Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Grey2K, Carey Theil Help Prove Cocaine Problems Very Low in Greyhound Racing

By Dick Ciampa

Grey2K's Executive Director and co-founder Carey Theil helps prove how rare cocaine is in greyhound racing. Today, Grey2K and Carey Theil announced that they discovered 4 more cases of a greyhound testing positive for cocaine.

GREY2K USA on NPR: four more cases of greyhounds testing cocaine positive in Florida, legislature needs to phase out dog racing now (23-28 minute marks).

We know from Grey2K's 80 page report released earlier this year that there were 16 cases of cocaine found in greyhounds during the 7-year period of January 2008 to the end of November 2014.

So in 7 years and 3 months, we have a total of 20 greyhounds that tested positive for cocaine.

Here are the drug test results from Florida for fiscal year 2008/2009. Benzoylecgonine is cocaine.

Here are the drug test results for Florida for fiscal year 2009/2010

You can see the number of samples analyzed in 2008/2009 were 54,942 and in 2010 the number of samples analyzed were 58,095. The other years weren't available online so I will estimate the number of samples analyzed real low at 40,000 per year for the remaining 5 years for a total of 200,000 for those 5 years. If you add the 200,000 to the 58,095 from 2010 and 54,942 from 2009 and you have a total of 313,037 samples analyzed for those 7 years. That was the time frame Grey2K had 16 cocaine positives for not only Florida, but Alabama also. Now for part of that time Alabama had three tracks running, Victoryland, Birmingham and Mobile. During 2011 Victoryland closed and only the other two tracks were running. We still have to add the first 3 months of 2015 so if we again go with a low number of 40,000 for the year we would add 10,000 for 1/4 of the year 2015 bringing the total number of samples analyzed for the 7 years and 3 months to 323,037.

Now with 20 positives out of 323,037 samples analyzed that give you a percentage of greyhounds testing positive at 0.00619.

The percentage of greyhounds testing positive for cocaine isn't extreme, Grey2K is.

Robert F. Kennedy once said this about extremists,
"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

Sunday, May 17, 2015

From AR to PR

By Jessica Frank

The first time I really remember being smitten by a greyhound, it was actually a statue. When I was young, I used to watch Wheel of Fortune with my mom and my grandma. If you watched the old original Wheel of Fortune shows, you may remember the little shopping bit people did after each round, in which they took the "money" they won and shopped from a selection of things that were offered by the show. One of those things was a white greyhound statue. No one ever bought it that I recall, but my eyes went to it every time, the graceful neck, the willowy limbs, the fine slender head. Of all the fancy furniture, electronics and vacation trips, I knew what I would have bought if I had won a round on that show - it would have been that statue. Later, when my mom took me to local dog shows, I would gravitate over to those beautiful, stately sighthounds. They captured my fascination and that never died.

Like many people, what I saw about racing was never positive. I saw pictures of starved and abused dogs, heard stories about dogs beaten or put to death in various cruel ways if they didn't win, and it was burned into my brain that dog racing was a horrible thing full of death and cruelty for the dogs. That's why, many years later, when I was part of a big pet online forum and someone asked "Would you go to a dog race?" I answered I would NEVER go to one, I would never support that cruelty. Almost everyone else echoed similar sentiments.

But then someone new came along, an outsider, and he began telling a completely different kind of story, one I had never heard before. Owners and trainers were dedicated to their dogs. The dogs were given the best of the best, and when they retired they certainly were not discarded or killed. I was resistant to that at first. I began pointing out websites, statistics, photos. And very quickly and neatly he pointed out these were outright lies, how laughable the statistics were. He explained how those places had an agenda and it wasn't to save dogs. He then showed me links of his own that told the truth, the REAL statistics. I became more quiet and thoughtful. I watched him patiently continue to address other people's accusations and racing. It doesn't seem like one person, who I did not even know personally, could change a belief that was fed and nurtured for years by TV, the Internet, photos and various other media, but I couldn't deny one thing: What he said just made sense. I had learned long ago about PeTA and HSUS. It wasn't so hard for me to see how AR organizations could be just as fanatical and misleading.

