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Throwing The Racing Greyhound Under The Bus - Michigan REGAP finally exposed.... (2148 Views)
Posted: Mar 29, 2005 at 8:59 PM - rockingship's 172nd post Copy Link
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Contrary to what our antagonists in the anti-racing industry might think, I don't spend my time cruising the internet or poring over the newspapers looking for outrageous, libelous quotes from anti racing ideologues and fanatics. I seldom visit an anti-racing website, as my blood pressure is perfect, and I'd like it to stay that way.

I'm embarrased to admit that I had not even heard of the court case involving Michigan REGAP, and the unfortunate child who was bitten and scarred by the newly fostered greyhound, until I read about it on Global Greyhounds. The poor little girl startled the dog while it was asleep, and it simply reacted like an unhabituated dog, new to retirement and conventional "home life".

This uncontrollable reaction to being startled while asleep, is a very common behavior to greyhounds who are adjusting to life as a "member of the family", and not as "member of the pack". It is usually modified by forewarning and supervision.

Of course, I had heard of MIREGAP, and had been involved in a number of animated discussions with the braintrustees of that organization.

I was never convinced that any recitation or explanation of the racing greyhound, his origins, his history, his legacy, his purpose, or the role of objectified selectivity in preserving the breed's integrity as impelled by racing----or even carefully explaining how all of this has expressed itself by defining the very nature of the racing greyhound breed, ever made any difference to them.

It always seemed to me that even simple concepts like the scientific fact of "form following function", were beyond their desire to come to grips with.

If I explain to an aspiring racing greyhound breeder that we have 46 female familes of racing greyhounds in the US today, and that all of them have a place in the genetic well being of the racing greyhound population, it is fairly easy for him to understand the importance of that----and to also envision what devestation and degeneration would befall the breed, if selective breeding, objectified and financially supported by racing competition, were ever to come to an end. Whole familes of greyhounds would be lost forever. Genetic diversity would be impossible to maintain. The racing greyhound breed would disappear into the mists of memory.

MIREGAP spokespersons seemed always to be unprepared to deal with that very crucial issue, and seemed content with the proposition that "there would still be greyhounds", even if racing were to be oulawed nationally----which is their fondest desire.

Not one iota of comprehension on their part, concerning the genetic well being of an entire population and future populations of racing greyhounds, did I infer from our discussions.

Not an inkling as to how the racing greyhound we have come to know, admire, love and remain in awe of, is the utter physical expression of racing impelled adaptation, under the custodianship and care of the racing greyhound professional.

Not a clue as to what athletic functionality and breed integrity mean to the racing greyhound, or how racing, imperfect though it may be, preserves and protects the breed and its genetic wellsprings. Wellsprings which are there to be used, and are used, by all greyhounds, even the AKC, non-racing greyhound.

So I wasn't entirely surprised when I read the court's report of the proceedings initiated against MIREGAP, by counsel of the unfortunate little girl who had been bitten and scarred by a fostered greyhound, which had been provided by MIREGAP.

Defendant REGAP argued that it assumed every dog which came to it was abused, mistreated and drugged and should have no human contact while in foster care.

Even for the most vile and prejudiced puveyors of negative stereotyping and unabashed bigotry, the defense that MIREGAP has offered here, goes beyond the pale.

While the racing professional has grown used to the unconscionable, media-orchestrated attacks upon their culture, lifestyle, livlihoods and essentially upon the very well being of their families, by MIREGAP and the rest of the anti-racing industry----not since the days of Jackrabbit Advocacy and activism to outlaw the use of live animals in the training of racing greyhounds, have we seen anyone defame the racing greyhound in such an idiotic, unknowledgable and fallacious manner.

While the jackrabbit advocates shouted from the rooftops to all and sundry that racing greyhounds were vicious, unreliable and "trained to kill", and could not ever make suitable pets because they were encouraged to course after and attack cute little bunnies (vermin killing is an historical function of the greyhound), MIREGAP was not trying to "save the jackrabbits".

Instead, they were trying to save their own bank account, at the expense of slurring and stigmatizing not only the entire class of greyhound racing professionals in the US, but the racing greyhound himself.

We all know that rule of law often works by precedent. MIREGAP has perhaps helped set a legal precedent here, and maybe future precedent, by throwing the racing greyhound "under the bus".

It is one thing to fail to understand that for which you purport to advocate. It is another thing entirely to cast aspersions on the unique and predictable nature of one of the most unspoiled, gentle and loving breeds of canines in the world, which is abundantly apparent to anyone who is familiar with them, and reasonably knowledgable of them.

And it is yet another thing to "save your own ass", by uttering prejudicial nonsense that could very well be used to make comprehensive adoption of retired racing greyhounds much more difficult in the future, for those adoption volunteers who don't happen to be so conflicted or confused about the racing greyhound----and who also, not surprisingly, don't happen to be a part of the anti-racing industry.

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Posted: Mar 31, 2005 at 1:01 PM - jcsperson's 99th post Copy Link
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You should send that in to Greyhound Review as a letter to the editor.

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Posted: Apr 6, 2005 at 5:54 PM - greyhoundmom's 1st post Copy Link
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I have been away from the greyhound community for quite some time. We are kept busy with 6 greys of our own & no longer foster or work with an adoption group.

Rockingship, I am in awe of your eloqouence, as always. I can't find one point to disagree with.

I would like to say that after REGAP's statements about their belief that the greyhound is so mistreated by the racing industry I'm sure the general public had to wonder why they were adopting out the dogs in the first place!

Having worked for a short time with REGAP prior to understanding what the group was really all about, I was aware of this lawsuit. I also know that the foster home had to accept some liability. I also understand that REGAP did not cooperate in providing any information for these articles. Not surprising.

I know first hand that REGAP does not train the foster families in any way & I believe they adopt the dogs out too quickly with very little research on the adopting family. They are just in a hurry to make an impression with big numbers.

I still encounter people who ask the proverbial question about how abused the greys were & have to defend the racing community & the dogs, something I will always do.

Edited Apr 6, 2005 at 5:55 PM by greyhoundmom
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