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
As public relations professionals go about rehabilitating Michael Vick’s image, his old place is getting a makeover, too.
Inside the home that once served as headquarters for Bad Newz Kennels in Surry County, Virginia, the quarterback’s cream colored carpet has been ripped up and replaced with rubberized flooring; his oversized tiled shower is now being used for doggie baths.
Dogs Deserve Better, which bought Vick’s former home, continues its work to turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and abused dogs, assisted by generous donors and volunteers who are showing up regularly, including a group from Baltimore who arrived there this weekend.
According to a Sunday report in the Newport News Daily Press, nine dogs are now living at Good Newz Rehabilitation Center, with five more expected in coming weeks.
“It takes most dogs that have spent their lives in pens or on chains about three months to learn to play, to learn to chase a ball, because they are so traumatized,” said Tamira Thayne, founder of the Dogs Deserve Better.
Dogs will spend three to six months in rehabilitation before they are put up for adoption on Petfinder.com, and adoption fees will range from $75 to $150, depending on the pet’s age and size.
Vick’s former house will also serve as headquarters for Dogs Deserve Better, which formerly operated out of Thayne’s hous in Tipton, Pennsylvania.
The Daily Press article says Dogs Deserve Better was able to raise $180,000, within weeks of annoucing their intention to buy the property. One anonymous donor contributed $10,000, a private business donated $18,000, and one contributor, Monica Severy of Virginia Beach, has pledged to donate $5,000 a month for the next decade — more than enough to cover mortgage payments.
Dogs Deserve Better received a $10,000 grant to make the house more dog-friendly. Thayne installed the rubber flooring, added a dog door, bought tarps and fencing for yard areas so some dogs could stay outside during the day. All the yards have shaded areas and plastic, bone-shaped swimming pools to keep the dogs cool on hot days; all of the dogs sleep inside at night, Thayne said.
Thayne said Vick’s old living room will be used to provide dogs with obedience training.
Thayne said few have been made in the four buildings where Vick’s pit bulls were trained to fight and kill other dogs. All of them are painted black, windows included.
One of them has eight kennel runs, and some of the vestiges from the property’s past remain – unused syringes, which once were used to inject dogs with steroids and antibiotics, and a ”rape stand” used for breeding purposes.
Thayne says she’s not sure if she’ll take down the buildings, but that she doesn’t plan to use them for rehabilitation.
“I feel like they need to be seen,” she said.
The Daily Press also reported that some neighbors aren’t pleased with the property’s new use.
Neighbor Earnst R. Hardy Sr. said at least one of the dogs has ended up on his property.
“All the time he (Vick) was over there fighting and breaking the law, he didn’t disturb me,” said Hardy. “I’ve had more problems with them in the six weeks they’ve been here than I ever had with Vick.”
Thayne told the newspaper she feels the house has been rehabilitated.
“Dogs are living in the house and people say Michael Vick is rehabilitated. I hope he is … and I hope people will focus on the beautiful stuff happening here instead of the hideous crimes that occurred here in the past.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bad newz, center, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, donors, good newz, house, kennels, makeover, michael vick, moonlight road, pets, pit bulls, property, rehabilitation, remodeling, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia, volunteers
Owney, a stray dog who became an unofficial postal service mascot during the years he rode the mail trains in the 1800s, is being honored by the postal service — appropriately, in his case, with a forever stamp.
Because Owney’s still around.
Although he died 114 years ago, Owney’s form has lingered — a bit misshapen and straggly as a result of 19th century taxidermy techniques and the passage of more than a century. He has spent most of that time at the Smithsonian Institution.
When the Smithsonian heard the dog was to be honored with a stamp, they decided to refurbish his stuffed likeness as well.
The new and improved Owney, with added fur, a new nose, shiny new eyes and more, will debut this week.
Owney wandered into the Albany, N.Y., post office one day in 1888, spending the night on a pile of mailbags. Cared for by mail clerks, he started riding along with the mailbags on the Railway Post Office, traveling across the United States on the trains while guarding the mail.
He died in Toledo in 1897 when, after attacking a mail clerk, he was shot by the town marshal.
Owney’s benefactors deciced to have him preserved by a taxidermist. He was originally displayed at the Post Office Department’s headquarters in Washington, then moved in 1911 to the Smithsonian.
“When my son first saw Owney when he was a kid, he had nightmares afterward,” Linda Edquist, a conservator at the National Postal Museum and the force behind Owney’s restoration, told the Washington Post. “The first thing you saw was his belly with this big suture mark running up it, so no wonder.”
Word that Owney was to be honored with a stamp — it’s scheduled to be released tomorrow — prompted Edquist to get Owney the repairs he needed.
“We saw it as the perfect opportunity to carry out the restoration that we had been talking about doing all along,” she said.
The museum used a $10,300 Smithsonian preservation fund grant and donations to pay for Owney’s makeover.
The Smithsonian collection also includes more than 470 medals and trinkets Owney has received from admirers. Those items are also being restored as part of a newly designed exhibit.
Owney was reconditioned at the Point of Rocks, Md., studio of retired Smithsonian taxidermist Paul Rhymer.
Owney’s facial reconstruction included hand-sculpting a new snout — his old nose had shriveled — using a cast coyote nose. He got a new set of eyes. His claws were replaced as well. A coyote pelt was used to patch up some bald spots.
(You can find a fantastic slide show documenting the restoration at the Washington Post.)
