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
Still, it’s interesting to see how Skechers ad-makers gave an apparent facelift to Tucson Greyhound Park, the site of their “Mr. Quiggly” ad, in which a French bulldog outraces a group of greyhounds thanks to his Skecher’s athletic shoes.
The pictures to the left come from Grey2KUSA, the anti-racing group that sponsored a boycott of the ad, which aired during the Super Bowl.
I’m not sure if the improvements were digital or real, and, if real, whether they were temporary or permanent, but they raise the question: If the track is something to be proud of, as some backers of greyhound racing maintain, why did it need a cosmetic makeover?
Of course, the purpose of the ad was to sell sneakers, not expose the so-called sport’s seamy underbelly. But sprucing the place up beforehand does lend some credence to Grey2KUSA’s concerns that the ad would glorify greyhound racing.
The organization launched a boycott of Skechers before the ad aired and urged its backers to send their shoes back to the company. More than 122,000 people signed its online petition asking the company not to air the ad.
While that wasn’t achieved, Grey2KUSA says the company did make some changes to the ad, including removing “Tucson Greyhound Park” from the footage and digitally replacing it with a fictitious name, “Rexford Downs.”
In addition to altering the sign, the company also spruced up the grounds, the organization says, “bringing in green shrubbery, flowers and other improvements to make this otherwise dilapidated track look attractive.”
“It is not known if the greyhound racing ad will continue to air, but if it does, we ask you to continue boycotting Skechers,” Grey2KUSA informed its members this week.
According to Grey2K, dog racing continues in seven states, and three of those — Arizona, Iowa and Florida — have bills pending in their legislatures to ban it.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, advertising, animals, boycott, commercial, dog racing, dogs, facelift, french bulldog, grey2kusa, greyhound racing, greyhounds, makeover, mr quiggly, petition, pets, racing, super bowl, truth in advertising, tucson, tucson greyhound park, woof in advertising
I base this report mostly on advertisements shown during the first half of last night’s Super Bowl — for I began to tire during Madonna’s BRIDGESTONE halftime show.
In the first half of the game, I kept track of ads, and according to my tally — and in accordance with my predictions — dogs were theme No. 1 in this year’s Big Game commercials, topping that perennial favorite, sex.
By halftime, we’d seen the controversial SKECHERS greyhound racing ad — mildly funny, at best — VOLKSWAGEN’S “Bark Side” and a DORITO ad featuring a Great Dane (above) who gives his owner some chips to buy his silence regarding the family cat’s mysterious disappearance.
Dogs played smaller supporting roles in two other ads by then, so at halftime I had it scored this way:
Dogs five, Sex three.
While sex seemed to be gaining in the second half, it scored only three times in the first, with GO DADDY’S body painting bit, David Beckham promoting either underpants or himself (I’m still not sure), and an ad featuring model Adriana Lima for the flower delivery outfit, TELEFLORA. Lima, once she is dressed, explains to us that, on Valentine’s Day, and perhaps all other days, men must give to “receive.”
Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
To me, that one was far more offensive than the Skechers ad, which an anti-greyhound racing group was protesting because it was filmed at a greyhound park with a poor safety record, and because they thought it would glorify a sport it finds cruel to animals.
In it, Mr. Quiggly, a French bulldog wearing athetic shoes, bests a group of greyhounds at a racetrack, winning by such a large margin that he pauses and then moonwalks backwards across the finish line — sort of like the Giants final touchdown, that touchdown they didn’t really want.
Still, scoring is everything, as the Teleflora ad tells us: Spend money on a female, perhaps in the form of a nice bouquet, and you will get you some.
Running just behind dogs and sex was the theme of death, destruction and other matters apocalyptic, including ads for several doomsday movies and one for cars that, along with their owners, survived the end of the world.
In fourth place were cute babies. Both DORITO and ETRADE ran baby ads in the first half — the latter featuring the now famous market-savvy talking baby, the former featuring a baby fired from a sling to grab a bag of chips.
DORITOS — though its dog-related ads often have a bit of a mean streak (like last year’s of a taunted pug smashing through a door) — scored with a second dog ad in the second half, depicting a dog park where humans perform tricks and line up for a salty treat.
Our pick of the litter? Weego, the rescued mutt who, whenever he is called – “Here, Weego!” — responds by fetching a BUD LIGHT for the caller. That’s not exactly new ground in beer advertising, but this time, the star was a rescued mutt, a scrawny little dog who oozed far more personality than any of the personalities in the Super Bowl ads, like Mark Cuban, Donald Trump and Clint Eastwood. Better yet, the ad included a pitch for rescuing dogs — and referred viewers to a Facebook page where they could learn more.
