The Arizona Daily Star reports that there’s no record of any exemption being granted by South Tucson, the municipality in which the track operates, or by Pima County.
An ordinance in South Tucson requires dog owners pay a $45 licensing fee.
Under the ordinance, any unaltered dog kept within the city for 30 consecutive days each year is required to have a license.
Yet Tucson Greyhound Park, a home of sorts to more than 700 dogs, hasn’t gotten a license for any of them in six decades. At $45 per license, given all those dogs and all those years, that’s a pretty significant savings.
Kim Janes, manager of Pima County Animal Care, said he doesn’t know why the park considered itself exempt. He said his office began investigating the matter about a year ago.
His office found no state statutes that spared greyhound tracks from paying the fee.
The South Tucson’s City Attorney’s Office contacted his office last week, informing him that dogs at the park should be licensed, and Janes planned to send officers to the park this week.
“We are going to be talking to the track and say they need to have some information for us,” he said. “When we come out, we will need to see rabies vaccinations and proof of when the dog got here. If (they) don’t have proof, we are going to assume it has been here more than 30 days.”
Tucson Greyhound Park CEO and General Manager Tom Taylor said the greyhounds don’t need a license because the state requires every greyhound to receive a rabies vaccination before entering the state or being qualified to race. Since rabies vaccinations are the primary reason for licensing, he said, there’s no need for the park to register the dogs locally.
“Since 1944, we have never had to have them licensed,” he said.
Taylor said he suspects negative media coverage about the track, and animal welfare organizations seeking to ban greyhound racing, are behind the crackdown.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal care, animals, arizona, avoided, crackdown, dogs, fee, fees, greyhound, greyhounds, licenses, municipal, ordinance, park, pets, pima county, racing, registration, south tucson, tucson, tucson greyhound park
Remember that Super Bowl ad for Skechers athletic shoes — the one that featured Mr. Quiggly, a French bulldog, racing a group of greyhounds at an Arizona racetrack?
It led to some major backlash, mainly from Grey2K USA, an anti-greyhound racing group that had documented abuses at Tucson Greyhound Park, where the ad was filmed. The organization, and others, tried to get the ad pulled and then called for a boycott of Skechers, saying the ad promoted cruelty.
Given all that, what is one to make of this?
A band called Swedish House Mafia — if band is even the right word – has teamed up with Absolut Vodka to create a commercial that promotes the musical group, and the vodka, and, seemingly, the racing of futuristic greyhound robots.
I don’t begin to understand what’s going on in the ad, but the band members appear to be taking part in some sort of virtual greyhound racing experience in which they are the dogs, as a crowd of people dressed in Lady Gaga-like attire and wearing too much make-up watch, biting their lips in excitement.
One of the digital greyhounds takes a fall at some point, but gets up and keeps running.
Most people seem to find the ad, and its pounding techno dance club music, highly cool, but an Arizona greyhound rescuer and blogger has lashed out against it, saying it promotes animal cruelty. “…Greyhounds are once again perceived as futuristic exploited racing machines,” Karyn Zoldan wrote on her blog, Tucson Tails. “The video is a deadly cross between Project Runway and Mad Max.”
“…This ad is haunting…haunting in the way it promotes greyhound racing as subhuman depravity. Haunting in a way, I feel nauseous and want to vomit.”
GREY2K USA, to its credit, hasn’t taken a position on the Absolut ad, deeming it not worth pouncing upon, given no greyhounds were used in it and those depicted are computer-made images.
Besides, complaining about an ad so oddly ambiguous and unclear in its meaning — if it has any – would be a waste of time, and who has time to waste in today’s fast-paced world?
If you’re wondering what greyhound racing and vodka have to do with each other, the answer is absolutely nothing. The only connection I can see is that there was — even before Absolut had the foresight to put them in the same bottle — a vodka and grapefruit juice cocktail called a Greyhound, and adding salt to it makes it a Salty Dog.
While we don’t object to cocktails being named after dogs, or to consuming vodka, or to mixing it with grapefruit juice, we”re all for an end to greyhound racing.
While slowly fading away, it continues in seven states.
