Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Greyhound Breeders Fight WV Anti-Cruelty Policy

Greyhound Industry Spokesman Sam Burdette
On Tuesday, the West Virginia Racing Commission is expected to vote on a new animal cruelty policy. This new policy aims to hold greyhound abusers accountable under the state anti-cruelty law, and states:
"It is the policy of the West Virginia Racing Commission to report instances of animal cruelty, mistreatment, neglect, abuse or abandonment to the appropriate local law enforcement authorities for possible criminal prosecution pursuant to West Virginia Code § 61-8-19."
One would think that greyhound breeders would enthusiastically support this proposal. After all, they claim to have a zero tolerance policy for greyhound cruelty. Actions, however, speak louder than words. Rather than support this proposal, greyhound breeders from all over the country are flooding the West Virginia Racing Commission with comments against it. In a shocking display of self interest, greyhound breeders are arguing that the industry should be self-policed, and incidents of cruelty should not be referred to law enforcement.

This wrongheaded lobbying effort was started, in part, by dog race supporter Jan Vasquez. On Facebook Vasquez urged greyhound breeders from across the country to contact the Commission and oppose the policy:
"Flood the Commission with support from racing people for policing their own."
Similarly, after GREY2K USA President and General Counsel Christine Dorchak testified in support of the policy, National Greyhound Association member Robert Gross posted a similar message:
"I commented that I was glad they brushed her off and sent her running back to Massachusetts."
This dismissal of the Commission's proposed animal cruelty policy was then followed by a heinous personal attack on Dorchak by former greyhound trainer Don Conaster:
"Too bad she wasn't at the Boston Marathon!!"
His hateful statement was posted only a few months after the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured hundreds of others. Dorchak is an avid runner and has competed in the Boston Marathon on seven occasions.

Sadly, this kind of neanderthal thinking about animal cruelty is common in the greyhound industry. Just last month, West Virginia Greyhound Breeders and Owners Association President Sam Burdette defended the actions of a trainer who lost his license due to greyhound abuse. When he was shown video footage of greyhound trainer Christopher Bever hitting dogs, Burdette said:
Greyhound trainer Christopher Bever hitting dogs
"He acted quick, and a little bit rough I thought, but I understand why he reacted so quick. You're showing the dog what you want the dog to do and that's the way you handle dogs and the only way you can handle dogs."
This rationalization of greyhound cruelty is far outside the mainstream. By contrast, the Charleston Daily Mail Editorial Board spoke up for common sense when they wrote on July 12:
"Teachers, doctors and others are required by law to report suspected child abuse. The people who oversee horse and dog racing in the state should report any animal cruelty to local prosecutors."
We can't let greyhound breeders get away with this. If you haven't already, please contact the West Virginia Racing Commission now and voice your support for the proposed animal cruelty policy. If enough people speak up for the dogs, we can win two victories. We can ensure the passage of a new greyhound protection. Meanwhile, greyhound breeders have already shown the world how they really view the dogs they claim to care for.

20 comments:

  1. They claim zero tolerance for cruelty. HAH! Say what the people want, and do whatever you damned well please. I say NO TOLERANCE for ANY form of cruelty to ANY animals, but especially these gentle, beautiful dogs.

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    1. I totally agree 100%. This is BS to me. Bever ought to be arrested! ASAP!!!

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    2. Totally agree! from Qu├ębec, Canada

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  2. ENOUGH WITH THE LIES! We are not Blind . We are not Stupid and we are not going to stand idly by and allow cruelty to Any innocent, dependent creatures without calling you on it and calling for COMMON SENSE AND JUSTICE!

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  3. Don't hit your children. Don't hit your dogs Don't hit any animal.

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  4. I am totally for Animal Cruelty Policy. Police themselves, you know, I want to police myself too, ok? - absurd - No one is above the law. I totally am for Animal Protection, I think these poor racing dogs have suffered enough.

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  5. this guy is a real losers and should not even own dogs! he should be arrested period!

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  6. I agree 100%. I would hate to be the child of this horrible man!! Greyhounds need protection from his kind. What pleasure does it give to abuse animals? Honestly I just don't understand, but am sure it doesn't stop with animals. Yes the
    Greyhounds deserve much better than this.
    Let us know what else we can do!!!!!!!!

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  7. Shut these people down as soon as possible. No more cruelty to greyhounds or any aminals! Just stop it!

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  8. I can't believe that President said, "that's the ONLY way you handle dogs"... what a crock!! It has been proven in instance after instance that that is ABSOLUTELY NOT the way to handle dogs!! Dogs have a desire to please and that includes Greyhounds, that instinct is there in all dogs. And treating them roughly or harshly like with hitting or yelling etc., is not going to teach the dog anything but fear!! I can't believe these people don't know this, what the hell are they thinking??? This is unacceptable and not only has to stop but these people need to be held accountable. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it, these dogs have no voice so we need to be their voice. I firmly believe if the tables were turned they would do it for us!
    And I say this as someone who has witnessed the treatment of these dogs here in Oregon before they closed down the track here outside of Portland. I used to work there for one of the owners and saw the way one of the trainers was downright abusive to the dogs. And thankfully he lost his license...

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  9. Please protect these wonderful defenseless creatures from cruelty and abuse, they don't deserve it!

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  10. These people make me sick! I have said it once and I will say it again "What goes around comes around" and they will answer to a higher power for what they do to God's creatures!. Shame on them. We will continue to fight until every last greyhound is saved!

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  11. How can anyone condone such actions. Shame on them and their so called industry. Someday hopefully the whole industry will fall and people will pay for their cruelity.

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  12. These trainers,owners an public are learning that Greyhound Racing is a DIEING sport and off course they will have to get off their rear ends an RUN themselves to find a real job where they have to PERFORM or DIE

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  13. Nasty, evil people. The lowest of the low, and accustomed to getting away with it. I hope the public outrage this has created does not fade away.

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    1. yep they're accustomed to getting away with it specially in Arizona.

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  14. These people have to be stopped. Animal cruelty is ANY form is simply unacceptable in a modern educated society. They have NO COMMON SENSE and should never be allowed to police themselves.

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  15. i hope people also look into how racing hoses are treated as well. if dogs are treated like that to get them to race then horses might be facing similar tactics.

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  16. "Self-Policing Citizens." What a wonderful corner of Alice's Wonderland with everyone living in harmony and doing what's right--IF it existed! See? It's not there on the map: http://www.123posters.com/images/kids/k-alice1.jpg

    Self-policing hasn't worked through many decades. Why should they be allowed to continue self-policing if they're not going to enforce laws against abuse? It's time for them to step back from the plate and allow those that will ensure better lives for Greyhounds to come in and make sure things are done in a humane manner--if racing is going to be allowed to continue.

    To those like Don Conaster, I'll pray for you to come back in another life as a racing Greyhound that's kept by the most evil trainer that's ever existed. It's probably you, but I doubt you can exist twice in the same time period. Just remember, Karma's a *itch, and she's probably got wonderful plans for you.

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  17. Help protect this wonderful animals please...

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