Also making a strong showing were “inspirational” ads from GE, celebrating the American worker, and at least two beer ads that seemed to be celebrating the end of prohibition, nearly 80 years ago.
The most powerful, and curious, advertisement shown during the Super Bowl was Clint Eastwood’s pitch for CHRYSLER (or was it for America?). The ad shows dismal-looking footage of Detroit as Eastwood tells us, “It’s halftime in America.” Then he goes on to talk about the resilience of Americans — how, via our bootstraps and given our inner strength, we can pick ourselves up and overcome anything.
It was a moody, somber but hopeful, piece — and maybe a tad ironic given the government bailout Chrysler received decades ago.
It was not an ad I wanted to hoist a celebratory drink to — after all, if it were truly halftime in America, that would mean we’d only have 235 years left – but it was definitely one that made me want to drink.
(For all our “Woof in Advertising” posts, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2012, adriana lima, ads, advertisements, advertising, america, apocalypse, babies, bark side, bolt, bud light, budweiser, chrysler, clint eastwood, commercials, david beckham, dog park, dogs, dogs in advertising, donald trump, doomsday, doritos, etrade, french bulldog, giants, go daddy, great dane, greyhound racing, greyhounds, half time, halftime, here weego, mark cuban, mr quiggly, mutt, patriots, personalities, sex, skechers, super bowl, telefora, themes, volkswagen, weego, woof in advertising
Skechers has released a sneak preview of its upcoming Super Bowl ad, filmed at a greyhound racing park.
“Get a first look at Mr. Quiggly, the tiny French Bulldog with the heart of a champion, in his SKECHERS GOrun 2012 Big Game commercial,” a publicist for the company wrote in an email. “How will Quiggly find an edge to help him race on Game Day? Watch the preview to see his secret weapon in action!”
Meanwhile, the anti-greyhound racing group Grey2KUSA continues to fire away with its own not-so-secret weapon — a boycott of the shoe company, with protest rallies being held this weekend across the country.
Grey2KUSA says the ad glorifies a sport that is harmful to greyhounds, and points out that it was filmed at one of the country’s most injury-plagued greyhound parks.
Skechers vaguely refers to the “controversy” over the ad in its email: “There has been a lot of talk about Skechers’ new commercial… With a four-legged celebrity taking center stage this year, the campaign has definitely stirred up some controversy, but Skechers believes the spirit of the ‘underdog’ will be a big winner on Game Day.”
In the ad, filmed at Tucson Greyhound Park, a Skechers-wearing French bulldog outraces a group of greyhounds. The ad also features billionaire technology mogul and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
The ad will be aired during the Super Bowl on February 5.
Grey2K coordinated a series of protests this weekend, all held in front of Skechers stores and other outlets at which the shoes are sold.
“No Skechers” events were scheduled this weekend in Tucson, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Boston, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City and at locations in Florida, Colorado and Michigan.
“Tucson Greyhound Park’s greyhounds are kept confined in small cages which are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. They are fed raw 4-D meat, the meat of downed, diseased, disabled or dead livestock. These conditions were documented in recent inspections by Pima County investigators and by a GREY2K USA undercover video first released in 2010,” the organization says.
Additionally, the state of Arizona documented nearly 1,000 injuries in the last reported years of 2007- 2009, including broken legs, sprains, dislocations, muscle tears and strains, lacerations, a cracked skull, broken backs, heat stroke, puncture wounds and paralysis.
“Instead of promoting such cruelty, companies should be asking for it to end,” Grey2K says.
More information can be found at boycottskechers.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, boycott, commercials, conditions, cruelty to animals, demonstrations, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, french bulldog, grey2kusa, greyhound racing, greyhounds, injuries, mr quiggly, pets, protest, quiggly, skechers, super bowl, tucson greyhound park, woof in advertising
When is a funny Super Bowl ad not very funny?
When it promotes animal cruelty.
While they haven’t seen the ad in question, an organization that works to ban greyhound racing says that ‘s what the athletic shoe company, Skechers – intentionally or not — is doing.
As we reported a couple of days ago, Skechers, having concluded its contract with Kim Kardashian, has turned to a dog to advertise it’s shoes, and its planned Super Bowl ad features a French bulldog — in Skechers, of course – competing against greyhounds in a race.
