Sparring Partners

There are 33 comments on the Lowell Sun story from Jul 6, 2008, titled Sparring Partners. In it, Lowell Sun reports that:

Should greyhound racing be banned? There is sentiment on the rise across the country to that effect.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lowell Sun.

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Martha Cormier

Milford, MA

#1 Jul 7, 2008
Deshenes makes a good point. Having assisted at Veterinary Hospitals caring for "ex-greyhound racers" I must add that they are poorly fed, jeopardizing their teeth,bones, and coat, and then discarded when not winning dollars for their owners. Past losers were used as anatomy subjects at veterinary labs. What a sad commentary on our regard for animals. If gambling is so very important to mankind, then bet on cards, lotto,etc., not on innocent animals who have no say in their participation in theses exploitive events.
Susan Benson

Austin, TX

#2 Jul 8, 2008
Fabulous article!!! The two writers are obviously well-informed and present their sides with equal energy, but one would have to be cold-hearted and self-absorbed to continue dog racing after reading Deschenes responses.
mike fuller

United States

#3 Jul 8, 2008
kind of a poor challenge. The sports guys is so dumb. Sounds like a typical drunk sports nut.
forthedogs

Attleboro, MA

#4 Jul 8, 2008
Whitton writes that "Greyhounds are born to run." Well, so are cats, squirrels, wolves, goats, and even humans! Does he think it would be okay to keep any or all of the above caged for twenty hours a day like the greyhounds? Does he think it would be okay to make any or all of the above suffer broken bones by forcing them to race? Does he think it would be okay to feed any or all of the above 4D meat (meat from dead, downed, diseased or dying animals)? It's wonderful that greyhounds can run, but so can most any other animal I can think of. Just because they are capable of running fast, does not mean we should be treating them as a commodity. My dog loves to run in our backyard, and it's a delight to watch him race around each day. But there's a big difference between a dog wanting to run on its own, and forcing it to run in hopes of making money. Greyhounds are like any other dog. They can be couch potatoes, wonderful family pets, great walking companions... They deserve better than being kept in cages barely large enough for them to stand or turn around for hours on end. They deserve better than being forced to race, only to suffer broken bones and sometimes death. This is not the life the greyhounds would choose for themselves if they were able to.
Friend of greyhounds

United States

#5 Jul 8, 2008
Deschenes wins this debate hands down. She brings up excellent points that cannot be disputed. Whitton states that he does not think the "dog owners are 'money-grubbing' fellows" and that "most care deeply for their dogs and try to do well by them". Isn't the purpose of Greyhound racing- to make money? Does Whitton really think that there is there another reason why these dogs are forced to run around a track and risk injury to themselves and other dogs, to spend 20 + hours in a cage every day without socialization, to be fed sub-par food? Please support the Greyhound Protection Act in 2008!

“Lowellita is awful.”

Since: Nov 07

Lowell, MA

#6 Jul 8, 2008
I'm shocked that someone with the name of "Friends of Greyhounds" would think that Deschenes won the debate "hands down." I don't like Greyhound racing at all. In fact I hate it, but I'm all set with the clowns up on Beacon Hill having something else in my life that they can dictate to me. I hate the fact that some people in this state would have the clowns on Beacon Hill legislate another instance of morality. Don't like Greyhound racing? Don't go. Don't bet on it and discourage others from going. Make it unprofitable for tracks and they shut down. While your at it if your looking for a dog- go to a track and adopt one, I know for a fact they are ALWAYS looking to adopt out dogs in Taunton.

I also ask those in favor of banning this sport if you ban dog racing would you then advocate banning horse racing? Would you also advocate banning boxing as well? If you let government into our lives again your just giving away our rights.
MrMillCity_com

Boston, MA

#7 Jul 8, 2008
DW is a F'n riot....just not in this article. It's tough to realistically debate something that you obviously don't passionately support...which is the case here.

I'm all for banning the hounds...provided you replace it with a legal sportsbook.
Cathy

Somerville, MA

#8 Jul 8, 2008
I do agree with Whitton's bleak perception of greyhound racing, it is in fact dying a natural death not only in MA but nationwide. That makes the daily abuse just that much sadder. I'm curious who he's referring to when he states "what little fun they have left in life"? Having been involved in greyhound rescue for over 15 years I'm quite certain it's not the dog! Spending up to 20 hours a day in a glorified box on shredded newspaper and eating 4D meat then being expected to race futilely in a circle risking severe injury or death sure doesn't sound like humane fun to me. Yes, it certainly is ancient.
forthedogs

