Racing Industry Told: "Charity Begins at Home"

Published: Fri 1 Jun 2012 01:05 PM
Racing Industry Told: "Charity Begins at Home"
"Take care of the problems at hand before playing Good Samaritan" was the message that Greyhound Protection League spokesperson Aaron Cross had for the greyhound racing industry yesterday. "We are aware of a promotional campaign underway in the dog racing industry that seeks to attract new patrons to gambling — the "Go the Red Dog" campaign".
Throughout May, each winning dog wearing the red coat earns a presently-unnamed charity a $100 donation.
"Rather than seeking to promote the industry through charitable fundraising, we believe the industry should first face up to its existing responsibilities and put that money — and a great deal more — into the adoption program Greyhounds As Pets (GAP)" Cross said.
"The greyhound racing industry has an income of around $20 million annually, after paying out to patrons. Last year, after returning the lion's share of turnover to gambling patrons, the racing industry gave GAP a total of $158,000. The racing industry to this day keeps over 99% of its take. In comparison, their donation of $158,000 is an almost token gesture. This is a real-world indicator of exactly how much value a greyhound has once it ceases to earn money".
There is a queue of approximately 100 dogs waiting 3 to 4 months to get into the program at any one time, and despite greyhounds being ideal household pets, the GAP program is forever overwhelmed by the sheer number of unwanted greyhounds.
"It seems only fair that the racing industry thinks in terms of its immediate ethical responsibilities, rather than self-promotion. At the end of the financial year, after paying themselves, their clubs, and all manner of gambling-related costs and expenses, the racing industry still had over 2 million dollars sitting in the bank, and yet the best they could offer the retired greyhounds was 8 percent of that. Its not good enough" Cross said.
"The cards are on the table. The contributions the dog racing industry makes to unwanted greyhounds is miserable, and this needs to be addressed first and foremost before the industry seeks to pass itself off as charitable. The existing safety net that for unwanted greyhounds (the Greyhounds As Pets adoption program) risks being seen as an illusion due to the woefully inadequate funding given to it by the greyhound racing industry".

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