Racing greyhound robots, though? We have no objections to that. In fact, it can even be looked at as a solution.
If only robots were raced at greyhound tracks, industry employees would learn news skills more befitting modern times. There would be employment opportunities for all the techno-nerds who build and service them. There would be no worries about feeding or humanely maintaining the dogs. There would be no exploitation of animals for human gain — just exploitation of robots, and I kind of like that idea, at least until they turn on us. There could even be techno dance music pumped in, and vodka-based beverages served.
And, odds are – when it comes to the real, breathing versions — there’d be a lot more happy greyhounds.
(To see all our Woof in Advertising posts, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: absolut, absolut greyhound, advertising, animals, cgi, commercial, cruelty, dogs, dogs in advertising, grey2k usa, greyhound, greyhound racing, karyn zoldan, marketing, pets, racing, swedish house mafia, tracks, tucson tails, video, vodka, woof in advertising
A racing greyhound found running down Interstate 75 in Florida last week continues to recover from dehydration and more than 20 wounds found on his body.
After reports of the loose greyhound being sighted on I-75 near Gainesville, greyhound rescuers went to the scene, stopped traffic and captured the dog, a two-year-old male.
“He was in shock, had a fever, and was severely dehydrated … He still had his racing muzzle on and his kennel collar. I have no idea if he was being hauled and escaped or is loose from a local kennel and frankly, don’t care. He has over 20 wounds on his body, some severe, and some pretty serious road rash,” volunteer Kendra Stauffer wrote on the Goldcoast Greyhound Adoptions Facebook page.
The dog, now named Freeway, was rushed to the University of Florida Veterinary School emergency clinic, where he was operated on and his wounds were treated, according to Examiner.com
After his first surgery, Freeway was taken home by Stauffer, who fed him pureed chicken through a syringe for the first few days.
Goldcoast Greyhound Adoptions says his medical expenses have grown to more than $3,400, and that donations to his care have come from Canada and 30 states.
More photos of Freeway can be found on this Facebook page.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, florida, found, freeway, gainesville, goldcoast greyhound adoptions, greyhound, medical, pets, racing, rescue, surgery, treatment, veterinary
Don’t be surprised if you see more canines than cleavage when it comes to this year’s Super Bowl ads.
At least three ads premiering during the 2012 Super Bowl will star dogs.
“You can’t go wrong with a dog,” Robbie Blinkoff, a cultural anthropologist told USA Today. “The dogs are idealized versions of ourselves. The dogs aren’t dogs — they’re us.”
As anyone who’s been following our “Woof in Advertising” series knows, sex may be the quickest way to a consumer’s groin, but the best route to a consumer’s heart (which we’d argue more often controls the purse strings) is through dogs.
Volkswagen is one company that’s shifted to more heartwarming ads, moving away from the mean spirited but funny ones of recent years.
In its 2012 Super Bowl spot, an extended Internet version of which is seen above, a dog sets off to chase a new VW Beetle only to realize he can no longer fit through the dog door.
He undertakes a makeover of his own, drops a few pounds and is off and running — through the dog door and after a shiny red Beetle. In the final seconds, the ads shifts to a Star War themes, in homage to VW’s popular 2011 Super Bowl spot that featured a child dressed as Darth Vader who thinks “The Force” helped him start a car.
“The Dog Strikes Back” will run in the second quarter of Sunday’s game.
Anheuser Busch, meanwhile, will introduce a new dog — a rescued mutt — in its ad for Bud Light. The dog’s name is Weego, and he fetches a bottle of guess what whenever he hears someone say, “Here, Weego.”
Then there’s the controversial Skechers ad, which the company hopes more people will find funny and inspiring than offensive. (Filmed at Tucson Greyhound Park, it has led to protests and a boycott of Skechers by the anti- greyhound racing group Grey2KUSA.)
Skechers, in case you haven’t stayed abreast, featured Kim Kardashian in its Super Bowl ad last year. This year it put its money on an athletic-shoe wearing French bulldog named Mr. Quiggly, who, in the ad, goes up against a group of racing greyhounds.