In Owney’s honor, the Smithsonian is hosting a four-day family festival, beginning Wednesday and continuing with museum activities through July 30, coinciding with the release of the forever stamp.
The museum has also created an “augmented reality” program so that when the forever stamp is held up to a computer Webcam, Owney comes to life, barking and trotting.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, exhibit, forever stamp, likeness, mail, makeover, mascot, mounted, owney, paul rhymer, pets, post office, postal service, railroad, refurbished, smithsonian, smithsonian institution, stamp, stuffed, taxidermist, taxidermy, train
In case you missed it on the Today show this week, here’s a look at their “Big Dog Makeovers.”
Today went to Animal Care and Control of New York City to find four candidates — all more in need of a loving home than an actual makeover.
While the makeovers aren’t that impressive, they do at least allow homeless dogs to get some air time, and find homes. (All the dogs featured in the segment up to now have been adopted.)
This week, they tackled Sonya, a flat-haired retriever mix, Phoebe, an Australian cattle dog , Marcus, a German shepherd, and Jack, a Jack Russell they decided deserved to be i the mix because of his big personality.
Next Monday, as if dogs and makeovers weren’t enough, the Today Show will be throwing a third element into the mix: the ambush.
On Monday, July 6th TODAY will be “ambushing” three lucky dogs on Rockefeller Plaza with a doggie makeover, according to the Today Show blog.
“If you are in the New York area and think that your pup needs some pizzazz, stop by the plaza and your dog may get a new ‘do. Experts will be roaming the crowd starting at 6:45 a.m., so be there early to get a good spot!”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambush, animal care and control, big dogs, dog, dog makeovers, doggie, makeover, nbc, new york city, pets, rockefeller plaza, today show
Lucky, a 10-year-old Lhasa Apso, arrived at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego County as a textbook example of neglect.
Left alone in a back yard in Lancaster County, north of Los Angeles, his fur had grown so matted and full of burrs and stickers that he had difficulty walking, and even going to the bathroom. He was also found to have a heart murmur and a thyroid condition, both of which are now under control.
The center captured Lucky’s makeover on video, and reports that he is now available for adoption.
Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization in San Diego County that, for over 30 years, has been committed to the philosophy of people helping animals and animals helping people.
Located on 12 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, it was founded by Helen Whittier Woodward, who formed it in 1972 to provide services that benefit the community through educational and therapeutic programs for people, and humane care and adoption for animals.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, cats, dogs, grooming, helen woodard animal center, humane, lancaster county, lhasa apso, lucky, makeover, matted, neglect, pets, rescue, san diego county, shelter, video
It may not take a village to save a dog, but the more people that pitch in, the easier it is.
Take Hector. His headed-for-a-happy-ending story is the kind that happens thousands of times a day. At it’s simplest, it’s merely a matter of well-intentioned people communicating. But when you take a closer look, it’s amazing, and a little inspiring, how many people can get involved to save one dog.
First, in Hector’s case, came the animal control officers who swooped him up.
Found wandering at a Baltimore park, Hector — believed to be, beneath all his scraggliness, an American Eskimo dog — was taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where staff and volunteers cared for him, gave him a name, arranged to have him neutered, and assessed his temperament and condition. The former was fine. The latter needed some work.
Hector was not just underweight. He was toothless.
He showed no other apparent injuries, but some suspect Hector, because his teeth appear to have been pulled, might have been used as a “bait dog” by dogfighters. Because the wounds in his mouth were still open, and subject to infection, Hector was taken to veterinarian Marcella Bonner, of Swan Park Animal Hospital.
She tried to repair his gums, but the holes were too big. Hector probably needs a specialist, and even then — once the holes in his gums are healed — isn’t likely to be gnawing any bones.
Hector was returned to BARCS, but, because of his medical problems and his less than stellar appearance, he was an unlikely candidate for adoption — the only alternative to which is to end up on the PTS (put to sleep) list.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, american eskimo dog, animal control, bait dog, baltimore, barcs, bob barrett, cruelty, dave adams, dog food, dogfighting, dogs, downtown dog resort & spa, flexprint graphics, foster, franky fund, healing, hector, jack, k-9 kraving, makeover, marcella bonner, no teeth, ohmidog!, oral, pet, project, raw diet, rehabilitating, rehabilitation, riverside park, sally ann jennings, shelter, stop killing dogs, stray, surgery, swan park animal hospital, tamara granger, teeth, tobey mcguinness, toothless
Take ”Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” replace the straight guys with dogs, throw in some firm tugs on the old heartstrings, and you have a basic understanding of the Animal Planet’s soon to premier program, “Underdog to Wonderdog.”
Every episode will feature the “Wonder Team” — made up of a groomer, carpenter, trainer and, of course, good lookin’ and energetic host — transforming an “unkempt, undernourished, unloved” shelter dog into a well coiffed, housed and trained family dog.
Having not seen it yet, we give it a D for originality, a C for the inadvertent slap in the face to shelter workers, and a B for meaning well.
The show promises to send each dog through “a complete metamorphoses, becoming the dog it was always destined to be. Every shelter dog is rescued, groomed, trained and rehabilitated before finally being placed into a loving home – equipped with its very own custom-designed dog house.”
The show starts Saturday, January 3, at 8 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 16th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal planet, carpenter, dogs, groomer, host, lucky, makeover, makeovers, maryanski, media, mutts, olivia, programming, reality, ryan smith, shelter, television, trainer, tv, underdog, underdog to wonderdog, wonderdog, yorkshire terrier