By Dick Ciampa
December 30, 2012
To perpetuate their myth Grey2K must dwell on the negative. To achieve maximum emotional impact they must characterize everything and everyone in greyhound racing as bad. Good things and good people are either dismissed or isolated as exceptions.
To maintain their cash flow from animal lovers Grey2K must find or invent things to reinforce donor motivation. This means scouring the internet and encouraging people to send them information about any potentially bad situation involving a greyhound. When that material is in short supply, they simply choose something innocuous and recast it as bad.
Grey2K probably never told you that greyhound adoption was started by the greyhound industry in the late 1970’s.
Nor, most likely, did they tell you the racing greyhound is one of the most adopted breeds in the world, because the dogs are gentle, affectionate pets that require little or no housebreaking and learn new things quickly.
There are exceptions of course, aggressive dogs and spooks. These exist in every dog breed including greyhounds, and the behavior is usually genetic in nature and not the result of abuse as Grey2K usually claims.
While Grey2K perpetuates their myth to keep donations coming in, logic and common sense indicate that the greyhound industry does not systematically abuse or neglect its dogs. If it did, the dogs wouldn’t perform well, and they wouldn’t transition so easily into the wonderful pets the majority of adopters joyfully claim them to be. How could these dogs go from being mistreated at the track to great pets virtually overnight? Did they magically transform the day they walked out of the track and into an adoption group? A more likely explanation lies in the care, training and attention racing greyhounds receive from the time they are born.
Did Grey2K tell you that except in Massachusetts, racing had already stopped for independent reasons in the states they nevertheless lobbied, at donor expense, to ban betting on racing?
What has Grey2K actually achieved other than enthusiastically accepting donor contributions in response to very carefully packaged and presented campaigns, donations that have recently funded travel to Florida, Arizona, Iowa, West Virginia, England and Australia.
Grey2K has had good mentors on the subject of perpetuating myths and living off donations. The HSUS, PETA and the ASPCA are their friends. The HSUS has been called one of the worst non-profits in the United States. PETA kills over 95% of the animals they take in. The ASPCA recently agreed pay 9.3 million dollars to settle a racketeering case. In spite of all this, people continue to send donations to these organizations in response to masterfully crafted fundraising appeals.
Grey2K perpetuates their myth by holding the greyhound industry to a standard of 100% perfection. No segment of society does everything right all of the time, and if 100% were what we were all required to achieve then we as individuals and we as a society would always fail.
Does the greyhound racing industry have a small percentage of bad people? As in every other sector, the answer is yes. Grey2K exploits that small percentage to perpetuate their myth by characterizing the exceptions as the norm. These same exceptions are decried nowhere more strongly than within the greyhound industry itself.
Does the church have a certain percentage of bad people? Do the Shriners have a certain percentage of bad people? Do actors have a percentage of bad people? Do Grey2K followers have a certain percentage of bad people? It would be quite safe to assume the answer is yes in all cases.
Why, then, would anyone expect the greyhound industry to be different from every other segment of society?
You are probably reading this because you want to help greyhounds. In that case, instead of donating to a group that gives less than 2% of its revenue directly to greyhounds, please consider donating to your local greyhound adoption group. To find a group near you please visit: http://www.adopt-a-greyhound.org/directory/list.cfm