Sunday, January 27, 2008

What's best for the dogs?

In addition to presidential candidate preference voters in Miami-Dade county will be able to give thumbs up or down to a proposition to bring slot machines to existing parimutuel facilities. I've heard a radio commercial and now fielded a phone call from a group that's against the slots. Apparently one of the human society organizations is against the slots because it "rewards" those who abuse animals, specifically racing greyhounds.

Now I think I'm qualified to talk about this because I own a retired racing greyhound, my second one and am a volunteer for the rescue group I adopted him from. I can't speak on behalf of the group, but I have seen how the greyhound tracks down here support adoption with cash, goods, and more importantly kennel and office space.

The problem with greyhound racing is not the racing itself, the dogs have been bred and trained to race. They enjoy the racing. The problem is what happens when a dog can't race anymore. Too many otherwise healthy racing dogs are put down in this country every year.

Now it's important for you to understand that horse and dog racing are decreasing in popularity. Dog racing is now only legal in a handful of states and every years tracks close because they aren't profitable. As attendance and revenue decreases the conditions at tracks and kennels deteriorates. Now consider that slot machines will generate traffic and revenue at the tracks. Well what does that mean for the dogs?

For some it breathes new life into the tracks and therefore prolongs the inevitable end of dog racing. Now, here's my thoughts. Track operators want to be in the gambling business, no the animal business. Slot machines are another incremental step toward having legal casino gambling in Florida. When that day comes, the local dog tracks will become obsolete. There will no longer be any reason for maintaining the costly infrastructure needed for live racing. The problem is that right now the gambling would only be available at parimutuel facilities.

I'm for the slot machines in Miami-Dade. They passed it in Broward and the dogs haven't noticed the difference. Hopefully, the slots at the tracks will open the door to casino gambling and before long the dog tracks in south Florida will be gone.


Fantomas said...

thumbs up Tocayo

Beautiful comment

Fantomas said...

I meant beautiful post