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October 10, 2008


Vote No On 3

From the November 6, 2000 column in the Boston Herald by Joe Fitzgerald: " should be equally appalled by the efforts of a group called Grey2K to wage a ruthless campaign of deceit, distortion and defamation of character. Radical animal rights activists are determined to kill the greyhound racing industry in this state by any means necessary, which is why they weren't the least bit embarrassed when forced to admit that much of their advertising has been fraudulent. So if you go to the polls only to vote No on Question 3, you will have made a compelling statement, rejecting this attempt to ambush an industry through the dissemination of lies." The lies remain the same 8 years later. The MSPCA's job is to investigate any and all forms of animal cruelty and abuse. So where's the proof since there are no complaints, investigations or prosecutions against the tracks? VOTE NO ON 3

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.


All of the claims made by referendum supporters can be easily disputed, for example ...

In response to the claim of ...

“These gentle dogs are kept confined in tiny cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around,”

On the assumption that the cages are all of uniform dimension, if size were an issue wouldn't such have an adverse affect on greyhounds (which range from appx. 55-80 lbs.) and their ability to perform in proportion to their size with the larger dogs being the most affected ?

Greyhounds, often referred to as 40 mph. couch potatoes, spend the majority of their time lounging around and napping. Their cages, which happen to be their beds and not their playpens, are of adequate size for all greyhounds to do what, aside from running, they do best which is sleeping.

Simply because greyhounds may not be pampered by the proverbial doting grandmother type should not incur that they are in any way being mistreated.

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.


Back in June of 2008 we were presented an opportunity to make a visit to one of the two remaining greyhound racing tracks Massachusetts. We had adopted Magic four years ago thinking we had "saved" or "rescued" him from a miserable existence. I was ready to get a first hand look at how our "poor puppy" had been treated.

We were met by the volunteer coordinator and given an overview of our day and then brought to the weigh in area where all the dogs are brought before racing. Here I learned that the dogs are weighed in and checked by both the track veterinarian as well as the state racing commission vet. After they are weighed and examined, they are placed in kennel crates-- one dog per crate with the measurements which were set by the MSPCA and Grey2K USA-- to await their chance to race. I was shocked at the level of security and the regulations that help to insure the safety of the dogs.

We were then taken to the post race area where the dogs are brought to cool down. They are walked by their handlers after the race so that they can relax their muscles, get some fresh cold water, a bath to clean any dust off their coat, paws. They even get their eyes washed out as well. There is another area sectioned off and controlled by the state racing commission. This is where they bring dogs selected at random for urine testing.

We were told about the training and schooling that the dogs go through, the selective breeding process which is also very tightly regulated to prevent inbreeding and over breeding. We were given an opportunity to ask questions and express our concerns and receive honest and straight forward answers.

We took a break for lunch and had the opportunity to watch a couple of the races. This was a first for us. We had seen our own retired racer sprint and run with some of his greyhound friends. Nothing compares to the beauty of these dogs at full speed. It is truly amazing and even more so that they really seem to enjoy doing it. As we watched the dogs walk to the starting gate I could see that they were excited. It was a beautiful sight-- seeing these dogs do that which they were created to do.

After lunch we paid a visit to one of the kennels. Now I was ready to see the horrible conditions we have been told about. The turn out area was clean and free of any piles of waste. There was an odor of dogs, we were, after all in a a kennel, but it was not a foul smell. The trainer allowed us to let several of the dogs out of their crates a couple at a time. All of them were very happy and playful. Not one seemed skittish or scared at all! If a dog is abused, you can usually tell by the way it acts around its owner, and also around strangers. Happy, friendly and playful. Every last one of them.

The trainer told us about his days, often twelve to fourteen hours long. You can see his love for the dogs and their love for him in their interactions. The kennel and the crates are cleaned every day. (I wish our house was cleaned that often!) They are subject to unannounced inspections by the State Police and MSPCA.

I came away with a different opinion that day.

If Ballot Question 3 passes, Massachusetts will lose over a thousand more jobs, an average of 4 million dollars per year in taxes and fees, the businesses surrounding the tracks will also also experience negative effects. The Greyhound breed as we know it, will eventually cease to exist, and it is this that saddens me most of all. Greyhounds are unlike any other dog I have ever had.

Please, vote NO on question 3.

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.


Vote no on Question 3. There are many reasons to vote no but I will highlight just a few. Over 1,000 decent people will lose jobs they love. Go to the tracks and meet these fine people and see for yourself.
The industry has an active and well intentioned adoption and retirement program. The program has had many successes and is considered a model for other tracks across the country.
This industry has been around and heavily regulated for almost 75 years. It is one of the most heavily monitored and regulated activities of any type in the State. The State Racing Commission and Mass. State Police uniformed officers and plainclothed detectives constantly monitor and investigate the conditions in the industry and their investigations have never turned up these "conditions" that supposedly exist. If anyone has a problem with any aspect of racing there are already these channels to go through to express concerns and ask for an investigation. If there was a case to be made, these unbiased organizations would have made the case long ago.
Finally, the tracks do not make the rules, the rules are made for them. By all impartial accounts the tracks and the good workers at the tracks have followed the rules made for them. Good people who have played by rules made for them do not deserve to lose their jobs, especially when they need these jobs to survive.

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.


There are about 700 employees statewide in dog racing, horse racing and auto racing venues, in part-time and full time positions. These people have the luxury that many people in this economy do not: A 14-month notice to locate other work. And, because dog racing is a dying industry, perhaps the good owners of the wonderland and raynham parks could take this time to help their employees find other work, get them training to do other work, give them an awesome severance package, better yet, come up with a new business that doesn't involve animals... Put their money where there mouths are if they are so concerned about their employees.

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.

Dog Gone It!

The Animal Rights crowd wants to put people out of work and to regulate the public into submission. If these Animal Rights folks had there way, there would be no cow's milk on the supermarket shelves, no hamburgers on the backyard barbecue. Animal Rights radicals like Christine Dorchak and Carey Theil have lost all compassion for their fellow human beings, they obviously forgot that people are animals too!

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.

Note Specialist

Would like to say thank you for the informative content on your blog. M.L.

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