The ad was filmed at Tucson Greyhound Park, which the anti-dog racing organization GREY2K USA says is notorious for treating greyhounds poorly. Greyhounds are kept in small cages which are barely large enough for them to stand or turn around, fed diseased meat, and get injured at a clip of nearly once a day. According to the Arizona Department of Racing, nearly 1,000 greyhound injuries occurred at the park between January 2007 and November 2009.
Grey2KUSA says it contacted Skechers after learning the ad had been filmed, aksing that the “misguided promotion” be canceled. It started a petition urging Skechers to pull the ad at Change.org, and it had nearly 80,000 signatures as of the end of this week.
Grey2K is calling for a boycott of Skechers, and is urging its membership and others to write emails to those involved with the ad:
•Skechers President Michael Greenburg at email@example.com
•Skechers Vice President of Media Gary Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
•Mark Cuban at email@example.com (Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is briefly featured in the ad.)
•NBC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And the organization is also running a contest for the best protest photos (such as the one of the greyhound atop this post). The top three entries will win a Grey2KUSA cap.
Protests have been planned at Skechers outlets, and, on Jan. 28, at Tucson Greyhound Park.
Skechers marketing chief Leonard Armato says there are no plans to pull the ad — scheduled to be shown during the Super Bowl Feb. 5. He said the ad doesn’t condone animal cruelty, and pointed out that it has not been seen by any of those who are protesting.
“That the ad is running during the most heavily watched sporting event of the year suggests that greyhound racing is a sport. It is not,” said Grey2K President Christine Dorchak. “It is greyhound cruelty.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, advertisement, animal cruelty, animals, athletic, ban, dogs, football, french bulldog, grey2kusa, greyhound racing, greyhounds, marketing, pets, racing, shoes, skechers, sports, super bowl
The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation announced it is committing more than $1.5 million in 2012 on research grants to help dogs live longer, healthier lives.
Twenty-one grants to 14 research institutions and universities have been approved, according to a foundation press release.
This year’s grants cover research of diseases affecting all dogs and specific breeds, including Australian shepherds, bassett hounds, greyhounds, Havanese, Irish wolfhounds, Scottish terriers, Shetland sheepdogs and West Highland white terriers.
Among the specific diseases pinpointed by the research are cataracts, carcinoma, dermatitis, epilepsy, liver disease, lymphoma, melanoma and osteosarcoma.
“The selection of these grants represents great potential in advancing the health of all dogs and their owners,” said CHF Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel Terry Warren. “The Foundation is dedicated to funding sound scientific research and disseminating health information that can prevent, treat and cure canine disease.”
Warren added, ”There are a number of research projects this year that have the potential to be translational from dogs to humans. As a result, we are not only helping our beloved companions, but we are helping ourselves.”
In addition to the annual grants, the Canine Health Foundation also funds short-term research throughout the year.
CHF has invested more than $26 million in canine health research since its inception in 1995. Funding for the grants comes from the American Kennel Club, Nestle Purina PetCare and Pfizer Animal Health and many breed and specialty dog clubs.
For more details on the 2012 research grants, go here.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, announced, approved, australian shepherds, bassett hounds, canine, canine health foundation, carcinoma, cataracts, dermatitis, diseases, dogs, epilepsy, grants, greyhounds, havanese, health, irish wolfounds, liver disease, lymphoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma, pets, research, scottish terriers, shetland sheepdog, west highland terriers
A judge yesterday reduced the bail of an osteopathic medicine student charged with killing a dozen Italian greyhounds, from $1 million to $50,000.
At a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court, Judge Paula Manderfield granted a motion by Michigan State University student Andrew David Thompson’s attorney.
That means Thompson, 24, who has been suspended from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, can get of jail by posting $5,000 bond.
Thompson has arranged to live with a friend at an Okemos apartment, his attorney Stacia Buchanan said.
Manderfield ordered Thompson to wear a monitor that can track his exact location, not own pets and remain in his residence from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Thompson is charged in two separate cases in two jurisdictions with killing the dogs between September 2010 and June 2011. All the dogs were purchased from breeder websites. He told investigators he killed them out of anger by throwing them to the ground or against a wall, grabbing them by the neck or beating them.
The felony charges of animal killing and torture are punishable by up to four years in prison each, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Thompson, who is from Arizona, has no adult or juvenile criminal record, Buchanan said. He was seeing a psychiatrist when he was arrested and suffers from bipolar disorder, authorities have said.