Attleboro, MA

#9 Jul 8, 2008
1. It's not up to the "clowns" on Beacon Hill to pass legislation that would ban greyhound racing. It's up to the citizens of Massachusetts who will vote on it in November.
2. Nice try comparing dog racing, horse racing, and boxing, but the last time I checked these are three different species. And I'm fairly sure there aren't too many similarities between human athletes and dogs.
3. Adopting a greyhound is a great thing to do, but not if they first have to suffer miserable lives racing at a track. The greyhound racing industry doesn't need to exist in order for people to adopt a pet. Ever heard of the MSPCA, for example?
Tony

Southborough, MA

#10 Jul 8, 2008
I've had a couple of friends who adopted greyhounds and they had behavioral problems at first. It took an average of 2-3 years to have the dogs back to normal. I'm definately for the ban and I did sign the petition months ago.
TWP

AOL

#11 Jul 8, 2008
Thank you, Kathy, for your words about banning greyhound racing. I have two beautiful retired racers, and when i look into their wonderful, loving eyes, I hate to think of them caged for 20 hours a day, or running their hearts out, at risk to their health or life, all for someone's profit. I believe that greyhounds, like all other breeds, deserve a warm, loving home as puppies, with a soft bed and good food and appropriate exercise. I have had many breeds of dogs as companions, but my 3 greyhounds have been by far the greytest companions! Let's get those hounds off the tracks!

“Lowellita is awful.”

Since: Nov 07

Lowell, MA

#12 Jul 9, 2008
forthedogs wrote:
1. It's not up to the "clowns" on Beacon Hill to pass legislation that would ban greyhound racing. It's up to the citizens of Massachusetts who will vote on it in November.
2. Nice try comparing dog racing, horse racing, and boxing, but the last time I checked these are three different species. And I'm fairly sure there aren't too many similarities between human athletes and dogs.
1. Um I remember voting on this what 2 years ago. Is this going to turn into a prop 2 1/2 type thing it will keep coming up until it passes or will no mean no this time? There are already too many laws on the books that allow government to stifle us and I'm pretty much against banning just about anything. You want to ride a motorcycle helmetless your an adult you make the call. Want to blow your hand off with some drunken fireworks awesome. Now as I Said I don’t like dog racing, but in the grand scheme of things my opposition of the ban isn’t about the dogs, it’s about government telling me or in this case the dog owners what to do. If you ban it the Greyhounds will be illegally raced and the conditions will be worse then they are now.(Hard to imagine I know but anyone who’s watched Animal Cops on Animal Planet can attest to what the Fighting Pitbulls being yanked out of houses look like when Animal Control finds them.)

2. If you ban Greyhounds the anti horse racing crowd will pipe up and off we go. So stick your nice try where the sun doesn’t shine you condescending windbag. I’m sick of a vocal minority dictating their morals to the rest of us. Feel free to rip me now but know this the racing special interest won’t let the clowns on Beacon Hill kill this sport. Too much money in it for the pols. Moreover before you trumpet the legislature for banning anything think of this. You may be for this ban on racing, what about next time when their looking to regulate or ban something else you happen to use/like and you’re in the silent majority? Then what?
forthedogs

Attleboro, MA

#13 Jul 9, 2008
1. This is a debate about the future of greyhound racing, not horse racing, not fireworks, not motorcycle riding, not boxing, not animal fighting. I'm all up for debating dog racing, but it sounds like you need to check out some other forums as your arguments are really off topic.

2. We live in a democracy where things are banned all of the time. We have the right to vote, and our government has the right to pass bills into law. That's reality, as much as you might not like it.

3. There's no need for the nasty name calling.

4. For the record, this last went to the polls in 2000 and the dogs lost by less than 2%.

“Lowellita is awful.”

Since: Nov 07

Lowell, MA

#14 Jul 9, 2008
forthedogs wrote:
1. This is a debate about the future of greyhound racing, not horse racing, not fireworks, not motorcycle riding, not boxing, not animal fighting. I'm all up for debating dog racing, but it sounds like you need to check out some other forums as your arguments are really off topic.
2. We live in a democracy where things are banned all of the time. We have the right to vote, and our government has the right to pass bills into law. That's reality, as much as you might not like it.
3. There's no need for the nasty name calling.
4. For the record, this last went to the polls in 2000 and the dogs lost by less than 2%.
Your completely missing my point. I want government out of my life AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. If your an adult you can think for yourself and can make your own way right? This is just another instance of big brother coming into our lives and telling us what not to do.
MrMillCity_com

Boston, MA

#15 Jul 9, 2008
While you donkey's list out your 1-2-3....I'll list a few reasons why Greyhound racing should stay.

