Letters to the editor 5/18

May 20, 2003

Dog racing has its problems

To the editor:

This is in response to Ken Strawbridge's letter to the editor that appeared in The Herald-Mail's April 20 edition. First I would like to acknowledge the humane treatment he states that he gives to his racing greyhounds. Please keep up the good work.

However, I do think some of his statements were inaccurate. Strawbridge's quote "the overwhelming vast majority of these dogs go on to have great lives after their racing days are done" is simply not accurate. Here are some of the undeniable facts:

- Approximately 20,000 greyhounds bred for racing will die this year. Some will be humanely euthanized by veterinarians, others will be sold for medical experimentation and others will simply disappear from record. Source: Greyhound Protection League research files (updated May 2002) based upon industry reported figures published in the Greyhound Review.


- AP story out of Lillian, Ala., headlined "Thousands of racing dogs found dead" and stating: "The remains of as many as 3,000 greyhounds were found on the property of a greyhound racetrack security guard, who was paid $10 for each greyhound he killed. District Attorney David Whetstone said 'It was like a Dachau concentration camp for dogs.' After four randomly chosen dogs were autopsied, Whetstone stated 'three of the four dogs appeared to be shot in places that would not cause instant death, not through the brain, but through the neck or mouth. We don't know how long they may have suffered, or if they were alive when they were buried.'" Source: Associated Press May 22, 2002.

- "Each year up to 20,000 greyhounds disappear into medical research labs" - Sherry Cotner. Source: These are facts Mr. Strawbridge, and not as you stated "unsubstantiated, untrue, malicious charges." It appeared from your letter that you believed your livelihood was threatened by an innocuous article about greyhound adoption.

I do not wish to demonize the entire greyhound racing industry. Some are highly professional and treat their dogs very well. But not all are as conscientious and humane as you are.

In conclusion, Strawbridge may wish to focus on the fact that greyhounds can sit and eat from floor level, however the undeniable facts are that tens of thousands of ex-racing greyhounds are killed or sold into medical research each and every year. We think Strawbridge is unaware of the statistics of his profession if he believes these are "propaganda numbers and accusations from animal rights people." We wish we could state the contrary, but these are the facts and not "animal rights lies," as Strawbridge would have you believe.

Rik and Leslie Sills

Native children deserve respect

To the editor:

This letter is being written to call attention to the forgotten children of history - the Native American children of the government boarding school experience. These Indian children were taken from their families, tribes and from all that was familiar. They were taken thousands of miles from home and placed in an alien environment and forced to become something they weren't.

There were 28 of these schools (the nearest one to our area being in Carlisle, Pa.) across the country. Once at these schools, the boys had their hair cut short and all children were given uniforms. They were forbidden to speak their native language and if they spoke in their native tongue they were punished severely - and all because they were Indians.

In this day and age of victims' rights, don't these victims of a bad government policy deserve to be remembered? Is a national day of remembrance too much to ask of our elected representatives? I mean, we have days for everything else.

These forgotten children should be remembered. Take a ride up to Carlisle, visit the small Indian cemetery at the back gate of the Carlisle barracks and see if you don't feel that these native children deserve a day on which to be remembered. They have been neglected for far too long.

Joseph DiMaggio

Congressmen get $18,000, we get $8

To the editor:

We the people elected them to represent us and serve us. But just the opposite is happening. Now a seat in Congress is a free pass for a career of self-service and deal-making on the taxpayer's dime.

They've spent our tax dollars to reward deep-pocketed special interests to help themselves to get re-elected. Our surplus Social Security money did not all go into the Social Security Trust Fund where it's supposed to be, and where it could be saved to guarantee benefits for today's Social Security recipients as well as our children and grandchildren.

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