For our archived coverage of this case, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accused, andrew david thompson, anger, animal cruelty, bail, cruelty to animals, greyhounds, ingham county, italian greyounds, judge, killer, lansing, michigan, michigan state university, monitor, okemos, osteopathic medicine, paula manderfield, reduced, student
Tucson Greyhound Park CEO Tom Taylor was put in an awkward spot late last year by a local TV reporter — but as GREY2K sees it, that’s exactly where he belongs.
GREY2K, a national organization seeking to end greyhound racing, combined pieces of the TV news report with its own material and subsequent photos taken during a county inspection, and is circulating the ensuing video widely.
It’s an attempt to show how those who defend the sport will go to great lengths — possibly in the opposite direction of the truth — to spin things their way.
When a TV reporter showed Taylor undercover video footage taken by GREY2K investigators of the less than luxurious living conditions of the park’s greyhounds, he responded that it’s a subjective thing:
“I could show you a picture of the Mona Lisa, and you could say ‘Oh, that’s horrible,’” he said.
In the interview last December with KOLD television, Taylor called Tucson Greyhound Park an “ideal place for dogs.”
Then he refused to allow reporters to see the kennels for themselves, saying that that the TV station would “show it to thousands of people, and we don’t know how they’re going to take it.”
GREY2K says more recent photographs taken at the Tucson track over the past year by Pima County investigators confirm their findings: greyhounds living in warehouse style kennels, in wire cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around, many of them muzzled.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals. comments, ban, campaign, ceo, dog, dogs, end, grey2k, greyhounds, inspection, news, peets, photographs, racing, report, tom taylor, tucson greyhound park, undercover, video
Andrew Thompson, a Michigan State University medical student charged with killing 10 dogs, now faces three more charges.
The new charges also pertain to killing dogs, bringing to 13 — or 14, by some other media accounts — the number of canines the student is alleged to have killed in his apartment, WILX reported.
The 10 dogs he was initially accused of killing were all Italian greyhounds.
Few details have emerged about the case.
Investigators say Thompson had been bringing the dogs to his apartment over the past nine months, where the crimes were committed. A concerned neighbor, who saw the dogs arrive but never saw them again, tipped off authorities.
Thompson was suspended from school on June 23. He’s currently being held on $100,000 bond.
In our post on the killings yesterday, we remarked the official statement the university released about the case seemed a little odd, specifically this part: “The alleged actions do not reflect the values of MSU or the ethics of the medical profession.”
We’ve gotten more comments disputing whether that’s odd than we have comments of concern about the murdered dogs, or about the scant few facts of the case that have been made public.
While the medical and veterinary schools at MSU haven’t exactly led the way in using alternatives to live dogs in their teaching and research — it was just last year that the vet school stopped using “terminal surgery labs,” in which live dogs are killed after being used to practice surgery — we’re not saying there is any connection between the ex-student’s alleged acts and the school.
But we will say this: Police and prosecutors owe the public some information about what’s going on.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrew thompson, animal cruelty, animals, charges, dogs, greyhounds, italian greyhound, killer, killings, medical, michigan state university, new charges, pets, police, prosecutors, serial killing, serial killler, statement, student, university
The owner and operator of a kennel at the Pensacola Greyhound Track neglected 22 dogs to the point that she had to have them euthanized, investigators in Florida say.
The State Department of Business and Professional Regulation initiated an investigation into Billie Ard, the owner of W.R. Etheredge Kennel at the track, after a tipster from a Florida greyhound rescue group reported animals had been neglected and euthanized.
Investigators said they found evidence that Ard’s greyhounds had been underfed, and kept in unsanitary conditions, TV station WEAR in Florida reported.
“Upon entering the kennel it was apparent from the overwhelming urine smell… that the bedding materials in the crates had not been cleaned in quite some time. The smell was so strong and overwhelming that it burned the eyes,” investigators reported. They noted that the dogs also appeared to be underfed.
In August of 2009, a local veterinarian euthanized 22 of the dogs.
“This severe case of animal neglect calls into question the ability of track management to monitor the health and welfare of dogs at their facility,” said Carey Theil of Grey2k USA, a national greyhound protection group.
Ard lost her license as a result of investigation, but does not face any criminal charges.
All of the dogs that were in Ard’s care at the time of the investigation have since been placed with other kennels or adopted out.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, billie ard, dogs, euthanized, florida, grey2k, greyhounds, kennel, kennels, neglect, neglected, news, ohmidog!, pensacola greyhound track, rescue, track, w.r. etheredge kennel