1. No where, and I mean no where, will you find a hot dog as cheap as the dog track.

2. Outside of Gus and Paul’s, dog tracks are the only place you can find Miller High Life on tap.

3. Dog tracks are the only place you can go these days where you don’t have to rub elbows with people that come on message boards and tell people why they are wrong.
forthedogs

Attleboro, MA

#16 Jul 9, 2008
And you're missing my point, which is that IT'S NOT ABOUT US....IT'S ABOUT THE DOGS. They have no control over what happnes to them, good or bad. It's about saying it's not okay to keep dogs in cages for 20 hours a day, to race them until they suffer cardiac arrest or broken bones, to somehow give them cocaine in hopes of making money... If there needs to stop this form of industrialized cruelty, I'm all for it.
LoWeLL 4 LifE

Braintree, MA

#17 Jul 9, 2008
forthedogs wrote:
1. It's not up to the "clowns" on Beacon Hill to pass legislation that would ban greyhound racing. It's up to the citizens of Massachusetts who will vote on it in November.
2. Nice try comparing dog racing, horse racing, and boxing, but the last time I checked these are three different species. And I'm fairly sure there aren't too many similarities between human athletes and dogs.
3. Adopting a greyhound is a great thing to do, but not if they first have to suffer miserable lives racing at a track. The greyhound racing industry doesn't need to exist in order for people to adopt a pet. Ever heard of the MSPCA, for example?
You're wrong. It doesn't matter what the citizens of this state want.All that matters is what that weasel DiMasi wants.He runs the state.He doesn't want casinos on the ballot cause he knows he will lose.He doesn't want gay marriage on the ballot cause he knows he will lose.

You obviously have a problem with dog racing, here's your answer-don't watch it.
SJones from Dracut

Bedford, MA

#18 Jul 9, 2008
Without taking a side I'd like to add a couple of points.

1) It's interesting to note that the mistreatment of these beautiful animals isn't all that different from the way human athletes are treated. In baseball, and other sports, owners looked the other way when steroids (which affects the athletes health) were taking over. Steroids meant more home runs which meant more money so owners looked the other way and the athlete suffered. Look at the current issue with retired football players. What some of these football players are going through and the lack of funding for their health care from current owners and players is deplorable. So lets not pretend that this is just something relageted to animals for entertainment. When the almighty dollar is up against human/animal welfare the dollar wins everytime until the public makes it change.

2) Greyhounds were in fact bred to run. Lets not confuse that like "for the dogs" has with humans and other species that were born with the ability to run. Humans aren't really "bred to run" nor are most other animals. The greyhound was in fact bred exclusively to be a fast runner.

3) I've had this argument with people before in regards to hunting (I grant you greyhounds aren't a "wild" animal so it's a bit of a stretch but there is some applicability here). I've heard people argue that hunting is inhumane because of the whole killing thing. However I ask you if an animal in the wild isn't hunted by a human how does it die? I assure you it's typically more inhumane than anything a good hunter can do to it. There are no doctors in the wild to care for the animal with morphine once it's so old it's organs start shutting down. That's assuming it isn't already consumed by some other non-human hunter which I assure you begins eating the animal while it's still breathing.

Now maybe greyhounds aren't kept in the best conditions. Maybe they aren't treated all that well. But is it really all that different than how some humans live. And if this is the case shouldn't we be worried about our own race first?
SJones from Dracut

Bedford, MA

#19 Jul 9, 2008
MrMillCity_com wrote:
While you donkey's list out your 1-2-3....I'll list a few reasons why Greyhound racing should stay.
1. No where, and I mean no where, will you find a hot dog as cheap as the dog track.
2. Outside of Gus and Paul’s, dog tracks are the only place you can find Miller High Life on tap.
3. Dog tracks are the only place you can go these days where you don’t have to rub elbows with people that come on message boards and tell people why they are wrong.
Sorry to break this to you but Gus and Pauls has been closed for a while now. Looks like you can only get it at the track now (unless that gets taken away also). You may want to vote no on the ban.
forthedogs

Attleboro, MA

#20 Jul 9, 2008
Again, this isn't about humans or human athletes. Some of you are pretty confused. It's really too bad you think so many comparisons can be made between the two. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure you don't see basketball, baseball, football, track athletes, etc... being "euthanized at trainer's request" when they injure themselves.

And I didn't say greyhounds were't bred to run. If you had read carefully, I was quoting the sport editor who said, "Greyhounds are born to run." Born and bred have two different meanings in case you weren't aware of that.

It's pretty presumptious of some of you to think that those of us who care about the greyhounds think nothing at all of the human race. You'd be surprised how many of us also give our time and money to human causes. So stop being so self-righteous.

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