers. "

    Man! Someone's got a gambling problem! LOL Might just be a blessing in disguise for him!

    I live very close to Lincoln Park ( greyhound track ) and I've worked at local animal hospital which recieves many of the former racers. I have come to know much about the treatment of their dogs while racing and afterwards. The track has an adoption program set-up for ALL dogs who are culled. The treatment of the animals who race is good from what I hear. Unlike most working dogs, racing grayhounds make INCREDIBLE couch potatoes. Most people think that these dogs are for owners who want to run a couple miles every morning... wrong! These dogs run very fast in a sprint after the little stuffed bunny, but they are extremely low key, lazy dogs. They make great family pets, they can live in apartments and as far as dogs go, they are easy as pie to keep. They don't eat very much, sleep many hours of their life, are loving and non agressive with minimal grooming. All these qualities actually make them perfect for race tracks because they are low maintainance.

    I think that the way Lincoln Park has this set up is wonderful. They are keeping the breed alive and providing fabulous companions to the public. It would be a tremendous loss to lose the track. I've gotten farmiliar with the breed and grown to love these dogs because of Lincoln Park. If I had to remain in the city (which I won't) I would own these dogs in a heart beat.
     
  9. WWII

    WWII Banned

    Well, let's ban the Olympics then. I don't want my friend to pull a hamstring or drop dead running the 200m. All greyhound racing is, is watching some dogs sprint for about 30 seconds. An animal actually running? That's absurb!
     
  10. jessiepbg

    jessiepbg Big Dog

    I personally don't think Greyhounds should be used in commercial lure coursing. They were not bred to chase a peice of cloth down a dirt track while hundreds of people screamed at them. They were not bred to be left in cages most of their life and taken out only for short exercise periods and races. The racing injuries are not the issue I have with commercial Greyhound racing. What really bothers me is the vast number of dogs that die before they even reach the track. Many die of thirst and hunger or just heat exaustion either at the training farm or on the transport to the track. Most of the dogs that actually get to the track are killed once they're past their racing prime, which is 2 or 3 years old. A very small percentage of the massive number of dogs that are bred for this "sport" ever make it past their 3rd year.

    Greyhound Protection League (GPL) http://www.greyhounds.org/gpl/contents/entry.html
     
  11. simms

    simms CH Dog

    They are Not pets!! These animals were bred to work if they dont cut the grade .....cull em, as to maintain a standard.

    What pisses me off is that ppl beleive that they have a right to these animals.....You dont own these animals what makes you think you can get away with strong arming some owner/breeder to obtain them.

    The worst thing that has happened to the greyhound industry is that they allowed these "rescues" in
     
  12. Attila

    Attila Guest

    I personally think we should ban together and attack and get rid of all PETA folks and the rest of the tree hugging freaks that support that crap too. They have been a pain for far too many years. They have stuck there ugly faces in organized hunts for years. I for one would not hesitate to put a bullet in one as they are my enemy. I see them as less than the compost my sheep put out. They are not even worth good fertilizer for my garden. Grey Hounds chase small game and catch it. Be it a rag on a string or a real rabbit who cares that is what the dog was bred to do. Let it do it. Those people need to mind their own damn business and stay out of ours go save the stinking ass monkeys in the rain forest for all I care. That is where they should be with them thieving monkeys. I hate them dang things and PETA too put the SPCA and the media in with them and ship them all to the amazon let them go save some stupid animals like themselves and get lost.
     
  13. simms

    simms CH Dog

    Holly shit!!

    Can you imagine what type of meltdown they would have if they used live bait......and their Bitchin about a rag on a string....LOL

    Hell,they might work harder if they had live lure....LOL

    I agree, these folk need to be put on the move!!!
     
  14. jessiepbg

    jessiepbg Big Dog

    There's a difference between culling the ones that aren't performing and letting them die of heat exaustion or just killing the ones that performed well but got old. There is no standard maintained, as they are killed before breeding whether or not they performed well.
     
  15. catcher T

    catcher T CH Dog

    nothing should die of thirst or mistreatment,,if the dogs are dying from neglect,,have issues with that,,not about the racing and working part of it
     
  16. lonesharkpits

    lonesharkpits Big Dog

    the racing wouldn't be an issueif the jackasses running it di not mis treat the dogs!!!! Any one who does not know the horrible lives these dogs lead simply is ignorant to the facts........
     
  17. Attila

    Attila Guest

    Some how I think your batting from the wrong side of the fence. Athletic things die sometimes. From ape to zebra things die in life. There is only part information here. Not all those dogs meet a horrible fate just like our dogs shit happens. Sometimes animals are put down in the culling process. Beats sticking them in a shelter. If you can't handle the task of culling never breed a dog. It isn't all glory.

     
  18. Riptora

    Riptora CH Dog

    There's no need to kill any of these dogs, they make amazing, easy, pets and are perfect apartment dogs because they ARE meant to spend a lot of time in cages, they like to be lazy. Because of ARA's the tracks have a good system going like the one near my house. It's a perfect program where everyone wins. Peta will never be happy with it, but most normal people are. The reason a lot of greyhound rescuers oppose racing is because there USED to be a lot of tracks that neglected and abused the animals but because this has been such an issue, due to ARA, the tracks have taken great measures to make everyone more happy with what is going on. There is NO need for live lures, that's absurd.
     
  19. Attila

    Attila Guest

    Lol You bet they would get their panties in a wad over live bait. I would like to take one of them out coon hunting in the swamps. I wonder how they would feel about killing something once a gator or a snake got ahold of that ass. lol Just think how fun it would be to see the look on their face when a gator got ahold of a deer at the edge of the water. ha. lol:D



     
  20. 14rock

    14rock GRCH Dog

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but if they kill all the good dogs before its time to breed as you say jessie-that would logically lead me to believe the sport of greyhound racing, as well as the greyhound breed would of been extinct in only a few years. LOL
     

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