Leonard Armato, president of Skechers Fitness Group, says the spot is about inspiration — not greyhound racing: “We believe he’ll be the most lovable dog on the Super Bowl.”
As we’ve only seen a snippet of that one, and no sneak preview of “Weego,” we’ve got to go with the VW dog, for now, as most lovable. He’s a pretty magnificent beast, named Bolt, a 3-year-old Australian shepherd and St. Bernard mix.
As for how he achieved that amazing weight loss, you can find the answer in this “Making of The Dog Strikes Back” video:
(To see all of our “Woof in Advertising” posts, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2012, ads, advertising, anheuser busch, beetle, bolt, boycott, bud light, budweiser, canines, cleavage, commercials, controversy, dogs, dogs in advertising, french bulldog, grey2kusa, greyhound, marketing, mr quiggly, racing, selling, sex, skechers, star wars, super bowl, the dog strikes back, tucson greyhound park, volkswagen, vw, weego, woof in advertising
It was five years ago when strange things started happening at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
Somehow, the same group of dogs were escaping from their pens at the shelter at night and proceeding to raid the food area, where they ate, played and partied all night long.
The shelter at first suspected staff wasn’t propertly closing the gates. Then they thought maybe it was a practical joke.
Finally, to find the answer, they installed three cameras. The first couple of nights, nothing happened, but then the cameras caught a greyhound mix named Red in the act — first freeing himself, then freeing his friends from their cages.
In Great Britain and Ireland, they call the mixed breed “lurchers,” and they’re known for their stealth and cunning.
Red certainly fit that bill — and better yet, shortly after shelter staff brought an end to the late night parties, Red got adopted.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, battersea, behavior, cages, cameras, cats, dog, escape, food, free, freed, greyhound, home, incarcerated, kennels, lurcher, mix, mixed breed, party, pens, red, rescue, security, shelters, who let the dogs out
If the school district in Hudson, Wisconsin, has its way, an empty greyhound racing track could be turned into a school.
The school board approved an $8.25 million offer Monday to buy the St. Croix Meadows Greyhound Racing Park, but the purchase is contingent on voter approval.
District officials said Tuesday that the 130-acre property would be used to address long-term space needs for grades six to 12, according to the Pioneer Press.
It has not been determined whether it will be home to a high school or middle school, or what will happen to the building now standing there.
Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten said buying the property is a move toward reducing crowding at the middle and high schools.
The district has been in contact since 2009 with a representative from Miami-based Croixland Properties Ltd., the track’s owner. Initially, the sales price for the track was $20 million.
The dog track opened in 1991 and was losing as much as $7 million a year when it closed in 2001.
There was a plan to turn it into a casino, but that was opposed by Indian tribes in Minnesota and Wisconsin who already operate casinos near the Twin Cities.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, crowding, dogs, education, greyhound, hudson, pets, purchase, racing, referendum, school district, schools, st. croix meadows, tracks, wisconsin
Anti-dog racing groups say Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Nitro, West Virginia, has had an alarming number of greyhound injuries over the past six years — more than one a day.
West Virginia Racing Commission records analyzed by Massachusetts-based Grey2K USA show that, in addition to 1.4 injuries a day, 152 dogs were euthanized during that period, only seven of those because of illnesses.
Carey Theil, executive director of Grey2K, the anti-dog racing agency that spent years trying to obtain the records, told the Charleston Daily Mail that the numbers are the highest the group has seen at any U.S. track.
An ASPCA spokesperson called the figures “appalling.”
Track executive Dan Adkins said the number of injuries has dropped the past two years and is near the national average.
Adkins insists dog health is a top priority for the track’s parent company, Hartman and Tyner Inc. of Hallandale, Fla. Out of more than 43,400 racing starts last year, he said, there were only 25 deaths.
The records show about 750 broken bones, and more than 300 career-ending injuries.