My first feeling was one of relief. I was relieved that those atrocities I thought were happening were mostly fantasy. And then I felt somewhat humiliated. I had bitten the bait they put out; hook, line and sinker. I had believed it for years without ever hearing the other side of the story. And then I felt angry. I had been lied to and used to spread hate and false information. It's something I would be careful not to repeat, from that day forward, about ANY issue. It literally was a life-changing day for me.

From then on, I sought out more information. I found the Grey Talk board and read and browsed everything I could find about greyhounds. This was actually several years before I would adopt my first hound. While I had wanted to for a long time, I either already had a full house or didn't have the choice at the time. In late January 2013, I would finally get my own hound, and I was determined that everyone I would meet would not see this hound as a helpless victim, but a proud dog with a proud history and meticulous upbringing by many people.

I just want to say a special thanks, in closing, to Christopher Grieb. Thank you for going to that angry hornet's nest of a pet forum those years ago and writing page upon page of insightful, truthful posts. I bet you didn't know you'd change somebody's life that day

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tough Questions….No Answers

By Dennis McKeon

Those of you who believe that you are somehow more humane and morally superior to the people in the Greyhound Racing community, have a lot to learn about populations of dogs, and managing them. Each and every individual Greyhound for whom you profess to care so much, has emerged from a unique population of Greyhounds.

Everything you love or may not love about those dogs, is inexorably linked by cause and effect, and by the highly selective process which racing demands that breeders employ, to the well being of that greater population of Greyhounds.

The idea that the cessation of racing and breeding for racing, would not devastate your Greyhound population and all future populations of them, resulting in the loss, forever, of unique and irreplaceable strains and entire families of Greyhounds-- some of whose lineage can be documented as far back as the 18th century--is short-sighted, to say the very least, and hardly more humane than whatever it is you find to be so distasteful about racing itself.

The inconsolable. "ban everything I don't like" activist, who has no capacity or desire to engage in constructive (not destructive) behavior, or to participate in the cultural and material evolution of racing, is essentially promoting "advocacy by extinction", which is not now, nor will it ever be, a humane concept.

Why is there a such gaping disconnect between the individual Greyhound and the population of Greyhounds, from which every individual Greyhound has emerged?

How does one suppose to be any sort of an advocate, and how do you claim the moral high ground, until you mend that disconnect?

These dogs don't suddenly appear from Unicorn dust. They are a result of thousands of years of breeding, and in modern times, dozens of female families and generations of having been bred to race---for nearly a century now. They are the embodiment of all that, the good, the bad, and the faulty.

The Racing Greyhound today, is possibly the most fowardly adapted canine in the world, to its present function. That didn't happen by serendipity. It is the result of a design, a process, a model, where there are inputs (breeding, raising, training, handling) and feedbacks (the results of head to head racing competitions and how they are perceived to enable accurate selectivity) that forged the modern, Racing Greyhound, and which support the population of Greyhounds.

You can't have a thriving, genetically diverse, and highly functional Greyhound, without having a thriving, genetically diverse, highly functional population of them. The Greyhound is a manifestation of his/her genetic wellsprings and their effect upon phenotype, temperament, disposition and function.

Unless you have a better design or method in mind, to support, manage and preserve that Greyhound population--in all its diversity and functionality--your advocacy is simply, when it's all said and done, for the margination of a breed, and nothing more. And by any rational, humane standard, you aren't an advocate at all.

So what are the anti-racing communities' plans---book, chapter and verse---for the future of the Greyhound, and future populations of them, to insure an array of genetic diversity and to maintain the high levels of functionality and stalwart disposition for which the breed is renown and embraced, once racing has been forcibly ceased?

Or will it be every dog for himself, "see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya", and your job is done?

Copyright, 2015