Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Greyhounds Aren't Dogs

Not in Kansas, anyway.

Fellow pet lover Ellen sent me this link a while ago. Now, this month's Greyhound Companions of New Mexico newsletter puts the issue front and center.

How utterly ludicrous. If they aren't dogs, what are they? If they have nothing to hide; if they truly treat all their animals humanely; then what does the National Greyhound Association (NGA) have to lose if they fall under the same scrutiny as the owners of "other" animals, including livestock? Does this mean that greyhounds aren't even considered living things in the state of Kansas?

The level of pet care required in most municipalities is not high. In general, as long as you provide a dog adequate food and water, you can leave him out in the yard, day and night, in all weather. To those of us who treat our companion animals as family, this would be intolerable, but it is well within the scope of the law.

So if greyhounds aren't covered by the most basic requirements for animal care, then it is no wonder the racing industry is rife with abuse. And it is. For documentation of the industry's abuses, peruse GCNM's informative site. Unlike some adoption entities, GCNM is not affiliated with the racing industry, and takes no monies from them.

I'm sure the racing industry claims that affording greyhounds the dignity given to [most] pets somehow impedes their ability to earn a living. This is just a justification for animal abuse. Much like advocates of cock fighting in the not-so great state of New Mexico. Supporters of cock fighting claim that the practice is a tradition and part of their Hispanic heritage.

Right. I'm sure slave owners in the South argued the slavery was a fine tradition as well. Tradition and financial gain do not remove a moral stain. As for the cultural argument, I'm Hispanic and I assure you that the ritual evisceration of fowl is not a part of my heritage or any Hispanic I know.

Shame on Kansas politicians for allowing a small (and fading) industry to make the entire state look like nose-picking hicks.

If they keep up this crap, they'll be on the road to making all the Worst Lists (crime, poverty, spousal abuse) just like New Mexico.

Greyhound Helpers...
Also in the GCNM newsletter is an article about greyhounds who were certified as therapy dogs in 2004. I count eight dogs listed. Congrats to all.

The program certifying the dogs, Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers (SCCV, ), is nationally recognized and requires more extensive training of their participants (trainers, handlers, and dogs) than most therapy-dog programs. For this reason, they are allowed into virtually every hospital in Albuquerque; most nursing homes; Special Ed classrooms; Psychiatric facilities; the Juvenile Detention Center; and in the Public Library's "Read to the Dogs Program."

Hmmm. Perhaps someone should tell SCCV that, mercy me, greyhounds aren't dogs.

Greyhound Racing is Not Harmless Fun...
Please, if you must gamble, go play the slots. With the proliferation of Indian casinos, easy access to slot machines and table games is probably just a few minutes away.

Pat Kirby


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005