Grey2K says the true number could be even higher than state records indicate because more than 13 months of data is missing. The Racing Commission told the Daily Mail it could not find those records.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, aspca, carey theil, cruelty to animals, deaths, documents, dogs, euthanasia, grey2k, grey2kusa, greyhound, injured, injuries, mardi gras casino & resort, nitro, pets, racing, records, west virginia, west virginia racing commission
Runner’s World magazine isn’t on my list of must-reads, anymore than jogging is on my list of must-dos, but I’m tempted to slowly walk out and get the latest issue right now — for it has gone (you guessed it) to the dogs.
Everything you ever wanted to know about dogs and running with them seems to be covered — from the top running breeds to how to avoid dangerous run-ins with dogs. It also has an interesting debate on whether dogs should be allowed off leash on running trails.
What are the top running breeds? Depends on the type of running you are doing. Runner’s World recommends weimaraners, goldendoodles, German shorthaired pointers, vizslas and Jack Russell terriers for long steady runs of more than 10 miles.
If you’re into shorter, speedier jaunts, go with a pit bull, greyhound, retriever or beagle.
If you’re running through more rugged terrain, or obstacles, choose a border collie, vizsla or Belgian sheepdog.
The magazine also suggests certain breeds for hot weather runs and cold weather runs.
Being Runner’s World, the magazine doesn’t suggest what type of dog is best for laying around and watching TV. But I can help you out there. Bulldog!
You can find links to all the dog-related articles in the issue here.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beagle, best, border collie, breeds, dog, dogs, german shorthaired pointers, goldendoodles, greyhound, issue, jack russell terriers, jogging, magazine, off-leash, pets, pit bull, retriever, runner's world, running, running with dogs, safety, trails, training, vizslas, weimaraners
Fifteen years ago, more than 400 people attended the national convention of the American Greyhound Track Owners Association.
This year’s convention, in Las Vegas, is expected to draw 120, the Las Vegas Sun reports — yet another sign that greyhound racing’s days are numbered.
The recession, competition from casinos, state legislatures increasing gambling taxes and public opposition to the sport have combined to threaten the future of dog racing, but the industry’s downfall can be traced to the 1980s and 1990s when state lotteries were introduced and casinos began to spread beyond Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Wagering on greyhound races in the United States declined from $3.5 billion in 1991 to $1.1 billion in 2007, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners.
The continued decline in dog racing has become even more painful for casino owners who are required to subsidize the tracks as a condition of operating casinos with slot machines.
As Roy Berger, executive vice president of the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Wisconsin, which closed last year, put it: “The product became an antique. We were an 8-track cassette store in a world of CDs.”
(Photo: American Greyhound Track Owners Association)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, association, casinos, closings, closures, convention, dairyland, decline, dogs, dwindling, fading, future, gambling, greyhound, greyhounds, las vegas, news, pets, shrinking, sports, track owners, tracks, wagering, wagers
More than 3,000 people poured into Raynham Park over the weekend for the final day of live greyhound racing at the 69-year-old park, its last day in Massachusetts and, possibly, its last day in all of New England.
The end of greyhound racing in in Massachusetts is the result of a public referendum — 56 percent of voters favored banning the so-called sport — and part of a national trend driven by a mix of animal-rights concerns and declining track attendance, according to the Boston Globe.
Raynham Park staged its final race Saturday night.
Live dog racing has also ceased in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and, temporarily at least, Rhode Island. It continues at 23 tracks in seven states, 13 of them in Florida, according to the anti-dog racing organization GREY2K USA, which formed in 2001. At that time there were 49 tracks in 15 states.
“I just thank Massachusetts voters for giving greyhounds a second chance,’’ Christine A. Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA. “We have finally reached this wonderful day.’’
Many of the dogs, maintained by a network of kennels, will move on to race in other states, but several hundred will be looking for new homes. Raynham is working with GREY2K and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center to aid their adoption.
“People who voted to end dog racing should step forward now and take a dog home,’’ Dorchak said. “This is the happy ending we all worked for, and these dogs make wonderful pets.’’
For the first six months of 2010, the track will remain open for simulcasting, where patrons bet on horse and dog races from across the country shown live on closed-circuit televisions.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal rights, animal welfare, betting, closings, closures, dog, dog racing, end, final, gambling, grey2kusa, greyhound, greyhounds, last, massachusetts, race, racing, raynham park, track