Where Facts And Controversy In The News Come Together In Truth

Thursday, July 21, 2011

West Virginia Governor Wont Be Stopping Greyhound Dog Racing

Earl Ray Tomblins Family Business Keeps The Money Flowing And Dogs Dying by WV News Staff 

“Of all the creatures, man is the most detestable. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot” Mark Twain

West Virginia is only one of seven remaining states that allow greyhound dog racing in the entire US. The other states have since banned the brutal sport due to public outcry and groups like GREY2K who kept the pressure on state governments until they banned it. Unlike those states that have closed down this industry, WV has a form of insurance that will keep the dogs racing and money flowing in.

Our Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin grew up inside the families ongoing greyhound racing business which has made his parents and brother one of the top winning owner-breeders and trainers in this state. And according to state records, their greyhound dog operation is the primary source of income for Freda and Earl Tomblin Sr. Tomblin also has many friends and political support from members of the greyhound industry and the casino’s too.

WV Senator Mike Green has been associated with dog racing since at least 1998 and was partners in “Green-Maupin Kennel” until 2008. Campaign reports show he has taken in thousands of dollars over the years from donations to his election from greyhound members.

Let’s be completely honest and practical. Taking into account that Tomblin is the most powerful and influential man in state politics and his parents, friends and associates primary source of income is derived from this industry, it’s a safe bet that as long as Tomblin is governor greyhound racing is here to stay.  

Acceptable Casualty Rate

How serious of an injury does it take for a dog to be euthanized? Dogs like Freda Design, a 1-year-old black greyhound owned by the Tomblins was put down on Halloween 2010 after she was simply bumped by another dog and suffered a broken leg during a race.

Is there an acceptable greyhound dog casualty rate at dog tracks in WV?  It appears that Dan Adkins; Executive Owner at the Tri-State Track in Cross Lanes WV thinks so. In a February 2011 news article he proudly stated that the number of injuries has dropped the past two years and is now near the national average.

He said there were only 25 deaths in more than 43,000 racing starts last year. Shouldn’t the stats be 0 deaths in the past 43,000 race starts?

According to Adkins, “If you compared these numbers to the NFL or even horse racing, this would be a very low percentage.” Several devout pet owners we spoke to said that’s about as silly as down playing it if there were only 5 NASCAR driver deaths in the past 100 race starts or 12 athletes killed in the last 40 Olympics.

According to the most recent state records available, at least 3,208 greyhound injuries have been reported at Adkins track since 2005, and nearly 200 dogs have died. Further, it’s likely that the actual number of injuries and deaths is even higher because we learned during our investigations back in 2008 that the majority of off the track incidents go un-reported. (Stories linked below)

At the Wheeling WV dog track, 707 greyhounds were reported injured between January 2008 and September 2009. More than one hundred of these injuries involved broken legs, and other reported injuries included dislocations, broken ankles, lacerations, fractured skulls and spinal injuries. Additionally, 62 dogs died or were euthanized during this period.

“Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane and should end,” said GREY2K USA Executive Director Carey Theil in a 2011 interview with the Charleston Newspaper. “Dogs play an important role in our lives, and deserve to be protected from individuals and industries that would do them harm.” Besides the injuries and deaths that occur, racing greyhounds endure lives of terrible confinement. They live inside warehouse-style kennels in rows of stacked cages that are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. They are confined for long hours each day, with shredded paper or carpet remnants as bedding.

In Closing

Once again, let’s be honest and call it what it is. Does Governor Earl Ray Tomblin have a close-vested interest in keeping greyhound racing in WV? It’s not a political decision; it’s about family and friends who depend on dog racing to live. Bottom line, to ban racing would take away his parents primary source of livelihood. What sibling wouldn’t want to protect his family and business if they could?

During the recent governors race, one of Tomblins opponents brought out Earl Ray's personal and family involvement in the greyhound dog racing industry. Even though the information was all true, the media actually called it an attack against Tomblin. His campaign called it "cheap politics" and goes on to say that this was an attempt to smear not only all of the good things the governor had accomplished but the allegations were lies. It's possible that the truth can be mistaken for cheap politics. (article linked below)

Most people you speak to detest greyhound racing and or any form of animal cruelty. There are specific laws in WV dealing with cruelty to any animal. Over the past several years more and more people are convicted and sentenced to jail for injuring and or killing animals.

Why hasn't there been one person arrested, fined or even cited for any of the reported injuries-deaths at either greyhound track? Officials at the Humane Society say they detest the deaths and injuries that occur because of racing. But, they don't do anything about it!

Speaking about this injustice is not the same as doing something about it. Yes, it is a huge industry that many people depend on for their livelihood. From the trainers to the owners all the way down to the local business economy who sell the food, supplies and medicine for the dogs. The list goes on and on.

Does that make it right?

End Of Story...

Jack Swint-Publisher
WV News 2011
(304) 982-7024
Twitter:  @WVNewsOnline

Related Stories By WVNews

The Killing Fields Of Chapmanville WV  (Tomblins Greyhound Training Facility)


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